TalkTalk leading the way for fairer broadband

7 November 2018   By Jo Bailey

Budget ISP TalkTalk has released a 'Fairer Broadband Charter' to tackle the issues which customers hate the most.

UK internet service provider (ISP) TalkTalk has launched a 'Fairer Broadband Charter', which sets out some of the ways in which it aims to improve customer experience.

Within the charter, it makes promises on three key areas which it has identified as pain points for customers. It has openly challenged other providers to do the same.

CEO of TalkTalk, Tristia Harrison, stated that telecoms companies have been 'ripping-off' consumers, and said that the industry had to change. She said TalkTalk were the first to guarantee no mid contract price rises, and that the charter takes this to the next step.

talktalk website
Credit: chrisdorney/

A three point charter

Further reading

TalkTalk's 'Fairer Broadband Charter' sets out some of the main selling points of their service. They have presented this in their three point document which was released this week.

The three points they are targeting are:

  1. Ending unfair price rises: They have promised to maintain broadband prices for the length of the contract, something they've already been doing for some time.
  2. Delivering what they promise: Their connection guarantee allows customers to walk away from the contract if speeds and reliability are not as promised.
  3. Rewarding loyalty: They promise to contact customers before the end of their contract to avoid them being rolled on to expensive out of contract deals.

Although none of this is new for TalkTalk, their charter has been framed as a challenge to other ISPs to do the same.

87% hate mid contract price hikes

As part of the announcement of the release of the charter, TalkTalk also revealed findings of a poll which showed where many customer's pain points lie.

According to their research, 87% of customers believe it's unfair of broadband companies to hike prices in the middle of a contract. 54% said they would be in support of a ban on these types of practices.

However, despite widespread dissatisfaction, almost a third (62%) still don't know when their contract ends. This would leave these individuals at risk of being rolled onto higher 'out of contract' rates.

Ofcom recently identified around four million households who are overpaying for their home broadband due to being on out of contract rates. They have since ruled that end of contract notifications need to be given, with Plusnet the first to offer this.

What do customer charters really mean?

All too often, customer charters are really a simple marketing exercise, highlighting features that the service already offers but wishes to make more noise about. While it's nice to see promises in black and white, they're frequently not worth the paper they are printed on.

While it's easy to be cynical about customer charters, to be fair to TalkTalk they have made some major improvements over recent years. Their new customer charter is certainly an effort to highlight their positive changes, as well a way to point out that many of their rivals have not done the same.

Coming from a history of data breaches, cyberattacks and poor customer service, TalkTalk are clearly attempting to win customers back. This year they have gained around 80,000 new customers, undoubtedly as a result of their service improvements.

As well as continuing to offer fixed price broadband, TalkTalk have raised their game by offering cut price deals throughout the year. The launch of their Great Connection Guarantee in the summer proves again that they're serious about clawing their way back.

However, it's worth remembering that Ofcom has already proposed industry-wide changes which cover a lot of what TalkTalk are promising.

Which broadband deals are available in your area?

independent comparison

We are independent of all of the products and services we compare.

fair comparison

We order our comparison tables by price or feature and never by referral revenue.

charity donations and climate positive

We donate at least 5% of our profits to charity, and we have a climate positive workforce.

Get insider tips and the latest offers in our newsletter