TalkTalk raised my call charges

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - READERS’ LETTERS -

I be­lieve I have been a vic­tim of sharp prac­tice by TalkTalk, my mo­bile phone provider. The dis­pute re­lates to charges in­curred while we were in our hol­i­day home in France. TalkTalk said it would re­ply to my com­plaint within three work­ing days but 11 work­ing days have now elapsed and I still have not re­ceived the promised re­sponse.

On the ba­sis that the price will al­ways stay the same right through the con­tract I had my French land­line re­moved. This I cer­tainly would not have done if I had known that my French tele­phone rates were to be raised with­out prior no­ti­fi­ca­tion from 4p per minute to 40p per minute. DAVID THOMAS, SOUTH GLAM­OR­GAN

You had re­ceived a text from TalkTalk con­firm­ing that calls cost 4p per minute. The fol­low­ing day there was a fur­ther text say­ing calls would be taken from your UK al­lowance.

You as­sumed you would con­tinue to be charged at 4p per minute. Then TalkTalk texted to say your ac­count was in debit by £54.32. It now tran­spires that the texts, calls and data that you used while in France ini­tially came out of your in­clu­sive pack­age. Then you went over this so “out of bun­dle” charges were ap­plied. This in­creased the cost from 4p to 40p per minute in the same way, TalkTalk says, as if you had ex­ceeded your pack­age pro­vi­sions in the UK.

You tried to log into your ac­count on­line, as the text had sug­gested, but you can­not do this from France. As the mo­bile was your only means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion with your el­derly rel­a­tives in the UK and heed­ing a warn­ing from TalkTalk that you might be cut off, you called the helpline.

You have al­ready been tar­geted by a scam­mer pur­port­ing to be from TalkTalk so when you were told you could only pay by credit or debit card you be­gan to won­der if some­thing du­bi­ous was hap­pen­ing now. You checked your bank ac­count twice daily to en­sure that it had not been com­pro­mised. For­tu­nately it had not been.

TalkTalk then said that the mo­bile phone charges, now to­talling £62.30, are valid but that it has waived them as a ges­ture of good­will in recog­ni­tion of the prob­lems you had check­ing out the costs. A TalkTalk spokesman said: “We’re so sorry for the de­lay in re­solv­ing Mr Thomas’s com­plaint.”

Be­cause of the prob­lems you are mov­ing your mo­bile away from TalkTalk. would be straight­for­ward but that it would take 90 days for the changeover to hap­pen. Mean­while, I would have to keep an eye on pay­ments. I asked for a Sim-only con­tract.

A month af­ter the con­tract ended and dur­ing a chat that lasted 65 min­utes, I was told I owed £37 de­spite the di­rect debit be­ing in place. PH, WORCS

Later you were as­sured you did not owe this money. You were to be put on a “Red Value Bun­dle” price plan at £10 a month.

How­ever, three weeks af­ter the pre­vi­ous con­ver­sa­tion you were in­formed you owed £42 and had to set up se­cu­rity that you thought you had al­ready done in the shop. A month later you re­ceived 15 text mes­sages from Voda­fone all on one day say­ing the di­rect debit had been can­celled. You rang and were as­sured it would all be OK.

Still the new ac­count was not set up and then you were in­formed that a mis­take with se­cu­rity had caused a de­lay. Your sec­ond name was be­ing used in­stead of your first one. You can­not even re­call giv­ing your sec­ond name and never use it and so were un­der­stand­ably per­plexed.

Prob­lems con­tin­ued. Only my in­volve­ment led to Voda­fone say­ing that it was sorry that what should have been a sim­ple trans­fer of own­er­ship had caused all this trou­ble.

It has now been com­pleted and a not very gen­er­ous £20 that had pre­vi­ously been promised paid for good­will. I asked for more and it has now in­creased the good­will pay­ment to £50.

This sort of runaround is the last thing peo­ple need fol­low­ing a re­cent be­reave­ment. Even now some ques­tions re­main unan­swered.

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