Latest Score:- Virgin 1:TalkTalk4. ( A rather verbose Review)
Having recently dumped Virgin for constantly upping their package charges and hitting me with outrageous phone bills, I decided ( after some serious research) to switch to TalkTalk. This caused a big problem, not because of TT but with Virgin. ( I will write a seperate review about Them) I have read hundreds of negative reviews about Talktalk and agree there is some justification to some of the complaints . This is my experience of TalkTalk so far:- I called TT sales team and asked them to outline in detail exactly what I will get and exactly how much I will pay. I also asked specifically about additional and/or hidden charges. Having satisfied myself about what I was going to get and how much it would cost, I then questioned them about technical issues such as upload and download speeds, ping/latency (important if you play games online). I was assured that, TT had a new line into the exchange which was only 400 metres away I should get close to the advertised speed (14Mb) Having read various reviewers complaints about low speeds, I questioned this and they replied that the least I would get would be 9.6Mb and the max would be around 20Mb. (20Mb with TT. Nah!) They also told me that I would need a new phone line and I would have to pay a connection fee ( fair enough!). I told them I would call them back the next day and ended the conversation, declining to sign up there and then. (Important!..never sign up after the sales pitch). I then did my research ( very important) to verify their claims. I checked Speeds in my area, checked the location of the exchange and talked to a few people I knew with a TT service. That done, I signed up and was told they would sort out the switch with Virgin. ( No they did not!) I was given a date for the engineers to call to connect the new line. They arrived bang on time only to find a fault on the line. Got to give those guys credit, they were up and down the street, crawling about my basement and all sorts trying to find the fault which was traced to a break in the line under my neighbours house. ( What nitwit put it there?) Problem solved, they connected the modem which had arrived in the post a few days before. I was given an activation date and sure enough my service went live bang on time. As I had signed up for TalkTalk Plus, an engineer then came to install the YouView box. Again, this occurred bang on time and I was up and running with no problems. My Talk Talk experience a few months down the line:- Initially my Download speed was around 13.5Mb, Upoad 0.8, ping 123ms. Then I twigged that, as I was using the WIFI connection, the system thought there was a fault when I turned it off and reconfigured for a more reliable (slower) connection. I connected the PC to the modem with a cable and within a day or so the speeds stabilised at about 18.5 Mb ( I got 18 with Virgin cable). the upload remained at 0.8 ( below national average) but the ping went down to 50 - 55 ms which is on the borderline for online gaming. Once I did that, the speeds have remained stable and despite claims that TT choke the speeds if you use P2P Torrents at peak times, downloads were very stable.. not quite as fast as Virgin but a heck of a lot more stable and consistent. TT Essentials are subject to this but TT Plus operates a 'fair Use' Policy. One BIG plus is that I was still able to browse during a Torrent download whereas with Virgin, this was impossible. I'm altogether a Happy Bunny with TalkTalk so far with the following reservations:- * They did not ( as promised) organise the switch with Virgin which caused me a bit of hassle. * I could not for the life of me activate the free LoveFilms subscription which was useless anyway since it was not viewable through the YouView box. * They were a bit cheeky charging £50 for the Engineer to install the YouView box as it only took 10 minutes and could have been done easily by a 12 year old with learning difficulties. * They did not make it clear that you cannot record On Demand programmes. This is a technical limitation of the YouView box which I only discovered when I read some online reviews. * They did not tell me that people would laugh at me when I told them I switched to TalkTalk. * You will need to be sitting on top of the exchange before you will ever get close to 20Mb speed. Comparison:- Virgin: 18Mb download, Horrendous, phone charges, Limited Freeview TV.. (Ave) £65pm including very modest phone usage. Charges constantly being increased. Torrent downloads unstable and slowed down browser. TalkTalk:- 18.5Mb, Free Calls, Free YouView TV. Fixed Cost £31pm. Very Stable connection and Torrent downloads did not slow down Browser.
To some of the negative reviewers:- It's a bit mindless to complain about low speeds if you are miles from an exchange. You'll never get TV streaming with less than 5Mb connection. (See above comment) Equally mindless to whinge about poor online gaming when a quick Google search will tell you your latency is too high. (You need minimum of 50ms) Many minor technical problems can be sorted quickly online by logging onto the TalkTalk Forum. ASK QUESTIONS AND DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST!
Altogether quite happy with My TalkTalk Package. Just hope it stays that way so I don't have to learn Urdu to talk to customer Service.
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