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I had fun with Talk Talk. I wrote to them. This is the actual letter i sent.
"I write with regard the above account about which you have sent me a letter, dated 04/10/06 suggesting the account is overdue.
When I first heard about Talk Talk and its low cost and free broadband offer, I was a little sceptical. After doing some checking into the offer, I was please to learn it was not too good to be true and that you were in fact offering such a service. So when one of your field salespeople called at my door offering the package I was looking for, I was more than happy to invite him in and sign up there and then. We went through the deal and he explained what I would get and how long it would take and put me through to a call centre to sign up. I was very happy with my decision.
After waiting almost a month, I had heard nothing from you. Not a welcome letter or even an info pack about my new broadband. I thought I perhaps should contact you and see what was happening. I found the paperwork that had been left for me and called the number on it. When I called, I was informed that all the info had been sent out. I waited a few more days, nothing again. I called back. I was assured it had been sent and that another one would be sent to me just in case it had been lost. Nothing again. I called back and was advised that there was a bill about to be sent to me! I told the person concerned that I had not even had anything about my broadband or anything to even suggest that you had even taken over the contract! At this point I was advised that I would not be getting broadband as it was "Not yet available" because of the area I lived in. I was told I would have to wait until June 2007 to get it. If I wanted I could pay £10 a month and get it anyway, but it was all the fault of BT as they had not released the local exchange to be "unbundled". I was not happy at being told this as the main reason for my changing to Talk Talk was to get broadband. I was currently paying somewhere in the region of £10 a month for the call package I was put on originally (when the agent came to my house and signed me up). I advise the customer service department to change this t be put on the lowest package as I don't use the phone enough to justify it. I was informed on a later date that even if free broadband had been available to me that I was signed up to the wrong package when I first joined anyway.
I had decided to make the best of a bad situation until I found a viable alternative to Talk Talk and broadband.
When I later discovered that my bill was being taken out on the 24th of each month, I called to arrange to have this date amended to come out on the 1st so it would coincide with all my other outgoings. I called the customer service department and was advised that you cannot change these dates as it would mean changing the entire billing cycle. When I asked what my alternatives were, I was told that I could pay on the first of the month if I wanted to, but that would mean paying my bill a month in advance. That was not something I was prepared to do so I refused this option and instead cancelled the direct debit.
When I received my next bill, I was disgusted to see that I had been charged an extra £3.00 for not paying by direct debit. I called to dispute this and to give you another opportunity to amend the dates for the direct debit. I was again told this was not possible. I told the person I was dealing with that I was now fed up with The Carphone Warehouse and wanted to leave. She put me through to the disconnections department and the lady I spoke to there listed to the above story and said to me "What can we offer you to make you stay?" Normally, I am the kind of person who sees an opportunity like this as a way to get a good deal or bargain from someone, especially if they are willing to give in so easy. But on this occasion, because of my bad experience with your company, I could not think of one thing I could ask for from you that would even placate me, let alone make me happy. The one thing I wanted, free broadband, you cannot provide, despite promises and suggestions, and might I add, a little bit of unscrupulous door-to-door selling, because if you are selling a product to a particular area, you should make sure you can deliver it.
So, in summary:
The Carphone Warehouse has made promises to deliver a service that they are unable to deliver.
They have failed to keep customers informed of the status of their orders.
They have been inflexible on direct debits, and let's not forget that the Direct Debit payment system is there for the benefit of the customer, NOT the collecting party. You and companies like yourselves constantly preach this in your marketing and sales campaigns.
They have sent me a letter telling me my credit rating may be harmed if I do not pay the outstanding balance on the account. At no time have I signed a credit agreement with The Carphone Warehouse. Lets not beat around the bush; it is a thinly veiled threat of court action.
So far, I have spent a page an a half on explaining the ineptitude of the Carphone Warehouse. Now I am going to advise you of the next step on my part.
Firstly, the outstanding amount of £62.18 will be paid. However, I am deducting the amount of £3.00 which is a charge for paying by means other than Direct Debit. That brings the total payable down to £59.18. This will be paid by cheque in due course.
Secondly, since you were unable to provide me a service I wanted, I have had to take alternative steps to get my broadband up and running. This has meant that I have now had to sign up to Sky Broadband at a cost of £40.00. It is my opinion that this is a bill The Carphone Warehouse should be paying so it has been decided that as you now have an outstanding balance of £40.00, it will be debited from the amount I owe of £59.18. You will find the details below.
Total Outstanding: £62.18
Deductions: Non DD payment: £3.00-
Sky Broadband: £40.00-
Total payable: £19.18
Enclosed will be a cheque for the outstanding sum of £19.18.
As far as I am concerned, from this point, the account is now closed and there will be no further need for The Carphone Warehouse to contact me. At this point I would also like for you to remove all of my personal information from your systems and destroy it in accordance with the data protection act.
In the unlikely event that you do wish to continue correspondence, please be aware that my time is better spent either working or otherwise. Therefore there will be a fee of £20.00 per letter I have to write to you to cover this. On this occasion, I have waived that fee.
Since writing this letter and speaking with work colleagues and friends about the abysmal service you provide, I have been hearing some interesting things about Talk Talk and I have been doing some research. You might want to look at the web links below:
"…Charles Dunstone, Carphone's chief executive, described as "a nightmare" at one point."
I couldn't have described your service better myself!"
The reply i got back basicaly admitted that the field sales staff were not allowed to sell broadband packages and that ome had been "removed" from the role and others investigated. I am curently waiting to ba taken to court by them but i cant get them to commit to a date and time. I cant wait!!!
I now use Sky Talk and Broadband, which is great. No hastle at all. I can even check my bill through my sky box.
I loved your review... well done you write really well and I love the way you dealt with the situation
paisleyman 06.12.2006 23:42
well -what a great review. I have heard so many stories about TalkTalk and it is a great shame. I have been with them for years -since they were One-Tel and were absorbed into TalkTalk, luckily I have had no trouble with them. Hope all turns out well for you
sriches 06.12.2006 20:41
Very interesing and informative review - had been looking into TalkTalk don't think I will be wasting anymore of my time now!
Welcome to Ciao! :O) xx