Flashing lights. This ain’t no disco.

The dreaded flashing light. You’ve checked your microfilters, plugged directly into the correct socket, did a dance with sacrificed chicken and still your broadband doesn’t work.

From Martin C

No broadband connection at all since 6.12.06 due to problem with local exchange. TT 2nd Tier Techies referred problem to BT on 4 occassions. 3-4 days turnaround time. Its still down & doing my head in. Any suggestions. (sent via PDA as no internet at home)

And Stephanie

I’ve not been able to connect to my Talk Talk broadband service for the past three weeks. There is a constant flashing green light on my ADSL line of my USB modem. I have: checked the microfilters, re-installed using the CD sent to me by Talk Talk, been on the speedtouch website to download drivers to update the modem. I have to date spoken to at least 9 different “technical” support. They all promise that someone will call me back, still nothing! I’m at my wits end. Anyone had similar and how did they resolve it please. Many thanks

And Adrian

Hi, I have the very same issue, stopped working 3 weeks ago, flashing ASDL line.

Currently in the process of dealing with these muppets.

They have one chance to sort this out and I will walk without paying my £70,

One question, are they in breach of contract and thus I do not owe them? Legally.

Any suggestions for our intrepid users?

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33 responses to “Flashing lights. This ain’t no disco.

  1. Yes, I have the same problem. Last week TT made their scheduled “upgrade” at the local exchange, which according to them might mean my internet was down for “up to 20 minutes”. I have completely lost connection through ASDL – just a flashing green light on the modem. It’s now 5 days and no return call or message as promised by technical support, and judging by everything I’ve read here that’s not surprising or unusual. After lots of incompetence and finally getting the initial broadband connection from TT working, things were more or less OK – but now I’m back to square one again. I’m using another computer to write this, and as I work from home a great deal I’m absolutely stuffed at the moment. I would also like to get out of the contract but I worry about the time this will take, and how easy it is to get the Mac code out of TT.

  2. Chris same thing, are you anywhere near Leeds/Wakefield?, mine worked for about 2hrs and since has been useless.

  3. I’ve had excatly the same problem, flashing orange ‘link’ light for days, and no connection .

    I rang talktalk, technical couldn’t do anything, had to leave the modem on fro 72hours, gave it a try after this time, and it worked ok , it must be a fault of the local exchange (in other words BT), i reconed the MAC code wasn’t crossed over.

    Trouble is it still regularly drops the link all of a sudden, which never happend befor the big exchange upgrade, which leads to the old saying..if it aint broke, don’t fix it.

    Is anyone else experiancing this on/off flashing ‘Liink’ light problem since 5th Febuary, and did they manage to find a way to stop it happening.


  4. There’s two approaches in the first instance to the dreaded flashing light.

    Firstly, if to your knowledge you’ve not recently been migrated by the LLU process and have had previous stable service: Get to the master/test socket. 90% of these problems are caused by failure in internal wiring. Extensions are the primary culprit, but fixed extensions fitted by BT engineers can be just as bad. IT’s worth doing this before you call anyone because it’s the first thing you’ll be asked to do by any ISP when you’re facing this particular problem. Other common causes to check are Sky TV boxes on the same line and faulty microfilters, particularly the awful ones CPW send out. Try a BT one if possible.

    Secondly, if you’ve recently been migrated and had no service since: Call up, but be VERY specific that you are calling up for “reprofiling” and insist on speaking to the 2nd line department. This is best done during the working day if possible, when the chances of a 2nd line agent being available are highest. You don’t even need to be at home for this. The 2nd line agent will then adjust the SNR properties of your line. Since this tool was introduced in January it’s proved to be extremely effective in getting lines going that have been placed on an incorrect profile following LLU migration.

    If you’re unfortunate enough to try all this and be an LLU customer then good luck. Once a fault goes off to the fabled “networking department” at Opal Telecom anything could happen. Hopefully these tips will stop a few people having to go that far.

  5. And incidentally, if anyone tries to make you re-install or update drivers to try and fix this issue, or infact ANYTHING to do with your PC itself, don’t listen. The problem is between the modem and the exchange somewhere, and no amount of mouse clicking will help in any way whatsoever.

  6. Livio: Your problem is slightly different to the others mentioned here. If the link light is flashing orange rather than green you have a good connection to the exchange euipment but your username and password are failing authentication at the server. At risk of driving you into a rage, do check your username and pass are correct in the SmartAX setup pages, as that device has a nasty habit of dumping that information from time to time and 1st line support often don’t check that information. Try typing your password in notepad where you can see it, then copying and pasting into the setup page for extra piece of mind. If that light keeps flashing, you know it’s a problem with the information stored at the exchange, and you should ignore any attempts to treat it like a line issue as with a flashing green link light. A change of password or line card reset by second line could sort your problem out over the phone.

  7. I don’t know why you are all persisting with TT. Do what I did, bit the bullet, swallow your pride and pay BT £125 to install another phone line. We have had BT since September – no fuss, no outages, no problems. Last week we had a debt rep from TT knock on the door – he said, ‘How do you want to pay?’ I said – ‘I don’t.’ I am still waiting for a court appearance. But I’m figuring they can’t take EVERYONE to court , besides i’m not paying on principle now. Good luck all!

  8. Hi there

    Just to let you know that we have now opened TalkTalkProblems.co.uk

    We have also linked to your site from our ISPs consumer website page.

    Your support would be gratefully receieved, and we will of course do our best to support you at TalkTalkHell

    With kind regards


  9. Actually some incorrect installations of ST330s and Sagems can cause no sync (flashing light/680s). Not with MT882s though. Flashing ORANGE = incorrect password/LCP error. Green = no sync.

  10. Talk Talk seem to be having huge problems in our area, only today my uncles phone lines have been crossed with other talk talk customers. They all had their broadband turned on last week after months of waiting. My mother-in-law is staill waiting for her phone lines and broadband to be turned on. Ourselves? We have just moved away from them as we had terrible service with the telephone lines and direct debits.

    However one of our customers (we repair computers for a living) has just joined talk talk and was having problems with the router and broadband connection, she called the technical helpline, was on for a few hours. You have to bear in mind, this lady was an average computer user i.e. knows the programmes she uses but not much else. The guy on the other end of the phone talks her through a complete format of her hard drive, without her realising what is happening! Naturally she is now most upset. So user beware when phoning for technical support.

  11. Yep, I have all the symptons described above and have had no broadband connection since 16/01/2007. My fault was passed to OPAL and after 3 weeks (I was calling everyday and being told a load of rubbish) OPAL said they performed a remote software upgrade, but guess what, still not fixed. I was told by 2nd line that 1 in 4 customers of LLU are done incorrectly and they would get BT to look into it. Ater a week of hearing nothing I called TT and was told that the fault was being looked into by OPAL. I argued that this didn’t make sense and that BT should now be sorting it out because they won’t let OPAL touch their hardware at the exchange but to no avail. I have no faith that this will ever be sorted and currently researching legal advice to cancel my contract without paying £70 disconect fee.

  12. Wow. just found this site as I have had no broadband for two weeks. Is the bestadvice just to cut losses and go? Like everyone else I have been led round the gardens by Indian, south African and Warrington support who seem obsessed with checking my settings. It’s an insult to my intelligence as much as anything else, with someone telling me I am being un co-operative for not doing the same things again and expecting a different result.

    Is BT the only alternative.

    More tellingly is there anything we could do concertedly to bring this issue fully into the public domain and in particular the scandal of charging a cancellation fee for a non-existent service?

  13. I had the same problem after the upgrade – 4 weeks and 46 calls to the help desk . I transferred my line back to BT only to be told that Talk Talk would take a minimum of 2 weeks to release the line ( I was with AOL but had previously transferred the line to Talk Talk ) .

    I cancelled the phone line today and went cable with Virgin – 8 days lead time to installation .

  14. Extraxt from the following article: http://money.guardian.co.uk/consumernews/story/0,,1974615,00.html#article_continue, Many of Talk Talk’s more recent problems appear to have been caused by a process known as local loop unbundling. This allows companies to put their own equipment into BT exchanges and by doing so take control of a customer’s phone line. One of the benefits of this is that any company can then offer unique services, such as ‘free’ high-speed broadband in Talk Talk’s case.

    The company has been transferring its equipment into BT exchanges over the past year, but it is only in the past few months that it has been moving customers onto its own network.

    The process means customers lose their service – but this should only be for a short time. Letters sent out by Talk Talk say it should take 20 minutes, but weeks after the upgrade, some customers are still waiting.

  15. I haven’t had a secure connection since ‘going live’ last July 2006. I have made hundreds of phone calls and have put through to seccond level technical support on umpteen occasions – each time they tell me to check something different. I have paid two local computer companies to check equipment, filters etc – they have had the same problems in my apartment as I have, but not at their workshops. I have tried to refer this to BT via talktalk, but nobody has contacted us so far to see to what must be a very localised problem. Apparently BT have said they have adjusted the NTE synchronisation, but this has only helped very temporarily – two days. All filters, equipment etc has been double checked and the main socket has been used also to check if a more secure line can be obtained – no luck there either. Today, TT has promised that they have referred it to BT for an engineer to come around, will let you know what happens. I think there should be a route by which customers can contact a local BT engineer direct rather than going through TT. If we get no joy this time, we will be reporting TT to OTELLO, taking TT to court to recover our expenditure to date, quitting the contract and going over to BT. Thanks for all the suggestions and email addresses – have sent a few off!

  16. im so pleased to have seen that there are other people suffering like me!!
    my boyfriend and i signed up in august and told we would be waiting up to a month… we waited and waited and waited and after 2 months of waiting we contacted TT. they told us that the order had not been processed – if we had not have asked we would still be waiting now!
    we had to wait another 3 months before we were told there was another problem that ‘tech support’ could explain. we waited another month and spoke to countless people who could speak very little english and couldnt understand the problem until finally we were connected the end of Jan when we had to go back to BT to ask help and get a code to get the internet to work.

    what makes it worse is that my boyfriend works for carphone warehouse and even his inside information and special extra phone numbers couldn’t help matters…in fact i think they treated us even worse because my boyfriend knew what he was talking about!!!


  17. Hi,
    I am a telecomms engineer (private not BT). Currently working on a Talk Talk problem at a customers home. (Speed touch modem – most of the time flashing light).
    Tech support told the customer to connect the modem to emergency socket in Master socket. Indeed this seems to fix the problem.
    So I rewired the whole telephone installation in her house (all new cables, sockets and Master sockets). Lo and behold – still same problem.
    Now this is a real head scratcher. Further investigation showed that if I remove the bell wire (pin 3) internally in her house – all is Ok!.
    Something very odd is going on here – network wise – I cant explain it technically but thought this might help some people. (Leaving pin 3 diconnected insiude the house is not a good idea – old fashioned phones wont ring – but you could try it temporarily).

  18. Haven’t got any secret fixes to offer I just thought I would let you know that my modem kept disconnecting me too. When I finally got through to someone resembling a human, he told me that the speed of my modem depended on a certain setting that they had at the exchange. In that, if the speed set at the exchange was set too fast for the line the modem would pop and the line would have to reset itself. Sorry I am not up on the techno jargon. This area is the bit in the contract which refers …..that they will endeavour to provide up to 8mbs line speed, since then they tried but at least its not cutting out any more. However all I get when I try to down load anything from cyberspace is a painful 5-20kbs download speed. I have given up as I have a date firmly fixed on my calendar to switch to a new telephone and broadband provider…. 26th October 2007, this marked the end of my eighteen-month contract with talk talk. It’s a long way off, I know but I am so angry with their blatantly poor service I am considering suing for remedial cosmetic dentistry as I have ground my teeth down with frustration.



  19. Still struggling with getting my broadband sorted – hopefully almost there if we could just stop the flashing disco lights!

    On our go live date we lost our home phone and it stayed off for nearly a week (during the snow when it go to keep in contact with people) Eventuly TT redirected our incoming calls to a mobile number but had to pay to call out using pay as you so lots of dosh!
    Did TT want to compansate us?? No of course not.

    My daughter has broadband from TT but from a few years ago. it was installed easy, no problems I think TT have over stretched themselves at the expense of us their customers.

    Would not recommend at this stage to others

  20. Hi Matt,

    I found your post of uysing the master socket the only way of getting on the net. When I use that I have a great connection. I’m not quite sure what you mean by the pin 3 option though. Do you have anymore info on that or have you found another fix yet?

    Totally given up on support from TT it is criminal what they are doing on the support front.

    Thanks for your help.

  21. Just started having similar issues…what a nightmare!

    After 6 months of good service and error free internet usage (sorry to those less fortunate!) my line has suddenly started falling over all the time….using a Netgear DG632 and the ADSL light flashes amber 80% of the time…remaining 20% of the time there is the holy grail green flashing light and the service is ok.

    TalkTalk suggest I change filters to ensure this is not the issue but how can it be!?…If the system works some of the time it cannot be an equipment fault, which would be permanent, and can surely only be a temporary line fault.

    Is anyone else experiencing this in the Basingstoke area…not aware we have been unbundled recently but perhaps we have been and that is what has caused the issue to suddenly arise…?

    Think I may just start smashing my head against a brick wall…seems it will reach a resolution faster than dealing with the downright awful call centre staff!

  22. Col T, you are not alone……
    I’m also in baingstoke and after troublefree service for 8 months am experiencing dimilar problems. Talktalk did switch us all over to new equipment on the 26th of march so this is the obvious root of the problem…

    Watch this space I suppose

  23. Chris – Help (of a sorts) is at hand.

    I have found that by using the master socket as the connection point you can generally fool the system into giving you the green light by following my (awfully technical) guide!

    1)Turn on the router first
    2) Turn on the computer and log in (At this point the connection will not pick up, and the orange light will flash on the router) but next
    3) Turn off the Router (leaving it off for circa 30 secs)
    4) Turn the router on again

    Hey Presto, this seems to reliably turn the connection from flashing orange failure to green for go!

    Not exactly computer wizardry but it has worked for me each time since I accidentally discovered it…seems more technical than anything I’ll get out of TT….good luck

  24. Having the same problems as everyone else i see. Six months of ok service till the dreaded 26th march.even having problems now with caller ID on phone. this problem has been fixed three times according to talktalk.Sory guys still not working. HEAD! WALL, HEAD WALL get my drift

  25. val goldthorp

    I experienced all the above problems…. the flashing green light, no connection to the internet etc ,after unbundling , and after many expensive phone calls I got through on 0870 o87 8777 (free tech support) and was offered reprofiling.
    48 hours later– bingo! All working OK.
    Hope this helps someone!

  26. I have just started getting regular cut-outs of my broadband connection and crackling on the phone line. This is a few months after the LLU at our local exchange. The “customer service” operator in India was less than helpful, but I eventually got through to the faults department in the UK, who tell me that the microfilters I was originally sent by Carphone Warehouse are not of a high enough quality to cope with the ‘upgraded’ high speed service and that my only solution is to “go to PCWorld and buy some high quality microfilters”.

    When I pointed out that this meant that *I* was having to pay to compensate for *THEIR* failure to provide me with a broadband service that would work, I was greeted with surprise!

    Surely if the company is doing something that will compromise the ability of their customers to access the services we pay them for, then the onus is on them to ensure the equipment they provide is up to the task. An admission that their own filters are c**p and that I have to fork out to get better ones just to continue to access broadband is outrageous!

  27. Steve Sinclair

    Hi folks,

    I read with great interest how many of you have suffered due to the total and utter incompetence of the TalkTalk bozos/Carphone Warehouse world-wide-we’llscrewyouupshow.comedyof errors.uk

    I had a similar experience, stopped all payments and then had an 18 month legal wrangle with debt collectors because I maintained TT and CW were in breach of their contract with me, having failed totally to provide any sort of service and no competent support.
    I won, TT settled out of court and my legal fees of £400.00 were refunded in the settlement.
    My advice is to stick it to them – the sooner this incompetent bunch of axxxholes are out of business the better for all.
    Good luck,


  28. Oh joy! TT have done the Exchange thing in Skelmersdale and lo and behold the internet fails as per most of the comments above. Tech support helpfulness remains the same.
    And, no I’m not going to dig everything out from under the stairs just so I can fiddle around with the master socket!
    Belkin firmware update did nothing, but I’m sure their micro filters must be better than TT’s.
    I think we are all somewhere, sans paddle, guys.

  29. I am in the same situation as most of the other people. Also my partner works online and has loss of earnings because of this problem. Ive wrote to TT cancelling my account and claiming loss of earnings coz they are in breach of contact. I have seeked legal advise on this and have been told I am within my rights to do this. I would advise everyone to cancel their account and move to another internet provider.

  30. From Edinburgh, Mac computers all well set-up —

    The “Internet” light keeps flashing, the “ADSL” light can be unstable at times. The “Internet” light sometimes goes off completely and the connexion dies with it for a few minutes.

    If the problem persists we will send the model back and cancel the contract. Is there another way to get a stable connexion through TT?

  31. After 10 months great connection with Talk Talk broadband I can only assume they transferred me to this LLU at the exchange and last November my internet connection became very unstable, I kept getting a drop in my broadband connection resulting in the link light going off then flashing yellow every 3-4 minutes.. I was about to royally freak out after many many hours holding for 1st and 2nd line tech support going through everything they told me, trying different profiles, everything. PROBLEM REMAINED.

    I thought I’d leave it until after Christmas before changing provider in the hope that it would magically start working but to my dismay I came back to my london flat to the same problem. I spoke again with 2nd line and they said I was still on a 500k profile due to the previous calls I’d given them, the guy told me that he’d put me on the most stable connection that varies in bandwidth depending on what’s available with the network. I was getting annoyed with him as I explained I’d tried all this before so he said he’d stay on the line for 5 minutes to test it.. within that 5minutes it was looking good until just before I hung up it went off again.. DAMN, well I doubted the guy when he said it’s probably just settling down but in any case agreed to test it for 24 hours.. after a couple more early drop outs the connection has been very stable and I’ve only seen the yellow light flashing once briefly in about 3 days. It finally appears to be sorted. FINALLY. (touch wood).

    Maybe things are settling down at the exchanges, anyway if you haven’t tried it for a while I’d recommend just trying a new profile if you can’t be bothered with the hassle of changing providers.. you never know.

    Hope this helps.
    ps I use the standard Smartax modem and microfilters they supplied when I signed up.

  32. Thank god thought it was only me. Waited only seventeen weeks to get modem had go live date. Plugged it in all excited , then flashing green light came on, OH #%€$ here we go two and half hours of hot potato ( nearly end up with indian accent myself) only to be told by tech number six the same as tech one had told me two hours and ten before, all I want is to have Internet, I’ve two boys one at high school who needs Internet for homework, I on the other hand is coping with iPhone for emailing etc PLEASE HELP ME

  33. im having all off the above problems flashing light and the net being very unstable iv also been on 21 times to there engineers and told to go over the same mouse clicking stuff from there base in pakistan over and over again, baring in mind im quite technical with computers as im a record producer, again as above it was fine 4 the first 6 months! now its doing my head in it clearly is an issue on there end! iv tried the master socket and even put a new master socket in! does anybody know if im in the right to cancel this contract as iv not has service for 3 week now?

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