TalkTalk to offer loyal customers same deals as new ones and scrap separate line rental charge, as it battles back one year on from major data breach
- Telecoms giant to scrap separate line rental packages
- Says it is going back to its 'challenger roots'
- Comes almost a year since it suffered a major data breach
TalkTalk is to scrap separate line rental charges across all its packages as it looks to revamp its image a year on from the major data breach which rocked the telecoms firm.
It will also give loyal customers the same deals as new ones and offer a guaranteed fixed price with no broadband price rise for 18 months, it announced this morning.
The telecoms firm says it is making a 'return to its challenger roots centred on putting customers first.'
Telecoms shake-up: TalkTalk is looking to go back to its 'challenger roots' and has announced new plans to win back customers
In October 2015, the company suffered an embarrassing and serious data breach which tarnished its image - 157,000 customer details were accessed in the attack.
It says scrapping of line rental charges, a bugbear of broadband customers who do not use a landline telephone, will mean more transparency.
This is Money has long called for an investigation into line rental prices, which are consistently hiked by telecoms firms.
It says any customer who has had a TalkTalk package for three months or more can also switch if there is a better TalkTalk deal available.
This, it says, means nearly half of its customers stand to pay less than they currently do.
The telecoms firm said that it carried out the most extensive research in its history to make the changes – and 84 per cent of people it spoke to were annoyed that loyalty is not rewarded.
Customers also complained of 'loud, eye-catching' adverts lead by celebrities which distract from hidden catches.
As a result, it will instead lead its advertising with real TalkTalk customers, the firm says.
Fighting back: TalkTalk boss Dido Harding hasher work cut out after the data breach
Tristia Harrison, consumer managing director at TalkTalk, said: 'Nothing matters more to us than our customers and doing right by them is the right thing for our business.
'We've listened hard to what they've told us and we're acting on it.
'People are fed up of confusing packages and loud advertising, they're frustrated with deals which shoot up mid contract, and they hate seeing the best deals saved for new customers.'
TalkTalk, which is headed up by chief executive Dido Harding who has remained at the helm despite the data breach, lost 101,000 subscribers in its third quarter last year and was forced to temporarily shut down its online sales channels in the wake of the cyber-attack.
Most recent quarterly data from Kantar Worldpanel in July shows TalkTalk had fallen behind the other big players when it comes to attracting new broadband, fixed landline and paid television customers.
Its sales share was down 8.3 per cent between March and June 2016 compared to the year before, the data revealed.
BT saw sales up 7.8 per cent in the same period, Virgin Media four per cent and Sky 1.1 per cent.
Fiona Keenan, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, said when the research was revealed: 'BT benefited more than anyone else from TalkTalk's data hacking scandal last year, with 40 per cent of those leaving TalkTalk moving to BT in the months following on from the data breach.
'TalkTalk is a shadow of its former self compared with how well it was performing before the data hacking scandal came into play.
'In a market that is becoming increasingly noisy TalkTalk seems to have lost its voice and consumers seem unwilling to listen - TalkTalk has its work cut out if it's to see its previous success again.'
TalkTalk is a FTSE-250 listed company. In early trading, the share price was up one per cent to 204p.