Monthly Archives: December 2006

On the first day of Christmas

I’ve worked on this for a bit now…

Merry Christmas guys!

The Twelve Days of Carphone Warehouse

On the first day of Christmas Charles Dunstone gave to me: not a single damned apology.
On the second day of Christmas Charles Dunstone gave to me: two broken mobiles
On the third day of Christmas Charles Dunstone gave to me: three stress headaches
On the fourth day of Christmas Charles Dunstone gave to me: four dead phone lines
On the fifth day of Christmas Charles Dunstone gave to me: FIVE LEGAL THREATS*
On the sixth day of Christmas Charles Dunstone gave to me: six dropped connections
On the seventh day of Christmas Charles Dunstone gave to me: seven crappy modems
On the eighth day of Christmas Charles Dunstone gave to me: eight Indian call centres
On the ninth day of Christmas Charles Dunstone gave to me: nine blue screens
On the tenth day of Christmas Charles Dunstone gave to me: ten investors bolting
On the eleventh day of Christmas Charles Dunstone gave to me: eleven lame excuses
On the twelfth day of Christmas Charles Dunstone gave to me: twelve customers weeping

* Used for the purposes of satire and comedy. This hasn’t happened. Yet. Or at least it didn’t happen on the fifth day of Christmas.

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Citigroup says sell Carphone Warehouse stock.

I love this.

Not everyone is convinced it will be a brave new dawn for the company. The US investment bank Citigroup released revised forecasts yesterday to include the AOL acquisition, and reiterated its “sell” recommendation on the back of the new numbers. The broker highlighted increased net debt of approximately £610m, from £306m, increasing interest payments. It also believes its 235p price target assumes “near perfect” execution of the group’s broadband expansion – generating 1.8 million subscribers, successfully rolling out 1,000 unbundled local exchanges and maintaining average revenue per user. In what is becoming an increasingly crowded market place, Citigroup believes that the current price discounts too many risks.

Market Report: Make-or-break time for Carphone Warehouse

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Now the Post Office is going to provide broadband

Am I the only one that’s starting to think, perhaps, there are too many branded phone products? I can get a phone through BT, Tesco, Carphone Warehouse, NTL/Telewest….

I note this doesn’t mention who will control the underlying infrastructure. It might mean Postman Pat has a new job…..

The Post Office is taking on BT with a £5m-plus campaign backing the launch of its HomePhone telephony service. It aims to attract at least 1m customers by 2008, taking 5% of BT’s residential business.

HomePhone promises to deliver average savings of 12%-20% compared with BT Option 1, and will be ‘competitively priced’ against Carphone Warehouse’s TalkTalk and Tele2. TV ads break this week on terrestrial and satellite channels, using the strapline ‘It may be good to talk, but it’s even better when you save money’, playing on the old ‘It’s good to talk’ slogan used by BT. The TV campaign will be backed with press ads and the Post Office’s biggest ever direct mail push, to 400,000 customers.

New campaign: Post Office

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Watch out for billing scam!

This isn’t entirely related to Talk Talk. But, in the interest of keeping you all scam free, I thought I’d post it anyway.

Mrs Barbara Rice, chairman of Brighouse Good Companions’ Club, was shocked when she received a phone call demanding £14.31p on an outstanding British Telecom bill.

She had transferred her calls to Talk Talk some time ago and in September decided to transfer her line rental as well to the same company. She paid her final bills to BT and received a refund because she had overpaid.

“When I got the phone call at home from someone claiming to be from BT’s credit office in Edinburgh saying I owed £14.31, I was very confused,” said Mrs Rice, who comes from Brighouse but now lives in Odsal.

“I tried arguing but I was told if I didn’t pay up my phone would be disconnected.”

Basically, these dreadful people ripped off a nice lady by being a bit aggressive and a bit nasty. Don’t fall for it!

Warning over phone scam

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Phone for help

As well as ye old broadband tales of mystery and horror, Talk Talk Hell also receives a lot in the way of phones. As much as Chucky Dunstone protests that he’s drug their service up to ‘the same level as other broadband providers’ it actually just seems to be an issue with the Carphone Warehouse’s inability to provide an acceptable level of service.

Have a read.

From Margaret, whose father is waiting on a liver transplant.

my parents went away on holiday in septenber to ther dispalefe when they came home ther was a diffrent telephone number. we got in touch with talk talk they said they was going to sort the problem as you can guess the problem has still not been sorted and once again they have gone to use there phone and it has completely been disconected this is not good enough my father is a very sick man he is under kings colleg hospital with the liver department he needs the telephone to liason with the hospital i am very very angry

Picked on a young lad

i felt intimidated by some of the staff. I dont know much about phones and because i was young i felt they took advantage, they were smirking at eachother. after i bought the phone i felt i was mugged so i went back in less than 10 mins later and they refused a refund so i asked to exchange it , they sed i wud loose my £10 top up. the guy sold me a 1 Gb memory card, i later found out that my phone oldy takes up to 512mb. i asked to see the manager they told me he was on holiday, a few days later i found him at the shop. i made unnesseary journeys to the shop they gave me wrong information. ive ent them a letter but they havent replied

if anyone here has had a similar experience please email me aminur8@hotmail.com

lets bring them down!! iam not sure if iam allowed to say that but its only fair of how they treat a 14 yr old taking advantage of my age!!

Russell’s experience is less than complimentary: (link goes to Ciao review

Having returned home from holiday I was most surprised to find when I attempted to make an outgoing call a restriction had been placed on the line. I telephoned customer services (from my mobile phone as I couldn’t make outgoing calls from my landline) and using an online translation website to interpret for their customer services telephonist, found out they had cut off my phone because my direct debit had been refused.

This struck me as odd because I knew fine well I had more than sufficient funds in my bank account to honour their direct debit when it was requested. I was put through to ‘credit control’ – you know, these psychopathic, mean spirited, spiteful turds that get hard ons lording it up over people having difficulties paying their bill. Knowing all too well I did have the funds to pay this bill and clearly, this was their mistake I felt a sense of belligerence as I listened to fuzzy, crap music tapped out on a bontempi organ while I wasted yet more of my mobile phone credit being transferred.

Now, I know there are problems with other ISPs/mobile providers. It’s just pretty much the way technology goes. I am, however, feeling slightly sceptical about the claim that Talk Talk, or any of these experiences, happen with quite the same frequency anywhere else.

Well, unless it’s NTL.

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Some help for hamza

We have some requests for assistance coming down the line. Have a gander and see if you can’t come up with something.

(As always, I promote the Things You Can Do page.)

From hamza!

i WAS with tiscali until they blessed me with LLU in may06, and from june06 when i cancelled my account up until to this day, tiscali hasnt released my line NOR has talktalk done anything on its part to actually HELP me in obtaining their broadband service which im entitled from their talk3 package! both tiscali and talktalk are a bunch of deranged monkeys that need bananas be shoved down their throats. anyone now what i shud do to come out of this ‘no internet’ stone age era iv been left in?

A different router with issues (Not a Netgear, though I suspect the problem may be the same.)

From Mark

I really cannot believe that I fell for Talk-Talk. I eventually get a password and user named that worked and I have a connection using a Voyager 205 router. However, for some reason I cannot access any websites at all! I have checked the router settings and everything ties up to what everyone is saying, but still no joy.

Can anyone help? I have stopped all firewalls etc but no joy.

And an e-mail query from Barry regarding contact info and small claims court.

Do you have a land line for their office in Acton?

If I want to cancel the contract what do I have to do?

If one wants to take them to the small claims court what sort of case does one need to have. I am theoretically on broadband but we have not been able to get either our mac or pc to connect despite several hours on the phone to the help line to people in India and South Africa. These are all very nice people but it is impossible to speak to management.

If anyone has any assistance, drop us a line!

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More network problems for Talk Talk

Some slow browsing tonight. I wanted to post more but Gmail is loading like molasses in… well, right now. ‘Why? Why could that be?’ I hear you cry. Well, it appears our lovely ISP is having some minor issues.

4% packet loss to yahoo.com and google.com.

Averages are ok at around 40ms but both come back with a max ping time of around 1275ms. (For the non-techies, that’s loads.)

For the record, it’s not usually that bad.

Currently on 89.240.250.202 as a gateway.

DNS queries from .18 are responding very quickly.

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Updates to the Things You Can Do page.

I realize I’m making this easier for the legal team (if, of course, they actually take offense. We’ll see. They’re pretty picky about these things) but, I’ve updated the Things You Can Do page.

We get a lot of useful info here and most of it lives within the blog itself. This other page is for contacts and frustrated outlets. It has contacts for ofcom’s director, tech support numbers sans 0870 prefix and other useful pieces of information. This is mostly an escalation tool.

Recent things posted:

08700873527 (from Peter

Dec’s tips and tricks

Useful stuff.

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Dec C’s tips and tricks.

Dec wrote in to give us a healthy run down of your and their rights. I do think he’s underestimating the terrifying fiasco of Talk Talk slightly. Just slightly though. Get to skimming!

As Charles Dunstone presides over what is arguably the biggest customer relations disaster in British business history it is astonishing that so many customers are sticking with this shambles of an organisation.

I knew by the end of the first week that TalkTalk had let me down badly.

I made the mistake of believing their empty promises that things would improve and it was another five months of absolute hell before I realised the scale of this company’s failure.

I have now left and have signed up with a decent company – and it hasn’t cost me a penny more than I was being charged by TalkTalk.

What I cannot understand is the good manners of customers who go on believing that they are tied into a contract with TalkTalk, which they must continue to honour no matter how many time they are kicked in the teeth by Dunstone and his crew.

The truth is this:

Once TalkTalk has broken its contract with you by failing to provide an adequate service, you are no longer bound by its terms

You can repudiate the contract by sending TalkTalk a letter by recorded delivery stating that it is in breach of contract and that you are terminating the agreement.


You have a right to a MAC code within a reasonable period – a few days at the most.

Because it is TalkTalk and not you who is at fault they cannot legally force you to pay a disconnection fee – no matter what the contract says.

If they do try just remind them of The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 which will protect you from any threats they may care to make.

I was amused to see Charles Dunstone’s press statement about rail passengers who accept their fate once they are given an explanation over why their train is late.*

What he should realise is that nobody needs to be on his train. The scale of his failure means that no court in the land would support any move he now makes to try to force disaffected broadband customers to abide by his tarnished contracts.

So feel free to leave and find a broadband provider you can trust – they are plenty around.

And remember – a bargain is only a bargain if it works.

To the people who run this site I would offer this advice – don’t be bullied into silence. Everything I have seen here is “fair comment on a matter of public concern” and that is a good defence against accusations of libel.

In fact TalkTalk’s reputation is now in such tatters that I don’t believe anything that anybody says here could make it worse.

Thanks Dec!

And thanks for the advice Dec, much appreciated. As you can imagine CPW’s legal team were fairly aggressive.

* Charles Dunstone should hear me on the phone to Northern Rail if he thinks that’s even moderately true.

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DNS settings for Talk Talk users (especially Netgear users)

DNS. Oh, DNS. I spent my day learning about DNS stub zones and conditional forwarders. DNS should be a relatively simple thing, really. I mean, I’m techie, I know it goes a bit nuts every so often. Generally though, it’s like a year round Santa steam train, it just plods along doing its business giving things out to people who request it. Sometimes it needs to refuel with a reboot but most DNS servers just kind of sit there and give their all.

Now, I’m not sure that it’s a problem with Talk Talk’s DNS. We have speculated it could be an issue.

However! I like to see that some of our intrepid readers have discovered static DNS settings for one and all!

Jessica asks:

I must have done something bad in a past life to be in this kind of broadband hell! I had a Netgear DG834 which overnight gave up completely on TalkTalk. After several hours on the phone to them and my dad who is a bit of a techie, I gave up with the DG834. At the weekend I bought a D-Link DSL-G624T hoping it would resolve all my problems, but now I cant even get past the set up! I think there’s a problem with the TalkTalk DNS. Anyone got any ideas of a way round?

Here’s are the settings!

From Terry

Hi Dickie. I had a similar problem wherei could only access certain sites all of a sudden. I fixed it by setting my routers DNS servers manually (Primary 62.24.199.13, secondary 62.24.199.23) rather than letting it get them automatically.

Same from Terry

If any of you get this problem then try these DNS servers for your router:

Primary 62.24.199.13

Secondary 62.24.199.23

More to try (even though they don’t seem to help with browsing speed issues)

Andrew

62.24.128.17 & 62.24.128.18

I believe the moral of this story is dynamic DNS assignment isn’t always the best idea…

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