TalkTalk have the very cheapest broadband bundle available - £3.25/month for the broadband part. They also have a terrible customer service record.

I went with them anyway because I thought "who needs customer service?". We were going to have to accept terrible connection speeds anyway, because of our available exchange, and I thought being a highly technical user, I'd have little need for customer service.

You can't avoid our small print

For a while I've been wondering why our broadband bills tended to be closer to £8 than £3. Today I finally got up the botheredness to phone them about it.

It turns out that we had been automatically signed up for an extra service called "1000 mobile minutes bundle" (first 3 months free) or something, costing £5/month. We obviously didn't use it, as the only reason we have the phone is to have broadband (who has a landline these days?).

I'm sure this must be in the small print somewhere, but I didn't see it, and you'll just have to believe me when I say that I am as literate as one could reasonably expect from a customer, and I am wise to and on the lookout for these sorts of tricks.

TalkTalk, do yourselves a favour...

I want to say that I have no beef with the guy who answered the phone when I called them. I think his name was Allen. He was pretty slow, but otherwise very friendly, and he forwarded all my complaints on to his supervisor faithfully.

I have had similar problems with being overcharged in the past, for example with BT, but when I call up to say that I never wanted the service and haven't used it, they always refund me in full. Not so with TalkTalk (I'm not going to them honor with a link) who point blank refused to refund the charges.

This is really stupid because the amount was so small (£7.25) and the potential bad publicity from me bitching about them has to hurt them to at least £7.25's worth. Honestly TalkTalk, do yourselves a favour.

This isn't even about me. Honest.

I lost £7.25. I hope you won't think I'm being a horrible snob when I say I genuinely hardly care about that amount of money. It was not worth the stress of my long phone call with Allen.

What really pisses me off is that this is obviously deliberate. They know hardly anyone actually wants the 1000 minutes bundle. And since they are offering the cheapest and shittest broadband service, most of their customers are going to be those for whom money is tightest. Add to that that poor people tend to be are less good at looking after their money and this TalkTalk trick amounts to a deliberate Ghetto Tax.

Now this is clearly not the worst example of scamsters cheating folk of their money (wonga.com anyone?) but TalkTalk were the ones to pis me off today, so they get ranted at.