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Monday 1 January 2007 9.36pm
Red Bus,

Are you still "with" Talk Talk?

We are persevering as a collegue has warned me that trying to cancel Talk Talk is just as hard. She was left in limbo without a phone line, and was even supposed to pay for the priviledge of moving somewhere with a better service - or at least a service at all.

Talk Talk admit they have logged 17 calls from us over the three months our Broadband has been down, though I suspect it is more. Each has taken an average of an hour. Plus we have emailed. Yet, until today, noone has ever bothered to phone us back.

This man was not in India, South Africa or even Acton, but near Stornaway in the Western Isles. It is apparently Stage 2 technical services. The last outpost.

My favourite TalkTalk quotes so far are:

1. The man who said we had no right to expect a Broadband service as it was "free". But what about the word "service"...

2. The man, presumably reading a script who said not to worry, as the problems are being sorted out and it will soon be fantastic. This is why 2 million people have signed up. (But how many are still there. And of these who still has good mental health.)

3. The engineer in South Africa - the eight person I had been passed to in a call that had already taken an hour - who asked me to unplug everything in our phone sockets except our modem. Silly me. I unplugged the phone and so cut myself off. The number he had given me just took me right back to the beginning and the same menu and music. (And another engineer, this time in India, then tried the same trick with my husband. But we are wise...)

One lady in India now claims that there is not a problem, other than the fact that someone cancelled our Broadband account back in October, and all that needs doing is reinstating the account. Another man, in Acton, says that we cannot have Broadband until our exchange has been unbundled and this has been postponed, whilst the nice man in Stornaway says that their end it looks like our Broadband is up and working, though accepts it is not.

TalkTalk and Fred. So 2006. Lets hope a new year brings new blessings and that the problems of last year are left well behind.

Monday 1 January 2007 10.31pm
I can recommend Zen Internet.

I picked them after a bit of research - customer service is excellent, the call centre is based in England and the up time of the connection has been rock solid. Not the cheapest, you get what you pay for I'm afraid.
Monday 1 January 2007 11.54pm
For some more, ummm, thoughts on TalkTalk, see here

When I was searching for an ISP recently I was advised by several people to go for the smaller independent providers above the "big boys". I'm now with Lixxus and actually GETTING the 8MB I'm paying for. (I'm not affiliated in any way with Lixxus. Honest.)
Monday 1 January 2007 11.59pm
Hey sarah2.
Nope - I am not with talk talk anymore - I left them as fast as a borough market trader pockets your cash. BT took me back quickly enough.

In the end I used the the carphone warehouse shops to cancel - I took copies of all the paperwork in and evidence of my cancellation etc... and they were very helpful. The irony was that they then had to call the call-centre, and encountered exactly the same problems.

I use homechoice for internet (plus digital telly) and their customer service is good. Plus I can also second the recommendation for Zen as I used them before.

As a postscript, Talk Talk are now using door-to-door sales agents in the SE1 area (oh, Charles Dunstone, how I admire your business practices). And the poor mite who turned up recently at my door on a wet and windy night was very polite in listening to a lengthy and fullsome exposition of my recent problems with talk talk.

Would you like to go with me?
Wherever I'm going
Are you *really* asking?
Is that your *real* answer?
Tuesday 2 January 2007 1.25am
Ruth, the link took ages to download with dial up. Perhaps threads about TalkTalk need to keep graphics to a minimum.

Red Bus, TalkTalk keep saying that the number of complaints are going down. Maybe because so many people have left.

I lost it when Carphone Warehouse sent me a letter askign if I wanted to renew their mobile phone contract. I phoned them back especially to say that no I bl**** well did not. Their advice was to chose the "cancel subscription" option on the TalkTalk menu and they are more likely to transfer you to the bit that might solve your problem more quickly. The man from Stornaway - I'm quite taken with him - said that writing directly to Charles Dunstone was worthwhile. You then get allocated a problem number and proper follow-up. Its mad. Without a proper problem reporting and following up system it must be costing them a fortune, as I seemed to have to repeat the saga to each and every person I got transferred to.

But my new idea, thought up when put on hold one more time, is to get an old sheet, paint TalkTalk is Cr*p and hang it at the back of the house where it can be seen by every commuter into Waterloo. (We live on the other side of the tracks from Pimlico Plumbers.) Would it work?

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