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back to article TalkTalk somehow retains most-complained-about-ISP title AGAIN

TalkTalk has once again been crowned the worst broadband and telephone provider by its cheesed-off customers, communications regulator Ofcom confirmed this morning. The budget ISP was plonked at the top of the gripes pile in the watchdog's latest quarterly report, which covers the period between April and June 2012. The purpose …

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Holmes

I reckon BT has their employees ring up and complain about Talk Talk. It's the only conceivable explanation.

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FAIL

Fair enough ..

.. makes up for me NOT ringing

What the regulators are missing is that phone complaints are a revenue stream these days. Switching 10p/min 'help' lines for 0800 numbers would give the companies an actual incentive to improve service.

I had to call PlusNet (I just switched) and the guy tried to have a chat!

"What's the weather like where you are?"

"Not raining 10p bits on me. Bye"

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Re: Fair enough ..

Are you the only one who hasn't discovered SayNoTo0870 yet?

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Go

Re: Fair enough ..

TalkTalk customers are not charged to call the helpdesk.

Customer Services 0870 444 1820

(FREE from your

TalkTalk landline)

Cut'n'pasted from their help pages.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fair enough ..

Implying that your talktalk land line is working, and that one of the first steps will be to disconnect all slave plugs and make sure the router is the only thing plugged into the master port?

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But the 'complaints' recorded are not what you think of as 'complaints'.

The only 'complaints' data Ofcom use are where people fill in the details on this website: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/tell-us/formal-phone-company (or by ringing them on a special number between 9 and 5).

'Complaints' to the ISP or the Ombudsman do not count towards this figure - you have to tell Ofcom yourself!

I'm amazed the figures are this high, as hardly anyone bothers to tell Ofcom as well as submitting complaints to the ISP direct.

This is a story in itself. :-(

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fair enough ..

0800 432 0200. There you go. That''s PlusNet's 0800 number for support taken from their own website. Maybe you should call back and apologise for being rude when the support chap was just trying to be friendly and thought the company was picking up the tab.

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Re: Fair enough ..

So what happens if your TalkTalk Landline is buggered??

You get charged.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fair enough ..

They have a landline number you can call from a mobile.

0870 444 1820

(FREE from your

TalkTalk landline)

or

0203 441 5550

(National rate number)

Again taken from their website.

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Re: Fair enough ..

And they've added geographical numbers too:

Brand Current Number New Standard Rate Option

TalkTalk 0870 444 1820 0203 441 5550

AOL 0844 499 5555 0203 441 5555

cut'n'pasted from their forums. :)

I'd hazard a guess that roughly half the problems on the TT forums pages are down to rotten cable - which is a BTOR issue. It took Openretch 7 YEARS to finally admit my drop cable was rotten and then 2 months to fix the bloody thing. They freely admit the cable in the street back to the local cabinet is rotten too, but there are no plans to replace it.

Unfortunately Ofcom won't take complaints about Openreach.

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Big Brother

attention comrades the data ration is up 3%

now do your calisthenics, we have a genetic algorithm running to spot nonconformists

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Pint

"The purpose of Ofcom's name-and-shame exercise is to shock telcos into improving their poor customer service records. But it's arguably a point lost on TalkTalk, which repeatedly gets voted the worst ISP by its long-suffering punters"

No publicity is bad publicity! Roll on next year's awards ceremony!

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Anonymous Coward

Presumably their marketeers will describe it as top of OFCOM's list for customer service ....

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"No publicity is bad publicity!"

So, if you published that you had genital herpes, do you believe that would get you more girlfriends?

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Meh

Maybe, if you spun it as "textured for her pleasure".

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Happy

I've been with them over 3 years and so have few of my friends, I've not had any issues and my friend had one issue which was down to BT.

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Pirate

I have to agree...

...although you do have to be persistent if you have a problem. I have first rate service now, after my line was fixed following a year of intermittent faults. It helps if you can log your downtime, which is when they started listening.

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It's great that you haven't had any problems, long may it last. The real issue for me is how they behave when there is a problem - can you talk to someone knowledgeable who'll get to the bottom of the problem and get it sorted or do you have to talk to someone who knows know next to nothing apart from what is written on their scripts and is unable to apply what you tell them to get it fixed?

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Anonymous Coward

BT are just as bad, what kills me are the scripts they talk through... I am on the phone for ages until they finally realise they need to put me through to 2nd line support... half the time I pretend to do it as I've already done it before calling!!

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Titan ADSL

Are fantastic for this. Being a relatively tiny ISP, they're much more flexible and willing to listen. The few times I had to call them (turned out Openreach hadn't installed the line properly) they put a note on my account that basically read "this guy knows what he's doing." Never had to go through that "have you tried restarting your computer" bullshit ever again. Then again, I can't remember the last time I had to call them, the connection's so solid. Can't recommend them enough.

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It's not a case of them 'realising' that you need to be put through. The absolute highest priority metric for 1st line teams is first time fix rate - ie, trying their absolute hardest not to transfer you to 2nd line. They're seen to be under-performing if this rate is down, even if you need a 2nd line resource to actually fix the issue for you. It's fucking stupid but unfortunately that's how it works.

It's exactly the same at TalkTalk ; the on-shore support guys in Preston and Manchester are, for the most part, absolutely excellent and really conscientious. But the 1st line support teams based offshore are being torn a new arsehole every time their first-time fix rate drops, so they keep people going through the same tedious script over and over and over again.

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One thing i do like about my TT broadband is that im getting about 16mb which is fine and they haven't said anything about my 200GB+ per month download habits. Suits me.

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Hardly surprising

I've had to complain to them and I'm not even a customer! Never have been, never will be. As expected, their customer service (though as I wasn't a customer I guess it's slightly unfair to call it that) was awful.

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LLU win

I live in the sticks but our exchange was finally LLUd a couple of months back, bringing the irresistible (to me) temptation of faster broadband. Unfortunately the company who'd chosen to put kit in our exchange was none other than TalkTalk and having used them before there was no way I was going back to their abysmal customer service.

However, I mentioned it to my ISP (Xilo, who are excellent) and they said they could provide ADSL using TalkTalk kit by going direct to TalkTalk Wholesale, who are apparently much better than their retail arm. They did that, it's working really well (nearly double the speed) and if there's a problem I can talk to a clued up human at Xilo and not a scripted TalkTalk robot.

Anyway, I thought I'd share in case it's an option for anyone else out there.

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Re: LLU win

Xilo are the single best company I deal with regularly. Not just the best ISP, the best company full stop. Their service and support is absolutely exemplary. They're not the cheapest but the extra couple of quid is worth every penny.

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Re: LLU win

The product that you're receiving via them is exactly the same product that TalkTalk residential customers receive. You're on the same network.

The only difference is you don't have to deal with TT customer service.

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Re: LLU win

Similar thing here - Surfwise thru Vivaciti. Got sick of waiting for BT to spend some money upgrading our 10k line exchange

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Re: LLU win

"The only difference is you don't have to deal with TT customer service."

Exactly. I love the idea that the best way to get support is via a members forum.. really useful at 8 pm on a winters evening when your service has crashed and you can get online at all.

One for me to avoid I think.

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Re: LLU win

Xilo.

You sir have hit the nail on the head.

Xilo, 'pro' up to 24Mb broadband, excluding line rental, £316.65 a year inc VAT. Including BT line rental saver (£129 per year) is £445.65 a year.

TalkTalk's package including line rental, curently on offer for £153 per year.

So, the extra £292 pays for the customer service.

Interstingly, going to TalkTalk business direct for the Homeworker package (which anyone can do and have *very* nice service from guys in the UK including geting BT engineers out within 4 hours as part of the contract if neccesary) nets you a yearly price of £352.80.

So, you pays your money and you takes your choice.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: LLU win

I don't think the people suggesting that TalkTalk retail and Xilo via TalkTalk Wholesale are exactly the same, are correct.

Xilo is only buying the DSL line + connectivity from customer to Xilo's network (or their network provider, for BT based connections it was Murphx), so there's massive scope for a superior service. The customer service will of course be improved but you won't be dealing with the vagaries of TalkTalk's IP network.

It's just like suggesting BT Broadband and Andrews and Arnold are identical, when they are about as far apart as you can get.

(I had Xilo over BT wholesale and they were absolutely fantastic, and it didn't touch BT's CentralPlus ISP platform at all)

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Re: LLU win @ Skoorb

"geting (sic) BT engineers out within 4 hours"

Bollocks, not even your <insert deity> can get BT out to a DSL fault within 4 hours. Business or otherwise.

BT move slower than a striking Sloth.

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FAIL

Beats Bulldog

I moved to TalkTalk after 2 years of being with Bulldog. I swapped because one day I got no DSL service. After trying all the usual, I bit the bullet and called the Helldesk, where I was told I lived too far from the Exchange to get broadband.

Oh, sorry about that, I'll just put my house back to where it was yesterday. There. Any better now?

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Sales Monkeys

It's not just their Customer Service who are bad, their Sales Monkeys are utterly despicable.

Sunday morning and there's a knock at the door. "Good Morning, do you pay for broadband" says the suited thing.

"Yes"

"Ah so you didn't get my pack through your door, I'll come in and write down for you how you can get it for free".

THREE TIMES he tried to come in. And as a middle aged 20 stoner I'm no pushover like some more vulnerable people might be. And not just "can I come in", but actually trying to walk past me saying "I'll write this down for you"

Complaint letter is in the post to TalkTalk.

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WTF?

Re: Sales Monkeys

I'd punch him in the face.

I hate talktalk. I hate everything about them. Their non-existent service, their non-existent broadband, their non-existent phone lines and their non-existent dispute resolution.

BTW did I mention, I hate talktalk?

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Re: Sales Monkeys

You should have put a complaint mark on his nose (after a warning statement of course).

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Headmaster

Springtime for Hitler

"the period between April and June" is known as "May". Surely you mean "from April to June"?

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i can testify that they are rubbish

oh yes i can testify!

testify!

testify!

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This post has been deleted by its author

Of course complaints are down

Because less people are getting through.

But if you combine an 'average' ISP with a cheap tariff, a novice customer base, and a piss-poor call centre can you expect anything other than a poor track record?

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"Talktalk received its lowest ever number of complaints...."

Yes, that's because nobody can get through to complain because it's a 45-minute wait. Most 'customers' ring off after 20 minutes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Talktalk received its lowest ever number of complaints...."

Or it's already lost 35% of it's customer base... ;)

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talktalk better

I'm with talk talk and have the odd issue every couple of years which they resolve. I've noticed their customer support getting better and better.

I'm a heavy user and I'm very pleased with them pretty much on all counts.

I'm an ex-demon, ex-be customer (they were also both very good).

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Anonymous Coward

well

our broadband provider got assimilated by talktalk some time ago and I don't know what their customer service is like cos (touch wood) we haven't had any problem i've needed to try to contact them for.

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Anonymous Coward

beware the availability checker

If you try their service checker they then use that number to ring you and try to get you to commit on the spot. Ok yes the small print (now below the box) did say so but if you irritate me with rude and intrusive sale techniques before I pay you any money I won't pay you any money.

If they'd have simply left me alone i would probably have gone for it but as it is they proved everything I feared before I was signed up.

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FAIL

Affected by Talk Talk here too

They made a complete bodge job of my bills, I've had extra lines added that I never ordered, incorrect call charges, and to top it off a £600 'cancellation fee' when I got them to remove the line I never ordered...

And they insist that it's all correct and that I owe them over £1,000... ringing me and sending me letters though the post.

Absolutely shocking customer service as well. Many complains have gone unanswered.

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Anonymous Coward

TT - Horrible company

My neighbour who had very little spare income (part of the reason they took the TT hook) was paying for broadband for over seven months despite no service constant excuses and incompetence.

I've heard so many bad stories they merge in to one.

Recently got a good offer for EFM from a part of TalkTalk but could not bring myself to give them a penny, just won't reward that sort of behaviour despite being "not the same department/group/company called TalkTalk", told them why and requested they pass that up the chain, vote with the wallet.

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Anonymous Coward

"BT Vision was the most griped about Pay TV service"

I suspect that award could soon be up for grabs!

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Destroyer of broadband connections

I was with aol (dont laugh, it was cheap and pretty solid) when they got absorbed into the TalkTalk mothership, and almost immediately the throttling and disconnecting started. The connection would throttle down to dialup speeds or sometimes completely disconnect between 8am and 1am, then speed up to the max 8mb in the middle of the night.

The rude,surly Indians on their helpdesk blamed everything but themselves, in no particular order,,my laptop, router, my internal wiring, BT`s wiring, BT`s exchange, the weather and a thousand other things that wernt talktalk.

When i asked for a mac code, they put me through to level2 help instead. These people were just as dishonest and incompetant as level 1. I finally got through to an Irish call center, and the experience couldnt have been more different, The guy on the other end agreed that I was being throttled and actually sugested I leave for a better ISP (apparently thousands of people were complaining, and the guy was fed up being shouted at). I had a mac code within an hour.

I went with BT, plugged the router in, instant 8mb, and its pretty much stayed there for 4 odd years.

So, yeah, awful,awful company, fully deserving of the award.

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Re: Destroyer of broadband connections

@ mickey mouse the fith

"I had a mac code within an hour."

It should take no longer than 2 minutes. Were you on the phone for almost an hour?

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