Broadband supplier causing grief

By Nukey · 6 replies
Feb 16, 2006
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  1. Well I am a little unsure where it all started, but I am not sure if you are aware of the UK broadband supplier, TalkTalk Broadband.

    I have absolutely no where to turn for this, its been going on for quite a while now and I am at my wits end. I know this isnt a consumer advice forum but I just thought some people might have some idea on what to do.

    When my broadband was installed there didnt seem to be any problems at first. The service was pretty slow to begin with, I am on a 1MB connection and Im paying £26.99 a month for it (Yes, its extortionate). When it was first switched on I was receiving around 920Kbps / 115KBs. I was pretty much happy with this, given that I live 4KM from my local exchange. But that was fair enough.

    On the 12th of January the supplier introduced a peer to peer block. This was fair enough as its not good to degrade the service and download illegal things, so that was fine. But to my shock I found out they restricted me, and classed me as a "medium" user.

    I don't use any peer to peer software but I do play alot of online games which can cause alot of connections at once, and as the ports were randomised they were very suspicious. I thought one of the purposes and benefits of having broadband was to play games online, and so I found a technical support number which was premium rate (50p/min) :eek: that I could call on to find out what was going on.

    They told me my suspicions but also they told me something even worse... they stated that playing games is classed as peer to peer! I was totally outraged at that, placing entertaining enjoyment in the same class as downloading illegal movies!

    They told me that this was stated in the contract but I couldnt find it anywhere. But this was where the problems began. It wasnt the fact that they resticted peer to peer; I can live without online gaming, but from when it was introduced, that very same day, my speed started going down.

    It wasn't the download speed that was causing the problem, it was the upload speed. From that day it was running at a shocking 1.6KB/s (13Kbps) compared to the 32KB/s (256Kbps) I should have been getting.

    At this point I was quite furious, I couldnt even send a picture or use my webcam on instant messenger without freezing up and Internet lockups. So I called technical support and they told me they would look into it.

    The second day came and there was no improvement. They told me to do some speed tests on some BT website to show what the speeds are, but as I explained (and that they don't know what they are doing), the BT test doesnt test upload speed! and the download speed was fine for the time being.

    They told me that the peer to peer block would not effect the overall speed but it was obvious that it had. They did not even warn customers that they would be restricting people but they went ahead and done it anyway. It was at this time they told me that peer to peer is restricted 100% between 6am and 1am and by 50% between 1am and 6am. But to be honest I didnt really care, I wasnt getting the speed I was paying so much money for.

    So it went on for about a week and they wern't calling me back as promised. In the first week I ran up a phone cost of £45 in premium rate charges.

    On the 18th of January everything came to a head. I thought it a little odd that I could not access the Internet. So upon dialing into it again it was getting stuck on "verifying username and password". How strange. Then an Error 721 (Remote compouter did not respond) message would pop up.

    Being the sneaky person I am I attempted to use the BT speed test login. That wouldnt connect. So I then realised that it was a telephone service issue at the exchange.

    I called about no service several times that day and nothing was being done. "We will call you back they say" but they didnt. It went on and on and on and on an...................................

    2 weeks later and still no Internet. They told me that some of the people working for BT would be investigating the exchange on the 31st of January. Great!! I thought, finally a result. My broadband will be on in 2 days!

    Oh dear, what a silly ***** I was to believe them.

    On the 1st of february I called them. "Still no update" they say. The charges were mounting. By that time I had run up a whopping £155 in call charges to their technical support. They keep saying they would call back but when I ask them to call me back straight away they say its not their policy.

    On the 10th of February I had a call directly from BT. TalkTalk had been telling me that BT wont talk directly to customers (not customer facing) but that was a lie according to BT.

    In the afternoon of the 10th my Internet was finally back on. YAY there was much entertaining and happiness.

    ...But it wasn't all sweetness and smiles in the Nukey household. Oh no.

    I took a little trip to ADSLguide, and done some speed tests. Ooh my upload speed has been fixed but there was another problem. Yep you guessed it, the download speeds.

    The download speed was going at 740Kbps (92.5 KB/s) and then the smile on my face dropped a little. "Oh well, at least its on again" I thought. But things started to go hideously wrong.

    Every day my download speed has been dropping. Down and down. After 2 days it was at 500Kbps, then 450Kbps, then 400Kbps and it just kept going down.

    Yesterday I was absolutely furious. I couldnt understand what was going on and I called technical support yet again. This time they refused to help me. They told me that anything over 200Kbps is acceptable for a 1MB service.

    I also spoke to their customer care team and explained that they need to credit me 3 weeks for the service I havnt had. No can do they say, go to BT. I sent an email of complaint in to TalkTalk head office and they sent an auto reply 3 hours later saying to call the premium rate number.

    Right now, I have incurred £240 on a phone bill for technical support charges, they've set up another direct debit on my account without my say so, They say my current 230Kbps download speed it acceptable, they say BT wont help, they are refusing to credit me for the service I never had, they aren't reading my complaints (I even sent a letter to them 3 weeks ago but nothing) and Ive incurred bank charges because they've tried to take out too much.

    I asked them about leaving them for another company but they say they would have to charge me £70 for that which I cant afford.

    Ive sent a letter to OFCOM, the department of Trade and Industry, Ive called BBC Watchdog, Ive spoken to the CAB and nothing. I am well and truly stuck. Im paying £27 a month for a quarter of a service and they are charging me for service I havnt had.

    Im not the only person with these issues, is a whole host of other people having this problem. Any ideas? I am well and truly stuck. Threatening them with legal action never worked either. Looks like they've well and truly rogered me over big time.

    Test results from 16 January. This was a good day, but still very slow! -
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    If it were me, I'd cut my losses and end the aggravation despite the charge. Chalk it up to experience and move on. Do you have alternatives?
  3. Nukey

    Nukey TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 110

    Well that was the only option because the landline phone is not in my name, also they have just told me that the rest of the contract would be payable so it would be £70 plus the charges for the rest of the contract so the total cost would be somewhere around £280. :eek:
  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    Okay. I think I understand your situation. It's too bad. But certainly when the contract is up, if you have any reasonable alternatives at that time, switch. Of course, I realize you don't need me to tell you that. Sorry, I don't have anything better to offer.
  5. Nukey

    Nukey TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 110

    I have just contacted the Internet Service Provider and they are now refusing to help me. This is the end of the line.
  6. jshields13

    jshields13 TS Rookie Posts: 109

    Are there any TV news programs over there that have a "problem solver". We have several over here and they seem to get results. It couldn't hurt for you to contact one of them (assuming you have some) and see if they can do anything.
  7. Nukey

    Nukey TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 110

    There is only one main television program, by the name of "BBC Watchdog" but they havnt got back to me. It looks like they cant help. my speed is now one fifth of the speed I should be getting and dropping by the day. This is now bordering on 56K speeds.

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