TalkTalk chief disappointed by fine
The chief of UK ISP TalkTalk claims the firm’s problems are behind it, despite being fined £3 million (€3.4 million) by regulator Ofcom for incorrectly billing thousands of customers.
Dido Harding states he is disappointed by the fine, but notes the root of his firm’s woes was its efforts to integrate the customers and billing systems of Tiscali, which TalkTalk acquired in 2009, and that complaints to the regulator have fallen away sharply since the work was completed.
“We are pleased that Ofcom has recognized the significant steps we’ve taken to solve this problem and has acknowledged that the issues surrounding the integration of the Tiscali business in 2010 are behind us,” Harding says.
Calls to the firm’s customer service centers have almost halved year-on-year, while Ofcom now “receives three times fewer calls about TalkTalk than they did at the height of the Tiscali integration,” he added.
An Ofcom probe into billing at TalkTalk and Tiscali found that both had billed consumers for services they hadn’t received. The problem was most pronounced with consumers who had cancelled their account, and resulted in the regulator receiving 1,000 complaints in 2010.
Although TalkTalk looked to have avoided the specter of a fine by paying out £2.5 million in compensation by early December, the regulator took up the option after finding that an additional 3,000 consumers received the wrong bills between December and March.