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Standard User robmar0se
(regular) Thu 18-Apr-13 01:45:22
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TalkTalk not fit for purpose

[link to this post]
We agreed a contract with TalkTalk on 8th March 2013, since then we have faced a series of issues that really make the service almost impossible to use. Please refer to the following:

1. Whoever agreed to contract failed to follow through to ensure all steps were fully implemented.
2. We had to follow-up as we did not receive the letter initially to say when the service would be implemented – it was finally sent on 18th March, and received on 20th March advising that the “go-live “ date would be anytime on 21st March.
3. We did not receive the router, so this had to be chased as well, and was received on 25th March – note TalkTalk argued that we had not asked for one – which is improbable as we had not previously used any computer or internet services (see below).
4. On the 27ndMarch, the router had not been properly set-up, so again we had to spend time with TalkTalk to establish the correct settings. As we were due to go away for Easter the next day, we did not have time to address setting up email on the TalkTalk system.
5. When we returned on 11th April, we contacted TalkTalk again to setup email, as we couldn’t get into the TalkTalk system as it required a previous email address, which we didn’t have (and wasn’t explained when we initially agreed the contract with TalkTalk). After 90 minutes having spoken to 4 different people in India and South Africa it was agreed that there is no way to access the account pages or setup email addresses without a prior email address.

As we have never used any computing services before, a prior email address has never been established. We received the computer from a local charity which specialises in making computers available to older folks who have yet to get into the electronic age. It appears to be a weakness in your system that requires a previous email address, so in fact TalkTalk should never be used for first time users.

6. We finally spoke to a Mr Keriton in South Africa, who confirms these details, however would not allow us to cancel the contract without a penalty, notwithstanding the problems we had faced, as 14 days had passed.

Moral of the story, always cancel the contact within 14 days at any sign of a problem however small you may think it is (or don't use TalkTalk).
Standard User woweebert
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 18-Apr-13 06:33:15
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Re: TalkTalk not fit for purpose

[re: robmar0se] [link to this post]
half an hour in a local library and you could have potently multiple Emails .

If you cant get with automated systems and using a online forum for support you should definitely not be signing up with TalkTalk .

And being honest , i have never signed up anybody to talktalk through anything other than the online portal , I'm not even sure how to order TalkTalk services over the phone as there is no obvious telephone number to ring and being a long time TalkTalk customer , i know not to use the phone when dealing with the beast .

As soon as you step outside there automated systems you are inviting problems and i go as far as saying even ordering your service over the phone and not the online portal .
Standard User spearsp
(newbie) Thu 18-Apr-13 08:47:07
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Re: TalkTalk not fit for purpose

[re: robmar0se] [link to this post]
We have just switched our broadband provider, and the race was on between TalkTalk and PlusNet. The latter won hands-down, because their customer service and reviews were so good, especially in comparison. It's all well and fine to say, "Half an hour in your local library would give you any number of email addresses," but to expect a pensioner to have to lug their desktop down to the local library, get online, and then know how and where to set these up is just diabolical!

Automated systems are great for covering mundane tasks and normal situations. However, as soon as you throw anything unexpected at them, they fail, and this is the purpose of a support line: To pick up the issue and turn the failure of the automated system into a success for both the customer and the provider. If the provider can't handle this responsibility, they shouldn't be in business. I find a lot of this kind of "I'll take your money thank you very much but after that you're on your own" kind of attitude in England.

My view is that if a provider is taking your money, it is their responsibility to get you up and running, no matter what it takes. Failure to do so is a breech of contract. Getting set up with PlusNet was troublesome, but both times that I had to call the support line, I was not kept on hold for more than ten minutes at a time in spite of calling during peak hours and in the middle of the night, it was the same person who came back to me every time and they followed through on the problem until they had it resolved, contacting various people in their organisation in the process but never playing "hot potato" with me.

My advice would be as follows: First contact TalkTalk, but try to get hold of their head-office instead of the support line. If you can't do that, get hold of the support line and immediately ask to speak to a supervisor. They are in breech, and must pay back any money you've already paid them and cancel the contract without penalty. Threaten bad press to begin with: The broadband market is very competitive, and posting your experience in the Metro would have devastating consequences for them. You'll be amazed how quickly they buck up when you threaten bad press, but this is only effective if you talk to someone who gives a toss.

If you don't have any joy there, contact the communications ombudsman, and see if they can help. You can google "Communication Ombudsman" to find their details, or call them (I've just googled it for you) on 0330 440 1614.

If the ombudsman can't help, follow through on your threat and put a post in the Metro. You will probably receive a call from them as a result, suddenly keen to cooperate.

Good luck. Please post your results here. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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Standard User ionic
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 18-Apr-13 08:52:08
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Re: TalkTalk not fit for purpose

[re: spearsp] [link to this post]
Why would one lug their desktop to a library when they wouldn't even let you connect it? Use the PCs there!
Standard User gah789
(newbie) Thu 18-Apr-13 09:12:04
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Re: TalkTalk not fit for purpose

[re: robmar0se] [link to this post]
Let me expand on a previous response. Consumer protection laws apply to broadband services like any other. If the facts are as you explain, any manager at TalkTalk with half a brain will realise that they do not have a leg to stand on. The Communications Ombudsman will certainly rule against them if it gets to that stage. But it is a requirement that you have to go through the company's own complaints procedure first.

Hence I suggest the following: (a) Create a paper trail. Write a letter to TalkTalk's Customer Service Department explaining the facts and asking for whatever remedy you want - cancellation of the service, reinstatement with an email address, etc. (b) Send a copy of the letter to the Chief Executive of TalkTalk. Her name is Dido Harding. The main address of TalkTalk is: TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC, 11 Evesham Street, London W11 4AR. (c) Go to your local Citizen's Advice (CAB) office and ask for help if you need it.

If they do not respond and sort the problem out within a few days, then they are even worse organised than their public reputation suggests. Don't rely upon calls to call centres. You are probably paying the cost of the call and you have no record of what has taken place.
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