We’ve all heard the phrase “you get what you pay for”, yet at some point in our lives we’ve all purchased a product or paid for a service which seems to be suspiciously cheap. Regardless of this, we’ve still proceeded to hand over our bank details and set ourselves up for the endless misery which inevitably follows.
Some people, such as myself, sign up to TalkTalk.
In fairness, TalkTalk haven’t been that bad as a service provider. But when things do go wrong, banging your head against a brick wall starts to seem far more appealing than trying to explain your issue to someone whose basic understanding of the English language is assisted only by the script provided to them and which cannot be deviated from.
No, I’m not talking about call centres in the Midlands; I’m talking about call centres in India.
As helpful as they are, they genuinely struggle to grasp what you’re trying to get across which can make a relatively minor problem become quite major, quite quickly.
Ever since I’ve been with TalkTalk (only 4 months left to go) I’ve suffered with slow internet speeds. Granted, I’m only on ADSL but this is because fibre optic isn’t available in my area from TalkTalk. My estimated download speed is 6mbps, but I get around 4mbps if I’m lucky. This is actually a massive increase on the 2mbps I was originally experiencing but I was able to get this sorted after many, many webchats and phone calls.
4mbps isn’t great but it suits my needs and when I’m in the mood for some HD porn, I tether my PC to my mobile.
My mobile phone provider is still upgrading their network to 4G, so I get sporadic bursts of 4G signal. When I do get a decent 4G signal for a prolonged period, my download speeds are on par with traditional ISPs- 43mbps isn’t a bad speed to be getting. The only downside is that my monthly data allowance dwindles quite quickly and after watching 3 or 4 hours of rude videos, I receive the dreaded text message which tells me I’ve used up all my data for the month. Not good when you’ve got another 29 days of the month left to go.
Shortly after joining TalkTalk, I received an email to tell me about changes to their prices, which would result in my paying of an extra £1/month for the service. Rather than go through the pain of conversation with someone regarding this, I fired off an email telling TalkTalk that they were utter bastards and that they were taking the piss by charging me extra after I’d only just signed up for 18 months. After I sent the email, I checked TalkTalk‘s Terms & Conditions which basically said they could introduce this price increase providing they’d given sufficient notice, which they had. Knowing that I didn’t have a leg to stand on, I thought no more of it.
A few days later, someone rang me from TalkTalk (she sounded South African). She wanted to speak to me about my email but I was busy at the time so told her that I now knew TalkTalk could increase the prices whenever they liked and that I couldn’t really do much about it. It was noisy where I was and the TalkTalk lady kept insisting on discussing the issue further. I was tempted to just put the phone down but eventually listened to what she had to say. Ironically, she was informing me I wouldn’t pay the increase for the remainder of the contract as a gesture of goodwill. I couldn’t argue with that.
I’ve plodded along with TalkTalk but a couple of weeks ago, I received a letter from them, confirming the cancellation of my services and telling me how much I’d have to pay in early termination fees. This was odd, especially given that I hadn’t cancelled anything.
I took to the TalkTalk webchat and ‘spoke’ to someone named Parul. I saved the transcript for amusement and this is how the main part went:
You: I’ve received a letter from you, telling me that I’ve cancelled my TalkTalk service. I haven’t.
parul: Please accept my apologies for the same. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Rest assured that I’ll do my best to assist you.
parul: As per our records, your account is still active.
You: I have a letter dated 5/1/15 headed “disconnection of your TalkTalk service”
parul: Okay, sorry for the trouble but we are from the Technical and Billing team for phone and broadband. You got wrongly transfer here. Let me try to connect you to the correct team who can help you out. Please stay with me for 3-4 minutes.
parul: If you would like to save time, you can also chat with the concerned team using the below link: https://www.talktalk.co.uk/contactus/i-want-to-cancel-my-contract#709
parul: Before I proceed, I would like to inform you that it might taker longer than expected since all our advisor seems to be busy at the moment.
You: The link you provided says “I want to cancel my contract”. I DON’T want to cancel my contract.
parul: You just mentioned above that you would like to cancel. You: No, I said nothing of the sort. Please re-read what I wrote…
Strangely, the webchat was mysteriously disconnected shortly afterwards so I had to bite the bullet and do what I’d been dreading…. I had to speak to TalkTalk.
The following conversation went quite well. The lady whom I was speaking with could see that there was a cancellation request on the account but couldn’t see a reason for it being there or that I’d requested this myself. She told me I’d need to ring a different department the next day as they were now closed, to cancel the cancellation. I explained that I wouldn’t be contacting them. She had confirmed I hadn’t put in a cancellation request so I told her I’d leave the issue with her. She assured me that she’d escalate the matter and get the cancellation cancelled.
I left it at that. Since this cancellation nonsense had started, I’d received the odd email from TalkTalk which referred to me leaving them. After speaking to the helpful woman, I received no further correspondence in relation to the matter so presumed it had been resolved.
Yesterday, I received a plastic bag from TalkTalk accompanied by a letter, asking that I return all of my equipment to them. I reached for the phone to call them up again but stopped and thought “fuck it”. I usually pay my bill early by card each month to get a 10% discount and have now cancelled the TalkTalk Direct Debit so they can’t charge me any cancellation fees. I will try speaking to them again soon, but simply can’t bring myself to go through that sort of torture again at this precise moment in time.
Some customers have been incorrectly sent an email regarding the return of their YouView box or router. We apologise for this error, please disregard the email if you don’t believe this should have been sent to you.
I’m not sure if this explains the problems I’ve been having, but I’m sure it’ll sort itself out eventually.
TalkTalk is cheap and you always get what you pay for. All ISPs make mistakes, but most of them give you an internet speed which is faster than the modern-day equivalent of dial-up.
Have you chosen to bang your head repeatedly against a brick wall instead of facing the thought of having to speak to TalkTalk before?