I recently received an email from my Internet Service Provider (ISP, TalkTalk which opens as follows
“Dear Customer, At TalkTalk we’re committed to giving you the best possible value, which is why we have been voted best value home phone provider by uSwitch 7 years running”. Having read this opening salvo my heart had already begun to sink from it’s normal place, in my chest to somewhere near my boots. In my experience whenever an organisation starts by informing it’s customer’s that it offers excellent value it is a dead certainty that bad news is to follow. Sure enough the next sentence reads “We occasionally need to adjust our prices so we can continue to improve the service we offer you – and from your first bill in May, we will be changing our monthly line rental to £14.50 a month (which is less than BT).” Note there is no explanation given as to why it is necessary to increase prices (rather I am blithely expected to accept that the additional charge is necessary to “improve” the service offered by Talktalk). How, exactly dear TalkTalk will the quality of service offered by your company be enhanced by this price hike?
Never fear help is at hand. The email goes on to state “Alternatively, you can take our Value Line Rental service, which can save you £60 a year. You just need to pay your line rental for the whole year in one simple card payment of £114. This gives you line rental for the equivalent of just £9.50 a month.” So, dear TalkTalk the fact that I already pay my monthly bills by direct debit thereby saving you and (admittedly) me also money, is not sufficient,you now wish me to consider paying a sum of £114, by card upfront, please forgive me if I am ever so slightly browned off at the prospect!
Of course TalkTalk is a commercial operation who’s bottom line is to make a profit, however to simply expect customers to cough up additional money in the absence of any meaningful explanation as to why it is necessary for them so to do is, in my opinion shoddy practice by TalkTalk. Surely it couldn’t be the case that my ISP wants an additional £114 upfront and this is what is driving the price increase? Perish the thought!
I’ll be writing to my ISP rather than merely fulminating in the blogosphere.
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