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Can TalkTalk Hold Onto Its Bundled Customers?

Posted: 27th Sep, 2007 By: MarkJ
It's been nearly 18 months since The Carphone Warehouse launched its "FREE Broadband" and landline bundle for an astonishingly cheap sub-£20 per month price point via TalkTalk.

Since then the service has been hit by various problems, from weaknesses in customer support to general service delays and performance issues; hardly surprisingly for such a budget level price.

However BroadbandChoices.co.uk product director, Michael Phillips, has noted that 18 months is also the length of a typical "FREE Broadband" contract. Naturally this poses a big question, will their customers stay or go?:

"This is a fast-moving market and a lot has changed in the past 18 months. The digital TV switchover is looming and the focus has moved from home phone and broadband to tripleplay bundles including television.

Price was obviously the major attraction for TalkTalk customers, but those same customers now have the choice of ‘free’ broadband from TalkTalk competitors such as Orange and Sky, ‘free’ line rental at some Tiscali exchanges, and even ‘free’ digital TV from BT or Virgin Media.

However, while people shouldn’t have to choose between price and service, they need to accept that if they’re getting broadband as a ‘free’ add-on, it’s unlikely to be of the highest quality and they need to bear this in mind when taking any such package.
"

There's nothing terribly new in the news and Phillips understandably does not attempt to predict the outcome, although it's worth remembering that many of the worst hit early-adopters would have attempted to exit their contracts sometime back.

Today TalkTalk remains the cheapest broadband and line rental provider in the market, followed closely by Tiscali, neither of which fair particularly well in the court of consumer opinion.

We suspect that the operator will not experience a mass exodus of customers and any that leave will most likely be off-set by new subscribers. Such a price point will always make for a compelling reason to stay regardless of service quality, unless too severe to use.
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