Category Archives: tips

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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Updates to the Things You Can Do page.

I realize I’m making this easier for the legal team (if, of course, they actually take offense. We’ll see. They’re pretty picky about these things) but, I’ve updated the Things You Can Do page.

We get a lot of useful info here and most of it lives within the blog itself. This other page is for contacts and frustrated outlets. It has contacts for ofcom’s director, tech support numbers sans 0870 prefix and other useful pieces of information. This is mostly an escalation tool.

Recent things posted:

08700873527 (from Peter

Dec’s tips and tricks

Useful stuff.

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Dec C’s tips and tricks.

Dec wrote in to give us a healthy run down of your and their rights. I do think he’s underestimating the terrifying fiasco of Talk Talk slightly. Just slightly though. Get to skimming!

As Charles Dunstone presides over what is arguably the biggest customer relations disaster in British business history it is astonishing that so many customers are sticking with this shambles of an organisation.

I knew by the end of the first week that TalkTalk had let me down badly.

I made the mistake of believing their empty promises that things would improve and it was another five months of absolute hell before I realised the scale of this company’s failure.

I have now left and have signed up with a decent company – and it hasn’t cost me a penny more than I was being charged by TalkTalk.

What I cannot understand is the good manners of customers who go on believing that they are tied into a contract with TalkTalk, which they must continue to honour no matter how many time they are kicked in the teeth by Dunstone and his crew.

The truth is this:

Once TalkTalk has broken its contract with you by failing to provide an adequate service, you are no longer bound by its terms

You can repudiate the contract by sending TalkTalk a letter by recorded delivery stating that it is in breach of contract and that you are terminating the agreement.

You have a right to a MAC code within a reasonable period – a few days at the most.

Because it is TalkTalk and not you who is at fault they cannot legally force you to pay a disconnection fee – no matter what the contract says.

If they do try just remind them of The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 which will protect you from any threats they may care to make.

I was amused to see Charles Dunstone’s press statement about rail passengers who accept their fate once they are given an explanation over why their train is late.*

What he should realise is that nobody needs to be on his train. The scale of his failure means that no court in the land would support any move he now makes to try to force disaffected broadband customers to abide by his tarnished contracts.

So feel free to leave and find a broadband provider you can trust – they are plenty around.

And remember – a bargain is only a bargain if it works.

To the people who run this site I would offer this advice – don’t be bullied into silence. Everything I have seen here is “fair comment on a matter of public concern” and that is a good defence against accusations of libel.

In fact TalkTalk’s reputation is now in such tatters that I don’t believe anything that anybody says here could make it worse.

Thanks Dec!

And thanks for the advice Dec, much appreciated. As you can imagine CPW’s legal team were fairly aggressive.

* Charles Dunstone should hear me on the phone to Northern Rail if he thinks that’s even moderately true.

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DNS settings for Talk Talk users (especially Netgear users)

DNS. Oh, DNS. I spent my day learning about DNS stub zones and conditional forwarders. DNS should be a relatively simple thing, really. I mean, I’m techie, I know it goes a bit nuts every so often. Generally though, it’s like a year round Santa steam train, it just plods along doing its business giving things out to people who request it. Sometimes it needs to refuel with a reboot but most DNS servers just kind of sit there and give their all.

Now, I’m not sure that it’s a problem with Talk Talk’s DNS. We have speculated it could be an issue.

However! I like to see that some of our intrepid readers have discovered static DNS settings for one and all!

Jessica asks:

I must have done something bad in a past life to be in this kind of broadband hell! I had a Netgear DG834 which overnight gave up completely on TalkTalk. After several hours on the phone to them and my dad who is a bit of a techie, I gave up with the DG834. At the weekend I bought a D-Link DSL-G624T hoping it would resolve all my problems, but now I cant even get past the set up! I think there’s a problem with the TalkTalk DNS. Anyone got any ideas of a way round?

Here’s are the settings!

From Terry

Hi Dickie. I had a similar problem wherei could only access certain sites all of a sudden. I fixed it by setting my routers DNS servers manually (Primary, secondary rather than letting it get them automatically.

Same from Terry

If any of you get this problem then try these DNS servers for your router:



More to try (even though they don’t seem to help with browsing speed issues)

Andrew &

I believe the moral of this story is dynamic DNS assignment isn’t always the best idea…

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E-mail problems round up

Mornin’ guys!

No solutions yet, or at least that I know of. I did a little ping test to last night. Lots of dropped packets and some time outs. That could be indicative of a network problem but could also just mean there was a lot of traffic.

But here’s a rundown of what we’ve received so far.

From Jim: is at

It Pings ok but receiving mail is very spasmodic.

Also tonight the webmail interface seems to be down too ( 0n which can also be pinged)

Better in the mornings? Could it just be the mail servers are suffering under the weight of their customers?

From redman

We too have just started (this week) having a problem receiving email through talktalk. I have found we have been able to receive this morning ( but not tonight) perhaps this is because it is less busy or perhaps it was just a lucky connection!

If it wasn’t so damned expected that Talk Talk would blame the user, it would be tragic.

From tillyann

I, like quite a lot of people by the looks of it, have had awful problems recieving mail this week. To start with it just seemed to be post 4pm (funnily enough about the time most school kids get home and check their mail) but today it has been down most of the day. I have tried through my mail client and also directly through a browser and when I try to connect on the browser I am told I am using the wrong username or password I AM NOT, ITS A PROBLEM WITH TALK TALK’S SERVER!!! I am at the end of my tether after 6 months of TalkTalk hell, I just wish my husband hadn’t just painted his van and used his talk talk email address!

More confirmation of AM: Ok, PM: Not so good.


The Talktalk mail servers have been up at best intermittently in the last few weeks. After midday it always gets worse. The last couple of days however it has been impossible to contact Talktalk’s webservers at any time in the evening. They really are the most incompetent company I have ever come across, with the worst customer service. Dunstone should be ashamed of himself.

Ahhh, this is sad :(. Now is a bad time of year for e-mail to go on the fritz.

From Brian

I have having the same trouble with talktalk email.

Ok through day evening not a chance.

It use to be no trouble at all till this last week now its every night.

Very annoying at this time of the year when i use email to contact the kids regarding mother christmas box.

Possible Solutions

From SteveF

I had similar problems until I did what the screen says: send an email to yourself – BUT not those spanking new accounts you create – the overall account based on your phone number –

Power cycling the router helps?

From Dave

Yes I would like to echo the comments of these other people.

I have found that most times I can’t get my mail, powering down my router and the rebooting will often let me connect.

The only difference I can see is I generally get a new Gateway address.

I’m not sure it will help you guys now, but if you’re new to this whole troubleshooting thing, have a read through the e-mail primer.

More as I get it!

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