And preferably off a plank if you ask me! Sorry, I’m writing a complaint letter to the Carphone Warehouse and feeling cross, as well as empowered as complaint letters have always made me feel. Right from when I first complained, as a precocious seven year old, to the Post Office that the pack of cards I’d sent away for from a Rice Krispie packet turned up late and squashed (no doubt by some beer-bellied postman who decided to sit on it instead of showing up for work). I was appalled by Romford Post Office’s sarcastic response.
But this time it isn’t the Post Office in my angry sights but Charles Dunstone’s outfit. Recently I was cold-called by TalkTalk about their new service offering free broadband for life. Normally I would tell such callers to push off but for once I was in a good mood and it sounded like a good frugal deal so I was persuaded. Despite the fact DJ pointed out we were tied into a 12 month contract with Orange. I’m sure we can get around this, I told him.
Well, a few weeks later we had no broadband at all. Somehow the TalkTalk service knocked out our Orange service and the TalkTalk kit didn’t work. Unfortunately both of us were busy at work and had no time to spend hanging on for 20 minutes on a call centre line to complain so we put up with it for a few weeks, until I had a hour spare to call TalkTalk and say we wanted to switch back to BT. Eventually after about 15 minutes on hold I got through to a very aggressive Liverpudlian gentleman who wanted to know why we hadn’t called before. He then told me if I switched back to BT TalkTalk would probably charge me £70. I certainly wasn’t told this when I signed up! When I asked why TalkTalk were effectively forcing their customers into staying with them he got rather angry and shouted down the phone at me. Eventually he calmed down and offered to send another internet CD to see if this would work. But my mind was made up. £70 fee or no £70 fee I was going back to BT. I spoke to a lady at BT who actually had some manners. Unfortunately I had to pay a reconnection charge though.
Anyway, I’d forgotten about it all but was alarmed this week when I received a TalkTalk bill for the October- November period – especially when we’d switched back to BT in September AND lost our old number thanks to TalkTalk. So I queried it. TalkTalk told me the account was defunct but that as well as £20 that month they’d helped themselves to via direct debit they would soon be taking the £70 daylight robbery fee. I told the customer services operative, who was at least polite this time, that I wished to complain. There was no actual person to complain to (!) but she ordered me a ‘complaints callback’. Hilariously, the next day the phone rang. I picked it up and after a delay an automatic message kicked in. “It’s TalkTalk here…how would you like free calls?” a voice said. I couldn’t believe it. They’d given me a sales call instead of a complaints call! TalkTalk about the final insult! I have cancelled my direct debit forthwith and look forward to a good old-fashioned row. Not a frugal choice whatever they might tell you. And this list of Carphone Warehouse’s principles made me laugh.
What’s your experience of broadband/phone operators been lately? Leave a comment & let me know.