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Is TalkTalk broadband any good?

Tuesday, August 18th 2015

TalkTalk offers cheap internet deals: unlimited broadband with good security. There are no frills and the customer service is sometimes poor.

TalkTalk offers fibre optic broadband connections with truly unlimited downloads up to 76Mbps. You’ll also get free security software and the option to add in home phone, TV and a SIM plan 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 deals
  • Free HomeSafe software
  • Quad-play packages

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, on the face of it, one of the best broadband deals there is. Its entry-level package – SimplyBroadband – costs just £0.00 per month (plus £17.70 line rental) for truly unlimited downloads, with up to 17Mbps download speed and up to 1Mbps upload speed.

Prices are pretty good if you’re looking for a faster service. Prices for Fibre Medium (up to 38Mbps) start from £10 per month, but if you want a faster speed you may want to opt for the Fibre Large (up to 76Mbps) package, from £13.75 per month.

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. 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.

Quad-play packages

TalkTalk's Plus TV package includes TV, broadband, landline and a free mobile SIM for £15 per month. The mobile SIM is available on a rolling 30-day contract and comes with 100 minutes, 250 texts and 200MB data. There is also an option to add extra minutes, texts and data from £2.50.

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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, customers are still experiencing issues with how their complaints are handled and problems when changing provider. In the latest Ofcom reports, TalkTalk achieved 62% customer satisfaction rating, compared to the sector average of 69%.

Long contracts for fibre

All TalkTalk’s fibre broadband contracts are on an 18-month contract – six months longer than the average 12 months. If anything goes wrong and you want to leave, you’ll face an early exit fee for every month left on your contract. TalkTalk’s basic standard broadband package, SimplyBroadband, is on a 12-month contract.

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How does TalkTalk compare?

Our comparison tool lets you compare TalkTalk broadband packages against a host of popular plans from other UK providers. You can compare against any other package by selecting a different option from the dropdown menus:

  • Broadband
    Max Download Speed17Mb
    Max Upload Speed1Mb
    Monthly UsageUnlimited
    Home Phone
    Daytime Calls11.50ppm
    Evening Calls11.50ppm
    Weekend Calls11.50ppm
    Pricing & Contract
    Monthly CostFree
    (£5 after 18 mths)
    Upfront Cost£6.75
    Contract Length18 months
    Line Rental p/m£17.70
    Average Monthly£18.08
    First Year Cost£219.15
    Lifetime Cost
    0800 380 0064
  • Broadband
    Max Download Speed17Mb
    Max Upload Speed1.3Mb
    Monthly UsageUnlimited
    Home Phone
    Daytime Calls8.40ppm
    Evening Calls8.40ppm
    Weekend CallsInclusive
    Pricing & Contract
    Monthly CostFree
    (£9.99 after 12 mths)
    Upfront Cost£5.99
    Contract Length12 months
    Line Rental p/m£15.95
    Average Monthly£10.20
    First Year Cost£122.39
    Lifetime Cost
    0800 380 0064
  • Broadband
    Max Download Speed17Mb
    Max Upload Speed1Mb
    Monthly UsageUnlimited
    Home Phone
    Daytime Calls8.40ppm
    Evening CallsInclusive
    Weekend CallsInclusive
    Pricing & Contract
    Monthly CostFree
    (£5 after 6 mths)
    Upfront Cost£7.95
    Contract Length12 months
    Line Rental p/m£16.40
    Average Monthly£19.56
    First Year Cost£234.75
    Lifetime Cost
    0800 380 0064

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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.

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