Recently, I wrote this letter to the Head of Complaints, CEO's Office, TalkTalk (CEO), PO Box 672, Salford, M5 0NG and another one a few days later. They are self-explanatory, though not, apparently, to Talktalk:
About a year ago, I spent three hours talking to your customer services department hoping to persuade them to stop sending me monthly bills which increased by £5 each time for an email service I cancelled at least three years ago. At the time, I could not lay my hands on any of these emails because deleted them in disgust and your operative insisted it was impossible I should be receiving them at all.
Since then, I continue to receive them every month. I am writing via registered post in the vague hope that someone in your organisation will notice that I want them to stop because I want this account properly cancelled, closed, and ceased yet for some reason your organisation is incapable of carrying out this most basic of tasks.
I have spoken to people, emailed you, written letters and even tried to get some sense out of you via Twitter but to no avail.
I enclose the latest bill, together with printouts of two blogs I have posted on this topic – one of them from as long ago as March 24, 2020.
Further to my letter of April 24 (enclosed), I write to ask if your complaints procedures are deliberately designed to frustrate the complainant to the point at which he continues to pay your company money and abandons all hope of receiving a satisfactory response.
On Saturday, April 29, I received at 10.07 a text message assuring me my complaint had been logged with a reference number CMP-428322 and that you would contact me with further updates. At 16.22 you sent a second message promising to call me between 12.00 and 14.00. You did not say on what day this call would take place.
Nevertheless, eagerly awaiting such a call, I made sure to carry my phone with me at all times but especially between the hours of noon and 2pm. Today, at 14.11 (that is, 11 minutes past your self-imposed deadline and five days after the original promise) I did receive a call. The conversation went thus:
Talktalk: I am calling about your complaint.
NH: You were supposed to have called on Saturday.
Talktalk: You want us to call you on Saturday?
NH: No, I was just saying that is when I expected your call.
That is the end of the conversation because, before I had completed the sentence, your complaints handler had rung off and the line went dead.
Since then, I have received two emails, sent at 14.36 and 14.39. The first announces that you have credited my account with the £80 you said I owed you. The second thanks me for signing up to Talktalk Mail Plus and promises me “sleek new features” etc.
You then sent me a text message at 15.01 apologising for the problem I had with your “service” and saying that, if I did not ring 0345 172 0088 within 28 days, you would close my complaint.
Then I received a message timed at 15.17 announcing my complaint had been closed.
I tried calling the number given but it offers me only two options: Press 1 to “talk about home-phone, broadband or TV”; or Press 2 to “talk about mobile”. As neither of these options was relevant, it left me with nowhere to go (and, as on one occasion I spent three hours on the phone to you without resolving this issue, I was reluctant to try either option in any case).
Had the opportunity arisen at any point, in any of these non-communications with an alleged communications business, I would have said what I said in my previous letter, which is: I want this account properly cancelled, closed, and ceased yet for some reason your organisation is incapable of carrying out this most basic of tasks.
It is still incapable of this simple task and I am in despair.