Tiscali’s UK operation, as you’ll know by now, has been bought out by TalkTalk. As a Tiscali customer (and an extremely satisfied one), this bothers me, given TalkTalk’s shambolic start-up problems which went on for far longer than was acceptable, because they grossly over-reached themselves.
However, they provided a link to a message board where, they said, “We are eager to hear your ideas and address any queries or concerns you may have. Post your comments, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.”
So I posted a comment, expressing the above concerns, and asking for an assurance that we were not in for more of the same – were they, in fact, confident that they hadn’t over-reached themselves this time too? I also asked if they were going to overhaul Tiscali’s customer support department, which is unutterably crap. They have three types of staff – English and Asian (whether they are based in India, I can’t say), who are both useless, and Scottish guys who are excellent, and I mean that seriously, but they do tend to be unintelligible at times. Who you get when you phone is pot luck (I haven’t needed to contact them since the set-up period when they screwed up badly, and I have been known to hang up and redial until I got a Scot!).
I asked TalkTalk, too, if they would change Tiscali’s policy of ignoring emails and letters and forcing everyone to phone up (not least because their 0870 number is outside the scope of their free call system).
All in all, very reasonable questions, politely put. Did it appear on the board? Nope. Nor did they respond. They didn’t respond on the board to a single post.
Someone also asked a question that I should have asked – what’s happening to Tiscali TV. No reply.
Their idea of what constitutes “Getting back to you as soon as we can,” is this message, posted yesterday:-
Firstly, thanks everyone for taking the time to let us know what you think about Tiscali becoming part of the TalkTalk Group. There are lots of comments (we have published a small sample) and we are now in the process of reading them all so that we can provide feedback via this blog and other channels. In the meantime, feel free to post your thoughts and let us know your views.
The TalkTalk blog team
That’s crap (and the buggers can’t punctuate, either!). Are we supposed to keep returning to the message board, which they refer to, rather mysteriously, as a blog, on the off-chance they may say something that’s actually useful? And what other channels FFS? WTF is going on?
I switched to Tiscali to escape the increasingly sticky fingers of BT, not to mention their crap service and steam-powered mail servers (and their customer support bozos who had a standard response to eveything – it’s your fault!), and bought into the whole Tiscali package – broadband, land-line rental, free phone calls, and TV – all of which has performed brilliantly during recently-completed first year. I had actually considered TalkTalk, but a friend, even a year ago, was having massive problkems with them, so I didn’t bother. Oddly, another friend has had more problems than is sensible with Tiscali, while I’ve had none so, I suppose, you never can tell. I think a lot depends on how far you are from the exchange – mine is about 1km away, if that.
I really don’t want anyone screwing up my service but, with TalkTalk’s history, I don’t think that can be guaranteed, given their abject failure to respond to a single point raised by worried customers which, frankly, sucks.