TalkTalk and Tiscali overcharged "thousands", say Ofcom

3 November 2010

Bitterwallet - TalkTalkTelecoms regulator Ofcom is threatening to open a can of extra-strength whupass on two service providers for demanding hundreds of customers pay non-existent bills.

Over 1,000 complaints have been recorded in the past year, from customers of both TalkTalk and Tiscali - the latter was bought by the former in June last year. According to TalkTalk, spurious bills were generated when the databases of both companies were merged together.

But while the company is adamant the situation has been resolved, Ofcom believes "many thousands" of consumers may have inadvertently coughed up cash for previously cancelled services.

In a rare showing of its normally gelatinous backbone, Ofcom is demanding TalkTalk undo all the damage done; any monies received by TalkTalk and Tiscali in error since the beginning of the year must be repaid in full, and the company must stop attempting to collect on these spurious bills. Furthermore, the regulator is insisting Talk Talk repairs any and all damage to individual credit ratings as a result of the issue.

The service provider has been given a deadline of 2 December to comply in full, or face a fine of up to 10 per cent of its annual turnover. Why is Ofcom choosing to bare its teeth to such an extent? A spokesperson told the BBC:

"It's been five months now since we drew TalkTalk's attention to this, it's been three months since we opened an investigation."

"There are still complaints about customers receiving bills for services that were not delivered and there are even complaints about customers who have been referred to debt collection agencies."

And while you're at it, Talk Talk, kindly stick that Neon Rainbow up your arse, too. Consider it an act of goodwill for unfairly hounding your customers.


TOPICS:   Technology


  • paynowbuylater
    im currently sitting on a talk talk final demand, which has arrived four months after we cancelled and paid up. There has been no other correspondence and immediate referral for "collection." We moved to get away from the crap service, but apparently even finishing your dealings with them does not avoid this as no one answers the bloody phone or will deal with this. Think i will make a complaint to Ofcom on the back of this and add more fuel to the TalkTalk fire. They dont listen otherwise, and apparently not even listening now.
  • klingelton
    I was a customer of Tiscali for a year. At the close of the contract, I terminated and moved to Vermin Media. 4 months later, I received a bill for using the internet for 2 days in decemeber, a feat unattainable by myself since we no longer operated or owned a landline. The bill was for £1.24, not a massive amount, but i thought if they tried this on with all their customers, they could make some ill-gotten money. At first, they were unwilling to listen saying that i'd made some sort of error and that it was for a service that I'd used. Shenanigans I'd claim - for I have no telephone line with which to receive your services. A month down the line, they did refund my £1.24 in the form of a cheque, however I had to have them send that twice since the first time, they claimed that they'd sent it. Seems Talk Talk have bought into Tiscali's rubbish customer service and theiving twuntish behaviours. However I beleive that all telecommunications companies are twunts. They're all the same.
  • jordans h.
    who's "Tiscili"?
  • niceblokedave
    WELL WELL WELL Tiscali still pulling that trick then !!! . I left them a couple of years back after getting a migration code from them and moving my broadband to SKY. They would just not except the fact i was not a customer anymore no matter how many times i told them( letter,email,phone call) . It dragged on for months with them threatening me. I rang them up for the final time to have the rudest customer service prat ever try to blame me for it . We eventually got a letter from them were they admitted they owed us money ! with a cheque for £1.20 . What a bunch of tossers
  • klingelton
    the cuntish arm of Tiscali.
  • The B.
    Sounds like fun, Tiscali customers are leaving in droves as email and phone lines have been up and down since the beginning of September.
  • kevin v.
    Talk Talk told me that calls to the USA & Australia would be free as I have paid for the calls to be covered in my bill etc. Sadly Talk Talk lied & charged me for the calls. They said 0845 & 0870 numbers are free, sadly yet another lie as I was CHARGED for months! When I discovered the deliberate overcharging on my account, I called talk talk & asked for a refund, only to be told I would NOT get a refund. I kicked up a fuss, threatened legal action & talk talk now say they will credit the overcharged amount to my account. I want it refunded back to my BANK account, otherwise the buffoons at talk talk would get my money in advance & in affect they will get a free interest free loan from me! They refuse to give me the refund via my bank account & they refuse to compensate me for the loss of interest on the considerable overcharged amount & they refuse to compensate me for my time & money lost by having to take time off work to get the idiots at talk talk to add up their bills correctly! I wonder why all the errors that they have made all benefit talk talk financially? How many more people are having their bills overcharged? I asked a guy called 'PAUL' (refused to give me his surname presumably to make it hard for me to contact him again) & he said there will be a charge for leaving talk talk! I called another person & they said there will NOT be a charge for leaving talk talk. Can anyone at talk talk actually add up & advise customers correctly? Clearly talk talk were all too happy to keep overcharging me for months & it is obvious that in my case account was NOT checked or audited until I spotted their screw ups!

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