TalkTalk land­line out for five weeks

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When we got back from hol­i­day I discovered that we had no land­line and duly re­ported this to TalkTalk the next day. There was no

re­sponse so two days later

who has three chil­dren, had been with­out the dish­washer for six weeks.

The ma­chine you had your eye on turned out not to be in stock. At this point John Lewis agreed to give a voucher for £349 but by then the cost of an equiv­a­lent ma­chine had gone up to £369.

I spoke to John Lewis again and it agreed to give a voucher for the higher amount. Un­for­tu­nately it failed to con­vey this to you or your daugh­ter so that things could pro­ceed. You learnt of it only through me. You asked me to ac­cept a £369 cheque payable to your daugh­ter.

Af­ter that, John Lewis said: “We were sorry to hear that the dish­washer pur­chased by the cus­tomer I spoke to TalkTalk again on the phone and “live chat”.

Ev­ery time we made con­tact, TalkTalk ran tests to con­firm that we did in­deed have no work­ing phone line.

Even­tu­ally, some­one from cus­tomer ser­vices rang back to say that we would be con­tacted within three work­ing days with the re­sult

in 2013 had bro­ken and, in line with our war­ranty, we of­fered to re­place it. As our pol­icy states, if the ex­act model is no longer avail­able we will of­fer an equiv­a­lent spec­i­fi­ca­tion.

“In this in­stance the cus­tomer was un­for­tu­nately not sat­is­fied with the equiv­a­lent model we sug­gested so re­quested an al­ter­na­tive model which was no longer in stock.”

Your daugh­ter now has a cheque as she wanted. of more tests. She of­fered to re­di­rect calls to my mo­bile. This was not done.

Two-and-a-half weeks af­ter we had re­turned from hol­i­day my wife be­gan ring­ing cus­tomer ser­vices again and con­tact­ing TalkTalk on­line. Three weeks later we are still with­out a work­ing line, al­though calls

been bet­ter pro­tected had I paid by debit or credit card. On re­flec­tion I do not quite un­der­stand what you meant. Can you ex­plain? PD, WEST MID­LANDS

If some­thing goes wrong with goods or ser­vices that were paid for by card there may be help to be had from the card provider. The same safety nets do not ap­ply to bank trans­fers or cheque pay­ments. In those cases, as far as get­ting money back is con­cerned, if some­thing goes wrong it is sim­i­lar to hav­ing paid by cash.

Sec­tion 75 of the Con­sumer Credit Act makes the credit card com­pany jointly and sev­er­ally li­able with the mer­chant where there has been breach of con­tract

Early on TalkTalk did check the line by talk­ing you through a test pro­ce­dure and then do­ing its own tests ex­ter­nally. The is­sue was sup­posed to be es­ca­lated to the rel­e­vant depart­ment. TalkTalk now ad­mits that in­struc­tions about this were not picked up.

It added a call di­vert from the home phone to the mo­bile but you are in an area where cov­er­age for mo­bile phones is vari­able.

Four days af­ter I

or mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion for a trans­ac­tion worth be­tween £100 and £30,000 made on its credit card. This is a valu­able re­source but the act is com­pli­cated and there are caveats.

Pay­ments made with ei­ther a debit or credit card also have the “charge­back” op­tion. This means that the bank or build­ing so­ci­ety that pro­vided the card may be able, within strict time lim­its, to chal­lenge and re­verse a trans­ac­tion. Check the spe­cific card’s terms and con­di­tions for more on this.

There are also valu­able pro­tec­tions un­der the di­rect debit guar­an­tee.

If you pay a dif­fer­ent way it may be worth con­sid­er­ing mak­ing a money claim on­line. Find out more via gov.uk: search con­tacted TalkTalk its chief ex­ec­u­tive’s of­fice spoke to your wife and alerted the tech­ni­cal team. Four days af­ter that some­one came and seven hours of tests re­vealed a prob­lem at the ex­change.

Even though the fault was else­where an en­gi­neer in­stalled a new main socket. Only when the ex­change is­sue was re­solved was the dial tone, which had been absent be­fore, re­in­stated but then the broad­band, which had worked all along, went wrong.

The next day an en­gi­neer turned up and found that the ex­ten­sions had not been wired up cor­rectly by the other en­gi­neer at the new mas­ter socket. Now the broad­band was back.

How­ever, the speeds were vari­able. TalkTalk sent a new router and ar­ranged a call back to check that ev­ery­thing was work­ing.

A TalkTalk spokesman said: “We’d like to thank Mr Bryan for his pa­tience while we car­ried out an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. His ser­vices are now work­ing to his sat­is­fac­tion and we’ve pro­vided him with com­pen­sa­tion, along with a good­will ges­ture for any in­con­ve­nience caused.”

This, af­ter you had had no phone ser­vice for nearly five weeks, was £100 in all.

for “Make a money claim on­line”. The Money Claims Con­tact Cen­tre can be reached on 0300 123 1372.

There are var­i­ous om­buds­man or al­ter­na­tive dis­pute res­o­lu­tion ser­vices (with var­i­ous lev­els of ef­fi­cacy). See con­sumerom­buds­man.org or call Om­buds­man Ser­vices on 0333 300 1620 for some of them.

The trader or provider at is­sue has to be reg­is­tered with the rel­e­vant ser­vice for a case to be taken on.

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