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Ofcom blasts TalkTalk for billing ex-customers

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How angry would you be if a company you had left continued to send you bills? What if they threatened you with debt collection for not paying? Well Ofcom has finally slapped TalkTalk for this very issue.

Ofcom’s threat to fine TalkTalk and Tiscali UK up to 10% of their turnover unless they stop sending bills to ex-customers is certainly good news. And it’ll come as a relief to those people tearing their hair out over yet another bill landing on their doormats.

I think Robert Hammond, head of digital and telecoms at Consumer Focus, got it right when he said:

‘How hard can it be to stop billing someone when they have cancelled their service – this is the very basics of customer service? To threaten customers, who have done nothing wrong, with debt collection and legal action is beyond the pale.’

What gets me is TalkTalk’s blatant disregard for its ex-customers when it says the problems with the cancellation process were caused by ‘an error on a legacy billing system’. Sure, it’s the inherited Tiscali that’s been having these problems since 2006, but it shouldn’t take this long to fix a ‘technical glitch’.

TalkTalk then goes on to say:

‘[It] is resolving this by migrating all ex-Tiscali customers onto one network and billing system which will allow us to process cancellations much more effectively… TalkTalk Group has co-operated fully with Ofcom’s investigation and we apologise for the inconvenience caused to this limited group of former customers.’

It’s one thing to be in breach of the telecoms regulations, but it’s another to come out with what is essentially an empty statement. If TalkTalk is truly sorry for its actions, it would have issued a refund to all those affected the moment it realised it had been charging people for services they had cancelled.

It accepts that the technical issue has been going on for some time, yet it deals with refunds on a ‘case by case’ basis. Plus, it waits until it’s being investigated and finally threatened with enforcement action by the regulator before it comes up with a solution. I’m sorry, but I’m not impressed.

Comments
amber says:
15 November 2018

i left talktalk on the 4th nov 2015,and i had already paid my oct bill,so at the time i only owed about 2 weeks service,did ask for them to send out a paper bill for this,thought that was it but i got bills on my email ,did contact them but still got bills that went on till june of 2016,contacted them again an again,was even emailing them,i get letters all the time demanding payment from companys ,with one of them they passed it on has i explained it to them an they did not want to deal with it anymore now i get letters from lowells, ive told them lets go to court has ive got proof in my emails of what they doing ,iam sick of this i am 70years old an i dont need this,talktalk are conners only want your money for no service

Shaki Haider says:
1 February 2019

TalkTalk is sending me bills and I have settled it. Each time the customer services person promises that this is the last payment I am making and to avoid the hassle I make the payment and then a few weeks later I get another bill. When I call them I am put on an indefinite hold by and I lose all my mobile credit holding for someone to speak to me. Its really frustrating. I found this site while I was searching if such a thing has happened with someone else too. Would be grateful if I could get some help. Someone should seriously penalise them for this kind of behaviour. Thanks