back to article Thousands fled TalkTalk after gigantic hack, confirm researchers

Around 250,000 broadband customers left TalkTalk following its major hack in October, according to research. Overall seven per cent of its broadband customers left for another provider during the quarter in which the hack occurred, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. However, the operator gained 100,000 more customers …

  1. Stuart 22 Silver badge

    Out of the frying pan into the fire

    "BT was the biggest beneficiary, picking up 40 per cent of this lost share, found the research."

    Did anyone catch Dido on C4 last week attack other folks for their failures but refusing to even countenance being asked about her own? The rot starts at the top in TalkTalk.

    But the again she did say all TalkTalk customers are enjoying their free upgrade in her 'let them eat cake' voice. Remind me what this generous upgrade was again?

    1. IvoryT

      Re: Out of the frying pan into the fire

      Talk-Talk offered me a choice of two free upgrades

      1) a free sim

      2) a broadband health-check, where someone would come to the house and check how healthy my broadband was.

      I needed neither. Was rather underwhelmed because this had been billed as a substantial upgrade as compensation for my worries and a reward for staying with them.

  2. Locky

    Wow

    "However, the operator gained 100,000 more customers during the period"

    Who on earth was changing their ISP and thought, "TalkTalk, I've heard of them on the news, they are the supplier I want to be with for the next 2 years?"

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Wow

      Presumably there is a strong correlation between new talk talk joiners and people who DONT watch/read the news.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Wow

        "Presumably there is a strong correlation between new talk talk joiners and people who DONT watch/read the news."

        Or same type that buys land and builds a home on a floodplain after a major flood.

        They figure (erroneously) that since disaster has already struck, Surely it must be a safe bet now.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Wow

      I suspect that they simply looked at the headline price. TalkTalk is cheap, at least on the face of it.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Wow

        well presumably they might learn from thir mistakes , or at least correct that one issue of encryption.

        My Dad stayed cos they bribed him with some offers. Also if so few are using them your speeds might go up!

      2. Velv
        Pint

        Re: Wow

        "TalkTalk is cheap, at least on the face of it."

        Ah, I see what you did there...

  3. SkippyBing

    People Joined?!

    I left the poorly enacted farce that is Talk Talk, the hacking being the straw that broke the camel's back, the pissing on the camel's carcass was them continuing to bill me. I can't believe people actually joined though, what were they thinking?!

    1. Jason Bloomberg

      Re: People Joined?!

      I can't believe people actually joined though, what were they thinking?!

      Most likely that, at the proverbial end of the day, they are all as bad as each other. I would expect the, generally true, positive outlook that "misfortune mostly happens to other people", plays its part.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They are rubbish

    My mother in law died 14 months ago and we cancelled her talk-talk phone then. We are still getting bills. When we phone up to complain, we get "No, you are right, you shouldn't have to pay anything". Within a week, we get another one.....

    1. JimmyPage

      Re: Dead customers

      The problem here, is that the person you are *talking* to, rightly or wrongly, will have no authority or ability to amend customer details. This is self-evident the first contact you get after complaining.

      At that point, it's pointless to continue trying to make changes by repeating the process - you'll end up with the same problem.

    2. Oliver 7

      Re: They are rubbish

      Yup, they wrote me a letter saying they were hiking prices and I was entitled to leave 'without penalty' (as per Ofcom guidelines). When I was so bold as to follow through with this they billed me ~£180 for terminating my contract (which was three times more than the remaining value of my contract anyway). Took numerous calls to India to have the balance sorted. The same thing happened the year before with my SIM contract.

      It would seem the customer service drones aren't informed what the bean counters are doing. Or, more likely, they deliberately bill people and see who complains and make life so difficult you wish you hadn't left. I'm out now and I ain't going back any time soon.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They are rubbish

      My mother in law died 14 months ago and we cancelled her talk-talk phone then. We are still getting bills

      Take your complaint to the Communications Ombudsman. They aren't usually quick, but they usually deliver. Not only will they force TwatTwat to sort it out, and probably pay you some desultory compensation, but simply by Ombusdman Services taking the case on, TwatTwat will be charged a circa £400 case fee.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: They are rubbish

        "Take your complaint to the Communications Ombudsman. They aren't usually quick, but they usually deliver"

        It's the "not quick" part that's the killer. The ombudsman is slower than a month of wet sundays with no internet.

        You're not required to take the ombudsman route. Small claims is faster - and you can still make a complaint to the ombudsman to force an apology out of them, etc.

    5. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: They are rubbish

      As others have noted, the person you speak to has no authority to make changes to billing.

      A small claims filing works wonders at focussing their attention though. TT are well-known for settling as soon as the paperwork lands on their doorstep or if they hold out, on the courtroom steps.

  5. Kane Silver badge
    Go

    Response

    "TalkTalk kept stumm stumm when asked by The Register for comment."

    Shouldn't that be StummStumm instead? You know, in the flavour of things...

    1. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

      Re: Response

      Has AppleApple anything to say?

      Thought not.

  6. Mage Silver badge

    “Customers have lost faith in TalkTalk as a trustworthy brand."

    Ha Ha Ha

    If honest advertising was enforced and easier to leave they not really be gaining any and losing a lot more.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    7% = lost faith ?

    Weird, does that mean that 93% of the customer base doesn't care ?

    Because if they haven't left by now, they won't be leaving because of the hack if/when they do.

    This is the problem I have with these grand statements. If TalkTalk customers had really lost faith, then it would be more than 7% leaving it, it would be more than 50%.

    But these days, anything that is over 5% is treated like a major disruption. Meanwhile, it seems to me that TalkTalk will not go bankrupt anytime soon. So it's business as usual, with a slight shift in figures.

  8. Berny Stapleton

    Expiring contracts

    Let's see what happens over the next year if they lose 7% of their customer base every quarter. People couldn't leave without penalty before; I wonder how many have put marks on their calendar for an exit date.....

    Actually, are Paddy Power running a book on this?

    1. Stuart 22 Silver badge

      Re: Expiring contracts

      Let's see what happens over the next year if they lose 7% of their customer base every quarter. People couldn't leave without penalty before; I wonder how many have put marks on their calendar for an exit date....."

      Sadly cynical companies rely on people who have short memories and no calendars. I doubt this report will get much exposure in the national media to remind them. The hacks have moved on. The decline will tail off until the next TalkTalk disaster - and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

    2. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Expiring contracts

      What they do as a matter of standard practice is to offer a "free something" to anyone who is coming up to the end of a contract. They won't mention any details - just phone up and offer a freebie. 2 years ago with my now SWMBO it was a "free" new router so she's ready when faster fibre broadband is available. Late last year it was a "free" TV box.

      As they phone up, and don't mention any downsides, most idiopunters simply accept. If they decide to leave a month later - they find they can't as the sly beggars signed you up to a new 18 or 24 month contract.

      I was "somewhat miffed" to find DWMBO had accepted this deal as I'd been waiting to switch. Of course, when I called to exercise our legal cooling off rights, we got the hard sell - but I think the guy got the idea from the tone of my responses that he needn't try too long.

      Didn't stop them trying to bill us an extra £280 in cancellation charges though. Took several hours with their online chat people to sort that out.

  9. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    You have to hand it to TT

    They are still out there plugging away to get new business.

    Only this week, I've had two personally addressed mailings from them about their BB/Phone etc.

    I use them to light the wood burner.

    I have a pile of similar mailings from VM and Sky in the basked beside the fire.

    Thanks guys for the free paper. Never gonna sigh up but keep them coming (please)

    1. aidanstevens

      Re: You have to hand it to TT

      VM regularly send me what I can only describe as A4 brochures in the post. If you call them they say they cannot take you off their mailing list (BT, to their credit, are happy to oblige and actually do it). I have zero intention of ever getting VM and every bit of marketing they send me makes me despise them even more.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: You have to hand it to TT

        "If you call them they say they cannot take you off their mailing list "

        If it's addressed to you directly they are lying and possbly breaking the law. If it's addressed to "The occupier" and part of an area wide mail bomb I think only the Post Office can stop those if you write to them and ask them to not deliver unaddressed mail. If it's one of the leaflet deliver companies there's nothing you can do about it.

  10. Vince

    What What load of cobbler this article is.

    "confirms" is in fact "suspects" at best.

    They have no information on how many customers TalkTalk have or indeed haven't lost.

    I doubt they've lost that many customers.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      The statistics are fairly good for this

      A 15k survey is a pretty good sample size.

      If they have a similar error to the polls before the last election (considered "shockingly inaccurate") then Talk Talk saw a drop of between 5% and 10% of their customer base.

      Given how tight their margins must be, that's pretty disastrous. If that scale of loss recurs then Dido will have to strap on her parachute quickly, before there isn't a company to leave.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The statistics are fairly good for this

        "[...] then Dido will have to strap on her parachute [...]"

        then Dido will have to strap on her golden parachute

        FTFY

  11. pewpie

    Reminds me of that episode of 'One Man And His Dog'

    ...y'know.. the one where the sheep helplessly bumble from pen to pen to hide from the dogs.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its not the leaving customers that prompted action...

    ...it was the drop in stock value by almost 20% at one stage, sitting around 10-11% down now. Not a good place to be for a CEO...

  13. Roger Greenwood

    Well something is going on . . .

    . . as the soonest time they can get me an engineer to visit is 4 WEEKS. Connection very intermittent, exhausted all on line tests etc . . .

    They claimed it was because they were so busy with new customers. I tried not to laugh.

    Patience now running thin, but as has been pointed out above, all the cheap operators have a reputation as bad as each other.

  14. Asterix the Gaul

    Just as people get the 'government' they deserve,so too with companies,whether companies customers,or voters voting, FFS use use that 1% of grey matter,even if the other 99% is dead or absent,because the rest of us suffer when you don't.

  15. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    FAIL

    TalkTalk keep StummStumm

    Really? You'd think they would be shouting from the rooftops about their new secure data systems that they installed to make sure that there's not a repeat of the last data theft. Or the one before that. Or the other one before that...oh...wait!

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