TalkTalk makes moves to be more fair to customers
TalkTalk has had fixed price contracts for a while which are great for consumers as they can budget the cost of their broadband. Yesterday saw TalkTalk announce four moves designed to make their service more consumer friendly.
- Fairer pricing for all new and existing customers
- The best tariff for vulnerable customers
- Better support for our vulnerable customers
- Fair price increases
We’re proud to be launching our new fairness commitments that will ensure our customers are always put first.
Since TalkTalk was launched at the turn of the millennium, we have consistently challenged the industry to be fairer and campaigned for positive change. We hope our new commitments will encourage other broadband providers to follow suit. It’s time for the industry to properly address unfair tariffs and up its game when it comes to the support available to the most vulnerable in society.Tristia Harrison, CEO of TalkTalk
Not all the changes are immediate, the fairer pricing will only apply from January 2020 for customers re-contracting but does need highlighting that for a while existing customers were able to sign up to any cheaper deal for the same service and thus benefit from price offers even if in their minimum term e.g. during Black Friday sale if there was an offer of £19.95/m for VDSL2 and you were paying for £24.99/m you can get the new price so long as you accepted the contract extension.
The fair price increases will take effect in October 2019 and will be capped at the rate of inflation, i.e. if the annual rate of inflation is 1.7% and you are paying £23.50/m then price rise will be capped at 40p per month. Of course with a couple of million customers in fixed price contracts already many will not be affected.
The best tariff for vulnerable customers move should help those who do not follow the market, but a careful eye on what TalkTalk does in this area as there are times with some providers in the past when best tariff has also required migrations between products and for some vulnerable people this can cause disruption unless someone can attend to do things like swap around hardware and ensure that with a new router that all existing Wi-Fi devices are taught the new wireless security key.
This wave of fairness is not just a TalkTalk thing, Ofcom is pushing hard for mobile and broadband providers to be fairer to their customers and while we believe this may see some of the occassional exceptional price deals become rarer, particularly for those who stack cashback sites on top of vouchers and price promotions the overall effect should be positive.
The key points to the commitments are:
- Customers get a fair deal, which is right for their needs.
- Customers get the support they need when their circumstances make them vulnerable.
- Customers are supported to make well-informed decisions with clear information about their options before, during, and at the end of their contract.
- Customers’ services work as promised, reliably over time. If things go wrong providers give a prompt response to fix problems and take appropriate action to help their customers, which may include providing compensation where relevant.
- Customers can sign up to, change and leave their services quickly and smoothly.
- Customers can be confident that fair treatment is a central part of their provider’s culture.
Identifying vulnerable customers before a service provider does something that impacts them is not that easy and is something that with the WLR switch off on its way knowing who those customers are is even more important.