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TalkTalk woes... yes it's a common enough complaint topic. I moved from Tiscali because I only had a 0.5MB link capability to my house due to the distance from the exchange giving a poor line quality. I became a so-called bandwidth abuser under their fair usage policy but when I asked to increase (and offer to pay for) my increased usage, I was told to upgrade to an 8MB package. Why would I with only 0.5MB capability to the house? They don't care about actual bandwidth, only the quantity you download. When the line was problematic it averaged 3 days to get BT involved to re-route my signal, which took the (very efficient) BT engineer only 15 minutes to do! So, after being fed up offering to pay more but only being given their standard package offers, I moved to TalkTalk. What a mistake that was.
TalkTalk offered 'free' broadband. This basically means you get bugger all comeback on asking for refunds and allows them to have a poor service and poor support to go with it, yet still bind you to contract because its 'free'. My situation, I still had a poor quality signal, even in a new housing estate area in a brand new house. This isn't helped by Joe Bloggs the builder trashing the BT connection regularly. Firstly the poor SNR (signal to noise ratio) was causing the card in the exchange to lock-up. After days of phone calls logged, the engineers would reset their card in the exchange and declare the problem as resolved. Resolved meant I got a carrier signal (green light stays on) but the download speed was 1.5KB/s which in layman's terms means 1 web page every 10 minutes. Not exactly broadband!
Anyway, the card kept locking up. Further complaints - they reset the card and said the end users equipment or wiring must be faulty. Incorrect assumption, bad assumption. I changed micro filters, modems, unplugged everything and went through all the usual diagnostics. It was definitely not my house, so three and a half weeks later I finally get an interactive relay to the engineers through the 2nd tier support service and they test my line with nothing plugged in. They FINALLY aknowledge that the line between me and the exchange is at fault.
Phew - we're getting somewhere and it's only taken then three weeks so far! So it will be fixed in 3 days then, just call out BT? Nope, apparently the service centre has to issue a callout ticket to the engineer, who will then call out BT, even though they've just figured out the line is at fault! Why so complicated?
Anyway, this new ticket arrived blank for the call out to BT, so instead of questioning why they had blank tickets they just ignored it. Now four weeks later and the support centre have re-sent the ticket to the engineers to call out BT. God only knows whether or not their incompetence can extend any further, but when I am back online I intend to download hacks for WEP and use the neighbours wireless connection, and hope and pray that WiMax is received in the area soon.
I spent 6 years living in Canada and since returning the the UK I have been utterly appalled at the complete lack of customer service, it has to be the worst in the world. I think the relevance of the arguments about using international call centres pale into insignificance compared to the way issues get escalated. One of the options on the phone should be "please press one if you have an IQ above 100, please press two if you don't know what an IQ is". For a degree qualified electronics engineer with 16 years experience in designing wired and wireless modem silicon chips, I find myself wanting to go postal at the idiotic way the ISPs handle real problems rather than the numpty "reset the box" type issues.
If its not fixed after a month I will have to call trading standards to try exit the contract. All ISPs jump to threats once you try to exit a contract, its probably the only time you'll get immediate response from them.
Frustrated.... i'll say!