Glitch leaves TalkTalk Mobile customers phoneless and fuming

11 July 2014   By Julia Kukiewicz

TALKTALK MOBILE customers trying to activate new numbers are being thwarted by a IT glitch, this site has learned.

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Credit: Piotr Swat/

New customers are receiving their handsets but not the emails giving them their number so that they can activate their accounts.

The standard SIM activation number rings through to a recorded error message.

Customers trying to port numbers or remove mobile service restrictions (presumably parental controls) are also facing delays.

To make matters worse, TalkTalk Mobile's customer service staff are being heroically unhelpful, frustrated would-be customers report.

One TalkTalk rookie we spoke to has called five times in the past week to try to get his new phone working. All that he's actually managed to get out of call centre staff is vague and contradictory information about what the problem is and no information at all about when it will be fixed.

TalkTalk have apologised for the delays.

"We are sorry that a small number of customers experienced delays activating TalkTalk Mobile accounts this week," a TalkTalk spokesperson told us.

"This was because of a fault, which we are working hard to fix. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused."

"Grossly incompetent"

The inconvenience would have been considerably lessened if TalkTalk staff had a clue what was going on, customers have told us.

"It's understandable that there are delays when a server goes down, the problem is more that the customer service department is grossly incompetent," our TalkTalk customer on the ground says.

"The systems they have in place are inadequate and there is no communication between departments, something which the only competent employee I spoke to laughed about himself."

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Staff have consistently told him that the problem would be resolved 'soon' or 'in 24 hours', he says, and only one person has mentioned the system fault, explaining that the 'server is down'.

Staff also told him that the cost of his contract would go up, since a special offer had ended while he was waiting for the phone to be activated.

After consulting with their product managers, the TalkTalk press office told us that this particular piece of bad news isn't true. Customers will get the tariffs they signed up for.

That's good news for our phoneless friend but should trouble any TalkTalk customers who look to their provider for factual information, rather than bizarre lies.

Waiting on a fix

TalkTalk were unable to tell us how long customers will have to continue to wait for a fix, and the page the budget provider is directing customers complaining on social media to is similarly unhelpful.

It simply says that the provider is aware of a fault that is causing delays and is working on a solution.

Worryingly, though, while the customers we've been talking to have only been waiting for their activation for a week or less, it appears that some have without service since the start of the month.

Let's just hope the problems don't go on as long as Asda Mobile's.

Customers on that network, which, like TalkTalk Mobile, is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), saw porting problems over seven months, spiking in May when their switch to the EE network was completed.

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