Category Archives: TalkTalk

Dear Tristia & Clive (pt.4)

To quote the words of Pop Sensation Alanis Morrisette – I’m here to remind you of the mess you left when you went away. This should be the words sent to the Openreach “engineer” whom was working on our phone-lines yet again today.

Clive, Tristia, Your Respective Press Teams, Esteemed Friends, Frenemies and Enemies watching on Facebook & Twitter. I’m writing to you again. Not for my love of poorly crafting random song lyrics into letters but simply because, as The Average White Band perfectly sang – “Let’s go round again”. You have succeeded in turning back the hands of time as the next line suggests – back to the middle of January WHEN WE HAD NO PHONE LINE OR INTERNET WITH NO WARNING.

Tristia, we’ve been in vague contact with your whimsy barely effective apologiser, Alick, with regards to our internet. He told us it had been returned to full service… yet in the same letter admitted there was still a fault on our line…. Back to Alanis again; Isn’t it Ironic, don’t you think?

He’s (apparently) been on holiday, or so he told us today during one of his brief calls of no substance. He hasn’t responded to the questions on our emails, or the phone calls/messages which we’ve left him asking what is going on.

This would all be well and good if our internet was working – It’s been about 80% working… Strangely similar to the internet we had when we first reported this issue back on the 6th of January……

Anyway, I digress. Even though Talktalk believe there was no fault on our line (but also a fault on our line?!) it would appear someone from our beloved friends at OpenReach have been performing some works on our line this morning…

How do we know I hear you cry? In what can only be described as engineering excellence from an engineer who believes 50 volts should be plugged straight into a bath full of water, our phone line now is dead again. Our internet, is dead again… although, that might not be quite all it seems.

While, unlike last time you haven’t gone full out Blondie and left us “hanging on the telephone”….. should you “Call Me, (call me) on the line, you can call me, call me anytime” You’ll actually ring our lovely neighbours across the road… (perhaps this is when they become, good friends?)

Our dear neighbour across Ramsey Street… I mean Stanhope Road, is actually a Doctor whom is often on call. I would hate to think you’d have to send some “Supermarket Flowers” (as sung by Ed Sheeran) when he misses a call and a patient doesn’t quite make it.

Back to Alanis, but Ironically their internet isn’t working, and phoning their number doesn’t ring our house… Lord knows where it goes…. A little too ironic, now I really do think.

I don’t want to Raaaaaaain on your wedding day… because I assume that you two, Tristia and Clive, are in some sort of messed up matrimony over this… but I think the good advice that you just should take, would be to sort out this telephony roulette once and for all.

We know what’s going to happen. Clive, you will send lovely Mark down. Lovely Mark will find us “Hanging on the telephone” (Thanks again, Debbie!), will plug us back into the right socket and then… It’s just a jump to the left, a step to the right and the TimeWarp has gone back to the 6th of January YET AGAIN…. Except we can’t play our “Late night double feature picture show” as the YouView box has no internet to connect to.

Clive – Get the networking side of this shocker sorted please. Tristia, we’ve heard from Clive himself… When I see your face, well…I’ll be a believer – I’ve offered to come and meet you a number of times, but I’m not sure you actually even exist.

As it happens, I enjoy writing these emails, my friends enjoy reading them and sharing them, however I’d really rather that we had our internet back up and working properly without all this additional aggravation. To quote my dear friend Shania Twain on your response to this whole debacle, Tristia… “That don’t impress me much”.

I’m no longer sure if I look forward to hearing from you, or if I will ever hear from you? (Tristia, do you even exist?!)

Please contact me either via email, or via my mobile… Alternatively call our neighbours on our landline number… I’m off to eat a couple of yogurts and tie the pots together with string.

Kind regards,

A rather “hung up” (Thanks Madge),

Steven

Dear Tristia & Clive (Pt.3)

Hello,

It’s me, I was wondering if after all these weeks you’d like to meet…. Okay, it’s not quite how Adele wrote it, but as my internet still isn’t fixed, I’m cordially inviting you both round to my house to come and witness it first-hand. I’ll provide the Cakes and the Coffee, you guys provide the poor connection and we can struggle to stream cat videos from Youtube together.

Tristia, Clive, you might have noticed I’ve been quiet the last few weeks. The reason is, quite frankly I’ve had other priorities in my life than doing the unpaid work of your combined teams. I’ve been running diagnostics, chasing engineers, trying to find a solution… I shouldn’t be doing any of it. Tristia, your Fault management team & CEOs team have been as useful as filling up a Fire Engine with Petrol instead of water.

Clive, you’re on a slightly better footing – you’ve sent us the lovely Mark. Mark has gone above and beyond to try and make sure our copper cabling isn’t at fault. But we knew it wasn’t. We were told that in January.  I can’t help but feel you’re just fobbing us off until June when the new cabinet goes live? Do me a favour, send me the fibre equivalent of Mark… Maybe as the fibre side is owned by Talktalk, it’s you Tristia that needs to be doing the sending.

The thing is, the facts here are fairly simple; I’ve run a series of tests where I ping a server on the internet. All over night, with no real load on our line. While most of the time I got a reply within 8-10 milliseconds, a number of times it took up to 3 seconds to get a reply. Something is STILL not right. Those three second (and on some tests I ran nearly 5 second) responses are the reason our internet just “Stops” randomly while we use it. We could be streaming Youtube, FireStick, checking Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and things just stop. Not ‘in the name of love’, but more ‘Right now, thank you very much’…. Except I’m not thanking anyone as there is no reason it should stop.

Getting technical, I imagine it’s because the sites we are using are using the TCP protocol. It’s like handshake –

*Connection open*

> “Hello are you there?”

< “Yes, I’m here”

>”Data Please”

<”Okay! DATA….”

>”Thanks, bye!”

*Connection Closed*

When our internet drops out, I imagine it goes a bit more like this:

*Connection Open*

> ”Hello, are you there?”

< ”Yes, I’m here”

> “Data Please”

> “Data Please

> “HELLO?! ARE YOU STILL THERE

< *Mumbles to himself* Oh, they’ve gone, shut down the connection.

*Connection closed*

> “Data Please!!!!!”

< The person you are calling is currently unavailable, and their mailbox is full. Please try again.

 

Seriously now, slightly dumbed down technicalities over, Please, come and visit… see for yourselves, it’s infuriating and makes using the internet often impossible – Things stop downloading or streaming, messages don’t send and photos in webpages download like its 1998 dialup again! (Line by line!)

Strangely, this all sounds very similar to the fault I reported to TalkTalk back in January.  Temperamental internet. Great work all teams, over 4 months and you’ve made no difference.

Now, Tristia, one of your well trained apologisers was supposed to be refunding some of our Direct Debits while circus show was ongoing. That never happened. So, hear it here first…. You broke your SLA, I’m going to break ours – I’ll be instructing Dad to cancel the Direct Debit he pays you. Simple as that. We’ll also be compiling a bill over the next few days. Not only of the mobile data have we had to buy and the 4G WiFi equipment for home, but also, of the time we’ve spent doing the job of your teams. Chasing OpenReach, Pretending to be TalkTalk, running tests, and writing these letters in order to get stuff done.

I’ll end with some good news – while this charade has been going on, Vodafone have been digging closer and closer to my house. Yes, Clive that’s right, in the time you’ve been fobbing us off, Vodafone and Cityfibre have been busy at work, laying fibre to the premises.  Looks like they’ve nearly met your 70 day lead time for our whole area! Following the sensational service you two have provided, I think I’d be a damn fool not to already be in contact with Vodafone about getting their service fitted. (For the record, it’s been all the WRONG sensations.)

Anyway, enough of this tomfoolery – I must get back to work… (I’m sure you’ll love my newly self-appointed title in my signature!)

I look forward to hearing from you – Let me know when to put the kettle on.

Kind regards,

Steven

Newly appointed Senior Case Manager, Barnet Area, TalkTalk PLC & BT OpenReach PLC.

Dear Tristia & Clive (Pt 2)

Dear Tristia and Clive,

CC: Press.Office@Talktalk.co.uk, newsroom@bt.com, Social Media & Any interested newspaper

 

I address this letter to you both. Like partners in a dysfunctional marriage…. Because frankly this charade has been like observing a dysfunctional marriage.

Tristia, I wrote to you back on the 6th of March, regarding our lack of internet and phone…. It’s now the 23rd of March and guess what? I’m sure you guessed it…. Still nothing. Frankly two yoghurt pots and some string are more useful than the service you currently don’t provide to us!

I didn’t hear back from you Tristia. You’re like the pen friend who doesn’t reply to my messages… we’ve all been there… or maybe you also don’t have any internet. You did however place one of your highly skilled team on our case. When I say highly skilled, I mean highly skilled in being generally clueless and issuing multiple empty apologies.

Never mind… I digress. We’ve now been 62 days without internet…. But I’ve realised Tristia that the lack of pressure from TalkTalk is your issue, but the lack of action from OpenReach is actually Clive’s Fault.

So, Clive…. We turn our attention to you.

You’ll find below in this mail trail, a copy of the previous email I sent to your partner in crime, Tristia. I suggest you read it… It’s quite amusing actually…. Until you realise it’s 100% true and is not a fiction novel.

You see Clive, the thing is (TL:DR), over 62 days ago, one of your employees told us that we’d go from temperamental internet to perfect internet within a few days. Those few days later, we were completely disconnected…. Since those “Few days” we’ve had no formal acknowledgement of when it will be fixed…. Or even IF it will be fixed. Who knows? This could be the end of the internet for us! But who doesn’t love being told we’ll get an UPDATE in a month, a week, a few days’ time. Not a resolution, just an update. The update is “Still no clue”.

I’m quite excited to read that Vodafone have signed a deal with CityFibre to provide fibre direct to the premises, as hopefully one day I’ll be able to get home internet without having to use your cack-handed infrastructure monopoly. If they were in my area now I’d have signed up already and left you and your sorry coppers for dust. (Same with Virgin Media….)

Now Clive, I’d like to let you into a little secret. In fact, not such a little secret…. You see the thing is, I work in IT. So I know lead-times for lines. In fact I have personally managed the installation of large corporate circuits. I also know, that according to the BT Website (Let’s be frank, you pretend to be impartial but aren’t.) I could have a Leased Line of a 1GB or 10GB bearer installed to my premises within 70 working days.  https://btbusiness.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/14172/~/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-btnet-up-and-running%3F/c/5091/

Another week, and you know what that means Clive? It means that had I ordered a leased line as our line went down, you’d have arranged planning permission, local council permission, closed off the road, dug up the road, laid fibre, filled in the road, connected the line up to my house and I’d have 10Gb guaranteed upload inside my front door.

I’m actually fairly impressed that you can’t even get a 30ish (On a good day with the wind blowing in the right direction…) fibre to the cabinet line fixed, NOT INSTALLED, just fixed in the time it could take you to provide fibre directly to our house. GOOD WORK.

So Clive, please tell me… because I’m stumped. If you can dig up roads and lay delicate fibre cables to buildings within 70 working days…. How is it possible you can’t fix up a dodgy port on a glorified patch panel in our local cabinet? Have all your engineers mysteriously gone AWOL? Have they taken my internet AWOL with them?

To Paraquote Sinead O’Connor; Tell me Clive, where did I go wrong? Because Nothing Connects. Nothing Connects 2U.

I doubt I’ll hear from you Clive… (or from you Tristia if you’re still reading – You’re probably playing Candy Crush or watching Cat Videos on Youtube)  but if you see this email… send me a sign. Hopefully a sign of an actual date of when this will be fixed.

I extend the same wish to you Clive as I did to Tristia – Tell me when and I’ll come and meet you, I your nice shiny office… probably with this mystical service they tell me about called phone lines and internet. Because, I’d love for you to be able to restore my faith in your service… but right now, I wouldn’t trust BT OpenReach… SORRY, JUST OPENREACH to look after a jar of dead flies.

As I’m sure you’ll understand – Slightly frosty regards,

Steven Phillips

@steveeypips

Dear Tristia, CEO of Talk Talk (Pt.1)

Dear Tristia,

CC: Press.Office@Talktalk.co.uk & Social Media

I hope this open letter/email finds you well. In fact, I hope this email finds you at all. I highly doubt it will and based on the customer service I have received from your company so far, I’ll be surprised if it even gets delivered. Even sending this email to you has been a challenge – I’ve had to tether my laptop to my phone in order to send it to you, as for the last 45 days, we’ve been without internet and telephone line in our house.

Yes Tristia, you read it correctly, we’ve been without service for 45 days. For nearly the entirety of this year, we’ve been without services (Which I hasten to add we’ve continued to pay for) which are supposed to be provided by TalkTalk.

On the 6th of January, we reported to your technical team that we were having an intermittent internet connection over our FTTC line. Initially your technical teams denied such issues, and suggested we had a faulty router which was “hearing a faulty signal”. This absolute unfounded rubbish provided to us by a man over 6 and a half thousand miles away might wash with the majority of your customers, however I work in IT. I had therefore already tried a number of different, known, “Not Faulty” routers and was certain that our connection was at fault.

Eventually, after a number of calls to a large number of offshore call centres, I convinced one of your agents that an Open Reach engineer needed to visit our home and take a proper look. A few days later, I stayed in for the engineer and a lovely man turned up who confirmed that while our copper to the cabinet was absolutely faultless, the Fibre Operations team at Open Reach could see our line disconnecting regularly and suggested that we’d need to be moved to a new fibre port. He told us not to sweat and that although we had no available ports on our cabinet, a high priority ticket would be raised and we would be swapped within a few days, at worst a week.

We were overjoyed to see an engineer working on our cabinet a few days later, but with no further communication from TalkTalk I pulled my car over and spoke to him. He informed me that although it would be a few months before the new cabinet he was installing would be live, there would be no impact on our connection. While not ideal, we thought we’d be able to cope with a few more months of intermittency.

What happened instead is that were plunged into digital darkness. On the 20th January we went dark. We had absolutely nothing. No Phone, No Internet and no communication or real idea as to what was going on from anyone at TalkTalk. The well-known phrase about inability to host a raucous party in a brewery could be used as an adjective to describe things here….

We called… and called… and called and were eventually told that service would be resumed on the 1st March. Unhappy but having made a number of calls to your call centres, including a call where we were told we had been escalated to the CEOs office and we’d get a call back from a member of your team, (we didn’t ) we gave up and decided to sit tight until the 1st March. Meanwhile, we have run up huge bills on our mobile phones for calls and additional data.

The first of March rolled round, and I had to check we hadn’t jumped a whole month to the month of April. Sure enough, when the 2nd of March came, it was no April fool… we were still without anything. Another call to another of your exotic call centres told us that “We should have an update within 3 to 28 days”. THREE TO TWENTY EIGHT DAYS.

As you can imagine Tristia, we are now getting to the end of our tether with this entire charade. We were given a selection of numbers for Open Reach who refused to talk to us, and were even given a case number and engineer update line number so that we could pretend to be TalkTalk in order to try and gain updates and APPLY PRESSURE OURSELVES when it should have been your customer service team doing this. I’m not sure I’d trust your customer service team to service a dead cat, let alone my broadband line.

Further contact with your social media teams with a request for a member of your team to simply call me and explain what the wait is about has failed, with them only yesterday informing me we even had a case manager, and today promising me today a call “within three days”. Have any of your “CEOs Office” even seen my tweets, DMs, Facebook messages and general discontent? I doubt it!

But Tristia, let me tell you the biggest irony in all of this. When the line first went down, we had incoming calls forwarded to the account holder’s mobile. While the line has been down, we’ve had calls from scammers trying to tell us there are problems with our internet. You know, the scammers who have our details from your huge data leak a few years ago – even though you deny leaking our details… Ironic really… for once, the Scamsters are actually correct!

Tristia, The account holder, my dad, has been unable to work for two and a half years. During this time, he’s been using your service to stay sane. From watching TV to browsing the internet, and talking to friends, without the internet and Telephone service you are supposed to be providing, he’s at his lowest he’s been. Adding to this, we’ve noticed his moods have gotten snappy as he’s spending endless amounts of time saying the same thing over and over again to your exceptionally incompetent call centres.

This evening we had a call from an office in Manchester, (Even though the Philippines promised us there wasn’t one!) with more shallow apologies and loose promises of updates in a range of timeframes. Initially updates tonight were going to be in 28 days but when we explained that we were only able to actually hear the calls on our mobile phones by hanging out the kitchen window, it has been suggested that there will be a call tomorrow. I shan’t be holding my breath.

So, Tristia, as you can imagine I’d really like to get this shambles resolved. In fact I’d like to take a day off work to come and visit you at your shiny “NoTalkNoTalk” West London office, where I’m sure you have excellent connectivity. (If you’re sensible, it will be provided by Virgin Media!) Please let me know when would be a convenient date for you to meet with me, and I will ensure to arrange appropriate leave time from work.

Honestly, I’m not sure how you can get something so simple, so wrong. In 45 days, all we’ve had is shallow, half-hearted apologies – no one has even told us the reason that the line has gone completely dead. We know there was nothing wrong with it – the Open Reach engineer told me that when he was in our home.

I really look forward to hearing from you, (although doubt that I will.)

Kind regards,

A very disgruntled Steven Phillips.

(@steveeypips)