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back to article Sky rudely barges TalkTalk off the top-three UK ISP podium

The decline and fall of TalkTalk sales each quarter is becoming a regular tale of woe for the budget telco, which this morning told the City that revenues had once again gone south as the company bled yet more punters. The numbers also tell another story: TalkTalk is no longer the third-biggest ISP in the country. That accolade …

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FAIL

Talk Talk's service is so crap, the last thing you can do is just Talk Talk or even surf surf

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FAIL

The problem with the "budget" telco

Is that it's not actually budget at all. They've always had a poor reputation for service, but got away with it because they actually were the cheap choice. But now their crappy, slow, unreliable, capped broadband costs the same as a much more reliable, much faster, uncapped fibre connection from BT or Virgin. When your only selling point is price, it's hardly a surprise that raising prices to be the same as everyone else isn't going to have great results.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The problem with the "budget" telco

They've just changed their offering to try and get more people to stay - broadband is now 'unlimited' on all offerings rather than 40GB capped, and including line rental can be got for under £13 a month for a 12 month contract. They are also (finally) doing something about their residential customer service (business service has always been much better) and have a dedicated team for the more complex or bigger messes (they call them the "CEO's office", but they're basically a top level all powerful complaints team in Warrington). They've also finished the borging of Tiscali's and AOL's networks so the network quality has now settled down and no longer has capacity issues.

Still, it's taken them long enough, and they're not quite there yet on having customer service sort things out on the first call, without having to pass it up the chain.

Internally, a lot of this has been caused by betting far too much on a delayed YouView, it's here now and is the cheapest way to get a YouView box, but I doubt it is going to save them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The problem with the "budget" telco

Oh, and they've now got rid of all traffic shaping apart from on bit torrent in the evenings. Thank goodness.

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Re: The problem with the "budget" telco

As an overall package, it's still considerably cheaper than BT (whose promotional spam shows them as being marginally cheaper excluding call costs for three months, and then prices go up.. but I still get free phone calls), and compared to my BT-based neighbours equally as reliable. They have also treated long-term customers well, giving cut rates for staying on (unlike my insurance company, energy suppliers etc. who penalize loyalty and only give good rates to new customers)

Maybe I'm a lucky TalkTalk customer, but they've been one heck of a lot better as a supplier than BT before them, and I've had so many bad experiences with other Virgin offerings, ain't no way I'm going to their broadband. As for Sky.. well, I think I'd rather go without broadband altogether than give Murdoch a penny.

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Anonymous Coward

After spending 3 years doing home callouts

For a small, local, IT company I can vouch for Talktalk's utter shite customer service and utter shite network.

I'd rather shit in my own mouth than willingly use TalkTalk's service in any way shape or form.

I have Sky ADSL at home, and am soon to upgrade to their fibre. Full speed for newsgroups etc all day, every day (Even 6PM-10PM - Take note, BT...)

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Re: After spending 3 years doing home callouts

I use plusnet fibre (owned by BT) and there no traffic management on my package so I can enjoy my 80/20 speeds all day. Its great knowing paying decent for something actually works. If you pay cheap, you get cheap.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: After spending 3 years doing home callouts

Fair point - Plusnet have a 'cheap' fibre package with the horrible traffic shaping on, BUT.. And this is a *big* BUT - They also offer an alternative, completely unrestricted package - With unlimited data usage between 12-Midnight and 6AM I believe?

Never had any qualms with PlusNet. Customer support was ace on the few times I had to call them (Billing issues, no technical stuff). I've been on Tiscali (Back in the day when 128/256kbps speeds were 'the norm'), Pipex, BT, PlusNet on Sky. I currently reside in rented accomodation with BT Infinity on 35 down/10 up - It's pretty nifty although I don't do a huge amount of downloading nowadays, it's nice for Streaming iPlayer HD stuff through the Sky box :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: After spending 3 years doing home callouts

'Unlimited data between 12-Midnight and 6AM'

Which would make it not unlimited.

Sky on the other hand truly do have unlimited data on their fibre products.

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Unhappy

That number again

TalkTalk's customer service is famously bad, and before that Pipex and Tiscali's customer service was rubbish. If you need to contact them their number used to be 0207 087 2000. Of couse, they rely on BT to provide the conections and they are equally terrible.

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xyz
Bronze badge
Mushroom

DIE! DIE! EVIL SCUM! DIE!

That's about as coherent as I can get with that lot

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Anonymous Coward

I don't see them growing sales. To do that they need to win customers from BT, Sky and Virgin. No way they will win them on customer service. No way they will win them on product offering. That leaves price - and they're nowhere near as competitive as they were before plusnet came along.

Youview won't save them when freesat, freeview, xbox, ipad all do what most people want... The decline will only confine.

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Silver badge
Coat

Suggestion

Maybe you could treat these sorts of stories the same way you're planning to report Giff Gaff outages?

More customers realised today how awful TT are, and crucially how easy it is to leave. In other news, Giff Gaff suffered a network outage, bear defacated in woods, film at 11.

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I'm another leaver of TT. I moved from them to BT because it was cheaper and faster - 36 times faster!

Their system had worked with no problems for me and I left with no animosity.

Then I discovered that they were still debiting my DD. The process of contacting then to sort this out was so awful that it turned me from someone who would have gone back if things had changed to someone who will not only never go back but will encourage people to avoid them. As I said on their customer satisfaction survey I entered zero only because there were no negative values available.

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Silver Lining

I'm a TalkTalk customer and I've noticed that my connection has been more stable in recent month: perhaps the lines are not quite so clogged requiring them to recycle me less often (I was getting a new IP Address almost every day at one point with regular disconnects at 6pm and Midnight).

However their Customer Service remains utterly appalling and I'll be leaving once this year's phone sub expires to one with a decent monthly allowance.

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RPF
WTF?

The amazing thing is....

...that anyone's still with the utter garbage that is TalkTalk.

I left when they set up a second Direct Debit for my "free" broadband. When I queried it, they said it was free....when they got around to modding my exchange!

So I told them to stick it and they tried to charge a cancellation fee, even though I was in the free cooling-off period. Ended up having a stand-up row with the team that was meant to smooth-talk me into staying, over BS like the meaning of "free".

Talk Talk. are utter, utter mouth-breathing, phone-salesman, low-life, amoral, lying, scheming, dishonest shits.

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Anonymous Coward

As an ex-employee based in Ireland.....

I'm a little happy to say the least! We used to be AOL back in the day and won numerous awards for customer service.... Then TT took over.....

It's true what previous posters have said, you do get what you pay for, but TT are roughly the same price as everyone else now!

I think it's indicative of an out of touch company when you get rid of your best performing call centre on almost all stats to "save money". I wonder will they ever realise that it must cost more in repeat calls to Manila, SA or India than to have the phone answered by a UK or Irish rep whose comprehension of the situation is usually much better. It's all good speaking the language but understanding the situation and using empathy is key to a great customer services experience.

Personally I would bring all customer services back "on shore", and charge a pound per minute for support. 1 reducing repeat calls, 2 providing better customer services and 3 actually getting problems resolved. Refund the cost of the call if the problem was caused by the company!

Me thinks a third wooden spoon is coming your way....!

/rant :-)

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