Just saying . . .
I find my first - as far as I'm aware - fanfare/trumpet blowing email from Talktalk showing me how much I'm 'saving' in comparison to other providers misleading, possibly inaccurate, patronising and offensive.
Would I really have to pay for 'caller display' with other providers since my landline is set up to show numbers dialling in. Would my screen stay blank on phone unless I paid £2.25 with Virgin. Virgin being the only mentioned by Talktalk since all others probably include it in their package.
I could break down all the other bits Talktalk purport to be 'saving' me on but will summarise by saying Talktalk are cherry picking where they may be cheaper than other providers but omitting of course where other providers are cheaper than themselves in some areas.
I think Talktalk is widely believed to be about most targeted provider in terms of hacking . . would I bother with 'Supersafe' were I with an already more supersafe provider? Probably not.
I could go on. Case in point being most recent 'refund' fake email being sent to many customers same day or day after of bill being sent.
Bottom line like the majority of Talktalk customers, I am not an idiot. I simply look at my bill every month, if it's just about affordable which it currently just about is - although rising little by little all the time in line with all other services - I will stay. I also keep eye out for new providers or where it looks like significant saving can be made.
I'm happy enough with my Talktalk service not to need switch. No provider is perfect, all have hidden extras that won't come to light until you're in their hands so it's not worth switching to save odd £ or two.
What I do find offensive, however, is to be told I'd 'grabbed' myself a free hub. Really? Grabbed, is quite an unpleasant description in terms of being sent replacement hub since my previous developed a fault. I sent previous one back same day as new arrived . . do I say Talktalk 'snatched' one off me? No because seemingly I am more polite than my provider.
Things like that will actually make me consider switching to another with more discretion or tact.
Shorter message to Talktalk - you've shot yourself in the foot or scored own goal with your email this morning. I am offended and I will now look to bothering to find someone who speaks my language - hence, and I am being rude now, why I won't bother with a phone call to discuss this.
I'm really sorry that you are unhappy
Some customers do find this type of email informative, others will ignore it, I can assure you the intention was not to offend you in anyway.
All I can do is pass on the feedback to the team responsible.
Again please accept my sincere apologies for any distress caused.
I'd like to add my own similar experience here. My "savings" included £120 for a free wi-fi hub, for which I'd actually paid £60 via a loyalty deal. However, the firmware was very dodgy and not really ready for public release, I'd say it was an "alpha" version at best. Then the 5Gz band stopped working, so it was replaced with another faulty one, which was returned for a refund. So no £120 saving at all. I then actually spent £120 at PC World to buy an equivalent spec router that actually works and has all the features enabled. From what I've read on the forums, the latest wi-fi hub firmware has now progressed to "beta" stage, and customers are still being used as guinea pigs. Personally I don't mind testing new kit and software, as it used to be my job, but I do need a router that is reliable and makes the most of an 80 Mbit fibre connection which is used for working from home, running a NAS, and a cloud backup service.
Onto the promotional email. I posted this earlier on the billing forum and had no reply. I re-posted it on the tech forum, where you always get a quick and helpful response. However that quick response was to tell me to post on the billing forum. Hey Ho, here we go. I'll re-post it and wait for a reply:-
Hi. I first posted this comment in the billing section of the forum last Tuesday. No OCE has contacted me,
so I'm re-posting it here as typically an OCE reads and responds to technical queries quite quickly.
I received a promotional email telling me how much I'd saved via Talktalk over the last 6 months. The figures are obviously generated by a computer system but are so grossly inaccurate and overstated by several hundred percent, there has to be a serious programming or data analysis error.
There's been much senseless trolling about this on the forum and little useful discussion.
If an OCE would like to PM, email or call me, I will have a private discussion about systems issues that could see you on Watchdog or in court.
I was an IT support manager in an earlier life.
I think it would be appropriate to have an email or telephone conversation with someone responsible for this promotion, as I have the IT skills, the marketing, and business process experience to recognise that something is seriously wrong.
I'd like to work through the savings line by line, tell you where I think it is wrong, so you can make the necessary corrections to the data analysis.
My contact details are on my profile. Hope to hear from you soon.
Yes, would be good if team that generated this b - - - sh- - did contact to retrace their errors. Can't see it happening.
Most I've had by way of response is where OCE Ady responded when I referred to it in Service and Email section - where OCE's appear to be more proactive. All other areas of forum seem a little listless in that respect?
Any mentioned passing on comments back to Talktalk, see if they take it on board. Also alleges that some customers find this kind of analysis helpful - this is seriously doubt.
Unfortunately, whilst the gate keepers most direct form of communication with a company i.e. telephone, are who they are . . really can't be ar-ed to make direct contact. So this is a far as I take it . . . until a more inviting provider emerges.
Hi. Thanks for your response to my issue. I did follow your complaints procedure which resulted in worthless platitudes, so I will share my complaint and the Talktalk response for public viewing.
I worked in a variety of marketing, business planning, and operations development roles over a period of 40 years for what is now (employer redacted). My latest role was in a department forensically examining business processes and computer systems to ensure they met the needs of both the company and customers, were legally compliant, robust, and fit for purpose.
In my view, the promotional email I received from you meets none of those criteria, and neither do your POP3 email servers, (apart from the legally compliant bit).
Your POP3 server authentication has been failing intermittently for the last few weeks, as it has on several occasions over the last few months since the last total outage. These have been documented in several of my forum posts and commented on by your OCEs. The issue still appears to be unresolved. Webmail has also had many outages.
I’ve annotated below the promotional email savings I disagree with and explained why. On the assumption that these savings must be computer generated, there’s something clearly wrong with the system design, and someone less interested than myself in assisting you to correct the issue might be inclined to take it up with BBC Watchdog (yet again) rather than contact you.
David, you’ve saved £229.44 over the last 6 months
My bill is typically £36.50 a month, so total spend £219. So something fishy about your calculation! My saving according to my own calculations was £41.94. You seem to think I've saved more than I spent. However it gets worse. The above does not take account of the £120 I had to spend at PC World to buy a suitable router that is equivalent to your Wi-Fi Hub, but actually works properly.
So my actual saving is no saving at all but a loss of £78.06.
Your Faster Fibre was £29.94 less than BT Superfast Fibre Essential in the last 6 months. Keep doing all the things you love, knowing you’re getting a fairer price.
I can’t argue with the above.
Calling Boosts: you’ve saved £21.00
You’ve been calling friends and family for a fairer price, all thanks to the £3.50 monthly discount you’ve received on your Unlimited UK Calls Boost, giving you more freedom to keep in touch with loved ones.
The above is questionable. I have undoubtedly saved £3.50 per month, but not based on the criteria you have described. The saving is only valid, as described, if I would have spent more than the £3.50 on chargeable calls that were not included in my inclusive calls package, and attributed to the anytime calls portion of my bill. Most of my daily calls are to a single Talktalk number, therefore no saving can be attributed to those as they would not be chargeable anyway. My calls to other numbers are few, and in a typical month might cost less than £3.50 if chargeable. Other calls would be to 0800 numbers, or to 0870 etc. which are excluded from the Anytime calls boost or free to everyone. I haven’t been through my bills line by line for 6 months, but your computer system should have done so, to arrive at a true saving.
Calling Features: you’ve saved £46.50
Last Caller Barring – £5.50 a month less than BT
Caller Display – £2.25 a month less than Virgin Media
In respect of the above. Virgin Media does not serve my area, so that saving is misleading. I think I have only used last caller barring once or twice in the 6 years I have been a Talktalk customer. On those occasions it has always been exclusively to bar a number, following your data breach, from a scam caller in India presenting themselves as Talktalk or BT technical support, and attempting to gain access to my computer. My partner, also a Talktalk customer had these calls so frequently and was so distressed by them that the phone number had to be changed at considerable inconvenience, to prevent the calls. Not a single one has been received since, so clearly down to the data breach.
Extras: you’ve saved £132.00
The little stuff all adds up. You’ve saved £12 in the last 6 months with paperless billing. And you grabbed a free WiFi Hub worth £120.
In respect of the £120 wi-fi hub saving, that is just untrue, for many reasons:-
I upgraded last year to 80/20 Mbit fibre, and found that the Huawei HG635 router I had would not support the full 80 Mbit line speed, so was a network bottleneck for my cloud backup and restore service. So I should have been offered the wi-fi hub for free in my view, but I was not. I was told I would have to pay £120. I contacted loyalty dept and negotiated one for £60, which I paid.
Clearly the firmware had not been thoroughly tested and I would classify it as an alpha test version released prematurely. I asked tech support for a copy of the manual, as none was provided. The link I was sent actually took me to your firmware developers feedback page, where I could read the feedback left by Talktalk staff, which mentioned only cosmetic rather than functional issues. A data breach in effect by one of your support agents in the Philippines. I won't share the URL here.
The firmware issues are very well documented in your forums, and the later public release now appears to have reached beta test standards, as several functions still don’t work properly.
The above 2 paragraphs are by the by. This is because I found the hub hardware not to be fit for purpose either. My first (£60) hub worked in a basic sense, but did not support some of the valuable functions available on the HG635. After a few weeks the 5GHz band stopped working altogether, I’m guessing a hardware fault. It was exchanged, and after a few days the new hub had the same fault. Other users have reported similar faults affecting both bands, sometimes intermittent, sometimes permanent. My 2nd one would start working again if I unplugged the power supply and allowed it to cool for an hour. I spent many interesting hours evaluating the quality of your technical support, by phone and chat, which I found also not really fit for purpose, but great fun for someone like me who had sight of service level agreements and performance target results for Indian call centres, whilst doing my job.
By then I had enough, sent it back and my £60 was refunded. I then spent £120 at PC World on a TP-Link Archer VR900, which has been perfect. It’s everything the wif-fi hub ought to have been from day one. Maybe you should ditch Sagemcom and negotiate a deal with TP-Link, and don’t meddle with the firmware!
So effectively my wi-fi hub “saving” was actually an extra cost to me of £120 due to Talktalk’s failings. That’s without counting the many wasted but amusing hours spent trying to get it to work, get it replaced, and get a refund.
Maybe you’d like to offer me a new contract renewal at a reduced price, to compensate for the TP-Link router I was obliged to buy. Or maybe I’d like to forego your amazing savings and switch to another provider with hardware, firmware and customer support that is fit for purpose. However I'm not convinced there is one, so it might be out of the frying pan into the fire, and at extra cost.
To be serious, and fair, the OCE staff on your forum do provide an excellent service, but I guess they have to as it’s visible to the public in glorious Technicolor.
By the way, while I was typing this, another TT customer sent me this Skype message about TT webmail just now.
“I cannot log on to my Talktalk email keeps telling me TIMED OUT RELOAD PAGE”
Talktalk's response to my complaint made through the channels you recommended was:-
Thanks for contacting us about your concern.
I am sorry you have not had the service you should expect from us.
We work hard to make sure our staff are helpful and professional, so
we have passed on your comments to the team that spoke to you. They will be taking steps so this does not happen in future.
Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback. It really helps us get better at what we do.
If you have questions about anything else, feel free to get back to us.
If you would like more information, there is also a lot of detailed help and advice online in our Help Pages and our online Community. We are also here to help on Live Chat (click the tab on all our help pages).
Hi Dave You could try what just worked for me - write a quick note to concerns@talktalk (can't remember the full address maybe co.uk?) it's listed somewhere on their website though.
I emailed them a brief message mentioning what my gripe was about their email and putting their list of so called savings into more of a perspective in real terms.
Resulted in call from talktalk who have now reduced my monthly bill - not by a huge amount but better than poke in eye with blunt stick I suppose - for the remainder of my current contract.
Worth a shot?
Good luck, all best 🤞