TalkTalk has incensed me I can’t believe how bad their customer service is and how they try and put the blame back on the EU.
Just recently a customer experienced an issue with his e-mail; we host his domain and e-mail.
After some delving we established that the problem had to lie with TalkTalk, his ISP. On Friday I drafted a query for him which he duly submitted to the TalkTalk on-line help; here is the transcript my customer had e-mailed to himself and forwarded to me:-
Kate: Hi, thank you for contacting TalkTalk today, can I please start by taking your full name and home telephone number?
You: (customer’s name) 01234 567890
Kate: Thank you so much. How can I assist you today?
You: 2 days ago sending mail via mail.(the-customers-domain).co.uk started to fail. No changes had been made to either my computer or iPads. I have tested using both ports 25 and 587. With my 2 iPads if I connect using a friend’s WiFi mail sends fine. Please explain why TalkTalk is preventing me from sending via my smtp mailserver mail.(the-customers-domain).co.uk
Kate: Thank you for explaining this to me in details. I am sorry for the inconvenience. Let me go ahead and check your account so that I can help you.
Kate: Please bear with me.
Kate: Just to confirm, are you accessing your emails through the TalkTalk webmail http://www.talktalk.co.uk/mail/?check_cookie=1?
You: No, I am using Outlook
Kate: To set your expectations, we do not fully support the email application you are using at the moment but you can click on this link which will guide you for some troubleshooting with Outlook Express: http://help2.talktalk.co.uk/i-cant-send-or-receive-emails
You: I am also using the apple client which is most important. You must be able to advise on that. As I said at the beginning, all of my devices work using other people’s WiFi and nothing has changed from my end. I need some help with this
Kate: I understand where you are coming from. Have you tried accessing your emails through the TalkTalk webmail? Are you having the same issue as well?
You: I don’t know how to access my emails for my (the-customers-domain).co.uk address. I have logged on to the webmail and don’t see anything for this address.
Kate: Do you know your email address registered in your My Account?
You: the address is email@example.com but the mailserver that is blocked is mail.(the-customers-domain).co.uk
Kate: So are you using the same email address when accessing the mail.(the-customers-domain).co.uk? Is this some kind of an email application or you have a mail.(the-customers-domain).co.uk/ email address as well?
You: I don’t quite understand what you are asking. I have been using the same email addresses for years, first with tiscali and then with talktalk so you can see how long I have been with you. I have my own domain which is (the-customers-domain).co.uk and I use zzzz @(the-customers-domain).co.uk and yyyy@(the-customers-domain).co.uk the yyyy@(the-customers-domain).co.uk is sent via mail.(the-customers-domain).uk the other one is unaffected by this as I use a different method of delivery. I have not used the tiscali addresses for many years and have not had a problem.
Kate: Thank you for the information. Based on the information you have provided, we really do not support the email address you are using at the moment especially the email application which you are using (Outlook and Apple).
Kate: To tell you honestly, we cannot troubleshoot this issue since we only handle issues with our TalkTalk email address and TalkTalk Webmail.
Kate: In this case, it would be best to contact the (the-customers-domain) support for further assistance since I believe they are the ones handling cases like this.
Kate: I am sorry for the inconvenience.
Kate: If only I have the facility, I will surely help you out on this.
You: I had this same issue some years ago and I had the same outcome. It was fixed until I decided to leave you for another provider. After a lot of contacts I asked if the problem could be escalated and it was eventually found to be a setting that had been changed by your technicians. Because of this experience I would like you to escalate this for me. I am sure that something has happened to cause this and since I have logged onto your website and noticed that your technicians have been working on blocking emails I am even more convinced that it can only be fixed by your technical people.
Kate: I understand where you are coming from and I am very sorry for the inconvenience. To be honest, I cannot escalate this issue because this is not a network-related issue. If this is a setting issue, then it should be on the email application you are using since it is the one you are using. You are not using our TalkTalk webmail which is why we cannot complete diagnostics for this.
Kate: If only I have the facility, I will surely help you out on this but I am afraid we do not have.
Kate: You might want to try checking our TalkTalk Community and post your question online so our Online Engineers can reply to it: http://community.talktalk.co.uk/
You: To be absolutely clear, please confirm that you are unable to help further with this and you are unable to escalate it to your technical department
Kate: I am sorry but I do not have the facility to escalate this issue since we need to complete diagnostics for cases like this. Since you are using a third-party email application, I am afraid we cannot do the troubleshooting and escalate the issue. We do not support the email application you are using. I am sorry.
Kate: Please try to post your question online so our Online Engineers can look into it. You can click on this link: http://community.talktalk.co.uk/
You: Okay, thank you
Kate: Thank you so much for your patience. Would there be anything else that I can help you with at the moment?
You: No thanks
Understandably my customer was completely pole-axed by this and didn’t know how to progress it. He rang me Friday night and I promised to help him escalate it on Monday. Surprise surprise on Monday I get an SMS from him to say that e-mail sending had suddenly started working again. How can TalkTalk expect to be taken seriously when they persist on making customer lives so difficult? Everyone knows that mistakes happen and in my experiences customer’s are usually very understanding if you are honest with them.
I suppose the question we need to ask ourselves is: is it feasible that TalkTalk employs staff that are to unskilled to understand the questions that are put to them? Or were staff given a script to use to cover up an issue that TalkTalk did not want to hold their hands up to …