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Study Claims TalkTalk Suffered 200-300K Customer Exodus After Attack

Thursday, January 21st, 2016 (3:48 pm) - Score 792

The next set of financial results from TalkTalk aren’t due until 2nd February 2016, but that hasn’t stopped a new Kantar Worldpanel report from predicting that the ISP may have lost up to 7% (200,000 – 300,000) of its broadband base in the final quarter of 2015 after last October’s Cyber-Attack.

It’s fair to say that last year was full of dramatic developments for TalkTalk, not least with the sale of their off-net subscribers and other customer movements resulting in their total broadband base declining to around 4.1 million in Q3 2015 (here).

Sadly the situation only got worse when the ISP was hit by a major Cyber-Attack during the final quarter (here), which certainly could have been handled better and was the second such incident to strike the provider inside a little over one year. Needless to say that many people have since jumped ship.

Imran Choudhary, Consumer Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel, said:

Customers have lost faith in TalkTalk as a trustworthy brand. The provider saw its share of the home services market fall by 4.4 percentage points quarter on quarter in terms of new customers, only 1.4% of whom gave reliability as a reason for joining the provider in the last three months – well below the market average.

TalkTalk continues to offer some of the most attractive promotions across the home services market and almost a third of its new customers did choose it for this reason, but there can be no doubt that it lost potential customers following the major data hack. If it’s to recover from recent events TalkTalk will need to offer more than just good value.”

Choudhary goes on to specifically claim that the ISP lost 7% of their existing broadband base during Q4 2015, which has yet to be confirmed by TalkTalk’s official results. By our estimates that would reflect a maximum decline of around 287,000 subscribers, which could indeed be a monumental loss and is going to sting given that the financial impact of the Cyber-Attack alone has been estimated at £30-35m.

Mind you there’s plenty of room for scepticism because the Kantar Worldpanel study bases its claims on a panel of around 15,000 consumers, which may or may not reflect the market. On the other hand even half the predicted decline would still represent very bad news for TalkTalk.

Needless to say that TalkTalk’s next set of results, which are due out in February, could make for a very interesting read. We have reached out for comment and are awaiting the ISP’s reply.

Leave a Comment
14 Responses
  1. Avatar FibreFred says:

    That is probably just the start, I expect a lot of people are still locked in as TT wouldn’t let them leave without financial penalty and these people will leave when they can without being out of pockets

  2. Avatar Vince says:

    I doubt they’ve lost anywhere near those numbers, not even close.

    I would be utterly amazed if they had that many customers lose purely for that reason given that TalkTalk weren’t making it easy to use and I’m sure would have offered all kinds of “incentives” to avoid the loss of business.

    My hat I suspect shall remain uneaten.

    1. Avatar Kev says:

      I agree that I don’t think the number will be that high, however the sweetner deals may not have stopped people, especially given that transfer can be new provider led. Many customers may well have gone to their new provider and asked them to take over the service, closing their accounts automatically.

  3. Avatar Ignition says:

    15,000 customers is enough for a pretty small margin of error.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Not sure how many of those are with TalkTalk.

  4. Avatar Captain_Cretin says:

    The smarter ones will have left, the average Sun readers will stay, as they arent smart enough to understand the dangers.

  5. Avatar SpencerUk says:

    Just taken an backup FTTC line and when I had second thoughts about it and going with a more reputable provider they practically offered the kitchen sink, their families the whole lot to keep the order…They sounded pretty desperate..Created a new email account, a cash card account for the direct debit’s just to be on the safe side.

    It will take atleast 12/18 months for consumers to have some faith in TalkTalk’s security again I would imagine

  6. Avatar asylum_seeker says:

    No need to be so condescending. I’m a happy TalkTalk customer, didn’t get my details compromised, get line speeds of 74/19 meg 24/7 and perfectly happy to stay. Oh and i don’t read the Sun.

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      So your details haven’t been leaked (as far as you know) during multiple data leaks but you are still happy to take your chances

  7. Avatar asylum_seeker says:

    @ FibreFred
    My bank account hasn’t been emptied neither have i received any spam calls. Perhaps you need to stop reading the Daily Mail?

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      That is good to hear!

      But those aren’t the only ways your data can be put to (the wrong) use, taking out loans in your name and many other things, also it’s worth noting id theft can take place many months or even years after the data was stolen.

      I don’t read the Daily Mail either 😉 I’m commenting as being a previous victim of id theft myself

  8. Avatar Michael Bradbrook says:

    I was a Talk Talk customer after the 3 attack I thought enough was enough and left them. Yes I am getting chased by Talk Talk for £440 pound because I left my contract early. I just couldn’t trust Talk Talk anymore. I have had a debt collector’s letter the other day and I have told even them there is no way I am paying it and stated why. I have started to get spam calls and e-mails, but luckily my details weren’t leaked. After 3 cyber attacks there was no way I was I could trust Talk talk anymore.

    1. Avatar Anthony Brookes says:

      Hello Michael, I am in the same position as you are.I have been told I will get a “deadlock” letter so I can inform Ofcom to decide on my leaving without a penalty.
      They are trying to get £310 from me for leaving my contract early.
      I to have just received a letter from a debt collection company in Scotland.
      Have you paid them anything yet?? like you I am determined not to give in on this one.
      I am thinking of going to the small claims court to claim against them for loss in my business and for all the hassle & anxiety they have caused me.
      Please contact me back re your progress to date.
      Anthony Brookes

  9. Avatar Captain_Cretin says:


    Just because your bank account hasnt been emptied, doesnt mean your details werent leaked.

    Emptying accounts is the LEAST profitable thing to do with stolen details; more likely they would take out loans and credit cards in your name.

    And please remember, so many peoples information went missing, , the leaked files would be sold en masse to another criminal gang to process, which can take months before the details start to be used fraudulently.

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