Tiscali Inefficiency - Again

  Goldcroft 08:45 13 Apr 2003

I am on the day time package and wanted to upgrade to the Anytime account. I was told this would take effect from yesterday, the 12th and that I would receive an email on that day giving me details of how to change the access tel no etc.

When I logged on early yesterday morning found that I had been cut off from my existing account and hence the internet overall. Spent hours trying to get through to both helplines and eventually got through to the tech help line (50p a min) and obviously ran up a bill before I could get the new password and tel no.

This morning got an email, which had been posted at 11.55pm yesterday which told me that I had been upgraded to the Offpeak account, not the Anytime account I had specified.

How can a company like Tiscali spend thousands trying to attract new customers with discs etc and be so amateurish and alienating its existing customers. The same thousands of people Tiscali is trying to reach will now, as I pointed out to them, now read a critical posting which will put them off from joining the company. If I dealt with my clients in the same I would be ashamed of myself and bankrupt.

Before everyone writes to suggest I migrate to another ISP, I would love to, but just can't face the hassle of changing email addresses, notepaper etc etc etc.

  phoenix198 09:54 13 Apr 2003


Some (unsolicited) advice:

You say you can't face the hassle of changing e-mail addresses, notepaper, etc as a result of migrating to another ISP.

Well, consider this; I've now been in dispute with Tiscali for 16 months, in which time they have displayed constant technological ineptitude, administrative inefficiency and a total lack of customer care.

Back in 2001 Tiscali bought out the old LineOne ISP with which I had my primary e-mail accounts. In December 2001 they attempted to merge/migrate the LineOne dialup databases with their own - and totally 'screwed the pooch' as our American cousins would say. Result: I was unable to access the internet at all for a period of about three weeks - no warning, no advice, nothing. Unsurprisingly, I decided to cut my losses, cancel the LineOne (Tiscali) account and join another ISP.

Happy ending? No, Tiscali continued to charge my credit card £14.99 per month for the pleasure of not accessing the internet. I shared your experience of spending a fortune in both time and money trying to contact Tiscali customer service by telephone (and e-mail) and eventually thought I'd cracked it in March 2002 with a registered letter formally instructing them to cancel my account and to cease and desist from billing me for a service I wasn't receiving.

Bingo! (I thought) June 2002 sees another charge to my credit card - a small one which I eventually ascertained was an 'account finalisation'. OK, the initial breakdown in service didn't happen on the last day of month, so perhaps that was fair, but Tiscali didn't see fit to send me a closure of account statement.

September 2003 showed why. Tiscali again charged my credit card £14.99. Several (expensive) calls to Tiscali customer support only highlighted just how confused, ineffectual and inefficient is their billing, account management and customer care organisation, and necessitated another letter, this time with proof of the charge to my credit card (because 'it didn't show on their billing records'), again demanding a cessation of billing, cancellation of any direct debit and reimbursement of the £14.99.

I have received no reply. OK, Tiscali haven't billed me again (yet) but I again called customer support in November 2002 to be told that their billing department 'had a backlog but that my claim would be processed within 30 days'. Over 120 days later ...... no reimbursement and absolutely nil communication in any form from Tiscali.

A third 'stroppogram' letter has just been dispatched to Tiscali, but I won't be holding my breath for any reply!

My advice Goldcroft: unless you have a substantial sum tied up in headed notepaper, type that simple e-mail to all your contacts announcing a change of e-mail address as from a given date (stating the reason why) and make that migration to another ISP. It will be less painful in the long run.

  3tg 11:18 13 Apr 2003

I emailed them with a question about changing to their broadband as I am with BT and have yet to receive a reply. This was three months ago. Cheers

  watchful 11:52 13 Apr 2003

Follow the advice of phoenix198.

It's worth the hassle.

  tbh72 12:10 13 Apr 2003

Phoenix, if your contact details are critical & are causing you this much hassle with regard changing ISP may I reccomend you purchase you own domain name & get your own pop3 e-mail address which will be your's for life!!!

I use click here

There prices are reasonable & they are alway's prompt in answering queries.

If tascali have a pay as you surf service eg 0845, I would downgrade to this account, then you can take your time changing your stationery & stop using their e-mail fascilities

  Goldcroft 15:00 13 Apr 2003

On their Anytime service, Tiscali offers two alternatives: one gives you a month free but with no contract. The other gives you three months free, but you must take out a 12 month contract. I wanted the no contract option. This is the email I received. The biggest joke is in the last line which you get on the end of all Tiscali emails.

Dear Mike

Thank you for e-mailing us.

Regarding your query, please note that the 12 month contract package is the only option available if you are upgrading your package to 'Anytime'.

However, you can downgrade your existing package to 'Pay as You Go' and sign up afresh for the 'Anytime' one month free package.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any further queries, by using the following URL:-

click here

Aaron Newton
A member of the
Customer Care Team @ Tiscali

Enjoy your time online and let us do the rest!

  Goldcroft 17:45 13 Apr 2003

Phoenix198: Forgot to comment on your horrendous experiences. I am not a financial expert, but could you not have cancelled your card, tranfered everything bar tiscali to another one?

The reason for the "Again" in my title was the Tiscali billing dept about which there have been numerous complaints here. I didn't get billed for the first month, then got two months bills. Then I told them that the number they had accepted was a debit card number, not a credit card. I didn't know they only accepted credit cards. After many telephone calls and emails I hae now been sent a direct debit form.

I feel watchful is right.

  Conzalis 18:03 13 Apr 2003

I'm also in dispute with Tiscali, I'm using their 512kbs Broadband package (£27) They billed me £65 a couple of Months ago I phone billing and was able to speak to an 'Advisor' who told me this was indeed a mistake and would be amended, but so far nothing infact I have been billed a further £19.99! I have wrtten two straight-to-the-point letters neither of which have been repled to and several expensive phone calls, there must be some offical body to deal with people like these!

  Goldcroft 18:23 13 Apr 2003

Do you - or anyone else who reads this - have the postal address for Tiscali and even name of person who runs the UK end?

  beeuuem 19:05 13 Apr 2003

Sergio Cellini, chief executive officer, Tiscali UK
Head Office
              Tiscali UK 
              20 Broadwick Street
              W1F 8HT
              tel: 08707 450 700

  beeuuem 19:07 13 Apr 2003

Sergio Cellini, chief executive officer, Tiscali UK

Head Office
Tiscali UK 
20 Broadwick Street
tel: 08707 450 700

Hope this formats more clearly!

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