I went to use my home phone this afternoon and found a nice womans voice telling me that my line was barred. Apparently Talk Talk needed me to pay them money before I could use my phone again. I was a little confused as I have a direct debit setup with them and so in a few short days they’ll be able to take any outstanding monies from my account – so why the need to inconvenience me in this way?

To try and resolve this I tried to call them. You’d think that having all the technology available to them they’d manage to realise that the number I dialled was actually the Talk Talk customer service one – but no, it was barred as well. Call me paranoid, but would you tell an automated voice that has hijacked your phone line your credit card number? I certainly wasn’t about to.

The mobile came to the rescue. When I called I was pleasantly surprised to get straight through! Of course, I got straight through to their customer serbvice in South Africa and was connected to a woman who I could understand maybe one word in 3 of. When I asked to be transferred to a different operator I was told I’d have to call back as she couldn’t do that. Rather than go through all the automated options again I asked her to talk slowly and we carried on.

Apparently I owed some money from earlier in January. The amount was small and was now included in my total outstanding balance, due to be collected in a few days, but seemingly it had to be paid today if I wished to use my phone. There were no real explanations of why, just a repeated insistence that I had to pay to get my phone back. She happily agreed that if I simply left it until the next direct debit due date they would take the money and my phone would be unblocked! If you understand why it was necessary to inconvenience me for the sake of getting money a few days early then I’m glad – I certainly don’t.

The upshot is that my phone may start working again shortly – or it may not. I certainly plan on swapping from Talk Talk at the first opportunity I get. Partly this is due to the appalling customer service I’ve had, partly because I still object to doing business with companies how have call centers outside of the UK. So, anyone in the UK care to recommend a phone company for a land line and broadband service?