I get my phone and broadband from TalkTalk. I know, I was warned off them and I went with them anyway. I know that they are the most complained about internet provider in the UK, I know about all the problems with them trying to bill people after they have left. I went with them anyway because in this village it’s a choice of BT (and resellers) or TalkTalk, and BT couldn’t get me a phone line for six weeks after we moved in. BT can also only provide broadband at 6Mbps here while TalkTalk manage 18Mbps.
I haven’t had a problem with TalkTalk in the last three and a half months. Then yesterday, my broadband just stopped. Eventually after trying for a while, a web page that I tried to load was redirected to a message from TalkTalk which informed me that I had to call their billing department. I called up immediately to speak to them. They told me that I had missed a payment. I realised immediately that they had probably messed up the transfer of my direct debit to my new bank account and told them this. (I have just changed bank from Natwest to Co-op for ethical reasons. I filled in a form that allowed Co-op to transfer all my direct debits from Natwest.) They went and looked, and told me that the new bank account details had arrived with them on the 7th, and that the payment had been due on the 6th, and so it hadn’t worked. There’s a slight problem here – if the details changed on the 7th, then they wouldn’t have known any different on the 6th and would have taken the payment from Natwest. My account with Natwest was operational and had money in it right up to the 15th, so their explanation makes no sense. They received the new details and didn’t bother to take the money.
Worse than that, though, is that after the payment had failed because of their own stupidity, they didn’t bother to tell me. No phone call, no email, no letter. Nothing. They simply waited for three weeks, and then cut me off. I might have left it there if they had reconnected me immediately, but no. I paid them over the phone with my debit card and then was told that it could take up to 24 hours to turn my connection back on! It’s not a difficult problem to turn an account back on. My ADSL router was still connected the whole time, it’s just that they redirected every attempt to use it back to their own website. All they had to do was tell a computer to allow me to use my phone and the internet again.
I’m sick. I have ME, migraines, diabetes, and a host of other things. As such, I’m stuck in this house and often stuck in my bed unless I have help from other people. I also rely on communication with friends over the internet to prevent me from getting depressed enough to hurt myself. I have to be able to communicate with friends and family. I have a mobile phone, but in this house using it requires standing with the phone held up high in exactly the right spot. I can’t stand up for very long. Sometimes not at all. TalkTalk turned off my phone line and internet, both vital for my communications, because of their own mistake, didn’t bother to warn me, and when I fixed their problem, they took until the next day to turn my connection back on.
I want an apology from TalkTalk and an assurance that this won’t happen again.