Sunday, December 10, 2006

talk talk broadband

I decided to take advantage of the offer of the free broadband being provided by talk talk , the telephone and internet service that is part of the Carphone Warehouse . I signed up for their package on 5th July 2006 and was told that the free broadband access would go-live by the end of September 2006. There has been a lot of media attention about the ability of talk talk to connect customers to it's free broadband service with a backlog of orders that were not completed on time. I hoped that the initial problems would be resolved and that we would be connected by the end of September 2006 as promised. We were told that we could migrate from Orange Broadband to talk talk free broadband as easily and swiftly as we did with our voice telephone calls from BT. All we needed to do was to pass on a MAC code to talk talk for this to happen. Talk talk contacted us twice by post asking for a MAC code and I replied twice supplying a MAC code. The end of September 2006 came and went without any contact from talk talk about being connected to their free broadband service. The customer care telephone service of talk talk is legendary, calls held in a queue for a long time and eventually answered in India by staff who have trouble resolving issues. The answers they give contradict previous answers and statements that were given. I tried the website and submitted queries but the responses suggested there was a problem with our telephone line. Eventually we were told that it was not possible to migrate from Orange Broadband to talk talk broadband because our telephone exchange had been unbundled. We were assured that the only way to get talk talk broadband was to disconnect from Orange Broadband, tell talk talk that the line was clear and then they could put us in the queue to be connected. Had we not pushed talk talk and kept asking to change our internet connection then I think they would not have contacted us to offer connection as they obviously have trouble coping with the existing demand for their service. I was not happy that talk talk did not contact us first and explained what was wrong and to give us a go-live date. They have had their money and we entered into this contract in good faith only to be abandoned over our internet connection. The industry should be able to migrate customers from one internet service provider to another as simply as changing voice telephone calls or energy providers. I get the impression that the internet service providers are being difficult to keep their market share and in the case of talk talk to reduce costs by discouraging internet users from switching their provider.

We disconnected from Orange Broadband on 29th October 2006 and it was not until we returned from our holiday on 10th December 2006 that we were eventually able to use talk talk broadband. The broadband service must have been connected any day whilst we were away on holiday between 26th November and 9th December 2006. We received a letter whilst we were away stating the our broadband was connected on the 1st December 2006. That is a long time since we signed up for the deal on 5th July 2006 when we were promised connection by the end of September 2006. A 2 month delay in connecting to broadband is not good at all and any internet user considering changing internet service provider should bear this in mind. To be without any broadband connection for over 4 weeks is a discrace and should never happen in a civilised, industrial society in 2006.

Remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch and there is generally a catch somewhere!
Comments:
Orange home broadband have three packages to choose from. All have 18 month contracts and require a BT or similar home line.
Home Starter costs £12 a month or £5 a month with an 18 or 24 month mobile plan
- Up to 2Mb*
- Standard wireless modem
- 6GB a month usage allowance
- Wireless connection
- Evening and weekend UK landline calls included
- Security, e mail and webspace
Home Select costs £20 a month or £10 a month with an 18 or 24 month mobile plan
- Up to 8Mb*
- Livebox wireless modem
- Unlimited usage allowance (fair usage policy applies)
- Wireless connection
- Second line for internet calling
- Security, e mail and webspace
Home Max costs £24 a month or £15 a month with an 18 or 24 month mobile plan
- Up to 8Mb*
- Livebox wireless modem
- Unlimited usage allowance (fair usage policy applies)
- Wireless connection
- Telephone line rental included
- Evening and weekend UK landline calls included
- Second line for internet calling
- Security, e mail and webspace
* Speeds in excess of 2 meg are only available in certain areas. Top speeds vary significantly, particularly according to how far away you live from the exchange. If your line won’t support Orange’s fastest broadband speed they’ll give you the best available. The speed you actually get can also vary depending on the quality of your line, the wiring in your house, the time of day and even the weather.
 
Even looking at the cheapest Orange Broadband price of £12 a month - we have saved £144 this last year. That is a big, big saving for exactly the same internet experience.

I am glad that we made the switch to Talk Talk broadband, it costs us nothing and the internet experience is great.
 
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