Worst Company in Britain Round 6:Tiscali vs. Play.com and CPW vs. Orange

20 December 2008

RyanAir vs. Vodafone and Natwest vs. British Airways matched off yesterday in a close race.  Some of your comments in this round include:

Martin: Vodafone are great for me. 15p for up to one hour calls from a mobile to a landline during the evening. Ideal for my usage.Ryanair - 1p flights that end up costing over £50. No thanks.

Dank: Bloody hell, clash-of-the-crap-titans or what?!! Vodafone or RyanAir?!

Mark Baguley: I can’t really believe you put Natwest up against BA, for me it’s a no brained, Natwest have been a fantastic bank over the past 6 years, all the staff I’ve delt with have been friendly and willing to help, even if the Head Office are being stupid about things. To be honest I’ve had the same experience with BA but the terminal 5 thing doesn’t do them any favours!!

Vodafone are Terrible: Vodafone are the worst company I have ever come accross

Ryanair are terrible: Because people have different opinion you fucking retarded twat. Vodafone have been excellent for me, always answered quickly, and any issues resolved without fuss. Ryanair are a pain in the backside mind, and the greatest of the two evils, hence my vote goes for them.

Interestingly, Natwest beat BA by a small margin vote of 52% (143 votes) to 48% (130 votes), while RyanAir flew right through with 67% of votes.

Today's 2 rounds will be between Tiscali vs. Play.com and CPW vs. Orange

You know the drill by now.  Just pick the company of your choice below, and click submit!

[poll id="12"] [poll id="13"]


  • Gus
    Play won't have a chance against tiscali!
  • Craig
    I've had talktalk home phone & broadband - massive speed increase & saved me a fortune. BT keep ringing me up & I tell them I'd communicate by smoke signals before I went back to them.
  • Will
    I voted Play. Absolutely horrendous company that I will NEVER do business with again. The amount of times I've ordered stuff from them only to be told that its no longer in stock, no longer available or will be sent out to me when it next becomes available! I've also ordered things from them like battery packs which have turned up to be totally different unbranded things that don't work. I've also had faulty batches of stuff sent to me - where things don't work so I return them, only to be sent another faulty item. Their customer services are absolutely useless too - very friendly but they don't have a clue wtf is going on half the time.
  • Will
    Tiscali are pretty awful too - they seem to be drying up the market too by taking over all the small companies. Once they've taken over them they offer pathetic caps, slow internet speeds and the most appauling customer services you could ask for. I voted play for the reason above, and for as far as I'm concerned you get what you pay for. Pay hardly anything for your internet with Tiscali - get the same budget support and download speeds.
  • Steven
    I bought dozens of things of Play over past year and have always found their service to be first class. By contrast my experiences of Tiscli were a nightmare. Poor speeds, massive online gaming lag and a complete run around from their foreign call centres. I still shudder when I think of all those lost hours of my life on the phone to Tiscali trying to sort things out- mostly on hold in a queue!
  • Adam
    Anyone that's had to endure the trials and tribulations of claiming cashback from the CPW will know this is a no contest.
  • Zain
    Orange by a mile - they really do suck.
  • Mike W.
    I've had the unfortunate experience of somehow arriving on the CPWs cold calling list (through TalkTalk their landline provider). Five or 6 times I explained that I wasnt interested in switching, that I had a contract with another provider and that I was happy on the plan that I was on. The reply was always the same - "So you're telling me you're not interested in saving money Sir? So you're telling me you're not interested in saving money Sir? So you're telling me you're not interested in saving money Sir...?" I'm sure it was even the same South African guy calling me, and he would continue to speak over me when I was trying to explain - he just wouldn't listen to my answers. In the end, he called me on a bad day and I ended up telling him exactly where to shove his cheaper prices. I also had to subscribe to the telephone preference service to stop unwanted sales calls, which is bad considering my problems all stem from one single company. CPW - my favourites to win this whole competition!
  • Aidan
    Don't know why Orange is on here. I think they're great. Good coverage, prices, customer service and features.
  • MR C.
    Tiscali have been charging me £31 a month for the last year (yes thats right, 12months+, or 2 Christmases and counting), for a £19.99 package. I know I'm stupid to stay with them but they keep assuring me, I will get a) a refund & b) the tariff changed to the correct amount. Tiscali not only take the biscuit, but they hoover up all the crumbs and take them too. I hope Tiscali "win" this whole thing, they deserve a huuuuugeeeee FINE too! BAH!
  • MR C.
    Oh, I have even asked them if their "£", "1" & "9" Keys are broken on their keyboard, they haven't given me a reply as yet....... Their Enter key must be up the swanny too.
  • Kat
    Why are Play on here?! I have used them at least 100 times over the past 18 months or so and they have never let me down. Fast, free delivery, great prices - fantastic!
  • rr
    play have spoilt my christmas bought 3 games for my son two weeks ago and they still havent arrived despite their claims that they are shipped to make matters worse, they won't talk to me about it until 31st december. thanks
  • Chris
    Play are awesome, voted Tiscali obviously... Free delivery, great sales, never had a problem with them. Delivery can take up to a week, but that's not their fault, usually dispatched 1-2 days after I've placed my order, and is generally delivered 4-5 days later depending on when the weekend falls. If I lived in England I'm sure it would arrive sooner! Also voted Orange as worse than CPW, just don't like them to be honest... Never had any problems with CPW either, although I don't use it that often! The staff were helpful though when I went to help my girlfriend buy a new phone - Recommended buying it on Orange to save £10-20 compared to the O2 tarrif, and also explained the phone was already unlocked! Good on them.
  • jinkssick
    I have broadband with Tiscali and even though they seem to have this ''leech'' effect of bad service that they cannot get away from, they do provide slightly fast internet 4megs at an affordable AND unlimited service Play on the other hand I have had many a trouble, just two days away got sent DVDRs in the post and its incredible how they arrived. http://img186.imageshack.us/my.php?image=p1270236pg8.jpg http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/8831/p1270237yt1.jpg It sounded like a lego box when I got it.
  • ODB
    WTF??? Have used Play since '99, over 500 items from them as well...never, ever had a problem that they didnt rectify straight away...best company I have ever dealt with
  • Daniel
    My sister is with orange, shes now onto her 8th contract phone in 5 months because there software is shite, spent £20 so far this month tryin to get a £15 a month contract phone working. and theres no coverage at all in cambridge so shes constantly waving it about.
  • ad
    tiscali , seems acctivating a puk code plus phoneing to cancel -twice- plus letters just isnt good enough for them , like an ex-wife trying to suck every penny they just wouldnt except i was gone , it got to the dept collecting agency point before i decided enough was enough and had to start court precedings against them before they would fuck off and leave me alone , the sad fact is they also took an extra months money from my account so stole from me also the dirty deceptive thieves , use at your peril oh and if tiscali would care to contact me ive retained every hint of communication and can happly substanciate everything ive said , poor service just doesnt cover it
  • John
    Without hesitation I've chosen Tiscali as the worst of this pair and I definitely think they are the top candidate for worst company in Britain. Their service is generally very poor and their customer services are just dire, I often have to step in for people to try and get problems sorted out as when they phone they're just fobbed off and don't have the technical knowledge to defend that. I do like Play but I'm not that keen on their customer services, they don't make any effort at all to correct their own mistakes. You're expected to post the item back at your own cost and once received they will post out the correct item. Sometimes this does work and you're left waiting several weeks for the item that Play should have sent out the first time or they file it as never received which means you get your replacement item quicker but you don't get your postage money back. I was particularly annoyed when I ordered a load of books on special offer which they mucked up but put as not received so it would have been cheaper to buy them at the normal price elsewhere. I will continue to use Play as their errors are a fairly low percentage of what I order but still they've made more errors (comparatively) than any other company I've used and they're one of the worst in dealing with them. John
  • adman
    Tiscali areo ne of the worst companies I have ever dealt with. I'm not sure how play.com even made the shortlist for worst company though... Sometimes stuff is mispriced or out of stock but this happens everywhere. Generally a great site IMO.
  • Mitch
    Don't usually partake in these debates but felt compelled to jump to the defence of Play! I was shocked to see them nominated for worse company given that I've been ordering from them regularly for years without a problem. I think they were instrumental in their free delivery on everything approach a few years back in driving other bigger high street names to follow their lead - it's always been a personal bug bear of mine with online shopping to see great headline prices, only to find the addition of P&P brings the final total to damn near high street prices, and a lot of these sites do their utmost to keep the P&P cost hidden until you're at the checkout (hmm, I wonder why?!). Play have consistently been the cheapest price with free delivery on many items and with a very clean and easy to use website (including checkout). However, often the true test of a company is when things go wrong, which happens to all companies at some time, and indeed last month I experienced an issue with Play sending me the wrong item. However, flagging this with them was straightforward, the correct item was despatched immediately and I was refunded the cost of returning the wrong item. Aside from the slight inconvenience of having to go to the PO to send it back recorded, this was a great example of how to correct a mistake! So it's a non-brainer. Regardless of what my experience of Tiscali was I'd have to vote for them over Play. The fact that Tiscali are useless and took 12 months to fix my father in laws broadband problem despite me telling them the root cause in the first month isn't actually relevant in this face off with Play! Oh and no, before you ask, no I don't work for them!
  • WBRacing
    I have used Play since the very start and never had a problem with them at all. Their support has been prompt and always polite. Sometimes stuff might go out of stock - it does happen in shops that sell stuff you know!!
  • Hugh R.
    Orange by a country mile; they're complicit in these reverse-charged SMS scams where you get hammered £1.50 a throw for unsolicited texts. I've had three different accounts with them over the years and each one was affected.
  • ed
    tiscali are atrocious, play.com are great, this is a one-sided affair!
  • Andy
    Oh god, Orange or Carphone Warehouse - thats probably the first one I've had to think about! I'll go with Orange though seeing as aswell as being bad - they're also pretentious cunts.
  • Hassan
    Orange is one of the worst comapnies i have dealt with. I was having internet problems. So i had to phone up customer services.I was waiting around 45 minutes, on my mobile. Then when they finally got to my call. I was told the only way they could help is if i bought a new ADSL filter from them. I was disgusted and cancelled my conract striaght away. Also switched mobile phone provider from them. They are never getting any business again from me. Ever.
  • Chris
    Play is a fantastic company. I have ordered hundreds of items and only ever had one problem - which I put down to Royal Mail (as Play said they'd dispatched). I complained to Play who sent another item immediately. I actually ended up sending that back after Royal Mail eventually delivered the original and replacement package. If only every company, including Royal Mail, were like Play!!
  • JimBob
    I have used Play for many years with only 2 small problems - I ordered a camera a month ago and after reporting I hadn't received it after 2 weeks. The girl apologised and said she would send out a new one. She did send out a new one BUT it was another 42" Samsung Plasma TV which I had ordered as the same time as the camera. So no real complaints from me! Play's prices have always been competitive with no delivery costs to think about no matter where you live in the UK.
  • skdotcom
    Play are pants. They cancelled one of my orders 2 days ago, with no email to let me know they had done it. Why wait 2 weeks to cancel an order and then not tell you? I was expecting this to be delivered before xmas. Total tw4ts, as I now have to go into town and face the xmas shopping madness to get a present I thought I'd already sorted out.
  • Adrian
    I've had three phones from CPW with cashback, and had absolutely no problem whatsoever, even when I lost all the information regarding the deal, I just went into the store and they sorted it out. Two of the phones had faults after 13 months - again, no argument, just sorted out the problems...Orange, however, have been dire, with their customer service being inept at best. I wouldn't vote for Play as I've always had a good experience with them, so Tiscali, being one of the biggest NetNazis going, get my vote!
  • Pizza_D_Action
    Never had problems with Play myself, if fact the exact opposite.
  • Mike
    Hmm, this is a tough one. On the one hand, I am still waiting for my micro SDHC card from Play.com that was apparently posted first class 11 days ago, but which I can't report as lost for another 10 days. However, on the other hand Tiscali never failed to produce - whether it be days on the run with no service, or the fact that I was obviously traffic shaped but the monkeys on the end of the phone didn't know what traffic shaping was and insisted I reboot my router 10 times before they'd even humour me. Eventually gave up. Oh they're both so good, is there any way they can both be winners?
  • Tin
    Confusing, Play have passed my personal test of any online company - sorting stuff out quickly and accurately when things go wrong. Tiscali have no chance, when they roll out a LLU network with equipment with bugs and deny over and over again anything is wrong. CPV v Orange? Difficult but I think an Orange CS manager saying it was not worth their time working out how much they owed after overbilling me takes the cake.
  • sedgwick
    I've been with Talktalk since they started, I get the full 8megs broadband for free, regularly download way more than the 40gig cap with not a word from them, incredibly cheap phone calls, this is the best phone/broadband package bar-non.
  • mac
    Never really had any problems with Play when I've used them, up against Tiscali it's not really any competition is it? As for Orange v CPW, I didn't like the pestering staff in the latter so headed for the Orange shop and have been a customer (both as PAYG and contract) ever since. I had no problem ending my contract and going back to PAYG either, so I'm, pretty happy with them - wouldn't consider using orange for broadband though....
  • Mr I.
    BitterWallet sucks
  • John E.
    Play are great at sending expensive items out with the protection of a platic bag. When I bought guitar hero for my son last year it looked like it really had fallen off the back of a lorry... one that was going at 60mph! Anything bigger than a dvd... be prepared... if it doesn't fit in a jiffy bag... your item will come battered and bruised
  • Cubed
    I completely balls'd up my vote. I thought I was voting for the better company, not the worst. Please erase my vote as I voted for PLAY.COM. They are an awesome company, no troubles at all. If it wasn't for these guys, we'd all be forced to buy from Amazon at their original ludicrous prices (remember when they only used to sell books and cd/dvds?). TISCALI DOWN THE SHI**ER.
  • adsdasd
    what is aria computers doing there? they are brilliant
  • mattsuemon
    carphone warehouse gotta say they are so bad with their cold calling misleading sales and caps avoid like the plague
  • Exile
    I have to agree with the prvious comments regarding Play packaging. Play send me a 3.5" hard disk in just a plastic bag (no jiffy bag). Not surprisingly, given the dent in the metal casing and the cracked PATA drive connector it did not work whe it arrived. I wonder if they will ever get around to refunding me...
  • Martyn
    Never ever had a problem with Play. Ordered my first dvd from them in Nov 2002. Had about 3 go missing in the post but they sent new ones straight away after 14 days. Play.com is probably my favourite online shop.
  • sophie
    i worked for play a couple of christmases ago, and the amount of people ringing saying i had spoilt there day was amazing! loads of shouting and swearing, if we were delivering by hand i would get it but it wasn't us that spoilt it, it was the shifty postal worker that nicked your parcel as it was winging its way to you!! so don't shout at customer services, its a low paid call centre with long hours and they don't deserve it!!
  • s s.
    Tiscali offered to "upgrade" my homechoice internet and cable TV package to include phone supply, a faster broadband and cheaper price. To cut a VERY long story short , they left me without ANY phone service of any kind , no tv and no internet for 7 weeks. i am disabled and need my phone and internet for emergencies and shopping online etc... They were SO unhelpful and it lead to solicitor intervention. Took me 2 months to get back to BT and find a new broadband provider. They eventually offered £200 compensation 6 months later, after getting Offcom etc... involved. This company is , in my opinion, an absolute nightmare and best avoided.
  • tim
    /Orange are terrible
  • James
    Orange technical support is so bad it's funny, providing you're not relying on them to do anything. I have had no second phone line for nearly a year and ring them up once a month or so, whenever I happen to feel like an argument, to be told that 'the problem has been escalated to the highest level'. I don't mind, because I don't really need the second line and every so often they give me my line rental free as an apology.
  • Terry G.
    blimey - that's a struggle -two of the most immoral companies I've had the mispleasure to deal with. Orange who refused to accept that a bunch of calls made from my stolen phone to Ghana were in anyway fraudulent V's CPW who handed my bank details to just about any company that wanted them. ERsulting in god knowsw how much time cancelling direct debits that were set up without my knowledge. Hm. One likes to profit fropm the results of illegal behaviour. And the other likes to profit from the results of illegal behaviour. Don't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as play.
  • Play.com’s B.
    [...] customer service. As always, we’d love to hear more, but here’s a corker from BW reader jinkssick, concerning Play.com: Play.com on the other hand, I have had many a trouble with… just two [...]
  • Dee
    Orange are absolutely terrible! One of the worst companies I've had the unfortunate pleasure of having to deal with. I swear I'd actually be highly surprised if they could supply a simcard/package that actually does what it says on the box! In the last few months i purchased a new Motorola phone, but the sim card that came with it didn't support picture messages (although the phone did- figure that one out). I then got a new sim card which i registered online but was unable to top up anywhere apart from a cash point as they failed to supply me with a pin code. I recently purchased this simcard: http://shop.orange.co.uk/shop/sim/payg_sim, went to activate the card but they had "technical issues". Tried again the next day, and the next, but still the same problem. Gave in and rang a number it gave me, phone was registered ok, but no sign of the texts. Contacted orange the next day and was put through to customer services who told me they'd put the texts on my account and i'd recieve them in a few hours- 48 hrs later and still nothing! I've since sent them a few emails- but do you think I have any reply at all?
  • This S.
    Having been with Tiscali for the past 6 years I can only say that I've never had a problem with them, I have speeds faster than that which I pay for, and have never been capped, overcharged, undercharged, mugged, beaten about the head with a wet fish, or suffered any other indignities, apparently I can get 02 for £6.50 per month, but better the devil you know, and the Tiscali devil has been quite good for me. I voted for Play.com, the state of that blokes DVDR's is shocking, and they did "forget" to send my PS3 headset for a few days, though I got it in the end, and before they hiked the price up from £17.99 to £39.99 too!!!. Tiscali Rocks.
  • Andy
    Orange were bad a while ago, however I've given them the benefit of the doubt a few times. My local cell site went down for a month and a half. when it was working again my signal was better than before. Awesome! . . . but no. . . went down again a week later. was offline for a further 2 weeks. all in all not bad service though, as a business user they gave back my line rental, plus some as a sorry. was happy my calls are cheap and do that cinema thing on a wednesday. even better now as apparently they do a pizza free thing 2 on same night? But, carphone (retail) were rude and made assumptions about my requirements. the sales guy spent most of his time ignoring me, followed by one of the most arrogant sales spills ever. on my second visit to another store I spent 15 minutes waiting, before the guy vanished out the back foer a further 5. went to orange shop direct, actually knew what they were doing and were not pushy at all. all in all Orange win over carphone warehouse any day.
  • Play.com B.
    [...] Play.com appeared in our Worst Company of 2008 vote, many of you were apoplectic with stunned disbelief. Accordingly, the Jersey-based [...]
  • Tony
    I have had no problems with Play.com but Tiscali is an awful company to deal with. I don't have a mobile and don't want one so I can't make statements on them. But I can Tiscalli really awful!!
  • Getnews
    Hey there! tihs is a very successful site. You can find whatever you want. Congratulation E-marketing

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