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uSwitch & Tiscali Fall Out – House Moving Charges

Posted: 16th Nov, 2007 By: MarkJ
uSwitch has issued a new press release criticising both Tiscali and TalkTalk for over-charging customers that want to move their voice line connection to a new home. Some of the pro's and con's highlighted include:

* Consumers forking out £44 million just to reconnect a phone line at their new home, up from £14 million in 2006 - costs set to spiral as more lines are unbundled.

* Just 3 of the top 6 major phone companies - BT, Pipex and Toucan - offer customers a smooth move by arranging for a phone line to be set up in their new home.

* TalkTalk and Tiscali force home movers to sign up to a new 12 month contract with BT Retail - with an exit fee of up to £70 and a potential set up fee of £125 just to get a landline activated.

* Cable customers moving into a non-cabled area must accept Virgin Medias alternative non-cable package or pay their way out of their existing deal at a cost of £10 for every month left on a 12 month contract

* All major phone companies, except for Toucan, force customers to enter a new minimum term contract of at least 12 months when they move home.

However according to Web-User, Tiscali has accused uSwitch of issuing an "inaccurate" press release:

Steve Horley of Tiscali said: "This press release is inaccurate. We don't charge our customers who move home, nor do we oblige them to extend their contract or pay the penalty fees quoted."

In response uSwitch has highlighted Tiscali's own Terms & Conditions, which outline where the charges come from. Naturally Tiscali's response is to blame BT, which as any seasoned market vet will know, is the solution to everything:

"Currently for a home move the customer has to take a new line rental from BT in their new home at the cost of £125 and are obliged to sign up for a 12 month contract (recently changed from 3 months) and pay an exit penalty of £70 if they wish to terminate the contract early. This is BT Retail's charge not a Tiscali charge," Horley said.

However BT disagrees, pointing out that there is no "technical" reason why Tiscali's customers would be required to take a new line when moving home. End-to-end solutions already exist to handle this, they claim.

Meanwhile TalkTalk has moved to solve the problem by announcing a new process that will eliminate the need for customers to contact BT Retail when they move. Tiscali is expected to follow suit in the near future.
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