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TalkTalk Oganisational Systemic Failure a real life example

incised12
Conversation Starter
Message 3 of 3

Hi,


This is going to be a bit of a rant at TalkTalk and requires a bit of history to set the scene.


Back in December of 2021 after discussion with a talktalk sales operative we had fibre to the premises (fttp) installed, The transfer from our previous package of 'faster fibre with speed boost' to the new package of 'future fibre 65 with telephone included' would be 'seamless' (his words not mine). We would need to do nothing, with talktalk taking care of it from their end .


Up until the end April 2022 everything seemed fine. The service was stable and reliable and the payments seemed in accordance with what was agreed, until we received a bill for £39.86 instead of the £26.00 per month we had been paying. This seemed odd! On checking the 'My Account dashboard I discovered our service was listed as 'faster fibre' even though that contract had ended on March 23 2022. There were also three pending orders for faster fibre the seemed stuck in the system.


It was slightly irritating to find this out, but pretty straight-foreword to resolve or so we thought!

We needed to:

  1. Get the package changed to the one we agreed with the talktalk sales person
  2. Remove the anomalous pending orders from the system
  3. Reimburse us the difference between the charges made and those that should have been made

Because I have a hearing impairment it is much easier for my partner to deal with helplines rather than me, so he dealt with talking to the advisors. Over the period of a month and half to date (16/06/2022) he has spoken to some 20 different advisors from various departments, none of whom had the authority to do all three things to resolve the issues.

 

The phrases

  1. "I will escalate this up to a senior manager." Given the number of times this was said the senior managers seem to have just as little authority to resolve issues as do their subordinates.
  2. "I'm very sorry" My partner grew tired of this statement however genuinely expressed by about the fifth person who said it, and by about the sixteenth or seventeenth person would ask them not to say it, because it had become meaningless in the absence of positive action.
  3. "I will put you through to xxxxxx department who will be able to help you". (Please insert any talktalk department you wish to name in the placeholder xxxxxx). My partner is usually calm in stressful situations and focuses on finding solutions, but being bounced around from department to department and sometimes in the process being cut off, or having to go through security protocols again or having to explain the issues to a new advisor sorely tested his patience.
  4. "Please allow us three to five days and your issues should be resolved." I'm unsure whether two or three people said this, but do know the issues were not resolved.

 

My partner has spent hours on the phone talking with advisors. Never has a senior manager either spoken to him directly even when requested or contacted us via email to try and resolve the issues. My partner says the siloing of individuals to limited discreet tasks is designed to fail when anything approaching cross-departmental solutions are needed requiring accurate communication and action.


This almost brings us up to date except for the discussion last Thursday 09 2022 with an advisor who listened to the issues and said, she would talk with senior managers and everything should be resolved in about five days.


As of today this was talktalk's resolution:

  1. Our 'faster fibre' contract was finally due to be cancelled on or about 15/06/2022. This was a step in the right direction, since we had asked for this to be done from the beginning. There was no new contract in place, but hey, its progress, maybe that was in the pipeline.
  2. Our phone line was disconnected. This was worrisome, because for me given my hearing impairment using the landline is better than using the mobile.

 

Finding this out meant today my partner had a three hour conversation with, I think four, or five different advisors with the following discussions and agreed resolutions.

  1. I have to take out a new contract for 'future fibre 65' data only. An Openreach engineer will visit on the 7th July to fit the equipment needed for (fttp). This is not withstanding that all the equipment was installed back in December 2021, when an Openreach engineer originally installed the (fttp).
  2. TalkTalk will supply me with a router(s). I already have two routers. Yes, supplied by TalkTalk last December when the (fttp) was... Perhaps I can have a white ones this time just in case we change the colour scheme of the room where the router is located.The phone line was disconnected and could not be reconnected, because we are in a fibre only area and Openreach had disconnected all the copper lines. Yes this was the actual reason given by the advisor. My partner did make the point that it was unlikely Openreach had disconnected the lines, and even if they had TalkTalk was obligated to inform us of this before action was taken.
  3. We can apply for a voice over Internet protocols (VoIP) service to supplied only after new contract for 'future fibre 65'. My partner said to the advisor that it meant, in our case we would be without a landline for at least three weeks, which was an inconvenience to us and it was extremely poor on the company's behalf to treat its customers this way. He also queried what would happen in the case of a more vulnerable person whose phone line was suddenly cut off, because "Openreach disconnected the lines". It was at this point my partner asked for the complaints procedure and was told that was okay he could complain to them, but they would give me the same answers the advisor had.

My partner asked that instead of writing to the complaints department (by the way, take a look at the workings of their complaints procedure, if you can find it. Its an exemplar of how to exclude people). He believes rather than attaching blame to individuals for their failure to action requests much more responsibility lays with their employing company's organizational structures and perhaps they might use these experiences to look at their improving communication within organisation resulting in faster resolution of issues and a better customer experience.


Kind Regards


Diana

2 REPLIES 2

incised12
Conversation Starter
Message 1 of 3

Hi Gliwmaeden2,

 

Thanks for moving my post to a more appropriate section of the forum.

 

We fully understand points you make regarding 'Future Fibre accounts' and ' higher bills at the end of contracts' are fully understood, since we have first hand experience. As for the 'mess and muddle' that is entirely the responsibility of TalkTalk and their rigid/dysfunctional operational processes.

 

That may seem a harsh judgement, but I will leave you with the following three examples of their incompetence.

 

To resolve the issues caused by TalkTalk we have had to set up a new contract. To achieve that, TalkTalk will send out an engineer to install equipment we already have from the first time they installed the fibre connection to our house. They will supply us with a new router for the new contract and we will have to return the very same make/model of router, as requested by an email from them today.  The email has this missive: "Please join more than 199,000 TalkTalk customers who have saved over 55 tonnes of plastic from cluttering up homes and landfill sites". Perhaps if they ran a more efficient company TalkTalk customers would not be paying for unnecessary engineer visits or router supply/returns. We have lost the use of our landline for at least three weeks and will need to reapply for a VoIP connection once the new service is connected. We may or may not be able to port our old telephone number, if not we will have to contact all those people with the new number. The manner in which the landline was disconnected was particularly egregious, further compounded by an advisors unbelievable explanation of the events causing it.

 

The purpose of the post is not to seek resolution, since it could be argued that that has been done. It is more to highlight the difficulty and cost on our part of achieving it, with the hope that TalkTalk will improve their procedures when dealing with customer issues.

 

Regards

 

Diana

Gliwmaeden2
Community Star
Message 2 of 3

There are lots of problems with the billing for the Future Fibre accounts, @incised12.

 

It seems to take ages to get them set up, and meanwhile the old deal appears to remain in place. 

 

It is normal when any contract comes to an end to get a higher bill, because your previous discounts would have come to an end - however you thought that you were on a new contract, so this should all have been sorted out ages ago. 

 

Quite apart from all the rest of the mess and muddle, I'll move this to the billing section in the hope that Talktalk staff can check that all the billing complications have been sorted out once and for all.

 

 

Gliwmaeden2, a fellow customer.