I’d been a happy Freedom to Surf customer for about seven years, when they were bought by Talk Talk. I can’t say I was happy about this, as there have been rumours of excessive blocking, monitoring (phorm, IIRC) etc, and, I think, Guardian Money articles on their (lack of) customer service. They didn’t do much to endear me by immediately signing me up to a number of their ‘newsletters’, and sending me conflicting documentation (was I an Opal customer, F2S or Talk Talk?), but things went along for a while until I needed to call up and change the credit card I’d been paying on, since mine had just expired. I thought I’d start on my IPv6 plans and move to Zen or AAISP, so as well as updating my card I asked for a MAC code to port my service.
That was mid-may.
I received the code on friday, 24th June, after two weeks of daily phone calls, where Talk Talk variously claimed;
1. They had never provided service
2. My account was closed (yes, they closed it as part of their investigations, despite no instruction from me to do so, even though they also continued to provide connectivity)
3. I was actually with Talk Talk residential (who had never heard of me, and put me through to ‘new lines’)
4. I needed to talk to BT to get the ADSL ‘tag’ removed from my number.
5. My account number was actually for a ‘web address’ (sic) account (really – £18/month for a domain name?), not connectivity.
6. Their service ‘guarantee’ (as told to me by one of their call centre staff of 48 hours to call me back when registering a complaint doesn’t apply if the manager is busy (he’s in some very important meetings today!).
7. They could only issue a MAC code if the request came in by email (despite only one call centre person telling me this, and the others happily agreeing to do so, and having received a couple of emails from them about the process).
They also never called me back, despite claiming to several times (apart from on the last Friday, when they did, to be fair). They did send me a couple of emails, but then never answered my follow up questions (things like – ‘you said it wold take 5 working days, its been two weeks, is there a problem?’).
What was the problem? Well, a few years back, I’d changed my number. This hadn’t got updated on F2S’s records, for whatever reason, and when porting in they’d done the right thing and continued to provide service. Only, with all the records pointing to the old number. So, when they checked, my old number was indeed not with them, and they had no record of the new number on their system. I got this through bits of conversations from assorted call centre staff, all of which were keen to get me off the phone as quickly as possible, not involve a manager and generally fail to take ownership of the problem.
Thanks to Mike from AAISP, I was able to confirm that Talk Talk did have the tag on my line, and thanks to credit card statements and letters, I could confirm that it was business that were billing me and had my account.
It was only when the manager got involved, on the Friday (a day later than he was supposed to have called), that he actually checked (two minutes on hold, at most), and confirmed my story and issued a MAC code there and then.
I’m trying this code on monday, and am embargoing this post until I’ve migrated away from Talk Talk, just to be sure.
Avoid these jokers.
Well, that was painless. Plugged in the preconfigured router I’d bought from AAISP, and it connected, and I was away. Slight problem in that the router login doesn’t work, but I’ll take that up with them tomorrow.
Download is *much* better, upload very disappointing – I’ll ask tomorrow, and also try later this evening at a less contended time.
Actually, checking back to when I installed the BT faceplate, it turns out I’m getting better coverage all round. Hurrah!