Posted: 14 February 2020

Driving forward a fairer broadband market

By TalkTalk Chief Executive, Tristia Harrison

 

2020 is shaping up to be a milestone year for fairness in the telecoms industry. From this week, Ofcom will require telecoms and TV companies to notify customers when their contracts are coming to an end, ensuring that customers are aware of the best deals available and those offered to new customers too.

We welcome that fairness will now be prioritised across the market. As a challenger, TalkTalk thinks this is the right thing to do as we have always put customers at the heart of our business.

That is why since our launch in 2003, TalkTalk has pioneered a better, fairer approach to broadband and phone. And it hasn’t been easy. We’ve had to make big decisions along the way.

Whether that’s disrupting the market with unlimited free calls between TalkTalk customers back in 2004, launching free broadband in 2006 which completely transformed broadband in the home, or being the first provider to offer free parental filtering to all customers. Today our free HomeSafe product allows website filtering to set up parental filters to stop children accessing inappropriate content.

We’ve also led the way on fairness by being the first broadband provider to guarantee no mid-contract broadband price increases since 2016 with our fixed price plans, followed by the Great Connection Guarantee in 2018, allowing customers to leave penalty-free within the first 30 days of going live if they’re unhappy with their service or product. Helping more people than ever experience fibre and see for themselves the benefits it can bring.

We believe loyalty should be rewarded not penalised. So we already notify customers when their contract is about to end and provide better value or the same package available to new customers. We’ve also made sure that any changes to our standard out-of-contract pricing will be capped at the annual rate of inflation.

We are proud of our roots as a value provider. But for TalkTalk, fairness is not just getting a good deal, it’s about getting a great connection. Access to fast, reliable fibre broadband is no longer just a ‘nice to have’. It is an essential part of our everyday lives – and no one should have to pay a premium for this.

We also know that fairness means thinking of the needs of all our customers, especially those who may not know they can be on better deals. We’re already committed to automatically switching vulnerable customers who are out-of-contract onto a better deal. As part of this, TalkTalk has strengthened its expertise and training in this space, and we are continuing to work on this important area.

At TalkTalk we have shown that treating customers fairly is indeed possible. That is why we welcome these Ofcom rules coming into effect this week.

We take comfort in knowing that 2020 marks a year where customers will finally be put first across our industry. But we won’t rest on our laurels. We are working hard to constantly improve our service and offering to customers and we will continue with that mission.