Talking About TalkTalk
I am excited to be a TalkTalk ambassador, and for the next few months will be posting about my experience of using TalkTalk.
TalkTalk provides TV, phone and broadband packages; it was set up as part of Carphone Warehouse in 2003, but de-merged to become a standalone company in 2010. When speaking to friends and relatives about them, I heard mixed reviews. Some people thought they were fantastic, the best service they’d ever had, never any problems, and so on. Others seemed to have had a less positive experience. I was interested to find out for myself…
As part of the ambassador program, I was provided with the standard set-up of a phone line, router and You View box for receiving TV.
There’s not a great deal I can say about the phone; it rings, I answer it. I don’t use my landline very often, but I’ve never known the service to go down, be patchy/intermittent or anything untoward. It was handy in fact, to change my phone number – since the number I had with my previous supplier (mentioning no names) seems to have been recycled ad infinitum and of the 4 or so calls I received each day, none were ever for me! This has not happened with my TalkTalk line, which is handy – and peaceful!
The router works in the same way as I should imagine all other routers work: it’s plugged into the phone line, and allows a wireless connection to anyone with the password. The signal doesn’t seem quite as far-reaching as my old router, which means I sometimes have connectivity issues if I’m being lazy and trying to Tweet from bed in the mornings.
On the other hand though, my old provider went through a stage where the broadband seemed to go down on a regular basis. In the couple of months I’ve had TalkTalk, this hasn’t happened yet. Although it does sometimes seem to cut out for a couple of seconds, it has always come straight back up without delay – and without shouty phone call, which I hate having to make!
The TV comes mostly through the TV aerial, with some channels and additional features coming via the Internet. This means you need to have the You View box plugged into both the aerial socket and the router, which can be a bit of a nuisance if you don’t want your TV and router in the same place. My phone socket and aerial sockets are on opposite sides of the room, so I had a slight delay in setting everything up, while I sourced a super long ethernet cable. It’s up and running now though, and I love it.
The You View box has loads of additional features, including recording, pausing and rewinding TV. This was a real novelty for me when I first got it, and I went a bit bonkers recording stuff I’d little intention of watching! You can also get “catch up” TV through BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD, 5 On Demand and UKTV On Demand (I think that’s all of them) – and there are lots of movies you can pay to view also.
If I’m honest, it’s taken me a bit of work to find my way around the way my You View box works. I had been using my old supplier for several years, and was used to how their system worked. I’m sure there are lots of aspects of this new box that I’m not using to its full capability yet – but so far it has exceeded expectation.
All in all, I am very pleased with the service I have been receiving. Whenever one changes suppliers for anything, there is always a chorus of “my mum’s friend’s dog had that and it was rubbish!” But in reality, every supplier has tripped over at some point, and it’s possible to find someone who has had a bad experience with every mobile supplier, every landline supplier, every TV supplier, every broadband supplier. One friend did point out to me that TalkTalk are a relatively new company who have acquired a lot of business very quickly, and had a couple of teething problems along the way – in the same way that when “super fast shiny new speedy broadband” is rolled out in a new area, it’s usually not so fast or shiny for the first month or so, while they iron out all the kinks they didn’t know where there until it went live!
My personal experience has been that this is a good service and definitely worth a look if you’re thinking of changing suppliers.
Stay tuned (see what I did there) for more posts about the service and what you can expect from it!