Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I forgot how bad Talktalk could be...

I started writing this post on 8 July 2010.

In April 2010 we moved into our new house. Having unfortunately just renewed our talktalk contract for our landline at the old place, I decided to move their service to the new house rather than pay the £70 cancellation fee. God I wish I had paid it.

After notifying them of the dates in advance I was told they would charge £30 admin fee for the move and it would take a few weeks. Not a huge problem. Then I was told we could not keep our existing number despite moving less than 1 mile from our old house. I thought number portability was supposed to be a simple and easy task in these modern times?

Anyway we got the move completed and waited for d-day. The engineer arrived and installed the line and informed us of our new number. All good and simple. A few days later I got a letter in the post welcoming us to the service. A simple few lines and no instructions that we needed to do anything further.

I then got my ebill email from my old address and account informing me they owed me £8, no problem I thought. I'm sure it will be transferred to the new account...

So we soldiered on getting settled into the new house.

Then out of the blue some 2 months later our phone stops working all together. It's a Saturday and the automated response on the line tells us that we've been cut off for not paying the bill and it proceeds to put me through to their payment department which only works Mon-Fri.

On the Monday I phone and I'm told I owe them £101 and they will not reconnect the line until I pay. I dispute this as it's their fuckup but the CSA is adamant. So I ask to be transferred to their cancellation department.

Now at this stage my account should simple have been transferred to the new number, I already paid by direct debit, has a few other services on the number and was setup for paperless e-billing.

I'm told none of the services have been transferred and I should have received a paper bill. I never got it.

Further they want to charge me £1.45 for the paper bill (x2 for the bill I never got and to send me another copy). They also want to charge me £3.50 for not paying by direct debit.

So having failed to do anything correctly why have they charge me £30 admin fee?

After 42 mins of arguing I'm told it will be sorted, all fees, including the admin charge will be refunded and new paper bill sent out.

I receive the bill 3 days later, subtract the agreed charges I'm not paying for and try to pay the bill via my online banking. You can't they do not provide any information to make an online banking payment. I phone up and pay approx £61 of the bill.

No problem, now I need to sort out the ebilling. I login with my details but it's still showing the old account details.Can't do that!

Finally I get hold a person by phone and we start conversing via e-mail, she after nearly a month of trying to help is unable to sort out all of these problems. She did manage to sort out the direct debit. But I can't register my online account. 11 e-mails to and fro with her and I give up, It's now July 26.

Then after some googling I discovered dear Charles Dunston's e-mail address. I took the chance and e-mail it with a right royal rant at their incompetence.

I got a response!

Things started moving along, I got credits for the stuff I shouldn't have been charged for.

But paper billing and registering my existing e-mail account was still a problem. So I got monthly credits put against my paper billing to cover the cost of being charged for paper billing.

I got 2 very pleasant and helpful women from Charle's 'office' who kept me informed by phone and e-mail of the progress and updates along the way.

Today, Tuesday, 17 November 2010, 26 emails later, the issue is finally resolved to my satisfaction and I can now get e-mail billing as per normal. Not bad since this all Started in April and escalated in July.

The scary bit is that the inability to transfer e-mail addresses during a house move was a fundamental problem with their back office software and it took some 6 months to get it sorted. I can't imagine how many of their customers might have moved house up to now, but it's frightening to think how many others would have experienced worse than me and probably given up, thrown in the towel, since it seems the only way to get simple basic customer services it complain directly to the man sitting at the top. I can't see how his empire is going to carry on if us minions continue to be treated so poorly.

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