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TalkTalk mobile review 2017

Richard Murphy
Tuesday, September 26th 2017

TalkTalk Mobile is currently unavailable. We will update this page as soon as it returns. TalkTalk Mobile is only available to existing customers, and is one of the cheapest providers around. It does have the odd customer service issue, however, and does not offer the widest range of handsets.

In a nutshell, TalkTalk offers some enticing deals, but also some downsides, so it’s worth putting the network under the microscope.

Is TalkTalk mobile any good?

Broadband Richard Murphy
  • Tariffs & plans
    4/5
  • Phone & device range
    3/5
  • Customer service
    2/5
  • Value for money
    4/5
  • Coverage
    4/5
  • Overall
    3/5

Pros and cons

  • Low handset prices
  • Cheap SIM-only plans
  • You can boost your monthly limits
  • It’s only for TalkTalk broadband customers
  • History of poor customer service
  • No plans with iPhones

What we like

Low handset prices

While TalkTalk does not have the widest range of handsets, it does have a number of low cost phones that are free with competitive monthly payments. Once you’ve selected your handset from the 50+ models available, you can choose one of the available TalkTalk SIMs so you get the right amount of data, minutes and texts.

These TalkTalk SIM deals come on 12-month or 30-day contracts and if, as a new customer, you take TalkTalk TV, broadband and home phone, you can choose to add a free mobile SIM with 500MB of data, 200 minutes and unlimited texts to your bundle. TalkTalk quad-play bundles with TV and a free SIM start at £18.95 per month for the first 18 months.

Cheap SIM-only plans

If you have a handset that you’re happy with, and you are already a TalkTalk broadband customer, TalkTalk offers seven SIM-only deals that are all on 12-month contracts, bar one. Data allowances range from a paltry 125MB up to 1GB, with 250 to unlimited texts and 200 to 1000 minutes.

You can boost your monthly limits

With TalkTalk Mobile you can enhance your monthly allowances with boosts. They’re flexible, and only last a single month, so you won’t be tied in when you take them out. The boosts apply to minutes, texts, data and global minutes, and cost either £2.50 or £5 per month.

For the UK minutes boost, you get either 100 UK minutes or 250 UK minutes. With text boosts, you get either 500 or 1,000 texts, and with the data allowance boost, you get either an extra 150MB or an extra 500MB. With the global minutes boost, you can get 200 minutes for an extra £5.

Visit TalkTalk mobile

What we don’t like

It’s only for domestic TalkTalk customers

As attractive as the offers look, it’s not possible to have just a TalkTalk Mobile contract on its own. The company explains that it can only offer such low-price contracts by making them available either to existing customers or to those that sign up for more than one service.

In real terms, this means you’d need to commit to a Talktalk broadband contract to benefit from the mobile offers. While this could be frustrating if you're happy with your existing provider, it does mean that you can take advantage of TalkTalk's cheap quad-play bundles if you're nearing the end of your existing contract.

History of poor customer service

Industry watchdog Ofcom has frequently raised concerns over TalkTalk’s customer service reputation, often listing the company as the most complained-about network in their quarterly surveys and reports.

Though this may potentially put people off, they do compensate for their shaky customer service with their low prices, and they do claim to be working hard to improve their reputation.

No plans with iPhones

If you fancy grabbing the latest iPhone with TalkTalk, we’re afraid you’d be out of luck. The network currently doesn’t offer any iPhone packages at all. For that matter, other Apple devices like the iPad and earlier iPhones are absent from the available line-up too.

However, you would be able to sign up for a TalkTalk SIM-only contract, as TalkTalk does provide compatible SIM cards for the more recent members of the iPhone family (the iPhone uses a nano-SIM).

Compare SIM-only deals

Coverage and network

TalkTalk Mobile currently uses Vodafone to carry its calls, texts and data over 3G only. As a consequence, that brings up to 96% coverage of UK households along with it.

However, TalkTalk has now signed a deal with O2 which will bring improved coverage along with 4G speeds. The new service is due to be launched this year.

If you’re thinking of joining TalkTalk’s service and want to make sure that you’ll be covered in your area, you can visit TalkTalk’s coverage checker at the link below.

Check coverage

Conclusion

TalkTalk is very much a story of extremes. It makes smartphone technology accessible and affordable, bringing some of the latest handsets to users who may otherwise have been unable to access them.

However, the requirement to sign up to TalkTalk broadband and Plus TV may put you off, so it’s best to weigh up what’s important to you before you decide whether or not you want to join TalkTalk Mobile.

Visit TalkTalk mobile

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