TalkTalk Homepage: Everything you need to know

Formed in the nineties under the name Opal Telecoms, TalkTalk has gone from providing fixed-line telephony services to businesses to being one of the UK’s largest quad-play telecommunications providers - supplying phone, broadband, TV and mobile services to millions of subscribers.


Want to find something out about TalkTalk? You’ve come to the right place; we’re going to take you through every aspect of the provider in our TalkTalk Homepage.


About TalkTalk

Let’s start by giving you a bit of an outline of the company, from its history to job information and a look at the latest news regarding TalkTalk. Let’s take a detailed look from beginning to end.

History

In 1995, a company called Opal Telecoms was formed to provide fixed voice services to UK businesses. When it was bought by Carphone Warehouse in 2002, it was a fast-growing reseller supplying more than 20,000 corporate clients and leasing modern fibre-optic lines. A year later, TalkTalk, Opal’s consumer-focused sibling, was born.

It did not take long before TalkTalk began to make its mark on the industry, launching free unlimited calls between its customers and disrupting the industry. It entered the broadband market in 2005 when new regulation allowed alternative providers access to BT’s network through a process called local loop unbundling (LLU), expanding a year later with its purchase of AOL Broadband.

2006 was the year that really marked TalkTalk’s entrance into the UK broadband market, with the launch of free broadband. According to TalkTalk, demand “far outstripped” supply, but it established its reputation as a disruptive provider capable of competing with the industry’s big guns. A few years later, TalkTalk began sponsoring talent show The X Factor, and after its purchase of Tiscali UK and Pipex reached a quarter of the UK’s residential broadband market.

Rising arrow

It wasn’t until 2010, however, that TalkTalk demerged from Carphone Warehouse and became a company in its own right. Once this was done, it quickly set about expanding its own telecommunications empire, beginning with the rebranding of Opal Telecom as TalkTalk Business in 2011, and with the launch of TalkTalk TV and TalkTalk Mobile the following year. In 2014, it set about developing a 1GB fibre network (called Ultra Fibre Optic (UFO) broadband) in York to rival the fastest broadband speeds on the market, which is already available to many UK subscribers.

Timeline

  • 1995 - Opal Telecoms formed, providing fixed-line phone services to corporate customers.
  • 2002 - Carphone Warehouse purchases Opal Telecoms.
  • 2003 - The TalkTalk brand is launched.
  • 2004 - Unlimited free calls between TalkTalk customers introduced.
  • 2005 - Opal acquires Vartec, Telequip and OneTel.
  • 2006 - TalkTalk launches free broadband and buys AOL Broadband from Time Warner (it would remain a separate brand until 2015).
  • 2009 - TalkTalk purchases Tiscali UK and Pipex.
  • 2010 - TalkTalk demerges from Carphone Warehouse. It also joins Project Canvas with major TV providers to develop a new TV platform merging terrestrial TV and online content.
  • 2011 - HomeSafe is introduced, making TalkTalk the first UK ISP to provide free parental filters. Opal Telecoms changes its name to TalkTalk Business.
  • 2012 - TalkTalk partners with YouView to inaugurate TalkTalk TV. TalkTalk Mobile is launched (via Vodafone’s network).
  • 2013 - TalkTalk blocks all nuisance calls network-wide.
  • 2014 - Work begins on TalkTalk’s 1GB UFO broadband network in York in a joint venture with Sky and CityFibre.
  • 2015 - TalkTalk acquires tIPicall and begins providing VoIP services to UK businesses.
  • 2016 - TalkSafe is introduced, allowing customers to use their voice as a password.

Present day

TalkTalk’s most recent ventures have been the acquisition of tIPicall, a SIP calls provider, which has allowed TalkTalk Business to start offering VoIP services to its corporate customers. More recently, the launch of TalkSafe has allowed 4 million TalkTalk customers to prove their identity using their voice instead of by typing in personal details.

TalkTalk’s broadband network covers 96% of UK households, and it is planning to expand its UFO broadband offer to a wider customer base - allowing it to offer much higher speeds and decrease its reliance on BT’s Openreach network.

TalkTalk Share Price

TalkTalk Group, which encompasses all arms and subsidiaries of its business, is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is on the FTSE 250 Index. Its share price has remained relatively stable since a significant dip in the period between mid-2015 and mid-2017. After dipping below £100 in value in August of 2019, it shot up to trade at above £114 in October, but it has now dipped again slightly and is trading at £105.60. You can see trends for the last five years on the London Stock Exchange's website.

TalkTalk Jobs

If you’re looking for a job with TalkTalk, the best place to head to is the TalkTalk careers site. Most of its employees, as it points out on the site, are based at the Soapworks in Salford, but they also have offices in Irlam, Gateshead and London (a “stone's throw” from Shepherd’s Bush). The site has a section on ‘Life at TalkTalk’ which will tell you all about the benefits that its employees receive, which include flexible working, a company pension scheme, private medical insurance, as well as free TalkTalk products, including Fibre, TV and phone.

The Careers site advertises vacancies across our teams, each of which you can explore in further detail on the site. They are:

  • The Consumer team
  • The Tech team
  • The Shared Services team
  • The Business team

If you want to see listings for any of these, head to the site. It doesn’t allow you to do a direct search for a specific job you’re looking for, but all current vacancies are listed and you can filter your search according to your preferences. The listings offer you two options: you can either ‘Read More’ about the post (we’d recommend this as a first step!) or ‘Apply Now’ to begin the application process directly through the website.

TalkTalk News

  • 13/11/2019 - TalkTalk delays its financial results amid speculation it has found an investor for a £1.5bn venture to build three million FTTP connections for its FibreNation project. (source: The Register)
  • 16/11/2019 - Plans to sell the fibre network being developed by TalkTalk have been put on hold following Labour’s announcement it would build a national network of free internet if it formed the next government. (source: The Times)
  • 4/12/2019 - TalkTalk customers complain of strange bandwidth issues as some sites crash or are slowed down significantly and others continue to work as normal. (source: The Register)

TalkTalk products

In this section, we’re going to take you through all the products TalkTalk have to offer you. As you’ll know by now, they are split into four types - Broadband, Phone, TV and Mobile. Let’s start with its broadband offer:

TalkTalk Broadband

Like many providers, TalkTalk divides its broadband offer into four packages operating at four different speeds. Only three of these, however, are available in its current set of deals - if you’re used to doing your homework on broadband packages, you’ll be quite familiar with them:

Fast Broadband Faster Fibre Superfast Fibre 150 Fibre
11 Mbps avg. downloads 38 Mbps avg. downloads 67 Mbps avg. downloads 145 Mbps avg. downloads
Flexible contract lengths Flexible contract lengths Flexible contract lengths Not currently available
Unlimited usage Unlimited usage Unlimited usage Unlimited usage
Includes line rental Includes line rental Includes line rental Includes line rental
HomeSafe web filter included HomeSafe web filter & SuperSafe Boost virus protection included HomeSafe web filter & SuperSafe Boost virus protection included HomeSafe web filter & SuperSafe Boost virus protection included

As you can see, all of TalkTalk’s broadband deals come with line rental included. They don’t seem to offer simple broadband-only deals, but you do have the benefit of choosing a contract length to suit you - you can choose 12, 18 or 24-month deals, though prices will vary according to the deal you choose. See full details on pricing in our TalkTalk pricing section.

Other benefits to signing up to TalkTalk broadband include:

  • Flexible contract lengths
  • Unlimited downloads and uploads
  • Line rental
  • HomeSafe web filter
  • SuperSafe Boost virus protection (fibre customers only)
  • 30-day great connection guarantee (fibre customers only)
  • Fixed price guarantee
  • Monthly extras to add and remove

You’ll notice that there are a couple of benefits only available to fibre customers, but the majority of extras are available to all TalkTalk customers. Most are pretty standard perks that you will find elsewhere, and your decision should really swing on how tempted you are by the price of the contract you want and the extras you’ll need to add.

What’s the difference between HomeSafe and SuperSafe Boost?HomeSafe comes as standard with all TalkTalk broadband deals, and acts as a filter allowing you to block inappropriate content and sites that could contain malware. It’s free and there’s nothing to download to get it set up. SuperSafe Boost, however, is only included in TalkTalk fibre deals, and gives antivirus protection against malware and protects you against attacks when browsing and banking online. It’s free on one device, but you have an option to add up to 10 devices for a fee.

Bear in mind that not all speeds will be available to you - this will depend on where you live in the UK. For full details on TalkTalk’s broadband deal, see our TalkTalk broadband page.

Ultra Fibre Optic (UFO) broadband

If you live in the York area, you may be lucky enough to fall into TalkTalk’s UFO broadband catchment. This is a network of fibre optic cables that TalkTalk has developed independently which can offer customers almost 1 Gbps download speeds - among the fastest on the market in the UK. To see if UFO broadband is available to you, check using the postcode checker on the TalkTalk website. Here’s a summary of the contract::

  • Avg. download speeds of more than 900 Mbps
  • Line rental included
  • Unlimited downloads and uploads
  • TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub included
  • Unlimited UK Calls add-on free for 18 months

For details on pricing, scroll down to our pricing section and find out just how lucky TalkTalk’s York-based customers are. TalkTalk have long been seeking to extend its UFO network, so it’s also worth keeping an eye on whether UFO broadband is available to you if you live somewhere else.

TalkTalk phone deals

All of TalkTalk’s broadband deals coming with line rental means that anyone can add calls packages to their deal should they want to. TalkTalk calls its calls packages ‘boosts’, and there’s only two of them:

Unlimited UK Calling Boost International Max Calling Boost
 Unlimited calls to UK landline numbers starting with 01, 02 and 03  1,000 inclusive anytime minutes to over 50 international destinations
 Unlimited calls to standard UK mobiles (excludes 070 and 076 numbers)  Calls apply to standard landlines and mobiles
 Excludes Channel Islands, premium mobile services and other numbers  Excludes premium satellite calls and non-geographic calls

These Boosts have a minimum duration of one month, and you’ll be charged for them in advance. TalkTalk also says that it requires 48 hours’ notice to cancel, so be sure you let them know two days before your monthly charge or you’ll be charged for a month of calls you don’t want! If you don’t feel you need fully unlimited calls or international calls, you can just add simple Mobile Minutes Boost to your deal for *unlimited calls to standard UK mobiles.

*In reality, what TalkTalk mean by “unlimited” is 2,000 minutes - this is what your usage will be capped at. Unfortunately, nor does it include calls to the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Don’t forget to hang up and redial before your hour’s up!

It’s always important to bear in mind that, as with most calls packages, calls are only inclusive up to 60 minutes. When you’re nearing an hour into your chat, hang up the phone and redial to avoid being charged for every minute you go over. Maybe also let the person on the other end know beforehand - you don’t want to seem rude!

TalkTalk TV

TalkTalk has less of a reputation as a TV provider, but after a number of unsuccessful attempts to launch a service to compete with other major providers, it launched a partnership with YouView in 2012 that has been successful since. Here’s a little bit about what you can get from a TalkTalk TV deal:

  • More than 80 Freeview channels, with 15 in HD.
  • The ability to pause and rewind live TV.
  • Record TV (only if you have the TalkTalk TV Plus box).
  • The option to add and remove extra channels a month at a time.
  • Catch up TV with on-demand players, including the BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and All4.
  • The ability to rent the latest film releases.

This is similar to the functions available with other providers that have partnered with YouView (such as Plusnet), so in terms of TV offer there’s little other than price to say you should pick TalkTalk over Sky or Virgin TV. TalkTalk does, however, offer ‘Boosts’ that let you expand your range of channels for an extra cost. These include:

  • Entertainment Boost (33 channels including Sky One, Comedy Central and Fox)
  • Kids Boost (10 channels including Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network)
  • Sports Boosts (add either Sky Sports or Boxnation)
  • Sky Cinema Boost
  • Asian Boost (includes Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Sony and Sony TV Asia)

On the whole, we think that for someone whose TV needs are basic TalkTalk is a perfectly viable option, especially if you can find a good deal paired with your broadband. If you want the best selection, however, you’re better off looking elsewhere. For full details on TalkTalk’s TV offer, including all its features and the channels available with the basic packages and every Boost, see our TalkTalk TV page.

Mobile phone

TalkTalk Mobile

Head over to Selectra Mobile to find out more about TalkTalk’s mobile offer. You’ll be able to get all the information about mobile deals on their TalkTalk mobile (link coming soon!) page.

TalkTalk Business

Likewise, for details on TalkTalk’s business broadband deals, see our TalkTalk Business page, where we will run you through all the provider has to offer corporate clients.


TalkTalk pricing

Ok, so you know what you can get as a TalkTalk customer, but how much will it cost you? Don’t worry, we’re getting there. Now we’ll take you through all of TalkTalk’s deals and how much each will set you back. Let’s start with broadband again:

TalkTalk Broadband prices

TalkTalk claims to be the cheapest fixed-price broadband provider in the UK. Be careful in interpreting this, because while it may be true, if you sign up to calls or TV packages alongside your broadband, these may not be fixed - so you still might see your bill go up. But putting this aside, just how cheap are TalkTalk’s broadband deals? Let’s take a look:

TalkTalk Fast Broadband

If you’ve only got one or two devices online at the same time and all you’re doing is browsing, shopping or streaming a bit of music, TalkTalk’s ‘Fast’ Broadband package should be enough for you though it’s always best to check your internet speed to get an accurate figure for your home):

Fast Broadband (11 Mbps)
12-month contract 18-month contract 24-month contract
£30 per month £30 per month £19.95 per month
Includes line rental Includes line rental Includes line rental

As we’ve mentioned, prices are fixed for the duration of your contract, but if you add any calls package or TV add-on to your deal, don’t expect the same to apply. With over a tenner’s difference between the 24-month deal and the others, we don’t see why you’d think twice about grabbing this one while it lasts and locking your broadband bill at under twenty quid for the foreseeable future.

Beware the post-contract hike!All of these deals, TalkTalk say, currently revert to £30 a month once the contract is up. This might not be too off-putting to those choosing the 12 or 18-month deals, but remember that this price is subject to change, so keep an eye on it and stay on the ball when you’re nearing the end of your deal.

TalkTalk Faster Fibre

If your internet usage is slightly more demanding - if you stream videos a lot, for example, or there are more than a few devices online at one time - you might be better off with a fibre deal. Here’s what this would cost you:

Faster Fibre (38 Mbps)
12-month contract 18-month contract 24-month contract
£36 per month £22.95 per month £36 per month
Includes line rental Includes line rental Includes line rental

Here, TalkTalk has opted to incentivise the 18-month contract, but the same principle applies - in fact, you’re even better off financially getting this deal than its longer and shorter equivalents. Again, however, take note that all prices revert to £36 a month at the end of your deal, and this is subject to change.

30-day Great Connection GuaranteeIf you take out Faster Fibre or any of TalkTalk’s other fibre broadband deals, you’re offered a 30-day period during which you can leave if you don’t think your connection speed is quick or reliable enough. You just give them a call at 345 172 0088 to request cancellation and TalkTalk will send you a pre-paid bag to send back your equipment - once you’ve sent it back, you’ll receive a refund of any money owed.

TalkTalk Superfast Fibre

If you want to be absolutely sure your internet keeps ticking at a high speed while live streaming, gaming or with several devices using it at once, you might want to consider upgrading to TalkTalk’s superfast offer:

Superfast Fibre (67 Mbps)
12-month contract 18-month contract 24-month contract
£39 per month £25.95 per month £25.95 per month
Includes line rental Includes line rental Includes line rental

There’s another huge saving here if you’re willing to tie yourself down for a longer period, but with mid-contract price rises the norm elsewhere we’d say locking yourself into a cheaper deal for a long time definitely has an upside to it. Be aware once again that all of these deals, once your contract ends, revert to £41 a month after.

TalkTalk UFO broadband

Those living in York who are lucky enough to fall within the catchment for TalkTalk’s Ultra Fibre Optic (UFO) network can subscribe to UFO broadband and receive speeds of over 900 Mbps. This will suit users will extreme internet usage or those who rely on the highest speeds for work - you’re pretty much guaranteed it won’t cut out or hold you back with a ‘buffering’ message. Here’s what it would set the lucky sods back:

Ultra Fibre Optic (1 Gbps)
1-month rolling contract 18-month contract 24-month contract
£36 per month £25 per month £36 per month
£30 setup fee No setup fee No setup fee
Includes line rental Includes line rental Includes line rental

Unfortunately, no 12-month contracts are available on UFO, but you can get yourself a fantastic price on an 18-month one. You’re also free to sign up to a 1-month rolling deal and not be tied down to a contract - it is, however, quite a bit more expensive than the 18-month one and probably subject to price rises. We don’t see why anyone would pick the 24-month deal, frankly, with the shorter contract offering an £11 a month saving.

Calls add-on incentiveIf you choose a TV + Ultra Fibre Optic deal, you can also add Unlimited UK Call Boosts for free for the duration of the 18-month contract. This, as you’re about to find out, will usually set you back £12 a month, so it’s a fairly significant saving!

TalkTalk Calls Boosts

Line rental may be free with TalkTalk broadband, but, of course, unless you add on of its Call Boosts to your deal you’ll pay the standard minutely rate for each call. If you’re still very much in the habit of making regular phone calls, you’ll want to avoid this, and TalkTalk has a few packages for you to choose from - here they are:

  • Unlimited UK Calling Boost: £10 per month (rising to £12 from 7/1/2020)
  • International Max Calling Boost: £10 per month
  • *Mobile Minutes Boost: £5 per month

*Only available to TalkTalk Plus TV customers.

TalkTalk also offer a range of call services, including Voicemail Plus (which adds features like a personalised greeting and remote access for £1 a month) and Call Divert (for £2 a month). For full details about TalkTalk’s additional call features and minutely rates, see TalkTalk’s website, where you’ll find all the ins and outs and catches to help you avoid unexpected charges.

TalkTalk TV prices

As only TalkTalk broadband customers are eligible for TalkTalk’s TV deals, new customers are best off signing up to a package deal, the best of which will be subject to change. At the time of writing, TalkTalk are promoting a Faster Fibre + TalkTalk TV package with the following features:

  • £26.95 per month
  • 38 Mbps average download speeds
  • Includes line rental
  • Pause and rewind live TV
  • 80+ channels (15 in HD)

If you’re not too demanding from either your internet or your TV, this seems like a great budget option to kill a few birds with the same stone. We do encourage you, though, to keep reading to the reviews section to find out what people think of TalkTalk before we oversell its service.

If you’re already a happy TalkTalk customer and want to ditch your current TV provider for TalkTalk TV, what it would cost depends on what you add. Here are your options:

TalkTalk TV boxes
TalkTalk TV box TalkTalk TV Plus box
£4 per month £4 per month
£25 one-off fee £50 one-off fee
 No record function  Lets you record TV

As you can see, the upfront cost of the TV Plus box (with the record function) is the only thing that sets it apart from the ordinary TV box. This is only a one-off fee, and to us seems like good value for money. Once you’ve paid this, you have access to the same basic TV package for £4 a month. If you want to include any add-ons in your package, however, these will set you back an extra monthly cost - here’s how much for each:

  • Entertainment Boost: £6 per month
  • Sky Sports Boost: £18 per month
  • Sky Cinema Boost: £9 per month
  • Kids Boost: £3 per month
  • TV Select Boost: £7 per month
  • BoxNation Boost: £12 per month
  • Asian TV Boost: £7.50 per month
  • BT Sport: £29.99 per month

It’s clear that for any household that needs a wide selection of TV content to offer, the cost here could really pile up. The base cost of Faster Fibre and TalkTalk TV is a steal at £26.95, but if you want the extra channels included in the Entertainment and Kids packs plus Sky Sports and Sky Cinema, you’ll see your total monthly bill more than double.

For all the details on TalkTalk TV, including all the information on add-ons, channels and pricing, see our TalkTalk TV page.


How do TalkTalk prices compare with the market average?

TalkTalk prices so far look great, but how do they compare with those of their competitors? Let’s take a look. Realistically, we expect most people nowadays to need more than just standard broadband, so we’re going to focus on its fibre deals. Here’s how its 38 Mbps deal compares to the market average:

Not bad - a bit over £8 a month cheaper than the average among the six biggest providers. This is not a trifling amount to save every month on broadband, so we’d be quite tempted to take TalkTalk up on this offer. But is its faster package equally good value?

Here we’re seeing almost a £15 monthly saving against the market average here. When you factor in that TalkTalk promise 67 Mbps speeds, slightly faster speeds than the market average of 63 Mbps, this is even more tempting. If TalkTalk walks the walk as well as it talks the talk, the savings are quite something.


Get in touch with TalkTalk

If you’re looking to contact TalkTalk, there are a few ways available to you. The best place to go to solve your issue will depend on what exactly your issue is, but we’ve laid out every channel of communication on our TalkTalk contact page. There you’ll find every way of contacting its various teams, hopefully making your life as easy as possible. If you just want to call about joining TalkTalk broadband, use the number below:

Blue telephone

TalkTalk Broadband sales contact Please check with your provider if you don't know how much a call will cost. From the UK: 0800 049 1375 *Monday to Sunday: 8am-8pm

Those not wanting to do it over the phone can get through to an agent (assuming they’re not busy, as is often the case) via the live chat service on the TalkTalk website. Not that we wouldn’t recommend this route, but don’t wait underwater.


TalkTalk Reviews

So now you know more or less everything TalkTalk has to offer you, but how good is it at delivering? We’ve scoured online review sites to find out what people are saying about TalkTalk broadband so you don’t have to.

Weighing scales

Our findings were mixed. According to customer review site Trustpilot, TalkTalk customers seem to be the most torn subscribers on the market. Of the 43,606 reviewers who have posted at the time of writing, 36% gave it the best rating of 5 stars and 38% gave it the worst rating of 1 star. We’re not used to seeing such a mix - almost half (49%) registered a positive experience with TalkTalk, and 45% came away with a negative experience. The remaining 6% were indifferent.

Recent reviews are largely negative, with the reasons as mixed as star ratings are overall. Some complain of terrible broadband service:

Do not go near them. Broadband down 4 times in 3 months, currently have had no service for 2 weeks

While others say the service is great but TalkTalk fall short in other areas:

Good and reliable service let down by their appalling customer service

TalkTalk really needs to get to the bottom of what’s going on with its customer support team in particular. Before it does we can't consider recommending it on this basis.

Pros and cons

Here’s what seem to us to be the pros and cons of TalkTalk’s offer as a provider, and what you should be aware of when you sign up:

Pros Cons
 Broadband prices well below the market average.  Mixed customer reviews, with as many customers having terrible experiences as positive ones.
 Certain customers can access cheap 900 Mbps speeds.  Limited basic TV offer, with add-ons piling up the cost.

Read more article about