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Review of "TalkTalk"

published 04/11/2006 | Dan_ep
Member since : 30/11/-0001
Reviews : 40
Members who trust : 0
About me :
Pro Pricing
Cons Many people have had bad experiences
very helpful
Line Quality
Customer service quality
Customer service waiting times
Tariffs & Charges
Accuracy of Charges

"A balanced review on TalkTalk?"

I have read so many Ciao rants about TalkTalk that I felt I had to write a balanced review, so that people can make a more informed choice. I hope this helps!

My experience with TalkTalk

I have been with TalkTalk for over 2 years. I was initially with their talk 1 scheme (a cheap calling plan, see below for more info). In September 2006 I switched to their Talk 3 plan, which includes line rental from them as opposed to BT, and free Broadband. I was previously with BT for my line rental, and Tiscali for my broadband. With 24 months of experience with TalkTalk, and having recently taken up their infamous Broadband offer, hope I can give a rant free review!

It's cheap to TalkTalk

I am sure you know from watching Big Brother, but TalkTalk is the 'landline' branch of the Carphone Warehouse. They offer a range of call packages, and can also provide your line rental (instead of getting it through BT). TalkTalk has been around in its current from since 2004. TalkTalk has become quite high profile since offering free Broadband with some of its call plans. They have a longstanding £1000 challenge, whereby they will offer you £1000 if you switch to them from BT and find that the switch doesn't save you money (of course there is a whole plethora of small print associated with this offer!)

Line rental from TalkTalk

This works in the exact same way as it does with BT. The phone number will remain the same, and you really will not notice any difference! It costs £11 per month. You can apply online or over the phone to get it switched. They will only provide you with line rental if you take out certain talk plans with them.

The talk plans

There are three main talk plans at present:

Talk 1
This plan is free (you only pay for line rental).
Calls to other TalkTalk numbers are free at any time.
Other calls are priced at:
- Daytime 2.85p/min
- Evening and weekends; 5.25p per landline call (up to 70 min)
- Mobile rates are generally lower than BT

Talk 2
Also free (excluding line rental)
Unlimited free evening and weekend calls to any UK Landline number.
Daytime and mobile rates are generally cheaper than BT.

Talk 3
This costs £8.99 a month on top of your line rental. It includes free daytime, evening and weekend to UK landline numbers (up to a 70 minute call). Mobile and international rates are generally cheaper than BT.
This is the plan which includes 'free' broadband.'
You have to take out an 18-month contract with this plan (you can move house with it though!)

Talk 3 International
This costs £1 more than Talk 3 and also includes the 'free' Broadband offer. This plan includes free international landline calls to 28 countries (mainly Europe, Oz, Canada, USA).

The Broadband offer

The 'free' broadband is an 8meg service (pretty fast, only available in some areas), with no download capping (subject to a fair use policy). There is no setup charge, but you are advised by the TalkTalk to purchase their 'TalkTalk ADSL 2+' modem for £29.99. They claim it is a super dooper high tech modem. Broadband is completely free with Talk3. Some people have complained that the service is unreliable, and many customers have had to wait several months before they have been connected. They can transfer you from another Broadband supplier if you get the 'MAC' transfer code from your old supplier.


You have to pay your bills by direct debit. Talk 1 and 2 offer a paper bill service, whereby they will send you your monthly bill. On the Talk 3 programmes, you get the first 3 bills free, but you have to pay £1 a month to continue getting them after that. Instead you can opt ot get online billing, which is free.

Nectar points

TalkTalk give 2 nectar points for every pound you spend with them. Although this is an added bonus, they amount of points you are likely to earn are small (unless you are a big talker with huge bills!) and I dont think this should influence your choice of provider.

The mobile option

TalkTalk offer a mobile plan to go with your landline service. It is a glammed up pay as you go service. This option adds £10 onto your monthly TalkTalk subscription. They send you a SIM and the £10 is credited to your mobile account. Call charges are 15p/min for any UK call and 7p for a UK text. Calls from or to a TalkTalk landline are free. Frustratingly, if you don't use the £10 worth of calls in one month, it will not roll over to the next month.

The dreaded switch over

Despite being a telephonic company, TalkTalk seem to prefer that you to switch online. It is much easier online as it can be hard to get through to their call centres, and the online forms only take a few minutes to complete. TalkTalk inform BT (or whoever else you are with) and will terminate the contract with them for you. Once you have filled in the details online you will get an email with your estimated transfer dates. These dates are relatively rough initially, but you get a more accurate idea closer to the time. Closer to the connection date, you get a letter with all the info you need to know (albeit there isn't much to know!) Some websites (such as offer rewards if you switch via their links. The broadband switchover date will generally be (long) after your landline switch. You are continually upadted throughout the process via email and post communication. You probably wont have to talk to anyone over the phone to swich over, unless you run into any problems.

So... my experience

After I had clicked the online form to switch, I had a sudden sense of regret. I had heard so many bad things about TalkTalk, and I was only going to save £10 a month by getting their free broadband (and I was very unhappy with Tiscali and desperately wanted to change). But fortunately, it was pretty stress free. There were a few niggles though.

- The initial online form was easy to complete.
- I quickly got email and posted information with the estimated delivery dates. I had to wait about 4 weeks for the line rental to be switched over, and 3 months for the Broadband to be switched (quite a long time!)
- The switchover worked as planned, I did not notice any down time on my phone or internet service during the switch.
- I had a bit of trouble connecting to the TalkTalk broadband and so I called their customer support line. I had to try and call quite a few times to get through. Annoyingly, if their lines are very busy, they don't put you in a queue, they just tell you to ring back. Quite rude!
- When I did get through, I noted the call centre was not UK based, but they were surprisingly helpful and solved my technical problem in a efficient and polite manner.
- Since connecting to the net via TalkTalk, the connection has been fast and reliable
- The phone operates in exactly the same way as my previous BT line did, I can't tell any difference.
- I did not opt to getthe TalkTalk modem, and am pleased I didnt. My old modem worked very well and there was no reason to change it. They do say that they can only offer technical support for their own modem, but they did actually help me on their technical support line when I had some problems.

The verdict

I do feel terribly guilty about leaving BT. They provided me with an excellent service over the years. I am a firm believer in giving money to firms which provide good service. In fact, I have often said I will pay more for good service. BT should be getting my hard earned cash. However, I had to change my net provider (as Tiscali was not up to the job) and the offer with TalkTalk was very good indeed. My monthly phone bills are much less and my internet connection is now free. I think TalkTalk does deserve many of the bad reviews it has on Ciao. They completely underestimated the demand for their services and couldn't cope. However, I think they have finally got their act together, and things are much better. My switch was relatively hiccup free, but maybe I was just lucky.

TalkTalk gets lots of points for innovation and pricing, but they have to lose a mark or two for their customer service, which is still well below that of BT. If you want to save cash, TalkTalk is great. If you want the piece of mind of having good service if something goes wrong, you cant lose with BT's phone and internet services.

Thanks for reading. I hope you found this is balanced and informative.


Community evaluation

This review was read 4786 times and was rated at
96% :
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very helpful

Comments on this review

  • n13roy published 27/02/2007
    Really well written, and very informative review there, this lot certainly get some bad press.........Roy.....
  • bluenosesquonk published 22/12/2006
    Excellent review, I've only recently moved from BT with the home phone after many years of excellent service (I felt guilty too).
  • missy0303 published 17/11/2006
    A well balanced review...I've been with BT for years now and am sticking with them, as better the devil you know! x
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Product Information : TalkTalk

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Listed on Ciao since: 20/10/2003