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Author Topic: Aaaaagh! I'm now a Talk Talk customer.  (Read 5343 times)

sevenlayermuddle

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Aaaaagh! I'm now a Talk Talk customer.
« on: May 21, 2013, 01:12:23 PM »

Sadly, my dad passed away earlier in the year.  He was living alone so the flat's now empty, and it's my job to look after it until such times as probate is granted and we can look at selling it.  It's at the other end of the country, so I tend to visit for a few days every month, catching up on whatever needs done.

I had a great idea... why not leave the phone line & broadband connected so that I have the benefits of web access when I'm visiting?    :police:

Bad idea.  I was blissfuly unaware that his 'AOL' broadband would involve dealing with Talk Talk.    :o

Anyway, I went ahead and transferred the account to my own name and bank account.  Cancellation & notice periods were ambiguous, but they reassured me I could at least cancel within three months if I changed my mind.  I have not received any copies of the T&C for whatever I had agreed to.

So far, it's been about as disastrous as I expected, based on the opinions I've formed of other folks' reported experiences.  Right now, I'm nursing a final demand for payment, threatening me with debt collectors,  covering the period after the bank cancelled Dad's Direct Debits.  But when I try to pay it online, it tells me there's no need as it will be collected by DD.   I checked with the bank and sure enough a DDs been setup to my own account, but they've not taken payment.

So why the heck are they sending me threatening letters...?  Who knows.  Most of  yesterday, and today, the call-centre's been getting answered by a voice saying the systems are down, please call back in an hour or two.   The amazing, and laughable thing is that's not a recorded message... it's a real (Indian sounding) person,   who's just saying the same thing over and over.  You can argue with him, and he'll apologise, but he refuses to do anything other than apologise, and plead with you to call back in an hour or two.   :lol:

Obviously, having realised that I am dealing with my dreaded Talk Talk, and having formed an opinion that their reputation for legendary poor service is profoundly well deserved,  I want to cancel ASAP, even if it does make things difficult when visiting the flat.  But that may also be a fight, the one person I did get to speak to yesterday got as far as telling me I would face a penalty for cancelling before October.   :wall:





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roseway

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Re: Aaaaagh! I'm now a Talk Talk customer.
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 01:31:35 PM »

What a sorry tale. :(

Generally the best way to get anything done with TalkTalk is through their members' forums: http://www.talktalkmembers.com/forums/ . It's not quick though - joining is slightly convoluted, and it takes three days to get a response to a new question. But they do eventually provide a helpful service there.
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  Eric

sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Aaaaagh! I'm now a Talk Talk customer.
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 01:40:25 PM »

What a sorry tale. :(

Generally the best way to get anything done with TalkTalk is through their members' forums: http://www.talktalkmembers.com/forums/ . It's not quick though - joining is slightly convoluted, and it takes three days to get a response to a new question. But they do eventually provide a helpful service there.

Thanks for the suggestion Eric, but I want to get this resolved urgently, as they are saying I'll be passed to a debt collection agency within 7 days. I know that may just be an empoty threat, but they've made that threat, which puts a duty on me to respond to it.    And anyway, all I want is to clear the debt and then to cancel the account, as I have lost what little faith I ever had in them.

Probably my top priority is to write a suitable letter to their Southampton address, sent by recorded delivery.  That then provides a point of reference for future discussions, and evidence that I showed co-operation in resolving the issues.    I guess that's this afternoon's project.
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guest

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Re: Aaaaagh! I'm now a Talk Talk customer.
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 02:43:40 PM »

What is the "debt collector" going to do? Bugger all as they have no court order.

I'd write a (recorded) letter to TT and explain the situation.

Make it clear that if your credit record is affected in any way then you will be seeking reimbursement of the time spent correcting the matter.

Also make it clear that any contact from a "debt collector" without a court order will be viewed as harassment - mention the "Protection from Harassment Act", specifically :

"A person must not pursue a course of conduct - (a) which amounts to harassment of another, and (b) which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other. (2) For the purposes of this section, the person whose course of conduct is in question ought to know that it amounts to harassment of another if a reasonable person in possession of the same information would think the course of conduct amounted to harassment of the other."

You can also quote the case of Ferguson v British Gas & the subsequent case of Regina V British Gas where BG had their appeal thrown out. Basically, the woman moved suppliers but BG refused to accept that had happened so were sending out spurious bills.

Snippet :

Lord Justice Jacob, giving the ruling of the Court, said :

"[British Gas] sought to downgrade [the behaviour] by saying that Ms Ferguson knew the claims and threats were unjustified, that is absurd: a victim of harassment will almost always know that it is unjustified. The Act is there to protect people against unjustified harassment. Indeed if the impugned conduct is justified it is unlikely to amount to harassment at all."

"[British Gas] also made the point that the correspondence was computer generated and so, for some reason which I do not really follow, Ms Ferguson should not have taken it as seriously as if it had come from an individual, but real people are responsible for programming and entering material into the computer. It is British Gas's system which, at the very least, allowed the impugned conduct to happen."
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Aaaaagh! I'm now a Talk Talk customer.
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 02:58:57 PM »

Pretty much agree with all you say Rizla, off to the post office in a minute  ;)

What's annoying is I've now spent, say, an hour composing a stroppy letter.  And I will lose another hour heading into town to post it.  And, believe it or not,  I did have other plans for this afternoon.

And the sun's trying to come out, so maybe I'll head down to the pub on the river for a swift half pint after the post office, which means even less will get done when I return.  Ooops, not sure that helps my case, but who cares, it's the perk of being retired.   ;D
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guest

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Re: Aaaaagh! I'm now a Talk Talk customer.
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2013, 03:35:22 PM »

If they give you any more nonsense after this then start billing them at 25/letter. It is clearly a problem at their end, they should pay for the costs incurred.

One bit of advice - make sure you have the means to record a call if they do call you. Most answerphones will do that, but the problem is often extracting the recording. Even if you don't have the means to record the call I'd say to them that you are recording it. That should ring alarm bells (but probably won't) as if you state you are recording then that makes the recording admissable in all courts of the UK (small claims will listen to recordings where you didn't say that, but only as an indication as to pattern of behaviour).

You may be able to tell I've been here before ;)

Edit - and despite having had no problems myself, I've seen enough complaints that when I phone Sky to downgrade something I record the call routinely. Its just a press of a button so why not?
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 03:39:01 PM by rizla »
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Black Sheep

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Re: Aaaaagh! I'm now a Talk Talk customer.
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2013, 03:53:37 PM »

Sorry to hear of your loss and on-going issues, 7LM.  :(
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Aaaaagh! I'm now a Talk Talk customer.
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2013, 04:53:57 PM »

Sorry to hear of your loss and on-going issues, 7LM.  :(

Thanks for the sympathies.  It was a few months ago now and I've pretty much got used to it, though it does take time.   One of the hardest things is clearing the house of all those little trinkets that they held precious, yet are of no value, sentimental or otherwise, to anybody else.  :(

But I can't imagine the TT account was something he held precious, so I shan't shed any tears over that one.   He was mighty proud of his computer skills mind you, but I doubt whether TT contributed much to his learning curve.
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guest

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Re: Aaaaagh! I'm now a Talk Talk customer.
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2013, 05:22:22 PM »

If its still in probate then you presumably have a solicitor dealing with the estate as there is no executor? My dad died intestate in 2008 so I've been through that - albeit way the hell north in Scotland rather than England and laws differ.

My thoughts here would be to get him/her involved as you sort of took on your dad's contract and got no T&Cs etc. Presumably if TT went legal on you then they'd be looking to seize goods from the property the service is at, which they can't since its in probate. Obviously solicitors charge to write this sort of letter but this would simply be him saying that it was your understanding that the contract was on a monthly basis prior to your dad's death and any change of T&C's during probate would not be viewed favourably by the estate.

They have stock letters for this sort of thing but for "utility" companies its generally seen as a "don't mess about as you will incur costs" message.
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asbokid

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Re: Aaaaagh! I'm now a Talk Talk customer.
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2013, 05:26:12 PM »

Sorry to hear about your sad loss, 7LM.  The OCE in the TalkTalk forum were very helpful when the basement flooded, shorted the linebox(!) and caused a terrible (unshiftable) line profile.

cheers, a
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 05:28:57 PM by asbokid »
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Aaaaagh! I'm now a Talk Talk customer.
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2013, 07:11:42 PM »

If its still in probate then you presumably have a solicitor dealing with the estate as there is no executor? My dad died intestate in 2008 so I've been through that - albeit way the hell north in Scotland rather than England and laws differ.


I'm the Executor. 

I've employed a solicitor to do the legal donkey work as Dad's afairs were quite involved, but they charge (litteraly) on a basis of word-counts for every email and letter they have to write, and by the minute for phone calls,  so I'm trying to do as much as I can without involving them.   And anyway, since I took over the TT account myself, it no longer forms part of the estate.

FWIW, Mine's in Scotland too. At least it's an excuse for a trip back 'home' every few weeks, even if nobody there recognises my accent as being local any more. :)
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