TalkTalk customers trying to change provider in wake of major cyber attack ‘charged up to £250 penalty fee’

Consumer watchdog Which? has condemned the charges

Adam Withnall
Sunday 25 October 2015 18:39
Comments

Concerned TalkTalk customers are reportedly being charged hundreds of pounds to cancel their contracts with the company in the wake of the cyberattack on its website.

The “significant and sustained” hack raised questions over how well the telecoms giant protected customers’ personal data, and information officials have criticised the speed with which the company responded to the attack.

But while some affected TalkTalk users said they wanted to switch provider as a result, there have been reports the company is charging people up to £250 to do so.

Dawn Palmer, 50, told the Mail on Sunday she had found the whole experience “appalling”.

“They said my account doesn’t run out until July 2016 so I’d have to pay an early-leavers’ penalty,” she said.

Consumer watchdog Which? said TalkTalk customers affected by the breach should not have to pay a penalty fee to break their contract.

Richard Lloyd, executive director, said: “We expect that any affected TalkTalk customers who want to leave their contract should be able to do so without penalty.

“Nobody should lose out as a result of this breach, so TalkTalk should also look at what more it needs to do for its customers, including appropriate compensation for those affected. It's important people are treated fairly.”

Dido Harding said it was “too early” to start addressing the issue of whether customers should be compensated for any losses relating to the online breach.

In a statement on Saturday, the company said the amount of useful financial information accessed by hackers was “materially lower than initially believed”.

Ms Harding said the greatest threat to customers remained from fraudsters contacting them in the wake of the hack.

She said: “TalkTalk will never call you and ask you over the phone to give your personal financial information, we will never call you out of the blue and ask you to give us access to your computer.

"Those are criminals doing that and we all need to make sure that we don't let them win.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in