Phone and internet provider Tiscali is to officially rebrand as TalkTalk in January, Which? has learned.
The move was confirmed by a TalkTalk spokesperson, who told Which? that the Tiscali brand ‘will be no more’ from January 7, 2009.
Which? contacted TalkTalk after it received complaints from Which? members who were standalone broadband customers of Tiscali. The members had received letters from TalkTalk saying they must either bundle their broadband together with a ‘Weekend talk’ phone package, or pay £5 extra a month to continue with their standalone broadband service.
See how both TalkTalk and Tiscali measure up in the Which? reviews of broadband and phone, internet and TV packages.
All Tiscali customers ‘to be migrated’
As part of the rebrand, TalkTalk plans to move Tiscali customers over onto the TalkTalk network. The company says that the move will allow customers to benefit from a more reliable service and faster broadband speeds. The move will take place over the period of a year, Which? has learned.
TalkTalk told Which? that it does not want its customers paying different prices depending on when they signed up. As part of the move, it says it plans to change all Tiscali customers’ packages to bring them in line with TalkTalk prices. It wants all current Tiscali customers to take phone and broadband with TalkTalk, rather than standalone broadband.
TalkTalk reckons that for most customers the migration will result in them paying a lower monthly price than now. But a number of people will have to pay more if they wish to use TalkTalk as their phone and broadband provider, according to the spokesperson.
Although it will take a year to complete the full migration of Tiscali customers to the TalkTalk network, TalkTalk is starting to contact Tiscali customers to bring the price they pay now in line with TalkTalk pricing. It has already started to contact standalone broadband customers, and says that it will be contacting all other Tiscali customers shortly.
Unhappy customers ‘free to switch’
Which? broadband expert Ceri Stanaway says: ‘It’s no great surprise that TalkTalk, which bought the struggling Tiscali UK network in mid-2009, has decided to bring both brands together under the TalkTalk name.
‘While, as TalkTalk says, a number of Tiscali customers may benefit from lower prices and a better service, some Tiscali customers will be unhappy with the change, whether because they will have to pay a higher price or because they simply do not want to move to a phone and broadband deal with TalkTalk.
‘TalkTalk have confirmed that Tiscali customers who are unhappy with the changes will be free to break their contract if necessary and move to another provider.’
If you’re a Tiscali customer, Which? advice is to wait until you receive a letter from advising you of the offers available to you from TalkTalk. If you’re not happy, use Which? advice to choose a broadband service, home phone service or phone, internet and TV package that will give you the best possible customer service and value for money.
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