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Broadband ISP TalkTalk Unveil Fairer Pricing Commitments

Thursday, September 19th, 2019 (9:00 am) - Score 4,486
TalkTalk Logo 2017

Low cost UK ISP TalkTalk has today responded to Ofcom’s wider call for greater industry fairness to consumers by unveiling a new set of “pricing commitments“, which they claim will ensure that “vulnerable customers can benefit from the best available deals” and receive the “most appropriate support” to meet their needs.

Back in the Spring the regulator published a new “Fairness for Customers” commitment, which saw them asking broadband ISPs and mobile operators to voluntarily commit themselves to supporting a series of customer promises in respect to various areas including their quality of support, clarity of information and fairness in pricing etc.

Shortly after that Ofcom began consulting on a new Fairness Framework (here), which was centred on how they propose to actually assess “fairness” in the regulatory sense, such as in terms of identifying and then “stamping out unfair and harmful practices.”

Suffice to say that today’s announcement by TalkTalk, which introduces four new commitments to help “create a fairer telecoms market“, could perhaps be seen as somewhat of a response to Ofcom’s recent efforts.

TalkTalk’s New Pricing Commitments

1. Fairer pricing for all new and existing customers

TalkTalk firmly believes that loyalty is best rewarded by offering great value deals to those who commit to staying with us. We are now reaffirming our commitment of treating both new and existing customers fairly. From January 2020, it will be easier than ever for customers who wish to re-contract to access the same deals that are available for new customers.

2. The best tariff for vulnerable customers

TalkTalk is aware that some of its most vulnerable customers may find it difficult to take advantage of its best deals. We are therefore committed to switching vulnerable customers who are out-of-contract to a better deal. We will carry out an annual review and offer the best tariff for their individual needs. Customers who don’t respond will be automatically moved to the new tariff after a three-month period.

3. Better support for our vulnerable customers

TalkTalk will strengthen its staff training and experience in identifying vulnerable customers. This will ensure that new customers are always aware of the help, support and services that are available. We will also continue to work with consumer groups and charities as well as other industry sectors to better understand the needs of different groups of vulnerable customers.

4. Fair price increases

From October 2019, price increases for out-of-contract broadband customers will be capped at the annual rate of inflation.

We should add that TalkTalk already guarantees no mid-contract broadband price increases and they’re also one of the few ISPs that gets in touch with customers ahead of contract end, warning them that their bills are about to rise and proactively encouraging them to re-sign for cheaper deals. However Ofcom’s end-of-contract notification letters will soon spread this to other providers.

Tristia Harrison, CEO of TalkTalk, said:

“We’re proud to be launching our new fairness commitments that will ensure our customers are always put first.

Since TalkTalk was launched at the turn of the millennium, we have consistently challenged the industry to be fairer and campaigned for positive change. We hope our new commitments will encourage other broadband providers to follow suit. It’s time for the industry to properly address unfair tariffs and up its game when it comes to the support available to the most vulnerable in society.”

The changes are a most welcome development and we wouldn’t be surprised if other providers followed suit, which is no doubt something that Ofcom will highlight once their review of broadband pricing and the related fairness consultations have concluded.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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10 Responses
  1. Avatar Mark Locke

    Ive not once been ever contacted at the end of my contract with Talk Talk and ive been with the same provider since the start of the company that they took over from, Tiscali. Was paying £35, now paying £55+ each month. Im also Autistic and find getting in touch with someone very difficult so support for the vulnerable customers is a load of rot, as well as for your long term existing customers

  2. Avatar Burble

    [quote]We should add that TalkTalk already guarantees no mid-contract broadband price increases and they’re also one of the few ISPs that gets in touch with customers ahead of contract end, warning them that their bills are about to rise and proactively encouraging them to re-sign for cheaper deals.[/quote]
    18 months ago I signed up for a new contract with TT, I of cause looked at the whole package when deciding to resign, within a few months I was paying more for voice services and mobile.
    My package is now ending, I’ve contacted TT, they never initiated any contact with me.

  3. Avatar Peter Priestley

    Hope they do ring because I and many others in the country can not access our email, I have just exchanged about 60 emails trying to sort it out to no avail. we are getting all sorts of codes the main one being ses0002, so I transferred all my important accounts to gmail and outlook it wont let me delete my last email account as that’s for billing as i told them if I can not get in to see it thats thier problem

  4. Avatar Jacqui Prior

    Talktalk have taken since May 2018 to resolve poor or no service. It’s been a massive battle with my MP and Tristia Harrington hasn’t even answered. I’m disabled with high mobility issues in a rural setting. The form they sent says they want the right to contact my GP and share that information with whoever they think fit!! Needless to say this vulnerable person hasn’t agreed to that bit though I even offered to advise FOC as I’m a Reg.SW and think this is very questionable in law. No GP worth their salt would disclose medical records ( patient confidentiality ) anyhow, let alone to a telecom company. I, for one, found this data collection rather sinister but worry some may sign innocently.

    • Avatar Badem

      Surely the request to contact your GP is not to access your medical records (that’s a wholly different process and not something a Telco needs to see) but is simply to ask ‘Is this person under your care classified as Vulnerable’ ?

    • Avatar Burble

      Like around 700,000 other people every 5 years I have to sign a form allowing the police to contact my doctor for info on my medical records, and their opinion on my mental health.

  5. Avatar Steve

    Talk Talk fix broadband prices but increase prices elsewhere such as TV costs and telephone charges which you cannot move independently. This is very misleading and I will be moving elsewhere when my contract finishes.

  6. Avatar Jack

    Several months ago TalkTalk contacted me by email to offer me peace of mind by fixing my Fastest Fibre Package for 2 years – all I had to do was agree to pay and EXTRA £2 a month for that peace of mind .. what a load of rubbish. I’ve been with them years and well out of contract if anything they should have offered me a discount not a price increase.

    Ever since I got that email I’ve started looking at other companies to move to. I don’t like underhanded things like that.

  7. Avatar John parker

    I have been with TT approximately 15 years. I have been a loyal customer for them all that time.I have always had any problems I may have got sorted very quickly. I pay 27 pounds a month and happy with the service. The 150 service could not be better staffed and helpfull. I have no gripes with TALKTALK. WHATSOEVER. AND WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE THEM AS MY SUPPLIER.

  8. Avatar tony

    All Talk Absolute shambles CS like the network run by OR and the so called engineers full of BS

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