Gremlins in the wires and Talk Talk cannot Talk


We all need technology and when it goes wrong it’s a nightmare because it seems that hardly any single person knows what to do. My internet service with AOL has been disrupted for a fortnight now, and here is a section of the letter I wrote to my provider, Talk Talk (who took over AOL recently):

To: Head of Customer Relations, TalkTalk

Dear Sir or Madam

I am writing to let you know how truly appalling your technical repair service is.

On 14 October, I phoned to report a fault in my internet service – it was impossible to connect. Your operator gave me various tests to perform, at the conclusion of which she said it was necessary for your engineer to call to inspect my equipment.

Nobody could come until a week later, the 21st. Your engineer duly arrived and he was excellent. After checking the router, filter and socket on the wall he surmised that the fault was beyond the premises, a problem for Openreach to deal with. Accordingly, he phoned to escalate the investigation, specially telling your operator that he had checked the equipment and the fault was definitely a problem to be solved by an Openreach engineer. Although he was a perfectly articulate and lucid speaker, he had great difficulty making the operator understand what he was saying and had to stand for a long long time repeating what he wanted. Eventually the operator caught on, I presume, stating she had escalated the enquiry.

Since then I have heard nothing. Two days ago, the 23rd, I phoned to find out what was happening. After about half an hour waiting and being apologised to, I was assured that someone would contact me within 24 hours. She then said someone would contact me between 24 – 48 hours. It is now 48 hours and I have heard nothing.

Fortunately my contract with your inept, incompetent company ends in December, and I plan to change providers. I am a journalist and rely on having a broadband connection for my livelihood, and due to your lack of communication and bigoted, ridiculous rules, I will, after 20 years with AOL, leave you, since you clearly cannot function.

The key problem, if you are interested in knowing, which I doubt, is communication. When you phone, the operators barely speaks English or understands what you say. They are mostly very keen to shut you up so that you get off the line. When you are promised something will be done nothing is done. And I am completely powerless to make anything happen, since BT, which I presume has equal access to Openreach, cannot help me, the request for engineering help on the public wiring in the road has to come from Talk Talk.

I tried to email you, but there isn’t even an email address for someone in overall control of your inept organisation, just some kind of absurd pull-down menu.

The reality is, TALK TALK CANNOT TALK. They cannot communicate properly and are clueless at solving problems.

I shall make this complaint as public as I can, probably via twitter. And I very much hope this loses you many more customers, since because of your inability to communicate with customers you are incapable of providing a reasonable service of any kind.

Frankly, I consider that you have treated me with utter contempt.

Yours sincerely


Next, a friend sent me a document as an attachment. There were various errors in this, but she explained that at her end the document she sent did not have these errors. She sent it to others, all of whom did not find the errors I had found.

My old computer uses the Vista operating system, and I’ve been told that this must be what is at fault. So getting a new or replacement computer appears to be the only answer. Why would this happen? Why would an old operating system alter an incoming document?

Everything is going wrong at once, but at least the knowledgeable and helpful engineer who called told me about dongles, and the possibility of getting temporary internet access, which I now have via 3G phones.

Does anyone else have glitches like this, where everything but everything goes wrong all at once? Grrrrrrrrrrr!


10 thoughts on “Gremlins in the wires and Talk Talk cannot Talk

  1. I sympathise with you Geoff. It must be very frustrating. I’m one of those people that screams at the computer if it isn’t doing what I want it to do and I regard technology as a necessary evil. Fortunately my hubby is an IT consultant. Obviously his views conflict with mine but he’s very useful to have around when I rely on IT so much. He showed me how to use my phone as a wifi hotspot for emergency back up. The problem is I’m so IT incompetent that he has to talk me through the process repeatedly each time the need arises – happy days. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Diane, your husband must be very clever. It was only down to the nice engineer that I knew you could link via a mob phone, without that I’d be stuck. I find IT awful too.


  2. How incredibly frustrating Geoff! I have certainly had times like this and often find these large companies/organisations make me furious with their inability to sort out problems. You are quite right it is all down to communication. I find if they call you back when they say they are going to makes all the difference, even if it’s just a holding call, a nothing’s changed call but we’re calling to let you know we haven’t forgotten you, you haven’t dropped off our list of things to do. At least then you know progress of some sort is being made.

    I have no idea if an operating system can change an incoming document but be careful what you wish for Geoff and if you buy new and end up with Windows 8 you’ll have another new world of hell awaiting you (this is from one who randomly decided to upgrade to Windows 8 one night!) I hope you get it all sorted out Geoff and are soon back up and running.


    1. I agree Georgia. A friend who knows about these things says it’s not so likely to be Vista, but probably the windows software installation, so with luck I can avoid having to change to win 8, certainly don;t want to.


  3. Hi Geoff,

    I recently bought an iPad. My daughter suggested it so that I could email myself chapters of my novel and read them in comfort later rather than spend more hours in the office.

    Half way through the font turned to around 8. Almost too small for me to read. First part of book was written on old computer with Windows 2000, whilst rest on new computer with Word 2010.

    Difference I am told between how Microsoft and Apple format the stuff.

    Keep at it.




    1. Hello Janet, why is it all so hard to understand? And how come all the info and everything comes to your house via just 2 wires? Beyond my comprehension entirely. Thanks for the comment Janet hope u well


  4. Geoff, I’ve just tweeted this to them as you were unable to email. I changed from BT years ago as it was impossible to get anyone on the phone who a) understood basic English and b) could give anything other than scriped answers. Hope you get some sort of reasonable reply, and that you get it all sorted soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Terry. I was going to physically post the letter but can’t find a stamp, so rare is it to write nowadays! Will do tomorrow. Your emailing it will certainly help. I was going to change to BT, since I have phone with them, and they, at least seem helpful. Maybe think again.


      1. Have found O2 the best. Virgin Media a bit crappy too, I think Sky is good as well. I didn’t email it, I just tweeted it to them, but with luck someone should pick it up tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

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