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Tiscali begins legal proceedings against BT
Wednesday 23 July 2008 13:59:39 by Andrew Ferguson

The fight between BT and Tiscali over marketing material sent out by BT looks set to become expensive as Tiscali has apparently started legal proceedings against BT centring around claims "for defamation and malicious falsehood".

Marketing is a competitive arena with marketing companies working on behalf of clients looking for ever more innovative ways of promoting them. The fact that the UK broadband market is getting ever closer to saturation point means firms are trying to attract customers away from other providers and tactics may become uglier. Our thinkbroadband forums see people posting snippets of conversation with sales and retention staff, where a myriad of unbelievable claims are sometimes made.

With the start of the legal process, this dispute between BT and Tiscali looks set to go on for a long time. What has been interesting has been the emails from people who've had the letter supposedly aimed at Tiscali customers, but they've never been a Tiscali customer or taken any service from one of its subsidiaries. The reaction from the public has been less about the content of the letter, but more about how has BT obtained the list of customers. There is big business in firms collating this sort of information and it emphasises the need for people to be careful with whom they trust their contact details.

Any broadband company putting itself in the market for an outright purchase needs to be careful to retain customers to ensure the best possible purchase price and to some extent this may be reflected by the reports from Tiscali customers of sales calls offering attractive broadband deals for signing up to a new 12 month contract. Originally an announcement on a purchaser for Tiscali was expected at the end of June 2008, but at this time everyone is still waiting for news from Tiscali.


Posted by keith_thfc over 9 years ago
This is amusing given that "malicious falsehood" pretty much sums up the entire Tiscali broadband service.
Posted by wispy over 9 years ago
they could always throttle them, they seem to have that down to a fine art!
Posted by ruskin0 over 9 years ago
That has just made my day hey, no lover of Broadband companies, but certainly hope those BT rats get hung out to dry.
Posted by mr_chris over 9 years ago
This might prove to have been one step too far by BT - they do consider themselves invincible.

Of course the only outcome of a lawsuit is huge sums of money being poured into lawyers' pockets, instead of it going where it should - investment into infrastructure and services.

Net result - we all lose out. Not saying Tiscali are in the wrong, but the UK broadband market is in danger of turning into a legal battleground and totally losing sight of what's important i.e. the customers!
Posted by c_j_ over 9 years ago
"what's important i.e. the customers!"

Typo: what's important is jobs for the boys, and bonuses.

The BT board member who authorised the Phorm trial is now at Phorm. Thehome office minister from the Phorm era is now on the BT board.

And Tiscali's bigger picture is as a "network marketing" outfit; not network as in ADSL and TCP etc, network as in MLM (multi layer marketing) - get paid (lots) for signing punters up... (they may have stopped that with broadband now due to "unsustainability").
Posted by zebedeeeeee over 9 years ago

BT used publically available information that Tiscali was for sale. Tiscali have said they would announce in June who they were being sold to, but as yet that has not happened, which means uncertainty. Can the Tiscali owners carry on loosing money? Again uncertainty.

BT lawyers would have read that letter and approved it - there appears to be no lies or misleading information in it.

Will it be BYE-BYE Tiscali when they loose the case?

Posted by ruskin0 over 9 years ago
Doubt very much BT would even listen to Lawyers ie, mr_chris above.

P.S. In reply to the BT employee.
Posted by AdamGz0r over 9 years ago
A friend of mine had a Sky salesman knock at his door today saying they could provide a 16mbit service faster than Virgins 20mbit connection. He questioned how was 16mbit faster than 20mbit and he got the response that Virgin is rubbish and was more likely to be 2mbit.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"Doubt very much BT would even listen to Lawyers " - don't be silly, they employ plenty of their own.
Posted by keith_thfc over 9 years ago
"Not saying Tiscali are in the wrong, but the UK broadband market is in danger of turning into a legal battleground and totally losing sight of what's important i.e. the customers! "

lol - since when were customers of any importance?
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
BT will come out on top as usual, it is seen as one of a few remaining uk corporations and wouldnt be good publicity for the country if its seen to be doing illegal stuff, hence why they got away with phorm as well.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I say good on Tiscali... Both BT and Tiscali are scumbags but i bet if Tiscali started running off letters to BT customers saying the BT service for the future is uncertain and Tiscali can provide higher speed via LLU right now im sure BT would get their knickers in a twist. BTs letter to customers was inaccurate even if Tiscali sell thereself tomorrow people will still have a connection, there is no "Uncertainty" about it... SUe em for all you can IMO
Posted by GeorgeSK69 over 9 years ago
I do not say that Tiscali is the best provider (i am learning to live with their peak time slowdown :) BTs arrogance p.. me of even more. They charge for the line rental almost as much as I pay Tiscali for the connection just to let Tiscalis data through. But it is not enough for them. I have been losing my nerves over the last 8 or so months about a "one off" charge of £1.75 (an extra 10%) they have been charging me, the so-called Caller ID. I told them I didn't need that and NEVER! ordered that service as I have the line only for the brodband connection and never used it for elephone calls.
Posted by GeorgeSK69 over 9 years ago
Correction: I forgot to mentio that this "one-off" charge has ben charge every month in the last 8-9 months. Fair enough, the gave me a credit, but the charge is still on the bill after 2 calls a promises to rectify this. I wonder how many times a year they make a "small mistake" like this to their millions of customers fattening their profits with tens of millions of pounds from customers unaware of this or unable to decipher their stupid invoices.
Posted by andys999 over 9 years ago
Im a broadband agent i give lots of free advice to people.
The best advice i give is STAY AWAY from bt.
This lot the most callous,incompetants ive ever had the missfortune in dealing with.
Yes 1 billion for new fibre optic cables-wow
10 years to late after cable companies!!!!

Sue them tiscali for every penny.
What you people dont realise is split into 5 seperate companies now.
3.should be interesting for bt broadband customers if tiscali pull the plug on bt internet- time.
Posted by peterfinch over 9 years ago
God this is all snake oil, isn't it
Posted by spencel over 9 years ago
Tiscali caring about their customers?
I must write to them about that, reply should be back in time for Christmas.
Posted by KarlAustin over 9 years ago
BT BUY INTERNET TIME - I assume you mean IP Transit? In which case, you'd be mistaken as well, BT Broadband uses the BT Central Plus product from memory, they peer extensively for their transit, they also take some transit - mainly from BTnet (AS5400) from memory. AS5400 buys transit from Sprint, Savvis, Level(3), AT&T and Global Crossing, it does not buy transit from Tiscali International Carrier Network, it does however peer with them, which is different to buying transit.
Posted by KarlAustin over 9 years ago
Ugh, typos galore there. "peer extensively for their connectivity", "Tiscali International Network (TInet)", those should read.
Posted by andys999 over 9 years ago
without getting to technical jargon the fact is
bt in whatever shape or form, STILL rely on tiscali for an internet connection for their poor customers.
this is fact no matter which way you want to gloss over it.
Posted by andys999 over 9 years ago
their is no decent broadband provider in the uk!!
they are all schisters,all as bad as each other.
Welcome to 3rd world broadband uk
Im promoting the mobile broadband as well thats the future.
hard wired shite broadband is dying slowly.
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
"bt in whatever shape or form, STILL rely on tiscali" true BS.. click this link..

BT has 2 or 3 times more customers than tiscali.. and these numbers will be going down due to their bad performance... unless they are 'massaging' the figure upwards, by including their french & italian customers!!

"whatever shape or form" ?? well then that means that BT supplies about 95% of the country!! The rest will be the cable companies, that DO NOT USE BT lines!!!
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
The main problem with ALL ADSL is that it is based in a BAD business model - The only way it will work 'effectively' at all, is if it is NOT used 100%!
This was then 'sold' at a very cheap price, to make sure many buy... then more 'salesmen gimmicks' followed, that may work with 'touchable objects'(there is a LIMIT to how many 'objects' you can hold!!) but not with 'computer data'...

ADSL was sold at the very start, as a 'contended service' - If it is 50:1, that means once 50 are using it the speed WILL drop drastically!! The C word has bee removed to stop scaring customers away!!
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
Only problem now, is too many people are using it too much, causing problems due to the limitations of the technology - due to noise, quality of equipment used, but mainly the cost of maintaining large amounts of data transfer that was never expected, yet promised by the salesmen!

This is why many companies have had to add 'conditions' to make sure that they can afford to pay THEIR suppliers, and not dissapoint their GOOD customers...

the above is an 'ideal' though - mismanagement, bad treatment/ignorance of staff needs, managers that have no clue of the market, is the real problem..
Posted by Somerset over 9 years ago
andys999 - please explain how BT 'rely' on Tiscali.

From the way you post your words I'd say stay away from whoever employs you!
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
"mobile broadband as well thats the future." ???
well if you do not mind paying about £15 for 18 month contract, limited to 3Gig a month, with only 7.2Mb/s... yes you could get 7 or 10 Gig, but the speed goes down to 2 to 4 Mb/s... and £30 a month!

When for the same price you could get 20Mb/s, unlimited download, 3 month contract....
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
and yes, most landline ADSL comes with a wireless modem, so get a booster to extend the range, and you can still do internet in your local pub!! :D :D
Posted by Somerset over 9 years ago
What sort of 'booster'?
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
have a look here...
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
and here..
Posted by andys999 over 9 years ago
I was actually told by "bt openreach engineers"
that bt purchase internet time from tiscali.FOR YOUR INFO somerset,no one employs me,im a self employed agent so i say what i want about broadband, and how unscrupulous some of the companies are.
bt aol (so called free broadband talk talk)
are without doubt the worst offenders.

Posted by Somerset over 9 years ago
What type of engineer? Openreach people are unlikely to know the detail about this.
What do you mean by 'time'?
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
andys999: Hmmph!!! *I* was told by "bt openreach engineers" that they would NOT let TalkTalk take away a BT line.. (I was helping a friend, while house sitting for the gas engineer) he sid it was definately logged, do not worry about it, TalkTalk cannot do anything without BT approving it.....

guess what happened a week later?????

welcome to TalkTalk.......
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
to get back to the *main subject*...
Most big companies have many parts... sales, marketing, hardware support(people who go out to the exchange to check the stuff, or manage servers), software support(webpages, ftp, etc..) and management levels...
Mnay of these are contracted out, and can be totally diff, depending on where in the country you are...
Posted by andys999 over 9 years ago
re what comnut said-i hear this day in day out from dissilusioned bt open reach guys they are told to "make non bt customers wait"its a disgrace,broadband in this country needs shaking up-we have free line rental here at our local exchange llu (local loop unbundling)
openreach guys have been instructed by bt to "delay"switchovers by anymeans possible to other broadband companies.scandalous
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