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TalkTalk customers break contract shackles

Carphone capitulates on complaints

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Angry TalkTalk customers are now able to leave their 18-month contracts freely.

The Register has learned complainants citing broken promises, service interruptions, and delayed local loop unbundling are being allowed to leave TalkTalk if they ask.

A spokesman for Carphone Warehouse-owned TalkTalk told us the firm would look on requests to escape binding 18-month arrangements "favourably" if it had failed to keep its service commitments in their case.

Another well-placed source told us it was unofficial policy to let anyone go who was unhappy at the level of service TalkTalk had provided.

TalkTalk's "free" broadband service, which offered punters who signed an 18-month landline contract a broadband connection at no extra charge, has been beset by problems from the outset. Industry watchers have claimed the firm rushed its launch, and has suffered bad press and let down customers because of it.

The group's results in July showed the "free" offering had been a success on paper after it snagged almost half a million customers. At the time, Carphone Warehouse MD Charles Dunstone admitted failings, however. He said: "We still have some some way to go, however, to reach the leading service levels we target."

TalkTalk's spokesman was keen to stress today the outfit had made great strides since the launch of the service.

Carphone Warehouse changed the broadband market back in April as the first of the now-standard "free" offerings. Now the firm seems to have decided it is better off in the long run losing individuals than poisoning the reputation of TalkTalk permanently. ®

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