Hi, I do computer repair/installation for a living these days, and I just ran into a situation where a client (he's a charity case) got broadband for the first time. I called up TalkTalk and arranged the installation. My client (he's bedridden and has been watching TV all day for over a year) had a BT line in his flat. TalkTalk came out and installed the broadband router, but they changed the guy's telephone number. They kept the exchange the same - just changed the last four digits of his tel number. This irritates me (and my client). My understanding is that a telephone number change is only necessary if somebody has their telephone with their cable company. My client had a BT line. So I called up TalkTalk technical support on 0870-087-5703 and got some minimum wage guy named Joe McNaughton on the line who told me that "at the point of sale, if the customer does not specify that he wants to retain the same telephone number, TalkTalk will assign a new telephone number". I said, "WHAT?????" According to him, the customer has to KNOW to request it, otherwise TalkTalk will default to changing the customer's number. I then identified myself to the TalkTalk rep, told him I was the customer's computer repair guy (I'm giving the charity guy basically a free computer setup), and the minimum wage guy hit the ceiling about "Data Protection Act" and that I was committing a crime by impersonating the customer. He was very rude. I told him I had permission to do so, and if he wanted to confirm it, to call the customer direct on the new telephone number that TalkTalk had assigned him, and he would confirm it. The minimum wage guy then said that he wasn't even allowed to call out. I asked to speak to his supervisor - he wouldn't do it - and then said he was going to note in the account that somebody is calling in to impersonate the customer. Very very rude. I asked him why TalkTalk assigns a new tel number. He wouldn't respond (probably didn't know the answer, but his ego wouldn't let him state that).
My question: Is this what is happening now? Do other ISPs do this? Is this now the norm? And why are they doing this??? I need to know this, because this is my business, and I am often called upon to recommend ISPs to clients. Also, I have a good mind to have my charity client cancel his TalkTalk account and go with another ISP. Any good ideas for inexpensive ISPs??? I just chose TalkTalk because I know it is one of the less expensive ones out there - but this is ridiculous.
I should note that in TalkTalk's FAQ:
under "Can I keep my existing telephone number?", it says you can keep your old telephone number, but it says nothing to the effect of "but you have to remember to tell the sales person at the time of the sale this".
I am really very disappointed with TalkTalk. I don't even know why they had to go out to the guy's house to begin with - after all, it already had a BT line in it.
Thanks in advance to anybody that knows the answer to this.