Tiscali is now TalkTalk – should we worry?

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.

Thanks again
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.

13 thoughts on “Tiscali is now TalkTalk – should we worry?

  1. It appears also that the tiscali packages that were previously unlimited usage now have the standard talk talk 40 gigabyte limit! Of course this shouldnt affect cuurent Tiscali customers unless you upgrade your package so upgraders beware!

    Also it will be interesting for me to see if my line speed increases as unlike Tiscali, TalkTalk have LocalLoop Unbundling at my local exchange and Talk Talk claim (on 2 occasions) that I can recieve 4.9 Meg and 7.9 Meg download speeds down my phone line! An increase on the 1 Meg stated by Tiscali and by BT!

    • i am a tiscali customer and am absolutely outraged that the change to talk talk means that i will, without my consent, lose my unlimited download limit (which is actually the case, as stated on the letter they sent to tell me about the changes) and be stuck with the 40GB limit you mention. and i am to be charge MORE than i already pay, which is ridiculous. i called talktalk/tiscali yesterday and spent an hour on the phone, being passed from person to person, none of whom could help me nor explain why this was. all they said was that the tiscali line of talk talk cannot offer unlimited downloads anymore! the last (very nice) man i spoke to basically said i’d be better off getting a BT line out back in and then switching to an internet provider like O2 or Orange. Apparently now that i’ve received that letter stating about the changes to my package, i’m no longer in a contract, so can indeed change service providers.
      but overall, i think it’s appalling that they can do this.
      just saying my piece.

      • You’re not alone!

        Try Sky, you can get a combined broadband, TV, line rental and phone package for around £35 a month – get your MAC code and then time the move carefully if you can, very worthwhile offers, like free dishes, boxes, and connection come and go quickly. And no need to get involved with BT at all.

        Not as cheap as Tiscali once was – probably why they’re history.

  2. So nothing changes with Talk Talk except a letter comes through telling you if you do not take their free phone package then your broadband will increase to £19.99. Bribery is what I call it! It will be interesting to see how many people dump Talk Talk.

  3. I am between a rock and a hard place, I am in a situation where I sharing a house with my Granny – she refuses to switch to anything but BT.

    I have Tiscali Broadband and have used them for many years.

    Tiscali/Talk Talk just sent a letter stating that if I dont take their calls package with my Broadband they will have to bring me in line with the current TalkTalk product line up and charge me £19.99.

    So, looking around I still see the Tiscali deal at £14.99 – Looks like I will have to cancel and start again (With the 40gb cap) which is a pain as my business is online so I can’t be without a connection and a 40gb cap will be a problem too.

    What else can I do?

    • If you’re out of contract, change ISP. You’ll still be offline for a little while, it’s unavoidable, but can you maybe borrow a friend’s PC to tide you over? I moved to Sky from Tiscali, as I said, and apart from some minor, initial hiccups, they’ve been fine. The uncapped, up to 20Mb, plus calls, packagelooks good value – I’ll be upgrading to that myself soon. I don’t know if you have to subscribe to their TV package as well, though, which may make it less attractive for many.

  4. I’ve just had as note telling me to upgrade to broadband and weekend talk (for £14.99) with 40gig cap, or they will increase the cost of my current broadband only to £19.99 with 40gig cap!
    Welcome to talktalk…. not!

  5. I just called them, it appears that this price rise is going to happen to anyone who has to use an exchange that they couldn’t get their equipment into (Low Populated Areas).

    Now to begin the search for another provider.. damn it.

  6. well i was quite happy with tiscali providing my broadband and phoneline for £14.67 pm now i get a letter from talk talk stating i have to pay £18.48 for no extra benifit i have asked for or want ,my current package will be changing up to 8mb , thats bxllxx too i can only get 2mb if im lucky due to the state of the line from the exchange to my house .
    all i can say is well done talk talk for buggering up your relationship with your customers.
    And their customer service is no better than tiscalis anyhow as i rang them today, it took me an hour to get through to them and when i asked them for a mac code they couldnt provide me with one so i have to cancel completly and then start again with a new provider meaning that god knows how long ill be without internet while they try to connect me

    • Hmm… They can’t legally refuse a MAC code – even if you don’t cancel. Report the buggers – http://www.otelo.org.uk/

      If you did finally get the code when you cancelled, then a new ISP should be up and running in about 7-10 days. Always assuming that TalkTalk don’t screw up again – it’s what they’re good at.

  7. Hi

    I was with Tiscali and had their £15 a month broadband and land-line package, which i was happy with. I then got the talk talk letter saying i would now be charged £18.48.

    So i phoned them up and said i wasn’t prepaired to pay £18.48 and was told to ignore the letter and assured i would only be paying £15 as before. My direct debit to tiscali was arranged for the 1st of each month but they tried to take the payment on the 31st of March instead of the 1st of April.(no money in bank causing more problems). This is when i discovered that they had infact been charging me £18.48.

    I phoned to cancel once again and gave my reasons. This time i was told “as a courtecy” that i would not be charged for the next two months and the money i had been over charged would be deducted from the next monthly payment (after the two months free). Well thats very reasonably i thought, great, ok.

    Today i got a call saying i owe them £55 so i phoned up to cancel again. This time i’m told that when i was given the two months free i had entered into a contract and they are going to charge me £270. This is news to me as i was told it was a courtecy due to their over billing.

    I am absolutely livid can they do this. Cheers for any advice


    • Best advice – never do anything to do with money by phone. Ever.

      Re your last para – sounds like bullshit. Talk to a solicitor, and don’t forget to push for legal aid. Or you’ll get even bigger bills.

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