TalkTalk customers need to watch out for £4 TV charge
TalkTalk seems to be introducing what some are calling a stealth charge, we believe that this new £4 charge will appear on your bill automatically if you have a YouView settop box with TalkTalk branding (this seems to include those who have bought the boxes second hand and have not actually has a TalkTalk TV subscription).
The £4 charge is described as an access charge for TalkTalk TV i.e. you will be paying £4 for the ability to access the TalkTalk menus that let you add TV Boosts. Those customers who have a plan that includes TalkTalk TV already should not be paying the charge, but will impact those for example who joined TalkTalk with a TV bundle and subsequently downgraded to just a broadband package but kept the YouView box that came with the service.
To avoid the charge you need to opt out and the TalkTalk Community Forums are understandably filling up with people who want to opt out and is also being discussed on our forums. If you opt out the FreeView content, recording, playback and catch-up will continue to work but TalkTalk specific features will be disabled.
For those who migrated away from TalkTalk and have a TalkTalk YouView box this new £4 charge should not apply, but it is probably worth keeping half an eye open to make sure they don't suddenly bill you again even though you have left (ie. they see a box call home and blindly bill without checking whether you are still a customer).
Fixed price broadband contracts have been the big change for many in the last year or two, but many are finding that while the core line rental and broadband component are fixed in price for your minimum term other elements such as TV channels and phone call charges are still variable. Recent Ofcom research into the volume of the switching market showed less switching between providers took place in 2018 and we suspect that the fixed price contracts from well known budget providers like TalkTalk and Plusnet were a major factor in this.