TalkTalk And Tiscali Fined £3m For Overcharging Customers
18th August 2011
Ofcom has fined TalkTalk and Tiscali UK £3m for breaking consumer rules by charging thousands of customers for services they had not received.
Ofcom discovered that among those affected were many who had previously cancelled their accounts and were still issued with bills.
Ofcom ordered TalkTalk and its subsidiary Tiscali UK to rectify their billing problems by December 2, 2010, but the companies continued to incorrectly bill nearly 3,000 customers between December 2, 2010 and March 4, 2011.
TalkTalk and Tiscali UK will have to pay the fine within 30 days and the funds will go through Ofcom to HM Treasury.
21 Apr 2011
TalkTalk advertise special low prices to entice new customers but when the telephone and broadband bills arrive the customer finds they've been overcharged.
One customer replied to a leaflet which TalkTalk had posted to the neighborhood advertising half price offers for 6 months but the customer never received the half price offer price and in fact was charged over twice what he had ever paid with BT.
Trying to get any sense out of them is very difficult with Philippine operators powerless to interfere with the cranky billing system.
TalkTalk was the most complained-about provider of phone and broadband services during a five-month period, according to new figures released by communications regulator Ofcom.
In statistics released for the first time, the number of complaints have been published for each provider, shown as a proportion of their customer base. Ofcom said that this will enable consumers to compare providers on a level playing field.
Covering October 2010 to February this year, the data showed that, across all the major landline providers, Ofcom received most complaints about TalkTalk, with 1.78 complaints per 1,000 customers. TalkTalk also topped the list for broadband complaints, with 1.27 per 1,000.
Great quotes & business advice from ‘Business idiot’ Charles Dunstone
Charles Dunstone, talking at the Real Business - Entrepreneurs Summit says he is embarrassed to be called an entrepreneur, he feels more like a a business idiot who stumbled into the world of mobile phones by mistake. As it grew, and the sector took off, he made a lot of mistakes but the massive and unexpected growth in the sector was a very forgiving partner.
It was only when they started to have lots of money, that they started making mistakes. Talk Talk was one of the worst experiences of his business life and was totally enabled by the availability of too much cash. 2006 is a year he will never forget…
Buying Tiscali was a big cock up that turned out OK and now Charles get to be chairman instead of making too many mistakes in the operating businesses.
24th May 2011
Euro debt nerves grip markets
TalkTalk was an exception. The telecoms group rose more than 2% as analysts at UBS and Goldman Sachs highlighted its potential as a takeover target. Raising its recommendation from neutral to buy, Goldman said: "TalkTalk could be an attractive M&A candidate for a UK fixed-line player seeking scale or a mobile operator that believes in the cross-selling opportunities of fixed-mobile convergence." Vodafone has been suggested as a possible bidder, though many dealers are sceptical. TalkTalk closed up 3.4p at 149.1p,
TalkTalk eyes broadband recovery
Telecoms firm TalkTalk has said it continued to lose broadband customers but predicted the slump will reverse as it gets to grips with service issues stemming from its 2009 acquisition of Tiscali.
The regulator has accused TalkTalk of "slamming" - signing up new customers without their knowledge or consent.
The company stands accused of "providing misleading information that is likely to affect a customer's purchasing decision" and "engaging in slamming".
TalkTalk is also accused of breaching rules that give customers a 14-day cooling-off period after signing a new contract.
An Ofcom spokesperson told PC Pro the regulator was receiving more than 200 complaints a month about TalkTalk's sales practices last year, falling to around 160 per month this year.
Non-executive director Ian West has spent £250,000 on shares in the fixed line voice and broadband telecommunications company TalkTalk, it announced today.
He took 181,700 shares at 137.58p a pop, taking his holding to 346,023 shares.
TalkTalk in 'tricks' warning
SCANDAL-struck TALKTALK has been clobbered by regulators for "dishonest and deceptive" sales methods.
Ofcom yesterday gave the telecoms firm a month to mend its ways - or face a fine.
An investigation found the company had broken rules over selling.
Ofcom said TalkTalk engaged in "dishonest, misleading or deceptive conduct by providing dishonest information".
And customers faced "unacceptable behaviour" if they asked to cancel their deals.
TalkTalk boss Dido Harding said days ago that the company was "through the worst" of its customer service problems. It had to pay £2.5million compensation earlier this year for overcharging customers.
In a statement yesterday the firm said: "We're working with Ofcom to provide the information they require. We take our responsibilities in this area extremely seriously."
TalkTalk pre-tax profit for the year to 31 March 2011 totaled £57m, up from £11m a year earlier
TalkTalk said profits were lifted by £55m of cost-savings connected to completing the integration of former sister business Tiscali.
However, it said this process had caused disruption for some customers.
"A number of customers suffered disruption, which caused higher levels of complaints and churn," the company said.
- They're rude, aggressive and even tell lies
- Charge for services they've NOT supplied
- Don't EVER return your calls
- Harass you for money that you DON'T owe
Calls not returned, emails unanswered and no explanations provided;
Rude, insensitive and, worst of all, dishonest staff — you claim they have lied about when problems would be fixed;
Being charged for services you have not asked for or received;
Debt collectors being sent in when you have canceled your contract or paid up;
Being put on hold for hours on end, being sent round in circles and hung up on;
Weeks and sometimes months to resolve issues;
Shoddy technical support;
Difficulties understanding staff at the overseas call centres;
Being left with no phone or internet service;
Problems setting up a connection for new customers;
Cancellation fees charged to fed-up customers; and
Botched service and billing for former Tiscali customers.
Some TalkTalk customers have had their voice and internet services disrupted, and a statement on the company's website says: "We're experiencing a technical issue this morning that means you can't access our website, or visit MyAccount, at the moment. We are sorry about this and are working hard to get this resolved as soon as we can. This issue also led to disrupted voice services for some customers who were unable to make or receive calls for a short time, this is now resolved. We will keep you updated throughout the day, thanks for your patience and apologies once again."
Users visiting TalkTalk's Network Status page got little help. The rubric says: "TalkTalk aim to give you the best possible service and want to keep you fully informed about any problems that may temporarily disrupt your landline or broadband services." At the time of writing, the status message reads:
## Unfortunately this service is currently unavailable ##
Britain has its first digital billionaire - Charles Dunstone, the founder of Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk, according to the new Sunday Times Rich List.
Dunstone, who started Carphone Warehouse in 1989 with £6,000 of his own savings, has seen his wealth increase 66 per cent to £1billion over the past year.
The 46-year-old Dunstone tops a list of 23 digital millionaires set to be revealed in the Sunday Times Rich List.