back to article TalkTalk starts offering punters choice to shift-shift to O2

TalkTalk has started offering customers the option of moving onto O2 when their contracts expire, as the beleaguered Brit telco plans to ditch mobile. Subscribers reaching the end of their contracts are being given the choice of either moving to a new O2 deal or switching to a different provider. TalkTalk has used Vodafone as …

  1. djstardust

    The beginning of the end .....


    Despicable company.

    The only people who use them are the ones who want the absolutely bottom cost and the stupid.

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Despicable company.

      You mean they have improved?

    2. getHandle

      Re: The beginning of the end .....

      Our TalkTalk broadband has been reliable and reasonably priced, but phoning them has been immensely frustrating. How can a Telco have such bad lines??

      And you know they're offshored when they struggle to understand an English accent... Actually, I think I just answered my first question!

      Trouble is, who is good value and provides good customer service?

      1. djstardust

        Re: The beginning of the end .....

        Well, that's the problem.

        The independent ISPs are twice the price for twice the service.

        You pay for what you get. That's business.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. My-Handle

        Re: The beginning of the end .....


        Cheaper or as cheap as BT. Reliable connection, even out in a rural part of Northern Ireland on a line that seemed to give BT constant issues. Good customer service too, according to reviews, though a year into the contract I've not yet had cause to ring them.

      4. Daniel Bower

        Re: The beginning of the end .....

        'Trouble is, who is good value and provides good customer service?'

        On a pedantic note surely 'good value' takes in to account things like customer service. It could be argued that Zen is good value as they are pretty much perfect as an ISP.

        You seem to be looking for a provider who is *cheap* with good customer service.

        /pedant mode off - down-voting can commence.

      5. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: The beginning of the end .....

        And you know they're offshored when they struggle to understand an English accent... Actually, I think I just answered my first question!

        My parents are with talk talk through a series of mergers. They were originally with Homechoice who were actually quite good and provided a TV service too. They were bought by Tiscali who were in turn bought by Talk Talk. That's where the rot set in and things went down hill. There were problems with the routers, the service, the customer service, the technical support etc.

        What annoyed me was the way they refused to accept that they were anything to do with Homechoice.

        I had already identified that the cable (they now live) somewhere rural with a telegraph pole supplying their landline/BB from the pole to the house had suffered a direct hit from something. We thought a lorry had done it and the wire was no longer connected to the house. I started the phone call to India informing the support bloke of this and asking for a BTOpenreach engineer to visit and fix it. I was asked if there was an email address that they could be contacted on that didn't rely on their broadband being functional. I said yes the ISP address you provide: which is available on their smart phones. It doesn't work logging in to the webmail though is that something you can help with?

        Bloke: "No you mean don't you"

        Me: "It's what I just said it was and I can spell it out phonetically if you need it."

        Bloke: That's not one of our email addresses sir.

        Me: Yes it is do a WHOIS search for

        Bloke: Ah well I don't have any information on that.

        Me: Great!

        Bloke: I'm going to transfer you to someone else

        So I explain the same thing to the new guy who is UK based.

        New Bloke: "You might want to switch to a Talk Talk email address you know"

        Me: "Why?"

        New Bloke: "Well that domain's quite old you know"

        Me:"So are my parents, and that's why we don't change things if at all possible. What does the age of the domain of the email address have to do with anything anyway?"

        New Bloke: "Well you might get switched off due to its age. We can't support everything indefinitely."

        Me: "How long have you worked in this job"

        New Bloke: "A while"

        Me: "Do you have any qualifications in anything IT related?"

        New Bloke: "I'm not sure I'm allowed to answer questions like that"

        Me: "Okay, can Talk Talk not afford to keep the payments up on the domain? It's not really that expensive is it? My domain name is a .com and only costs ~£10 a year."

        New Bloke: "I can't comment on the company or finances"

        Me: "Okay then, any news on when you can get BTOpenreach to send someone round to look at the external cable?"

        New Bloke: "We have yet to determine where the fault has occurred"

        Me: "Well the first step I would have thought would be to reconnect the landline through which the broadband reaches them wouldn't you? Would you like a picture of the cable hanging down from a telegraph pole to confirm it?"

        New Bloke: "................We'll send details of the first appointment available in an email to that address"

        Me: "Thank you, I have to go now my head hurts".

        1. Phil Endecott

          Re: The beginning of the end .....

          Better than ANY conversation I've ever had with a telco. Honestly.

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: The beginning of the end .....

      Which am I?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The beginning of the end .....

      Taking money on them rebranding shortly after ditching the O2 customers.

  2. Andrew 6

    Wonder what will happen to the "free" sims it gave out to those taking broadband with them

    They were giving all fibre broadband customers a free contract sim with a small allowance on, believe it was for as long as you kept broadband with them.

  3. Warm Braw

    Its "core strength"...

    ... is appearing to be cheap. That's increasingly difficult when a significant part of your cost base is attributable to third parties and you bring nothing else of your own to the offering that you can bundle.

  4. Snivelling Wretch

    "...the company wants to refocus on its core strength as a "fixed-line business"

    Core strength? Really?

    1. VinceH

      Well its "core strength" certainly isn't security!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Core strength?

    Remind me, yet again, who was named worst broadband provider of 2018

    Oh Yes.

  6. peterm3

    I was with TalkTalk from 2012 to 2015, I think I was paying about £17 a month for unlimited broadband with line rental. Cheap and cheerful. I even kept the mobile part until 2016.

    My experience was that they suffered from having promotions with new prices every few weeks, and the call centres struggled to keep up. I was told something by the call centre, but they then did something else.

  7. Velv
    Big Brother

    Big Brother is watching...

    Nearly every ad space on the article and comments page (for me at least) is for

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What are these "adverts" of which you speak?

      1. LeahroyNake

        I must agree, not seen any ads on The Reg mobile site since I got a new phone. The old one was requesting desktop/ full browser view.

  8. The C Man

    I must be a one off. TalkTalk managed to convince Open Reach that I needed at least a copper connection to the house in an area that still uses aluminium lines so my broadband speed is near enough what I pay for. Refunded me for slow broadband speeds. Changed my phone number to get away from fake calls. Philippine and South African call centres were always understanding of my needs. Apart from my free SIM from TalkTalk I have always been an O2 mobile user so it's all good news as far as I'm concerned.

  9. PNGuinn

    The question is ...

    I have (mercifully) no personal experience with Squark Squark.

    Did they supply phones on contract? If so they where they unlocked, locked to O2 or locked to their MNVO. Being a cynical b**ta*d, I suspect. the latter. Anyways, since their service is effectively about to go TITSUP, shouldn't they be unlocking all the phones fully for free on request?

    As far as I understand, if you're locked to O2 you can use a GiffGaff (wholly owned by O2) sim. Probably not if you're locked to a MNVO. Look at the GG deal - it might be good for you.

    The only problem I have had was when my wife was staying with her dad in the sticks. The O2 mast was down the hill on the outskirts of the nearest town, signal marginal at best, worse that dodgy when it was rainy or misty.

    The other problem was that the mast was overloaded - when the kids got out of school and were using their free GG to GG calls the network was unavailable. What I didn't find out was whether O2 prioritised O2 calls over GG Never had a problem anywhere else.

    1. 6491wm

      Re: The question is ...

      been using 02 since 2015 ?

      Nope my "free sim" is on Vodafone as was my other SIM (which I have just moved back to O2 whoo I was with previously)

    2. CustomCruiser

      Re: The question is ...

      TalkTalk did supply phones on contract, they weren't locked to any network. So no issues moving to a different SIM.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll say it again...

    Everyone experiences different things.

    I use TT in my second home, which is a holiday let. As such, I only use them for broadband.

    Yes, the sales call was horrendous, as it was a South African call centre and line quality was shocking.

    I tried to phone tech support once, which was to India I think, and that was just as bad.

    HOWEVER... I then discovered their online chat support, which works flawlessly and is very quick. When the line was set up, it wasn't working. TT had Openreach on site within forty minutes, who identified physical damage to the line and resolved it the same day. Since then, flawless top speed broadband for pennies. My last bill was £7.42 after I negotiated a bit with them due to the scrappy initial service.

    That was nine months ago and it's been fine since.

    Would take them any time over the far more expensive rivals.

  11. MrKrotos


    Burn in hell already!

  12. FlamingDeath Silver badge

    Why BalkBalk have any customers left is a surprise to me

    IMO there are really only two ISP's in this country, BT and Virgin Media, the rest are there because of a 'divvy up the pie' decision by OFCOM

    1. 6491wm

      "IMO there are really only two ISP's in this country, BT and Virgin Media"

      An Internet Service Provider by definition is a company which provides Internet Service, they don't have to also supply the infrastructure.

      Openreach, Virgin Media & Kcom (in the Hull area) are probably the big 3 infrastructure providers to the residential market.

      Even before LLU (2003/4 ?) there were many fine ISPs such as Demon & BullDog providing service over BTs wires.

  13. AlMay

    Can't complain

    I can't complain about TalkTalk and I've been with them since they were Tiscali. Yeah there's been an issue with the router, twice, but I still pay less than £18 a month for broadband and phone and that's all good with me.

    As for their crummy broadband I work from home and only once had an issue with it which was last year and then it only lasted for about half an hour. No issues with streaming stuff either and they don't seem to block sites that others do. The only real complaint I could honestly make is that their email hasn't always been the most reliable, and in the past has been really frustrating.

    Whenever I check reviews for various providers when my contract is ending there's always happy and unhappy customers. When all is weighed up I'm happy to stay with a reliable service (for me at least) if the price is right and it always is when you phone them and say you're not renewing.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They can’t make money in mobile?

    They days of mobile being a money printing business are long behind us, yet it remains a relatively easy place turn a profit, especially for an MVNO in what should now be a near fully IP based (not to mention virtualised) environment. This should be especially true for a company with many shop fronts in many prime locations and cheap as chips, outsourced customer service.

    That TalkTalk is looking at exiting the mobile business marks them out as something pretty special.

  15. Keith 12

    No Complaints here

    We have had TT 80/20 Fibre since it became available quite some years ago and I have to say the service has been impeccable.

    Their support helpline is awful and my sincere commiserations for the punter that needs to use that service. Their DNS Servers often have issues but, again, the savvy user has already configured a different secondary service - why they don't set that up, or suggest it, as standard practice is beyond me.

    Their online support Forum is absolutely superb, fast response and they do what they say they will do.

    I have to say though for such a large Company you would expect that information as to changes in their services would be easy to understand and fully transparent - the Wife just received notification as to changes in Mobile service, from the e-mail it's impossible to say whether the move is an option, in that TT will continue to offer a Mobile service as well, or, as The Reg. points out - the ONLY option is to move to either their suggested or another third party provider. Reading this article has saved me the trouble of putting a question to the TT Forum - Thank You.

    One final point - TT is the ONLY household services provider who, when asked not to ring us with the latest offers actually stopped calling us...

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