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Charlie speaks! But only to snipe at BT

It is a bit like comparing a Lada to a Ford Escort. (I refuse to suggest that BT is any better than that….) Charles Dunstone has had a nice little ramble on about how much more betterer their packages are in comparison to BT.

You may have seen that BT has recently announced some price changes. It’s good to see that they’re finally recognising how expensive they are but TalkTalk is and will always be better value than BT. Reducing BT Together Option 2 to £3.95? Our equivalent deal is free for 3 months and only £3.99 thereafter. Reducing BT Together Option 3 to £9.95 as month? Ours is £8.99 AND you get free broadband included. They’ve also added in some sneaky new charges to make up for any price cuts, which seems very unfair, such as charging per minute billing and a new 3p “set up” charge for all calls to mobiles and day time calls for Option 1 and 2 customers. Sorry BT, but you’ll have to do better than this for your customers if you want to keep them. Onto other things, this week has seen the release of Hayley Sanderson’s enchanting cover of ‘Something in the Air’. Since it featured on our broadband adverts, we’ve been inundated with enquiries and requests for the track. It’s now available for download on iTunes and it will be on sale in shops on the 7th of August. All our proceeds from the song will be donated to our partner charity TreeHouse, the national charity for autism education. Charles

See, Charlie (can I call you Charlie? You know, seeing as your blog is so friendly and transparent…) the trouble is, you may be cheaper, but your service is a pile of fertilizer that’s been sitting under several pigeon nests in the hot sun for the last 3 months. It smells, reeks of an archaic and failing infrastructure bursting under the weight of its founder’s ego. You may be cheaper but Christ almighty, I wish I would have gone to BT. At least the service may actually work.

I feel bad for Hayley Sanderson, her music will always remind people of the time when the red film had dropped over their eyes and for the first time, they’d considered driving to Preston.

How to: Track customer service issues with e-mail

I’m a big fan of Lifehacker and all their little tips and tricks. Sometimes they’re obvious but the times they’re inspired well makes up for the rest.
One that you guys may find particularly relevant is an instructional note on how to track your customer service issues using e-mail.

Anytime I speak with customer service, I make a note of the rep’s name, what was discussed, and any other details (confirmation numbers and the like) in an email I send to myself. In the subject line, I list the company name and the subject of the conversation (Chase: July Phone Payment, for instance). I keep all of these emails in one folder. I won’t ever need 98% of these emails, but when I do they’re a godsend.

Via Lifehacker

Max’s patience is maxed.

Max, unlike many Britons, has no debt. Yet he’s receiving collections notices from Talk Talk for a service he’s never had.

We are experiencing a living nightmare with Talk Talk! We signed up for Broadband in December 05 – had problems, not able to get connected, therefore never had Broadband service from TT. Trying to get through to TT by phone for support – shortest answer time 22 mins longest 57 mins, average wait around 40 mins, often cut off. Receiving bills for BB service – have emailed, phoned, sent letters – never been responded to only automated emails and emails asking for our tel number and address, postcode which they have!! After months of receiving bills and threatening FINAL DEMAND letters saying we will be referred to a Debt Collection Agency – we have never owed a penny to anyone in our lives, we don’t have debt or credit cards so this is scary to us and extremely upsetting. We have contacted Consumer Direct and hope they can help. We have never had BB from TT and as yet no one from TT has responded to any of our communications. Is no one at TT answering letters? Our last one was sent by Recorded Delivery. This Company has treated us disgustingly and many others like us by the sounds of it. Charles Dunstone should be made accountable and no doubt after the publicity that is taking place, he will be made to be. Let us hope so!

I hope so too Max. Note to any AOL UK users, they’re the finalists for taking over your service! Change now while there’s still hope!

Shock! Less than 40% of Carphone Warehouse’s customers are satisfied.

I suspect that sample group was made of 10 people and 4 were picked by Carphone Warehouse. The last one couldn’t quite get themselves to sell their soul enough to say they’d had a good experience but instead suggested it ‘were alright.’

The editor of Which has some good advice:

Malcolm Coles, editor,, said: “With broadband speeds getting quicker and prices getting lower all the time, there’s never been a better time to find a good deal. “None of the biggest providers made it into our list of the Best Buys, though, and people should check to see what strings are attached to so-called ‘free’ packages.”

The best ISPs are also listed in the article on

Remember, I want to hear from you. Leave a comment or e-mail

Dunstone’s yacht still not doing well.

Poor him. Shoved back by someone else….

The rest of the fleet came home after a long day on the water with Benny Kelly’s Panthera holding off the other TP52 Red of Charles Dunstone by some 7 minutes to leap into second place on the podium ahead of ICAP Maximus.

Yachting news, obviously.

Money program on BBC 2 last night

Jesus, Dunstone really is completely out of touch regarding is ‘revolutionary’ service.

Here were some of the main points he made:

– That being dropped whilst in the call queue was a good thing because it wasn’t worth it for us to wait. He also seems to believe those stats of 300 odd seconds for hold times. The only way that would be possible, judging from my experience and yours, is if they take into account all the times we get hung up on.

– That you can’t add up the various benefits of services offered by the likes of BT and do a cost for cost comparison with Talk Talk. I’ll be you can. Especially when BT is offering free support.

– He’s all excited that he has almost a half a million frothing, enraged and angry customers. I must say, that’s quite the thing to put down on a life accomplishment list. I can’t remember the last time I or anyone I know angered almost 500,000 people.

– The Harris family, even though they were ‘bumped up the queue’ by Dunstone (it is because they were on television) still didn’t have their package a month later. Pretty representative of what you lot have been saying.

– That Iraq war analogy is pretty classy. Even though Talk Talk feels like death, it’s not really the same as a war made up of various complicated historical and political events.

– The BBC presenter cornered him and got him to say that he can’t deliver. At last, some realism.

– But then he goes on to say that in spite of issues* they believe they can deliver.

– And, knowing that customer service is awful (he never admitted to the shoddiness of the overall product) he cuts the package by a pound to get even more suckers in.

Dunstone land must be a nice place where unicorns serve up dinner and fairies brew sparkling fairy tea served with mystical brownies for dessert. I want to go.
See it for yourself

*See: Billing problems, connection problems, non existent service, unreliable service, e-mail issues, authentication issues, poor customer service, non existent customer service….

Talk Talk told James the disconnects were his own fault.

I’d have to agree with James’ tone below. What planet are their support people on? Occasionally my Talk Talk connection drops while I’m off making a cup of coffee or getting a glass of water. Is magical me drifting through the ether, right clicking on my connection icon and then coming back all without me knowing? Or possibly the broadband gnomes are slipping into my computer room while my back is turned or even while I’m updating this blog? Come on guys. Your service can’t stay up. It’s not our fault. Time to admit it and get some ADSL Viagra.

Hi everyone, my BB connection drops approximately five times a day, give or take, even when I’m in the middle of an important download.Yet TalkTalk technical dept.,when I can get through,tell me it’s my fault as I am deliberately disconnecting.NOW WHY WOULD I BE PAYING FOR A DOWNLOAD, AND DELIBERATELY TERMINATING MY CONNECTION BEFORE I’TS FINISHED?. This NEVER happened with Virgin!. Ten days in, already I want out. Prospectives, cancel now!.

It never happened with Freeserve’s dial up service either. What does that tell you?

PS. Just tested my BB speed with ‘’, 372kbps. Pretty abysmal, for any time of day, Virgin never dropped below 1300kbps.No, I am not on commission, I am simply using my previous ISP (Virgin) as comparison. And would you believe it, as I was writing this, my BB connection dropped yet again!. My fault,no doubt.

Out of curiosity, what’s the contention ratio for free broadband customers? Ours is 50/1 and thankfully there aren’t many in our neighborhood using the exchange at the moment. We get consistently quite good speeds (900 kbps) on ADSL guide. 372 is horrible. Talk to James