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Tiscali (& others?) Charging for Service Not Provided


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Over the past 6 months or so I've been having some fun with Tiscali and TalkTalk, ever since I switched from Tiscali/BT as my ISP/phone provider to TalkTalk. I've reached a sort of conclusion and am posting up the experience here in case it's of any help to anyone else.

 

I switched from Tiscali/BT to TalkTalk in June 2007. During the whole process I double/triple checked with TT that there was nothing I had to do to make the changeover ... they said no, they would take care of everything.

 

In August I received a letter from Tiscali saying that I still owed them money for their service. I phoned saying "you must be mistaken: I've switched over to TT": they said it didn't matter whether I was still receiving the service, my T&Cs clearly stated that until they were informed that I was no longer receiving the service they could keep on charging me for it. I checked the T&Cs ... blow me down if they don't say precisely that. So, according to them, I owed Tiscali £30.

 

Deep breath.

 

So I phoned TT and said "Hey, you guys told me you would take care of everything. How come Tiscali are saying they weren't told I was switching provider?" TT said they would have been told.

 

So I phoned Tiscali saying "Hey -- TT say they told you". Stuff & nonsense say Tiscali. Then their representative made the direct allegation that TT had been involved in slamming. This is the practice of unplugging a house from one provider and plugging it into another **without the household's consent**. Obviously not the case here, but the allegation was very clear, that TT routinely unplugged other providers in favour of themselves without notifying anybody.

 

So back I went to TT and said "You know what? They're calling you a bunch of liars. Do you mind putting what you told me before into writing please?" Suddenly all the TT customer representatives got attacks of the nerves and kept putting me on hold.

 

Fed up, I write to TT's Customer Services Manager. 90 days passed so, as is allowed, I raised the complaint with OTELO in Novemeber 2007. "Basically either TT or Tiscali is lying: sort it out please". [NOTE: Tiscali are outside of OTELO's "jurisdiction"]. In the meantime Tiscali passed the matter over to a debt recovery firm, who kindly backed off when I said "Well, you know I've got OTLEO involved now so it could take forever to resolve". Not heard from them since.

 

OTELO's response, in January 2008, gob-smacked me. They didn't consider my complaint as being active becasue it was over 10 days since I had last heard from TT, and so they couldn't get involved. WHAT???! OTELO's own code says you have to wait 90 days ... of course its over 10 days! Blinking cheek of it. In any case, I spoke to a helpful lady there and wound up writing AGAIN to TT, this time just saying "you got the last letter" (I always send these things Signed For) "now answer".

 

I got a response. Not a letter, an actual phone call. Very nice chap, very apologetic. Not obsequious or anything, just wanting to sort stuff out and, again, very sorry that I had had to get OTELO involved. Hmm, yes, OK.

 

He said that he'd come across these kind of difficulties for people switching to TT before. His first suggestion was that he write a letter to me, to be passed on to Tiscali, stating a few things. See what Tiscali's response to that was. So he wrote me the letter ... it did come directly from him and stated he worked "for the CEO's office". Not sure if I should be impressed, but it must be better than the monkeys in their North London barn.

 

I was preparing to forward this on to Tiscali when he phoned again. "Look," he said, "You go on and persue Tiscali if you want, but how about we credit your TT account with the £30?" Sure I said. I understand that TT can't really pay Tiscali directly and an admission of guilt from either side was always going to be like pulling teeth out of a very stinky-breathed troll.

 

So there we have it now, TT have paid £30 as "full and final settlement".

 

LESSON: always make sure that the guys you're switching to promise to do all the work needed to make the change. However, I still can't get that allegation of slamming out of my head...

 

 

 

In the meantime, the same chap made a very interesting comment

about a different company, not one I've mentioned here. He's since repeated the comment in writing. I'm no lawyer but I think this opens the door to alot of people who have been double charged, like I was, to get their money back. However I'd appreciate the input, even if informally, of someone with more legal nouse than me. PLEASE, can anyone help out?

 

Hope this helps.

Prelim letter to HBOS -- 15/01/08

LBA to HBOS -- 30/01/08

Complaint to OFT Re: HBOS -- 30/01/08

 

 

I'm a professional journalist. If you would like to talk in confidence about your experiences, please feel free to PM me.

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Hi britesprite,

 

Sorry, I've just noticed that you haven't had a reply to the above yet. This definitely isn't my area of expertise, but I imagine a few others will find this post very interesting and I'm sure somebody will be along soon to comment on the above.

 

Best wishes :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi woad,

 

The allegation was made specifically by a rep. at Tiscali against TalkTalk's business practices. He specifically said that they practised slamming, in that many words.

 

I must clarify that this was not the case in my circumstances as I had given my consent to the swap being made. However the Tiscali chap was both pretty forthright and very definate in the accusation.

 

These forums are full of evidence that customer service for all (all?) ISPs is crap to non-existant, but -- IMHO -- this is far too specific an allegation to be simple hogwash.

 

Thinking about it, I wonder if OTELO took it on board when I wrote to them. Hey ho.

 

I did come across a definition of slamming somewhere which was very good, had about 12 different "actions" which could be contrued as slamming. (rustles through piles of electronic documents) Will post it up here if I ever find it again.

 

Cheerio!

Prelim letter to HBOS -- 15/01/08

LBA to HBOS -- 30/01/08

Complaint to OFT Re: HBOS -- 30/01/08

 

 

I'm a professional journalist. If you would like to talk in confidence about your experiences, please feel free to PM me.

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Going back to your original problem I suspect Tosscali really, but TT not being able to prove it. I moved from them to BT and they continued to bill me.

 

So I said can I have my payments back.

 

They said yes, of course.

 

Then I said can I have my premium rate call charges back for phoning your support line ?

 

They said no. I could use their email service.

 

Then I pointed out it required a Tosscali account to be active and mine wasn't.

 

They said yes to the refund.

 

The funniest part was the letter from Tosscali demanding a signature as proof of ID before they would deal with my complaint and sort out a refund.

 

Funny first of all because I have never signed anything I have written to them (I ordered and paid online), so they have not one clue what my signature may look like.

 

Secondly there is nothing in the Data Protection Act saying they need a signature - they were happy to send bills here for example.

 

And thirdly - and this was the killer - it arrived the day after my refund cheque.

 

Tosscali are mince, avoid avoid.

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I am currently in exactly the same position having changed from Pipex Homecall (Tiscali) to Talk Talk late last year. I'm still getting bills, which I thought for the first month were a sort of, "whoops you're in credit, haven't got our act together yet" kind of thing, but nooooooooo, the bills keep arriving.

 

I've been ping ponged between the two until I've slammed the phone down in frustration. Does anyone have a direct contact at Talk Talk or Tiscali who would action this if I phoned them??

 

Any help appreciated.

:lol: Sweetrevenge :lol:

Don't get mad - get even!

If I've helped you please hit my scales 'n' bump my rep!

 

RBS (My A/c) S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent /10/06, statements rec'd 20/10; Prelim sent 3/11/06, s*d off letter rec'd 20/11; LBA sent 28/11, Settlement offer rec'd 18/12

WON at LBA with compound contractual interest £607

 

RBS BF Account S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent 4/11, part response rec'd 28/11, further info sent 3/12 awaiting statements at 20/12, Sent LBA 19/01/07. Received all statements resulting in 3 claims, £1,278, £4,279 and £7,250(!) all with contractual interest.

 

 

This is now very out of date!!!!

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slamming watchdog did a programme on it about three weeks ago...

patrickq1

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

 

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by patrickq1 are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional

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I am currently in exactly the same position having changed from Pipex Homecall (Tiscali) to Talk Talk late last year. I'm still getting bills, which I thought for the first month were a sort of, "whoops you're in credit, haven't got our act together yet" kind of thing, but nooooooooo, the bills keep arriving.

 

I've been ping ponged between the two until I've slammed the phone down in frustration. Does anyone have a direct contact at Talk Talk or Tiscali who would action this if I phoned them??

 

Any help appreciated.

 

I was told by Tosscali that they continued to send bills because BT hadn't told them I had used my MAC code to move away, basically they blamed BT. I got something in writing (well email anyway) from BT saying oh "yes we did".

 

I was then told by Tosscali that indeed BT probably did but their (Tosscali's) systems were not joined up enough to tell the billing department that another sap has managed to break free.

 

I assume you have emails from Talk Talk stating when the service was started, in which case send them to Tosscali customer services in writing and state you won't be paying them as you were not using their service and to update their records accordingly.

 

This is thr address I used :

 

Tiscali Customer Service, PO Box 7206, Kiln Farm, MK14 6XG

 

Forget the "email us your problems" approach, it doesn't work. And being on the phone with them is just sooooooooooooooooo frustrating.

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