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Tiscali revenues up, but customer numbers down
Friday 14 November 2008 10:30:34 by Andrew Ferguson

Orange are not the only provider shedding broadband customers as the latest quarterly financial statement published by Tiscali indicates that they are doing the same.

The headlines are about ADSL revenue up by 20%, and some 1,774,000 ADSL customers, of which 889,000 are on one of the two types of unbundled connection available. Some 887,000 customers take dual play services, which appears to mean telephone and broadband, although there is no mention of the Tiscali TV product.

It is not until you look back at the results from previous quarters as Mark Jackson at ISPreview has done, and you see a different view, 64,000 thousand customers lost in the last quarter and 101,000 lost compared to six months ago. Back in November 2007 the news was about Tiscali adding 250 new customers per day.

So what has happened? Hard to know for sure, one likely problem has been that people who joined the smaller providers previously snapped up by Pipex were not happy with Tiscali as the new owner so have moved onto new pastures. A great many may have grown tired of being bought and sold and with the current Tiscali sale dragging on, many will have had time to look at what may be more enticing offers.

The providers that seem to be growing and doing well are those with bundles where by having their TV or mobile service you get broadband free or nearly free. Maybe the reductions are more to do with the fair use policies applied to a product nominally sold as unlimited, and the confusion this causes. For example they have a £9.99 per month service (really £14.99 once you spot small print) that is up to 8Meg, unlimited and includes line rental, but they offer an upgrade to a product that is the same speed and again unlimited called Broadband Extra at £19.99 a month, which highlights unlimited time online and unlimited downloads but does mentions a fair use policy. So what is different about the cheaper product? And therein lies the problem- people get confused or sign-up and discover stuff they don't like this and leave.


Posted by keith_thfc over 8 years ago
"So what has happened? Hard to know for sure"

Just a hunch....but I reckon Tiscali's mis-sold *cough* unlimited service & excessive traffic shaping hasn't exactly made customers feel warm and fuzzy.....
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
what has happened? umm...... people got misled, after a year of been shaped down to isdn speeds they moved on.
Posted by pzenz6 over 8 years ago
Tiscali must see this as a win-win situation.

More lovely money (which after all is what they're about), and fewer pesky customers to deal with.

You would think that the reduction in users would leave more room on their struggling network for the rest of us, but the recent flurry of 'slow speed' posts on the forums suggests otherwise.
Posted by dafranmo over 8 years ago
As a Homecall,then Pipex, now Tiscali customer I've seen a degradation in the service. Over the past week the line speed on my up to 8Mb has varied between 50kbps and 6Mb, for a few days 120kbps was the top speed, with 2-3Mb being the norm over the past few months. Homecall promised, and delivered, 5Mb. When my contract is up I'm changing.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
Homecall was always a Tiscali service underneath, just that with time rather than it being a service bought by HomeCall at Wholesale level, HomeCall itself got bought
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
well there is this.. a mate in richmond loved his tiscali service, never had any probs downloading lots of albums and vids..

Until about Nov 07, when lots of things went very pearshaped... Got sick of all their normally good service gone bad, bad speed, etc, - I can only guess something went badly wrong with the DSLAMs...

so he changed to VM Cable in Jan, they put a box on the outside wall, and the routed *coax* all the way round his house to his 'office' - then the small router with cat5 to his PC and wireless router for his tenants!

He's very happy with his 10M, no problems!!
Posted by manny35 over 8 years ago
It's no wonder their profits are up since they charge for incoming complaints calls and the waits on these can be anything up to an hour and getting an answer to an email can take three months. It's faster to change suppliers than get an answer which is why I left.
Posted by BillShacklock over 8 years ago
Inexplicably Pipex (Tiscali) switched my telephone calls to BT in May; it took until early September for the service to be reinstated without a word of apology. After wasting time on expensive premium rates to the so-called helpline I now cannot wait for the contract period to end and my relationship with Pipex terminated for ever. Pity really, Pipex used to be very good indeed but along the way forgot about their customers.
Posted by georgehc over 8 years ago
No wonder Tisacali is in dire straights. Their service is rubbish, their technical support is even worse - that is if you understand what is being said. I finished with them two years ago in July of that year and they continued charging me for three further months.
Posted by georgehc over 8 years ago
Further to my last - I finally got my money back from them but now they have started demanding £20.49 from me which they say that I owe them. I said that I have all the paperwork to prove that I don't and it is I who should be suing them for demanding money with menaces as it is blackmail. I have not heard anything for three months so maybe they have conceded that I do not owe them anything!!!!!
Morale........keep all your paperwork, you never know when it will be needed.
Posted by luthralal over 8 years ago
PIPEX (also known as Homecall) Customer Services, are a joke and a waste of time. I requested them for MAC number many times by phone, e-mail, and letters. They will not respond to letters, e-mails keep on asking you to call them on their 0871 number at 10p a minute.OFTEL is a waste of time which is expected from a policeman being paid by the telecom industry. I had to disconnect to go to another provider as a new customer. Dispute with PIPEX is OVERCHARGEs failure to provide bills.....and it goes on on. MORAL: STAY AWAY FROM PIPEX, part of TISCALI
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Maybe they are losing customers as finally the consumer is becoming more intelligent and reading forums like the ones here.... One look at them and reading of the Pipex forum, especially shortly after Tiscali took over gives the game away when several which had been pipex users for years (myself included) voted with their feet and left.
Posted by martinfin over 8 years ago
Three times I have asked to be upgraded from 1MB Solo to a faster service. For 8 months I had a 2MB download. However now I am back to 1MB again. They say they cannot upgrade me past 1MB as I am a LLU customer. Meanwhile they have taken over my telephone service without even asking permission.
Posted by jerrymartin over 8 years ago
I was with Tiscali a rubbish company they still owe me money from 2 years ago. Fed up phoning their premium rate number to speak with Billing only to be fobbed off for another month. They owe me roughly £25, but with the phone calls I must of made with their Tecnical support and Billing I must of spent another £25. I am now with another provider and I finally realise just how bad Tisclai are!!!!!!
Posted by StayawayTiscali over 8 years ago
You call Tiscali's customer support,wait a week to speak to some Tiscali rep who seems to be "prompted" in asking you what lights are on on your router.When they don't know what's causing the problem they tell you "There's a problem at the exchange" regardles if it's exchange based or not! They promise to call you back, nobody calls leaving me to call them. Anyway I diagnosed the issue as a line fault within my house (which is not an exchange (nudge nudge) Tiscali! Tiscali are garbage from the outset, anybody wishing to entertain them do so at your peril!
Posted by ChrisBB over 8 years ago
I had similar experience to martinfin: upgrade from 1Mbs to 2Mbs which Ok for over a year with talk until I checked speed beginning Sep 08 and found I was (and still am) getting only 0.5Mbs. I have explained situation to Tiscali at length on numerous occasions but they have a resistance to understanding and I have been shuffled between Tech and customer support. At last Tech understood and said he would get Support to refund me and would try to get BT to upgrade the line/exchange. Problem is between Tiscali and BT but Tiscali don’t seem to want to do anything about it. ChryscaliX
Posted by rwatimmins over 8 years ago
I been with Nildram for 4 years, since then it owners changed owners and is now Tiscali. Happy-ish with the service but as web pages get fatter and there is more video online I need to upgrade. So I either pay £47 to stick to the same supplier or move for free. maybe they are losing customers who want to regrade but find it cheaper to move.
Posted by daddygez over 8 years ago
I left Tiscali because of consistantly slow speeds; always below 1mb on an 8mb package. managed to keep the phone line with them though, which is good value. Now with Titan; always fast and with UK and understandable service staff.(bit more expensive though)
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