All change for Talk Talk - free calls, charges, packages
When BT decided to change the hours of free evening calls for their customers, it wasn't the most popular of ideas. From April, free evening calls will begin at 7pm, not 6pm, a change BT attempted to justify by simply reiterating the facts: "We’ve looked into it and 6pm to 7pm is a busy time for calling, but it’s the time when people make short, organisational calls. It’s between 8pm and 9pm when they sit down to have a chat." Of course that made no sense whatsoever, since BT were admitting they were going to charge you for those 'short, organisational calls' that used to be free, and make even more money at a 'busy time for calling'.
Clearly there's plenty of profit to be made during that golden hour, because Talk Talk is also changing their terms of service to redefine the meaning of 'evening', and shift their free calls back from 6pm - 6am to 7pm - 7am. But rather than rest on their laurels, Talk Talk are also raising the cost of daytime/peak rate calls (and calls that exceed 60 minutes at any time) from 4.6p per minute to 5.8p per minute - an increase of 26 per cent. Their call connection charge is also increasing to 9.9p per call, an increase of eight per cent. The increases come into effect on 1 June and are detailed on their website.
If you're hip-deep in your Talk Talk contract, then according to the terms and conditions (PDF file), the increases mean you may be able to cancel your contract without penalty:
9.16 ...should we increase the Charges we shall provide you with thirty (30) days notice of such increase and the increase will take effect from the end of that period. In this instance you may, in accordance with and subject to the provisions of clause 15.1, be entitled to terminate our Services made available under these Conditions.
15.1 ...to the extent that such changes are to your material detriment or relate to an increase in the charges, we will give you at least thirty (30) days notice of such changes by writing to you and/or publishing them on our Website.
Another change spotted by avid Bitterwallet reader John is that the Talk Talk Essentials package no longer offers free anytime local calls - now if you want these, you have to pay for a £4 'boost' add-on. Digging through the support forums, it appears this change came into force last month and is only applicable to new customers; existing customers on Talk Talk Essentials shouldn't be affected. That said, check your allowances if renew your Essentials package in the future - it's likely free anytime local calls won't be included, though you may be left to assume they are.