Blog Archives

Tim knows tech

Tim is right, when I did tech support the below was secret code for ‘I don’t know what’s wrong.’ I wish I was kidding.

I can save you the trouble of speaking to the tech support: Here is what they will tell you. Please switch the computer off, wait ten seconds and switch it on again. If this doesn’t work. Please uninstall the drivers and then install them again. If this doesn’t work. You must have spyware/trojan/worm/virus. please remove it and call back. goodbye

If it actually does have something to do with password problems then I’m completely stumped.

How good of a deal really is Talk Talk?

ZD Net has a good run down of why Talk Talk’s services aren’t free and how the quality of service is effected by the gimmick associated with the product.

Of course, getting Carphone Warehouse’s “free broadband” relies on having a fixed line and voice package with the company. As Disruptive Analysis’s Dean Bubley puts it: “I’m looking forward to Kelloggs bringing out a free broadband offer saying it’s the only one where you don’t have to get a mobile phone contract, you just have to buy 98,000 boxes of cornflakes.”

And if you’ve run across this blog and are thinking of signing up to Talk Talk’s service as a small business user, think again.

The biggest reason for this is quality of service. Internet service providers (ISPs) who offer free broadband are likely to try to put as many customers as possible onto the same network, to keep costs down. This makes for variable speeds — something the home user might put up with, but hardly suitable for a business trying to send or receive large amounts of time-sensitive data. The usage limits imposed by most domestic ISPs are equally unwelcome in the world of business, but one of the strongest cases for business customers paying a premium is based on customer service.

ZD Net article here.

Robin knows where Charlie plays tennis. Let’s go.

Not only did they take advantage of Talk Talk’s cheap broadband but they also snagged some mobiles and landlines. Yet, every single thing has gone wrong and they can’t get anyone to fix it.

I bought a new Broadband sub, 3 mobile phones, and switched 3 landlines to Carphone warehouse in December. They double billed me for the Broadband service for 5 months, failed to deliver cashback coupons on the mobiles, and I am paying more than BT for my land line service. I have rung written emailed to no avail. The only people I can talk to are their sales people who cold call to offer more stuff. Where do I go to now? Perhaps to Mr Bloody Dunstone’s tennis club in Holland Park?

Any suggestions for Robin? Besides replacing Dunstone’s tennis balls with tomatoes?
(Remember, the links for BBC Watchdog and Ofcom are over there on the sidebar —–>)

How to: Complain according to Talk Talk’s terms and services

Talk Talk has a rather lengthy pdf on their website talking about their ‘complaints procedure.’ From what I’ve read here, it seems like a lot of you guys have gone past the ‘deadlock letter’ point and can now go on to the Ombudsman for resolution.

14. If you are dissatisfied with TalkTalk’s service We are committed to providing you with the best-value residential telecommunications service in the UK. We understand that faults can occur and, when they do, we want to correct them quickly. We offer a comprehensive complainthandling process to solve your problem as soon as possible. You should also use our complaint-handling process if you want to complain about any aspect of how we marketed or sold the service to you. When you call us, a customer service adviser will note the details of the problem and agree a course of action with you. Complex queries may take a little longer to resolve.

If you are unhappy with the response you receive, you may ask for the matter to be referred to a senior manager for further investigation. If we cannot resolve your problem, we will write to say so. This is sometimes called the ‘deadlock’ letter. When you receive this letter you have the right to refer your case to the Ombudsman (see ‘Resolving disputes’ below). Any unresolved complaints can be referred to the Ombudsman 12 weeks after being raised with us. You can find the Ombudsman’s contact details in section 10. The Ombudsman will want to ensure that you have followed our complaints process before contacting him. If this is not evident, he is likely to refer the matter back to us for resolution. If you receive the deadlock letter as described above, you must decide within six months whether you wish to refer the issue to the Ombudsman. Please note that the deadline for referring an issue is nine months after first making your complaint to us.

Even if you apply to the Ombudsman, you must still pay any amounts not in dispute. We are happy to work with other independent bodies, such as Icstis, Citizens Advice, Consumer Advice Centres and Trading Standards Departments.

The full document is here on their site (Beware, it’s a pdf)

400 more rude and angry staff in Warrington.

Charles Dunstone and his board seem to think that the only thing their customers want is more hapless bodies behind the phone. I’d rather they cloned Simon in Preston 200 times then hire 100,000 more Mohammeds. I doubt this will make it any better but it at least we may find out in less than 20 minutes and with fewer hang ups that the person on the other end of the phone is a drooling zombie with no clue as to what they’re doing.

When the company, a division of mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse, launched the offer in April it only employed around 600 people at its purpose-built Birchwood site. But the phone and broadband package has proved so popular – 476,000 customers have signed up – that it has had to take on another 400 people taking the total to more than 1,000.

Full article on icCheshireOnline.

Irish Examiner: Talk Talk admits it can’t keep up with demand

Is there a comma ya think? I keep putting one in because it seems like one should be there.

Carphone Warehouse said today that it had signed up 476,000 to its “free” broadband product Talk Talk and admitted its customer-service provision had not kept up with demand. The huge interest in the service helped Europe’s largest mobile phone retailer lift group revenues by 42% to £857.6m (€1.3bn) while retail revenues rose almost 30% to £394.3m (€575.6m) in the 13 weeks to July 13.

It’s nice to know they’re making so much money from their customers’ misery. Oddly, the referenced blog posts are nowhere to be found on Dunstone’s blog.

From the Irish Examiner

Ramir wonders how the hell it’s free at all?

I’ve looked at this but not too clearly. I do think it’s something that deserves a bit of attention outside of the IT trade press (The Register was harping on it a while back.) Have a skim through Ramir’s post and see what you think.

I would like to air a grievance of mine against TalkTalk…I hope this makes it into print ! ( If it does, please don’t publish my email address )

After a sensational marketing drive TalkTalk – the Carphone Warehouse business has signed up over 350 000 customers to their ‘free’ broadband service. Like many others, I also signed up for this too good to be true offer. On further investigation, it came to light that the broadband offer is not actually free but does cost £20 per month, which includes fixed line rental. Since the equivalent BT package costs around£12 per month, the additional cost of £8 does not appear to be free, as it is claimed in the TalkTalk advertising media. Despite this, the deal overall did seem worthwhile and I pursued with signing up. That was in May. Now, in mid June, I am still waiting for my broadband to be connected.

In the mean time I am paying TalkTalk the £20 AND I am paying my old broadband provider for their broadband service, as I am yet to be connected to TalkTalk. The overall cost of these two subscriptions exceeds what I was paying before signing up to TalkTalk. I approached TalkTalk a number of times regarding why my connection has taken so long. Each time, different answers are given and when I bring up the question of reducing my bill to bring my costs in line with what they should, had TalkTalk fulfilled their end of the deal and signed me up in time, my question meets with a complacent and oftentimes rude response.

I would like to invite TalkTalk to make good their offer to potential customers of ‘free’ broadband and reduce the amount billed to customers to take into account this double charging that is taking place. Surely, I am not the only dissatisfied customer, and when one takes into account the volumes of potential new customers (350 000), I think that this is a story worthy of a response from TalkTalk