The Daily Mail has found that more at least one in four votes in its Wooden Spoon awards went to the UK Telecoms company Talk-Talk, winning the not-so-coveted award for a second year.
It’s the first time a company has received the award in consecutive years, as Daily Mail and Money Mail state, “Winning the award is usually an incentive to get better”.
That said, taking a look at the comments – both on the Daily Mail page and elsewhere on the internet, it isn’t that difficult to find horror stories about this company – and its at times shocking treatment of people, their homes and their focus on money rather than customer satisfaction.
I will also admit, I tried Talk-Talk for six months. My phone kept cutting out. My internet connection became unstable and mostly unusable. I even discovered they were charging me for my internet that was being provided by a completely different company, as they didn’t have the coverage to provide me with a steady broadband line.
In October, I decided enough was enough and I dropped them. I went back to BT – itself not known for great customer service, but known for reliability. And that means most to me – if I don’t have to call anyone, I don’t really want to. So knowing that I can get things done on the internet, or knowing that the line will be stable and steady, gives a better feeling than being told you have to spend four hours on a line charging you 20p a minute to get anything done.
Talk-Talk is symptomatic of the deregulation of the telecommunications industry here – a company with such an appalling track record can continue to be given a licence to operate within this country is shocking, if not embarrassing. And Talk-Talk have been aggressively swallowing up rivals in a way that BT would never be allowed to – it has become a monster, a bloated and twisted mess of a creature that may once have provided an alternative to the likes of BT, but now sadly has done too much harm to be allowed to survive in its current form.
In August, Talk-Talk and its subsidiary, Tiscali, were fined £3 million for incorrectly billing tens of thousands of people. Clearly, I was inclusive in that number but still wouldn’t be told this for another six to seven weeks.
Companies have suffered for doing far, far less than Talk-Talk. It therefore needs to gut its entire customer service unit and start again, or accept that it has no place in the market.
Regardless of how cheap they make themselves. Because you always get what you pay for…