28 Oct 2015

TalkTalk data breach can I leave TalkTalk?

TalkTalk data breach can I leave TalkTalk?

TalkTalk Data Breach – Can I Leave TalkTalk?

TalkTalk Data Breach – Can I Leave TalkTalk?

TalkTalk Data Breach – Can I Leave TalkTalk?

You, as a TalkTalk customer, may feel that the recent data breach, when considered in the context of a series of unpleasant dealings as a customer of TalkTalk is the final straw and are asking yourself, “Can I leave TalkTalk?”

As with many similar consumer contracts, there is a 21 day cooling off period, which is essentially a grace period in which a consumer has the opportunity to change their mind without incurring a penalty. If your contract has gone beyond the 21 day cooling off period you may be asking, “What can I do?”

It seems that as a customer of TalkTalk, you are very limited in terms of what you can do in order to come out of your contract early without incurring a penalty, as it appears, after considering the contract, that there is a complex charging system for customers who wish to leave TalkTalk early. These complex charges are referred to in the contract as “Early termination charges”. It seems that these charges are distinct to each service that you are provided with by TalkTalk, and that the charges are also accumulated.

For example, if you are a customer of TalkTalk and have “Fibre Large” package which you wish to cancel, the contract states that you will need to pay £15 per month for every month left on your contract, in addition to the phone, broadband and television service early termination charges. This could add up to a vast sum, in some cases to nearly £800.

TalkTalk states the following on its website:

“In the unlikely event that money is stolen from your bank account as a direct result of the cyber attack (rather than as a result of any information you give out) then as a gesture of goodwill, on a case by case basis, we will waive termination fees

It’s important to remember that the cyber attack was a criminal act and we are acting in line with our terms and conditions.

 Customers can talk to our customer services team which is free from TalkTalk landline.”

TalkTalk seems to suggest that it may, as a gesture of goodwill and on a case by case basis, decide to waive termination fees. The number of cases in which it decides to waive termination fees is yet to be determined but is very likely to be minimal because of the caveats attached to the offer, particularly the statement, “rather than as a result of any information you give out”. So, if someone called you and you gave them additional information which ended up assisting them in stealing money from your account, then it looks as if you are not going to be eligible for the offer.

I analysed the TalkTalk contract on behalf of BBC radio 4 PM show. Listed here:

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