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Tiscali's Network & Billing Problems

Posted: 26th Mar, 2004 By: MarkJ
ISP Tiscali UK has a long history of billing errors, so it came as no surprise to find that the provider had got itself into trouble again. The latest one involves re-activating old accounts, some of which have been dead for years, without permission:

One Reg reader told us: "Tiscali sent me a letter today confirming a direct debit mandate has been set up. This is strange as I have not been a customer of Tiscali for two years.

I called them and the person I spoke to said they have had 'thousands' of calls about this and the letters had been generated by the computer automatically (in error) from an 'old customer list'.
"

A spokeswoman for Tiscali UK confirmed there had been an error, but insisted that only around a thousand people had received the letters. While some are existing Tiscali punters, others are not, she explained.


Unfortunately, ever since the provider first established itself within the UK, ISP Review has continued to receive a steady stream of billing and support related problems. We also can’t help but wonder why Tiscali still has such an old list of customers? What ever happened to the data protection act?

Still, where The Register (above) talks about billing errors, Web-User (below) highlights another issue related to poor broadband speeds. We note that both of these problems have made it into our ISP complaints page this week (see main [top] menu):

Some customers have complained of slow connection speeds and say they have been unable to get through to customer support for help.

The ISP, which has unveiled a raft of new high-speed services in the last few months, has blamed its growing popularity and “a much greater uptake of the new services than we expected” for the problems. It claims it is adding over 2,000 new customers a day.

Neal McCleave, general manager for media and operations at Tiscali, told Web User: “We do have some localised capacity issues and will undergo a massive upgrade process between 27 March and 7 April. From the start of January we have tripled the number of agents we have to answer calls and we are adding more every week.”


The ISP is said to be considering refunds on a "case by case basis", although the double whammy of negative news is hardly going to help.
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