Category Archives: tips

(Link) How to reach a person.

Hey guys,

Got sent a link by someone involving the below article. Unlike a lot of link spam, this is actually pretty useful. It’s a sort of primer on how to navigate phone trees. Some of it is just relevant to the US and Canada, but you guys might find it useful as well!

We’ve all been there. It’s infuriating to sit on hold for 20 minutes, only to be connected to a service agent who has only a cursory grasp of the English language and even less knowledge about how to help you. The following tricks will help you skip to the head of the line and find a better person to talk to.

VOIP News: 50 PBX hacks

Confirmation regarding e-mail

Hey guys,

I have some information regarding the e-mail thing. Talk Talk are going through an upgrade period to resolve some of the previous e-mail issues you guys had.  Some of the upgrades didn’t go as planned, hence the problems from last week. They say they’re still working through a backlog of issues at the moment but hope to have things resolved soon.

Let me know if that helps or not! How to win phone battles

Some tips for you guys! 28 tips to winning battles with Customer Service reps:

1) Use a speaker phone
2) Set aside at least 30 minutes
3) Get a human.
4) Gather your evidence
5) Act like a human
6) Don’t think the world revolves around you
7) Know your enemy
8) Take notes
9) Don’t be afraid to hang up and try another operator
10) Run out the clock
11) Be firm

12) Keep calmly repeating your story
13) Say exactly what you want
14) Don’t ask for yes from someone who can only say no
15) Make a business case for your wants
16) Honesty begets honesty
17) There’s sometimes more freebies to give out early in the day, or early in the quarter
18) Email a company executive, then print it out and mail it

The next ten tips are from the customer service rep side, compiled together by the call center slaves who run

19) Be civil
20) Let the rep talk
21) Don’t ramble
22) Don’t blame reps for corporate policies
23) Remember the other person is a person
24 Demanding a supervisor will not always work
25) Be reasonable and keep perspective
26) Consider seeing a therapist if you’re screaming at a powerless rep
27) Sometimes you just can’t be helped
28) Don’t tell them how long you’ve been on hold

Also: How to file a good complaint

Hidden charges with Talk Talk

Over at they have a brief rundown of some hidden charges you may get from various ‘cheap’ providers.

Virgin charges £5 per month and Talk Talk £3.50 for non-direct debit payments.

Free calls to UK landlines only applies to numbers starting with 01 or 02, not the commonly called 08 numbers. Daytime calls to mobile phones can cost more than 20p per minute with Tiscali, BT, madasafish, Talk Talk and AOL.

The Money Pages: Broadband contracts require scrutiny

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Don’t use Talk Talk if you have a home alarm

According to this Live space:

Thinking of changing your telephone provider???
Choose any one other than TalkTalk
Their customer service is crap
If you have a monitored intruder alarm system it will either not work at all or it will cost you £5.90 every time it sends a signal to your monitoring station
BT will only charge you 4.5p per signal
I am currently waiting for a reply from Charles Dunstone
CEO – Carphone Warehouse as to why it took 8 days from reporting this problem to them saying they dont support alarm connections.

Er. Wow.

ad03bandit’s Live Space

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Some tips from someone working in a call centre.

I’m not actually allowed to say if this is from CPW staff. (Thanks CPW Legal team!) However, it has some good advice.

1) *Always be polite and friendly.* I’m sure most of the time this is
the last thing you want to do, but an advisor would much rather help a
nice customer.
2) *Clearly explain your problem.* Avoid saying things like “as you can
see from my previous emails…” as this only extends the amount of time
an advisor has to spend researching the problem, making some of them
less likely to give you a proper response. Ideally paragraph but avoid
any kind of HTML or formatting as the email system we use removes all of
3) *Don’t bother asking for the email or letter to be passed to Charles
Dustone, etc.* It just won’t happen. And, even if it did, I doubt he’d
have any idea of how to deal with the issue.
4) *Always include DPA details if discussing account-sensitive
information.* DPA stands for the Data Protection Act, and we need to
complete this process in order to look into your account, so it’s best
to include your telephone number, address, account number and the bank
from which TalkTalk takes your Direct Debit in every bit of correspondence.

There’s some good info as well. Like there’s a phone pilot going on? Has anyone been called back by Talk Talk staff over the last few months?

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Off topic

Hi guys,

Updates relevant to TTHell soon!

But, I wanted to warn you about something else first. is a website setup to harvest credit card information. Don’t buy anything from there. If you have, cancel your credit card/debit card and notify your financial institution.

The police have been notified.

(More info on my personal site.)

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Happy Valentine’s Day from Ofcom

This is for all of you who had problems with MACs.

he process works by means of a migration authorisation code (“MAC”) which customers obtain from their existing provider and give to the new provider they have chosen. Customers need to follow three steps:

1. A customer wishing to change their service provider must first contact their existing service provider and request a MAC (customers should not request the service be ceased)
2. The existing service provider will send the MAC to the customer within 5 working days. The MAC is valid for a period of 30 days from the date that it is issued.
3. The customer must then present the MAC to the provider they wish to migrate to. The gaining provider will then process the request and inform the customer of the transfer date.

According to the Ofcom website this is all you should need to do with Talk Talk to get out.

It also stipulates:

The existing service provider cannot withhold an authorisation code to enforce debt collection or contractual rights. However, customers are not freed from contractual obligations they have entered in to with their existing service provider – i.e.: they will have to honour the remaining term of an existing contract or pay early cancellation fees, if applicable. An existing service provider will still be able to take reasonable action to enforce their contractual rights even after a customer has migrated to a new service provider.

It doesn’t say what will or should happen to the ISP if they fail to comply. I’d copy and paste that info into an e-mail if you’re having trouble. Good luck guys!

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IP addressing means trouble with PC?

This conversation strikes me as being a little odd. It’s kind of right but mostly not.

Lets just say, we have recently signed up for talk talk, and have had an absolute nightmare with customer support.

We had a customer support rep telling us that because our IP address started with a certain number, we had to contact our computer manufacturer to resolve the issue. This is when the net connection was working before we switched to talk talk 😦

From Matt

The reason this is a bit strange and seems like a bit of a quick way to get someone off the phone is the way IP addressing works.

There are several different kinds of IP addresses. You guys don’t really want to know the nitty gritty. For your purposes, they can be broken down into two different types: public and private.

A private IP address is something like what you probably have at work. It might start with 192 or 10, very occasionally 128. These addresses are reserved for private networks. When you go out onto the Internet; a proxy, firewall or router will have a different public IP address. This is called Network Address Translation.

If you’re using a different kind of router, other than the USB thing Talk Talk supplies, you may have one of these IP addresses as well. Your router gets its public IP address from the Talk Talk network. Ideally, what should happen, is your router will get its IP from Talk Talk and give your PC a private IP address.

The settings might look something like this if you’re using a different kind of router:

If you’re using the +USB thing, they might look like this:

If you’re using the USB thing and you’re not getting an IP address from Talk Talk, it might look like this:

The latter is an APIPA address. That stands for Automatic Private IP Addressing. Windows gives your PC an address beginning with 169 when it can’t get one from your ISP. That means Talk Talk isn’t giving out IP addresses and there’s something wrong with your connection.

Your PC can still connect to the Internet but is masked from the rest of it. Confusing, I know.

But if they ever tell you that your IP means there’s a problem with your PC, ask for second line support. They either don’t know, or they’re trying to get you off the phone.

What is APIPA?

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To charge or not to charge, that is the question.

I have a new and improved way of categorizing things here at Talk Talk Hell. Hopefully it will mean easier and as a result, more updates and more help. One question though, does anyone know anything about the legality of the below billing issues?

Have a read…

You won’t, will, won’t? CPW can’t even make up their mind about connection fees!
From Paul T

It appears there’s something of a Bermuda Triangle at the CPWhorehouse when it comes to important phone calls. I was initally told there wouldn’t be a cancellation fee if I tried to break my contract, but when I left they tried to charge me £70. Needless to say there wasn’t any trace of the inital conversation – either recorded or on the notes. As it happens, it appears they were bluffing, and as far as I know, I’ve been allowed to leave with no charge.

Debra writes in about them giving her broadband…. without asking:

I signed up with Talk Talk nearly 2 years ago everything was going fine until 29th Oct. when i phoned and asked them about Broadband services they do i didn’t give them any of my bank details, but un be known to me they had entered me into a so-called contract. Within 2 days i received letters every day telling me that my talk plan had changed, that i would be sent a modem starter kit and the connection date would be within a couple of weeks, i phoned every day to sort it out they told me it was nothing to worry about and assured me it had been cancelled. they went ahead and upgraded my line in which they completely wiped aol off my line, i had no in coming or out going calls for 3 days. They sent me a bill for £148 saying it would come out of my bank on the usual day, i phoned them up they again tried to tell me it had been cancelled, which was an obvious lie again so i cancelled my direct debit with my bank and got them to recall my last payment to them which for the correct amount either. On 13th i went back to BT it took them 2 weeks to clear my phone line so theta aol could reconnect. Jan 4th they sent me another bill for £208 out of that bill i actually owed them £12 in call and my original £8.99 line rental before they cocked it all up. i refused to pay the amount until they corrected it as it was not my fault they upgraded my line and my phone bills they looked back on their records to how many times i had actually phoned them agreed to re-emburse me for my calls which added up to £26 and also credit my account the amount i over paid them which i am currently waiting for. They also apologised for their mistakes and accepted they where responsible for upgrading every thing without my consent. They are the worst ever company i have ever come across, and i would never recommend them or their sister company (earphone warehouse) to any body in the world ever.

Which seems to be a common business practise at CPW:
From Shah

You wanna hear something funny? well its partially funny, if it had happened to sum1 else, my mum went to see her sisters wedding abroad, and we had the phone made one way for financial reasons, imagine my surprise wen we get a phone bill, from a company who told us that their service would start next month!, 42 pounds! furthermore i get a modem that doesnt work, (im using the ancient bt voyager 100 now, and its brilliant still) a bill on top of 20 pound, (two bills in same month) 4 features we didnt even select, and after i initially applied online (full details) i got a call, from india, – hello sir we understand that you wish to join our quality service, can i get your details?!!! oh and the smal matter of the phonline going down twice, and had to be disconnected for 46 hours each time so they can repair it, Im cancelling direct debit, like you did and will also post on the various sites you have mentioned,

But wait, you get charged… though they said it was fixed?
That’s what happened to Sue

I have been having constant problems with Talk Talk Broadband since June 2006. Still being charged for my “free service” despite being told it will be sorted – it never is! Now e-mails coming to me 3-4 times over. What a shambles – wish I had stayed with Freeserve/Wanadoo/Orange & that was bad enough!!

Advice: What can you do about the charges?

Nikki says

Cancel your direct debits if they are taking money that isnt rightfully due. Someone will do a bill recalculation and sort this out for you

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