TalkTalk’s poor customer service takes further blow

Internet Giant TalkTalk’s attempts to repair its poor reputation for customer service have suffered a blow after it topped the telecoms watchdog’s table of broadband complaints between July and September last year.

Complaints about the company’s broadband service reached the highest level in 18 months as it shut down a call centre after it discovered employees were scamming customers. TalkTalk grew suspicious in 2014 that workers were stealing customer details to convince them to hand over personal banking information. After concluding an investigation, TalkTalk said it withdrew all customer service operations in August. On Friday it claimed that this had caused “temporary disruption” to its customer care process, and was responsible for the rise in complaints to Ofcom. “That move, and a radical shift to self serve is already delivering a material improvement in customer satisfaction and we expect complaint data for 2018 to reduce significantly,” a spokesman said.

TalkTalk has been haunted by a reputation for poor customer service since buying Tiscali UK in 2009. Until the latest set of data, customer satisfaction had appeared to be improving, dropping to second place for broadband complaints between April and June last year. Ofcom’s latest data takes into account the number of customer complaints it has received and found that TalkTalk generated the highest volume per 100,000 customers.


Kevin Edwards

Firms buy insurance ‘in mad panic’ as cyber-attacks soar

Many firms are panicking as cyber-attacks and regulatory fines threaten profitsMad Panic over Insurance as Cyber-Attacks soar.

With cyber-attacks increasing in frequency and severity, many companies are turning to insurance to cover their mounting losses. But can insurers quantify the risk accurately and could insurance lead to corporate complacency? Many firms feel like they’re under siege. Cyber-attacks are coming thick and fast and the tools at the hackers’ disposal seem to be getting more, not less, powerful.

Estimated annual losses from cyber crime now top $400bn (£291bn), according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. And the cost in lost productivity of last year’s WannaCry ransomware attack alone was estimated at $4bn.

So many businesses are buying cyber insurance “in a mad panic”, warns Charl van der Walt of SecureData, a cyber-security company.

“Unfortunately this will mean that businesses of all sizes will seek out the minimum cyber-security investment laid out by insurers, government, and regulators, rather than going above and beyond to protect their own, and their customers’, data.”

Ransomware attacks, whereby criminals break in to your network, encrypt all your data, then demand money in return for the decryption key, are particularly virulent. Firms have even been stocking up on Bitcoins – the hackers’ cryptocurrency payment of choice – to pay the ransoms.