Customer service from the Carphone Warehouse. Nightmare roundup.

I’m making some changes to the way I post. Partially to keep information more central and easier to find via a search. Instead of posting every comment separately, I’ve been bundling them under categories. I find it helps to keep certain issues together, along with what worked for some and what didn’t work for others.

I’m also cross posting some over on the board. Which isn’t, for the moment, moderated. However, the same comment policy (no defamatory statements, no full employee names unless already public, no secret phone numbers) applies to posts.

Now, on to the update!

Roy assumes Carphone Warehouse aren’t a cowboy outfit.

Thanks BooBoo for the interesting update. However as a customer I am entitled to the service I have signed up to and pay for. Quite frankly, I don’t care what Talktalk problems are. Surely they had some business plan, risk assessment and contingency arrangement before embarking on this latest expansion. Or is there management and engineering staff as bad as their customer service operators?

Dunstone, besides not updating his blog for a while, has kind of an answer regarding their poor customer service in the Times.

High up on his “to do” list for the coming year is to get a grip on customer service at Carphone’s TalkTalk broadband. The service revolutionised the market by offering free broadband to customers who sign up to the group’s £21-a-month international call package. Thanks in part to Carphone’s “free” marketing campaign, the service has been a huge hit in terms of sheer customer take-up, amassing more than half a million customers in just seven months, with 12,000 new ones every week.

Yet widening costs on the TalkTalk product have increased losses by £20 million to £70 million. More damaging for the group is the barrage of negative publicity that has resulted from the poor service endured by many customers in its early stages.

Mr Dunstone’s defence that “you always hear more noise from people who have problems” is untypically feeble. However, he also concedes that the execution of the grand broadband plan has not been his finest hour. Right now, TalkTalk, he concedes, has only “dragged itself up to the same poor level of service that you get from all broadband suppliers”.

So tell me then, oh sage like CEO of CPW, how is it that the people who read this blog are swapping to other suppliers? Or that below I have a barrage of comments from people who say this is the worst service they’ve ever had, or that upon moving on they found helpful staff? The party line is getting just a tad old now.

An excerpt from Kate’s e-mail shows how well managing customer service is going at CPW..(also posted on the board as she’s looking for advice.)

Enough was enough and I decided to tell talk talk to bugger off. This too was a nightmare – after 5 calls I eventually got put through to someone who could handle the request. This charming operative ( who was a Liverpudlian and so very English ) was very rude and on being asked how I got my number transferred back to BT, slammed the phone down on me.
I then rang my bank to cancel the direct debit only to be told that interestingly Talk Talk had set up two direct debits – I hadn’t the strength to ring Talk Talk back to find out why. I have the address of where to send the modem and router back if anyone wants it – although I suspect I will have to issue legal action to get the money back !

It took Onx an hour to find out there was an outage. For the record, I can confirm I know of at least two other ISPs that have status lines. Sometimes they’re even accurate.

Talk Talk support sucks like a bad hooker. I was setting up Talk Talk for a mate, (I work for an ISP so i know what I’m doing). After waiting in a queue for 25 minutes when someone said ‘hello’, I said ‘one sec’ and they hung.

My mate told me to call straight back (his bill so I did) after another 25 minutes I get through to someone. He gives me all the settings for the account confirmes the password and I set up the router. Another 10m minutes later It still don’t work. His responce to this ‘option 2 and option 4 customer are no able to log into the network at the moment. (days after the live date). OK so theres a drop in the sersvice, why did it take a 1 hour call to actually get that information.

Talk Talk should be shut down and all the money taken should be returned. The moral of the story: Just because a service is cheap, doesn’t mean it’s any good or worth having.

Stuart wrote quite a good post regarding his experiences with ‘customer service’ at the Carphone Warehouse. (Full text on the board.)

All was fine until I had to move house. I was moving at the beginning of October so sent them an email with all details at the end of August – No reply after 2 weeks so sent another email – still no reply. Then the nightmares began – two and a half months and nearly 18 hours on the phone to Talk Talk customer dis-service later the nightmare continues! It took over 10 hours of calls before I gave up trying to shift my account to a new address and cancelled my account – the place I was moving to had a BT line and internet was available. What’s more at the time I wanted to keep my account. I cancelled the account and signed up for BT and BE Internet (Highly recommended so far!)

Sounds like all other ISPs are just as bad, right Dunstone?

Sarah had them ask for her Hotmail password….

Hi Cathy, for ages I have had problems with Talk talk broadband and experienced exactly the same problems as you. I called them loads and got shite from them, I asked for the Ombudsmans phone number, to be passed to a manager and the ignorant customer services wench would not give me these. She also asked for my MSN Hotmail password which is wrong of her. I called the landline side of Talk talk and spoke to the cancellations dept which helped and agreed that they were shite. I had the previous phonecall recoreded and am writing a letter in to talk talk about their shite service.

My MP is Andy Burnham. Sadly I don’t think he’d be very effective. (Given his track record as junior Health Minister.)

Teresa and James are damned right. It is scandalous that they still charge for tech support when they have so many known issues. I’m actually beginning to think that I keep better track of them. Especially with the recent announcement that they’ve only now employed a company to develop a knowledge base for them.

How many of us do you think there are? Each time we call we are left with the impression it is just a couple of unfortunate cases but the faults, lack of ability to contact them, the hanging up (sorry lost connection) when you call them, the lack of phone and broadband service after “upgrade”, lack of real apology or any willingness to do anything about it is very scary. They clearly have a completely unusuable system (their own phones don’t even work) yet they continue to charge us, refuse to admit there is a problem (other than high demand) and insist we call them at £0.10 a minute to talk to someone who is not capable of doing anything or fixing the problem.

If they were really interested in “customer service” they would write to everyone, /send a CD of fixes and new settings, ask for real feed back about whether the service was working and at least have the courtesy of offering free technical support until this is sorted.

There are more. Oh, there are more. And there will be more! Under the ‘customer service’ tag in my GMail account, I currently have over 200 comments and e-mails that pertain to their poor customer service.

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3 responses to “Customer service from the Carphone Warehouse. Nightmare roundup.

  1. I have tried to sign up for a talk talk broadband package, i am an existing Onetel customer but that did not make any difference the service was still crap, i have cancelled my order and i am looking elsewhere, i would suggest you do the same !!!

  2. Just went through a nightmare tryingto get this servcie for some friends in the Dunstable area.

    I worke din Broadband so was amazed at some of the feeble responses. After receiving an email telling me that it was to be connected (4 months later) on 12 April 07 it did not happen. After 4 more calls to their Crap Service line decided enough is enough and will switch to BT

    T A Ayin

  3. hmm surprised you had such a bad experience Ayin…I need a high speed broadband connection for the mmorpg games I play. I have always noted them for good service.

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