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Is TalkTalk broadband any good?

Wednesday, February 12th 2014

TalkTalk offers cheap, unlimited broadband with good security. There are no frills and the customer service is sometimes poor, but improving slowly.

A pocket-friendly alternative to the likes of BT and Sky, TalkTalk offers fibre optic connections with truly unlimited downloads up to 76Mbps. You’ll also get free security software and the option to add in home phone and TV to make a complete package. However, TalkTalk’s customer service record is a major issue, although it claims to be making efforts to redeem itself.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Cheap broadband options
  • Free HomeSafe software
  • Options for businesses

Cons

  • No inclusive calls with basic broadband
  • Bad record of customer service
  • Long contracts for fibre

What we like

Cheap broadband options

If you’re looking for a budget broadband deal without the restrictions of a download cap, TalkTalk is certainly worth a look. Its entry-level package – SimplyBroadband – costs just £3.50 per month (plus £15.95 line rental) for truly unlimited downloads, with up to 16Mbps download speed and up to 1Mbps upload speed.

Prices are pretty good if you’re looking for a faster service, costing an extra £10 per month for Fibre Medium (up to 38Mbps) and £15 per month for Fibre Large (up to 76Mbps). Line rental remains a frustrating expense if you don’t plan to use your home phone, but you can slash the total cost by paying 12 months’ line rental upfront in a lump sum.

Free HomeSafe™ software

TalkTalk is very proud of its HomeSafe™ system, which all customers get for free as part of their broadband package. It is built into the network itself, which means any device using the home connection via Ethernet or Wi-Fi will be protected from content you have personally deemed unsafe or unsuitable. It is handy for parents as it can give you specific control over what your kids see online.

Options for business

TalkTalk has a range of options for business users looking for broadband. Unlimited data, a free router, and a free static IP address are all included in any TalkTalk business broadband package. TalkTalk business broadband starts at just £4 a month.

Need help choosing the right deal?
Speak to one of our experts on 0800 840 53950203 305 5292

We're here to help Monday to Friday 8am-9pm, Saturdays 9am-6.30pm and Sundays 10am-6.30pm

What we don’t like

No inclusive calls with basic broadband

There are no inclusive calls with TalkTalk broadband. You have to pay for what you use. So if you make a lot of phone calls in a month, you’ll be paying quite a bit. You can add an Anytime UK Calls Boost to your TalkTalk broadband for an extra £5 per month.

Bad record of customer service

Customer service has long been TalkTalk’s Achilles’ heel, highlighted by a hefty fine and a rather embarrassing telling-off from Ofcom in 2011 after incorrectly billing over 60,000 customers.

Despite complaints about TalkTalk falling to their lowest level since Ofcom first began publishing complaints data, they remain above the industry average. Customers experienced issues with how their complaints were handled and problems with changing provider. But TalkTalk is by no means alone: BT and EE also generated complaints in excess of the industry average for broadband service in 2013.

Long contracts for fibre

If TalkTalk’s reputation makes you a little uneasy, the 18-month contract on all fibre broadband contracts might feel too restrictive. If anything goes wrong and you want to jump ship, you’ll face an early exit fee for every month left on your contract. Luckily, TalkTalk’s basic broadband package, SimplyBroadband, is only subject to a 12-month contract.

Package comparison

  • Broadband
    Max Download Speed16Mb
    Max Upload Speed1Mb
    Monthly UsageUnlimited
    Fair UsageNo
    Traffic ShapingNo
    IP AddressingDynamic
    Digital TV
    TV Channels-
    SD Channels-
    HD Channels-
    3D Channels-
    Radio Channels-
    Home Phone
    Daytime Calls11.5ppm
    Evening Calls11.5ppm
    Weekend Calls11.5ppm
    Pricing & Contract
    Monthly Cost
    -
    £3.50
    Upfront CostFree
    Contract Length12 months
    Line Rental p/m£15.95
    Average Monthly£19.45
    First Year Cost£233.40
    Lifetime Cost£233.40
    See deal →
    or call 0800 840 5395
  • Broadband
    Max Download Speed76Mb
    Max Upload Speed19Mb
    Monthly UsageUnlimited
    Fair UsageNo
    Traffic ShapingYes
    IP AddressingDynamic
    Digital TV
    TV Channels-
    SD Channels-
    HD Channels-
    3D Channels-
    Radio Channels-
    Home Phone
    Daytime Calls-
    Evening Calls-
    Weekend Calls-
    Pricing & Contract
    Monthly Cost
    -
    £22.49
    Upfront Cost£55.99
    Contract Length18 months
    Line Rental p/m£15.95
    Average Monthly£41.55
    First Year Cost£517.27
    Lifetime Cost£747.91
    See deal →
    or call 0800 840 5395
  • Broadband
    Max Download Speed15Mb
    Max Upload Speed1Mb
    Monthly UsageUnlimited
    Fair UsageYes
    Traffic ShapingNo
    IP AddressingDynamic
    Digital TV
    TV Channels-
    SD Channels-
    HD Channels-
    3D Channels-
    Radio Channels-
    Home Phone
    Daytime Calls8.4ppm
    Evening CallsInclusive
    Weekend CallsInclusive
    Pricing & Contract
    Monthly Cost
    (£4 after 6 mths)
    £2
    Upfront Cost£7.95
    Contract Length18 months
    Line Rental p/m£14.50
    Average Monthly£17.44
    First Year Cost£202.95
    Lifetime Cost£313.95
    See deal →
    or call 0800 840 5395

Postcode checker

Like many UK providers, TalkTalk uses the BT Openreach network, which brings ADSL broadband coverage to around 99% of the UK. Put your postcode into the checker below to see if TalkTalk broadband is an option in your area.

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Conclusion

You get what you pay for with TalkTalk’s broadband options. The attraction of cheap unlimited broadband with good security software and useful business options is countered by the lack of inclusive calls, questionable service and a fairly long contract on the fibre broadband packages.

Visit TalkTalk →

And don't forget, Cable.co.uk now produces in-depth broadband reviews of every major UK broadband package, so check them out if you need more information.

TalkTalk broadband reviews

Cable.co.uk now produces in-depth broadband reviews of every major UK broadband package, follow the links below to check out what we thought of TalkTalk's range.

Superpowered Fibre 38Mb

3

Superpowered Fibre 38Mb
SimplyBroadband

2.6

SimplyBroadband
Superpowered Fibre Large

2.4

Superpowered Fibre Large

Need help choosing the right deal?
Speak to one of our experts on 0800 840 53950203 305 5292

We're here to help Monday to Friday 8am-9pm, Saturdays 9am-6.30pm and Sundays 10am-6.30pm

Comments (270)

Rona McGill
7 days ago

Have no problems as yet with Talk Talk fibre optic and installation went fine (BT Engineer was very pleasant) but 6 months into contract have discovered that I now have a limit on the calls charges I can run up each month = £20. Unfortunately without knowing I went over this phoning two friends on friday evening, tried to use phone saturday evening, re-direct to talk talk. Option 1 pay outstanding balance, Option 2 speak to operator. Option 2 - our offices are not open. Option 1, paid outstanding balance - but not reconnected. Option 1 listen to balance, outstanding balance £0 (payment worked) but still £23 calls to be paid - can't pay this through automated service. Had to wait until monday morning to phone operator - paid those calls - he says it will be 24hours before we get reconnected. So we have had no landline from saturday until tuesday. Very unhappy with £20 charge limit on account, and can't change it (apparently I'm not eligible because I've gone over the limit - even though I paid balance), and have to wait another 1 year before my 18 months contract is up.

Steven Lawrence
8 days ago

Never had a problem with Talk Talk, although their call centres are hard work on the few times I have had to ring problems have always been solved. Over the past 15 years I have been with Talk Talk, BT and Sky and the worst service I ever has was BT ( WILL NEVER TAKE GO BACK TO THEM)

Jenny Budd
9 days ago

I have had the exact same experience as everyone else on here regarding the customer service. I just moved house and had to take out a new contract. They asked if I wanted to take my number with me and I said ok, not that bothered but, ok why not. They proceeded to tell me it would be connected on Friday (I called Saturday), excellent. I then got a letter to say it would be 3 days later than the lady had told me on the phone (8th July) - ok I can deal with that. I then went on holiday for a week and came back to it still not being connected. A message came up saying my user name and password were not correct for my router and had to call off my landline to get the user name and password from there. Thing is I don't have a landline and just have the simply broadband package. So I call their technical department and they say that its not an issue with the router it is that they haven't disconnected my line at the old property yet, that doesnt happen until 12th July! So how could my connection have been advised for the 8th?! Anyway they say it will be connected around the 12th, so I wait and of course no connection! I cancelled the contract in a rage and was told there would be a disconnection fee, so I said uncancel it then please. It is now the 19th July and still no connection. I call and ask them this morning and ask why and they say the line has not been disconnected at the old property...! But my order for this new property is in place. How they think that I am going to get connected when my line is still connected elsewhere is anyone's guess.

Every time I call I get told something different and they obviously don't understand what you are trying to say on the phone. When I asked if we could continue without my old number and just on the line installed the bloke told me that he couldn't give me any further details....! WTF

jeanette
10 days ago

WELL AS I PROMISED HERE IS THE ADDRESS FOR mrmoney@the-sun.co.uk GET IN TOUCH AND HOPEFULLY HE WILL BE ABLE TO HELP SO GOOD LUCK!!!

jeanette
10 days ago

IF YOU SEE MY POST 1/2 DAYS AGO USE THE PHONE NUMBER THAT I HAVE POSTED IT IS FOR MIKEY MORAN JUST KEEP ON TO HIM HE WILL GET FED UP AND HE MIGHT DO SOMETHING IF ENOUGH PEOPLE PHONE HIM LOL!!!! I DID HAVE HIS E-MAIL ADRESS I WILL POST ITIF I STILL HAVE IT?

jeanette
10 days ago

KEEP TRYING THE SUN'S MR MONEY HE DID GET BACK TO ME AFTER A WHILE AS HE TOLD ME HE HAS A LOT TO READ BUT HE SENT ME AN EMAIL BECAUSE I THOUGHT HE HAD FORGOTTEN OR JUST NOT BOTHERED TO REPLY(AS SOME DO AKA TALKTALK)!! BUT PLEASE KEEP ON I WAS LEFT WITH A MOBILE PHONE BILL OF NEARLY £50 SO KEEP ON AND GOOD LUCK

Kirsty
10 days ago

I agree! I have written to the sun already but haven't heard back! Hopefully I will. They need closing down! They take your money and then you are left empty handed and like me - short on bills!

Kirsty
11 days ago

Don't waste your time with these guys. I lost over £200 in wages and my complaint got passed to the CEO department who waived the cancellation fee a I never had services but wouldn't compensate for the fact I LOST over £200 in wages due to THEM screwing up the appointments and not being able to fix my issue. He made it sound like he was doing me a favour but waiving my bill and cancellation fee... I never had my services in the first place!!!!! Useless. Cheapest for a reason. Getting further advice as I'm £200 down thanks to them and I have bills to pay!!!!!! Can I take this any further?!? He said due to 'company policy' he cannot further compensate me!!

jeanette
11 days ago

HI TO ALL DO WHAT I DID AND GO TO THE SUN NEWSPAPER IF THERE IS ENOUGH COMPLAINTS THEY WILL HELP YOU THEY GOT ME SOME WHERE WITH MIKEY MORAN IT IS WORKING (AT LAST) AND THREE MONTH FREE INTERNET. HIS DIRECT LINE IS 02034171983!!! TRY MR MONEY @THE SUN AND PLEASE LET THERE BE A LOT OF PEOPLE COMPLAIN TO THEM TO GET SOMETHING DONE ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!! IF YOU ALL WRITE IN THEY WILL TRY AND GET IT SORTED.DESPERATE TIMES CALL FOR DESPERATE MEASURES HOPE WE ALL GET WHAT WE WANT BROADBAND/PHONE AND WHATEVER WORKING!!!! WILL BE WATCHING AND HOPING FOR EVERYONE

Fran
12 days ago

Hi Kirsty,

Get in touch with the ombudsman, talktalk have to give you the number if you ask for it! If all the serious faults on here were brought to the attention of this nefarious company as a bloc something would be done about them. Their problem is that they have to use the equipment of BT, hence also use their engineers. I do not know if BT hinders them in any way, but I find it odd that it is always line faults and lets face it BT want the custom themselves. It does not help that the people in their call centres are robots and have had the basic of training, if you can call it that. I also wonder what type of infrastructure is in place with them as their billing never seems to be accurate and their cold calling never seems to get questioned. Do not argue with them, it is futile, I was so angry once that during a telephone conversation I asked the person to whom I was speaking what kind of duck species she came from >>she actually answered Karachi! Just goes to show what you are dealing with!!!!!!!

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