Consumer Code of Practice
Nothing in this Code of Practice detracts from your statutory or common law rights, nor does anything it contains form part of any contract between TalkTalk Business and a customer. The communications services described in this Code are subject to availability and may be modified from time to time.
1 About TalkTalk Business
This code of practice covers TalkTalk Business Direct Limited (trading as "TalkTalk Business"). Our main registered address is Soapworks, Ordsall Lane, Salford, M5 3TT. TalkTalk Business provides business grade services to the UK market place across two direct sales channels with a wholesale division covering the reseller and dealer market places. TalkTalk Business is a leading player in the development and delivery of next generation IP based converged voice and data services.
2 The purpose of the code
The purpose of this Code of Practice is so that our customers can easily find certain important information about our services. It is written for our business customers who purchase telecommunication services from us directly.
The majority of this code applies to all Small Business Customers defined as a company having 30 employees or fewer and is not a telecommunications provider in itself.
Certain sections of this Code of Practice applies only to customers with 10 or fewer employees (such as Alternative Dispute Resolution) and some sections to all Business Customers who take a service directly from us. These differences are in line with Ofcom General Conditions of Entitlement and for ease we have indicated on the relevant sections where the differences apply.
This Code of Practice replaces all previous versions and was updated on 12th December 2018.
This code aims to provide:
- Information on how to contact TalkTalk Business
- Information on sales and marketing activities
- Informational on some of our main services
- Information on billing and pricing issues
- Information on how to make a complaint
- Contact details for alternative complaint bodies or help and support.
3 Contact details
To speak to our Small Business Customer Services team please call the following free phone number 0800 083 3003
Lines are open from 8am - 8pm, calls may be monitored or recorded for training and security purposes.
For all enquiries, you may contact us by e-mail at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To speak to our Large Business Customer Services team please call the following free phone number: 0800 298 2883. Lines are open from Monday to Friday 8am-6pm and calls may be monitored or recorded for training and security purposes.
Or write to us at:
PO Box 674
Or find us at: www.talktalkbusiness.co.uk
Contact details for a number of related organisations are given in section 13 of this code.
4 Sales, marketing, advertising and promotion
TalkTalk Business is one of the leaders in providing telecommunication services to organisations across the UK. Customers join us through business to business marketing, over the telephone, through the internet and by signing up with our field sales representatives.
We are committed to delivering outstanding service, which includes our sales and marketing activities. This section sets out how we aim to achieve these standards. It is essential that our customers understand, at the point of sale, the services offered and the contract they are entering into.
4.2 Sales, marketing, advertising and promotion
TalkTalk Business adheres to all applicable Codes of Practice, and legislation. This includes; the Mailing Preference Service, the Telephone Preference Service, the Fax Preference Service and the E-Mail Preference Service. Our advertising and promotions comply with the British Codes of Advertising and Sales Promotion.
We always aim to ensure that our advertising and promotional literature is clear, unambiguous, accurate and fair and that it does not contain any false or misleading information about price, value or service. We do not denigrate other providers of telecoms services.
TalkTalk Business follows strict procedures when we hire and train staff who will market and sell our services whether in face-to-face sales or telephone sales.
Whilst operating within current employment legislation, we specifically take into account the following factors when recruiting sales agents:
- Behaviours - we recognise that the sales person may be seen as the ‘public face’ of the telecoms industry as a whole;
- Security - that all references and relevant convictions for criminal offences to be checked thoroughly and taken into account;
- Evidence of mis-selling or lack of integrity in any previous selling employment.
We also operate a number of reference and new employee checks as part of our recruitment procedures.
4.4 Sales training
After recruitment, all our sales agents are trained to ensure they have a sufficient understanding of the relevant sections of this Code of Practice. All our sales agents are also trained to ensure they have a sufficient understanding of the following topics:
- How competition in telecommunications works in the UK and relevant consumer protection law;
- What telephone services TalkTalk Business provides, how they may differ from other competitive telecoms products and how they may be ordered.
- TalkTalk Business' prices and other terms and conditions of service and, in particular, methods of payment, duration of contract and any termination fees;
- The nature, and cost, of any additional TalkTalk Business services;
- The process for cancelling the contract both during the cooling-off period and at any time following commencement of the service; and
- The TalkTalk Business procedure for handling customer complaints.
4.5 Responsibility for complying with the code
Responsibility for code compliance by all TalkTalk Business representatives, including any 3rd party sales agency lies with TalkTalk Business. The Sales Director for TalkTalk Business is accountable for ensuring that TalkTalk Business and its agents observe the code, and is also responsible for handling of the complaints relevant to the code. You can email or write to us about to adherence to the Code of Practice at the addresses given above under section ‘3. Contact Details’
4.6 Remuneration systems
Remuneration systems for TalkTalk Business are such that they do not encourage misleading or exploitative sales practices. Any agencies representing TalkTalk Business must disclose all details of incentive schemes related to TalkTalk Business.
4.7 Customer contact
TalkTalk Business wants to ensure that the customer has a pleasant and reassuring experience whenever they come into contact with any of our sales agents.
- Our representatives will show discretion when they visit customers’ premises. We do not visit premises outside the hours of 9am and 8pm.
- We do not call customers outside the hours of 8am and 8pm, unless at the customers’ request.
- Our representatives will immediately identify themselves, giving their full name and that they work for TalkTalk Business. They will also explain that TalkTalk Business is a business telecoms provider, why they are calling and the expected call duration. If visiting or meeting in person, they should draw the customers’ attention to their identity card immediately.
- When visiting a customer’s premises, our representative will give the customer a generic business card or TalkTalk Business leaflet which holds the company name and address, a contact telephone number and email address. The customer will be able to call the contact telephone number and confirm the representative is genuine.
- Our representatives will be courteous, use appropriate language and offer clear and straightforward explanations. They will use only the material that TalkTalk Business has provided them to explain the service to the customers including how the service may include the provision of network services by other companies.
- Our representatives will never misrepresent the services of TalkTalk Business or any other company and will always provide factual and accurate information.
- Our representatives will check that the customer understands that they are entering into a contract with TalkTalk Business which will provide the customer with an alternative provider for their telephone calls and/or other telecoms services.
- Our representatives will cease contact with any person who indicates that the contact is inconvenient, unwelcome, inappropriate or too long. If the customer requests it, the representative will end the discussion and leave the premises immediately.
- The representative must confirm that the sale is being made to a customer who is a decision-maker for the business.
- Marketing campaign records will be maintained for 24 months, including the date and the approximate time of the contact with the customer. These records will be such as to allow subsequent identification of the salesperson(s) involved and to assist in dealing with any complaint or query.
4.8 How the customer enters into a contract with TalkTalk Business
A customer may enter into a contract for TalkTalk Business services in three separate ways:
- In writing (when our representative visits the customer’s premises or when the customer visits a high-street shop selling TalkTalk Business services); or
- Verbally (when the customer has agreed over the phone to take the TalkTalk Business service).
- By signing up via the TalkTalk Business website (www.talktalkbusiness.co.uk).
We have safeguards in place for all sales routes to ensure that the customer understands the service they are buying from TalkTalk Business and that they are entering into a legally binding contract.
4.8.1 When we ask the customer to enter into a contract for TalkTalk Business services our representative will provide in writing the following information:
- Essential information including the name of TalkTalk Business, its address, telephone and e-mail contact details;
- A description of our telecommunication service to enable the customer to understand the service the customer has chosen, and how it works;
- Information about the major elements of the service, including the costs of any standing charges, the payment terms, line rental, key call types and details of “protected or special support” arrangements;
- The arrangements for provision of the service, including the order process and, as accurately as possible, the likely date of provision. Where there may be significant delay in the likely date of provision, we will inform the Customer;
- The customer’s right of cancellation and the process for exercising it; and
- The period for which the TalkTalk Business charges remain valid.
- Any minimum term contract periods
We have designed our order forms and contracts to ensure the contractual nature of these documents is clear to the customer.
We may record all calls for training and quality assessment purposes.
4.8.2 The TalkTalk Business representative will ask the customer to confirm that they have the authority to change telecommunications provider for the telephone number concerned.
When the customer enters into a contract for our services by visiting the TalkTalk Business website the customer will be prompted to agree to the terms and conditions before completing the transaction of signing up for TalkTalk Business. During the process we request that personal details are confirmed.
4.8.3 After the customer has agreed to take the TalkTalk Business service(s)
Every customer will receive a communication which contains the following information:
- Date of notification;
- Calling Line Identification(s) affected;
- List of services affected/unaffected;
- Date of switchover;
- TalkTalk Business’ contact details for any queries;
With the letter the customer will also receive general information providing details of the service and how it works. We aim to complete the process from agreement to the service going live within a total of 30 working days.
We reserve the right not to enter into agreements.
4.9 Consumer protection and other legal requirements
We comply with all applicable protection legislation and other legal requirements. To find out more you please visit our Legal section. We take protecting your data seriously and will do our utmost to employ appropriate organisational and technicalecurity measures to protect you against unauthorised disclosure or processing.
5 Customer service
Our Small Business Customer Service representatives are able to help with all your queries including products, billing and tariffs. Where possible, we will respond to your enquiries within 8 hours. Our service centre is open to deal with your enquiries from Monday to Sunday between 8am and 8pm. If you have any service enquiries, please call us free on 0800 083 3003.
Or e-mail us at: email@example.com
Alternatively, you may write to our customer service centre at:
PO Box 674
5.1 Cancellation of Contract (For Customers whose products are subject to our General Terms and Conditions)
If you wish to cancel your TalkTalk Business service, you can do this without any cost or charges at any time within 14 Calendar days of the date you sign or agree to the terms of the Contract (not the date you are connected to the service). If you exercise this right, you must within 5 days of cancellation return at your own cost all equipment we provided to you unused and in its original packaging in the return bag provided.
We advise that you do this by courier or guaranteed mail as we have no responsibility for any lost or undelivered equipment. If you do not return the equipment in this way, you can still cancel, but you will be responsible for the replacement cost of the equipment, all charges incurred and any enforcement costs (including legal costs).
If you choose to cancel after this 14-day period, your cancellation rights and obligations are set out in the Terms and Conditions of your Contract.
Some services take a little time to cancel, as they require us to work with special industry processes. When you cancel your service, we aim to advise you of the time period from us receiving your cancellation request to the time at which the service is withdrawn. During this period, you remain liable for the costs of any services we provide.
5.2 Fault repair
Faults can be reported free of charge, 24 hours a day. However, unless otherwise stated in your service agreement, engineers only attend to faults in normal working hours (Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 5.00pm, excluding bank holidays). To report a fault call: 0800 083 3003.
Faults can occur on the TalkTalk Business Network, another operator's network, or on the telephone used by you or the person you are trying to call. If the fault is reported during normal working hours, we will try to establish the location of the fault. We may request that you carry out some simple checks to help us establish the cause of the fault.
Repairing faults on our network is part of the maintenance cover we provide with our service. If the fault is not on our network, then we may not be responsible for its repair. For example, if your telephone service is provided by another Communications Provider, but your Broadband service is with TalkTalk Business then you may need to contact them if the fault is with their part of the service.
We reserve the right to charge for any abortive work or visit arising from faults over which we have no control. Should an engineer need to visit your premises we will agree this with you.
If you are a previous TalkTalk Business customer and wish to come back to TalkTalk Business, please call us on the below free phone number(s) and we will aim to get you reconnected as soon as possible.
We will be pleased to provide you with our full list of prices on request. To obtain pricing information please call us on the free phone number above or check our price lists here.
6 Billing & Payments
6.1 Your responsibility to pay your bill
We will provide you with a monthly bill consisting of charges such as line rental, which we will bill a month in advance for the period ahead and for your call charges, we will bill you every month for the period that’s just passed.
Payment of your bill will be by direct debit within 14 days of the date of your bill, including your final bill. If you wish to pay your bill using an alternative method, this will be subject to agreement with TalkTalk Business. All amounts due must be paid in full without any deduction or withholding.
If you chose not to make payments by direct debit, we reserve the right to charge you a reasonable administration fee per payment.
Itemised Bills are provided free of charge and we normally detail each item that costs more than 25 pence. On request, we will provide full itemisation.
6.2 Billing queries
We take billing accuracy very seriously. If you do not understand part of your bill, please call us on the number quoted on your bill.
If you wish to dispute an invoice please notify us in writing, this must be not more than 14 days after the date of the invoice. You should make full payment of the invoice whilst your dispute is being reviewed.
If TalkTalk Business finds that the invoice is incorrect, a credit will be applied to the account. You are liable for the costs of any calls that you make over our network.
6.3 Late payment
Prompt payment of bills helps us keep our costs down so that we can continue to offer a highly competitive service. If you are unable to make full payment by the date shown on your bill or you disagree with the charges on your bill, you should contact us immediately to discuss your options. The number to ring is shown on the front of your bill.
If we do not receive your payment on time and we have not been made aware of any payment difficulties, we will attempt to contact you to collect the outstanding payment. We will do in this in the following way(s): -
a.) we will send you a letter to the registered billing address held on our billing system, in order to prompt you for immediate payment and to provide notice of our intention to suspend your services if you fail to pay the outstanding payment.
b.) in addition to our obligations under (a) we will attempt to call you and discuss the outstanding payment. We will ask for immediate payment via credit or debit card or request confirmation of a firm payment date.
Please note that we share payment performance each month with a credit reference agency. This means that if your payment is not made on time, a late payment will be recorded against you and may impact your credit profile and your ability to obtain credit with other lenders.
If we do not receive and process your payment within 14 days of your bill date, we may charge interest on all overdue amounts at the rate of 4% percent (per annum) above the current HSBC Bank plc base rate accruing on a daily basis from the due date until the date of actual payment of the overdue amount, whether before or after judgment, and compounding quarterly.
6.4 Suspension of Service
If our attempts to contact you (as set out above) to prompt payment are unsuccessful and the payment remains outstanding, your services are likely to be suspended.
This means you will be unable to use your services, and only able to receive incoming calls (and not make outgoing calls with the exception of emergency numbers such as 112 and 999).
If you attempt to make a call following suspension of your services, we will automatically divert those calls to us in order to discuss the outstanding payment with you.
6.5 Disconnecting your service for non-payment
Once your service has been suspended for non-payment, we will make further attempts to contact you in the following way(s):
a.) Calling you (via all registered contact details) to discuss the outstanding payment. We will ask for immediate payment via credit or debit card or request confirmation of a firm payment date.
b.) If we are unable to contact you by phone, we will send to your registered billing address held on our billing system, a final written notice, advising you of our intention to fully disconnect your services within 7 days of the date of the written notice.
Once your services have been fully disconnected, full payment is required prior to any reconnection. A request for reconnection may be subject to a credit check, payment of any published reconnection charges and TalkTalk Business’ terms and conditions for the Services.
6.6 Debt collection
If you fail to make payment for the outstanding payment(s) within the terms of your final bill, we will terminate your contract with us. If your contract is terminated earlier than your agreed committed period, we may apply an early termination charge in accordance with the terms of your contract.
In order to recover the outstanding payment(s), we will pass your details to a debt collection agency. Additional costs may be incurred as a result of us having to pass your outstanding payment(s) to a third party; these costs may be passed on to you for payment in addition to the principle sum outstanding. The potential of referral to a third-party agency will be detailed in the final letter we send to you.
The debt-collection agencies we use are professional members of a recognised association, responsible for regulating the debt-collection industry and are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. Please be aware that as a result of your debt being referred to a debt collection agency, information about your debt may be shared with other organisations that provide credit.
6.7 How can we help you?
If you are unable to make full payment by the date shown on your bill, you should contact us immediately to discuss your options with us.
The number to ring is shown on the front of your bill. If we are aware that you are having difficulties paying your bill, we may be able to offer you one of the following options:
a.) A payment promise within an agreed time frame.
b.) A payment plan – We may offer you an option to repay amounts owed to TalkTalk Business over an agreed period of time.
c.) Change in your level of service. We may ask you to change your services to reduce your monthly charges and in turn, reduce your future bills to make your service and subsequent bills more affordable to you.
6.8 If you are not satisfied with TalkTalk Business' service
We are committed to providing you with the best quality and value communications services in the UK. We understand that faults can occur, and when they do, we want to correct them quickly. We provide a comprehensive complaint handling process to solve your problem as soon as possible. If you’re not happy with the service you’re getting, please see our Small Business Complaints Code of Practice on our contact us page.
7 Your rights and obligations
7.1 Number portability
TalkTalk Business is able to offer number portability. This means that if you move your service from BT or other operator to TalkTalk Business you are allowed to keep you existing phone number. This means that you do not need to notify your contacts of a number change. It normally takes between 4 and 7 days to transfer a number. This facility may not be available in your area. If you would like more information, please call our customer service advisers on free phone 0800 083 3003.
7.2 Terms and conditions
TalkTalk Business provides terms and conditions which are available on our website from our Legal section.
7.3 Phonebook entry
You have a right to be included in the phonebook and directory enquiries, free of charge. You may also choose to be ex-directory and therefore your number will not appear in the phone book or be provided by directory enquires.
TalkTalk Business can arrange for your TalkTalk Business Non Geographic Number (NGN) e.g. 0800 to be included in your local phonebook free of charge. Please contact our customer service centre on our Contact Us page.
8 Communication with customers
At TalkTalk, we regularly have relevant customer offers, events and news about our products which we hope you’d like to hear about. We’ll ask you for your consent to do this.
You will be able to update your consents at any time through a variety of methods:
- by contacting your account manager;
- calling our customer service team or our sales teams;
- accessing your online Support Centre account; or
- by clicking on the link at the bottom of every marketing email you receive from us.
9 TalkTalk Business Accessibility and Vulnerable Customer Policy
At TalkTalk Business we believe in affordable, fair connectivity for everyone. We recognise that individuals with accessibility requirements or people who, as a result of circumstances, may be vulnerable, may have particular service needs. Our Accessibility and Vulnerable Customer Policy sets out the services and working practices that we offer to help meet these needs. To read about the services we offer please visit our Accessibility section here to find out more.
10 Malicious calls
We understand that annoyance and distress can be caused by malicious calls and take this problem very seriously. If you are receiving malicious calls, we would like to provide you with every assistance to try to resolve the problem. This may involve working with the police and other network operators where appropriate. You should be prepared to give evidence if the caller is traced and brought to court. We may also recommend that you change your phone number and ask for this to be ex-directory if you continue to receive such calls.
To report any malicious calls to TalkTalk Business, please contact our customer service centre at the contact details given in section 3.
11 Controlled Premium Rate Services (CPRS) and Number Translation Services
11.1 What are Controlled Premium-Rate Services and Number Translation Services?
Controlled Premium-Rate Services (CPRS) is a generic name for products and services you purchase which are charged to your telephone bill or pay-as-you-go credit, including:
- Calls to non-geographic numbers which begin with 118, 0870, 0871, 0872, 0873, 070 and 09;
- SMS short codes which are five or six-digits long and usually begin with 6, 7 or 8 and;
- Calls to CPRS numbers are typically more expensive than calls to other telephone numbers.
- Number Translation Services are dedicated numbers which allow the routing of a call with a non-geographic number to a different number. These include Freephone, Premium and Local Rate numbers.
11.2 How CPRS Works
Most CPRS numbers are operated on the basis of a revenue-sharing arrangement. This means that the bulk of the revenue from calls to such services goes to the service providers who are responsible for the content, product or services provided or who act as resellers or aggregators on behalf of a number of such providers. The service providers are responsible for compliance with the bulk of the obligations imposed by the Phone-Paid Services Authority code of practice.
The remainder of the revenue is shared by the customer’s “originating” telephone company (for instance TalkTalk Business, which receives a small fee for origination of the phone call) and the telephone company that contracts with the service provider and “terminates” the call on behalf of the service provider through the provision of network facilities.
11.3 CPRS and Number Translation Service Tariffs
For up-to-date information about the tariffs for calling CPRS number from TalkTalk Business’s network please refer to our Price List section here or contact your TalkTalk Business account manager.
We provide these with the same prominence as our charges for calls to other numbers (including geographic, mobile and international numbers).
Our stated charges for calls to number translation services will include variations by time of day, for example, whether the call is made during the day, evening or weekend. We also make it clear whether any of our special offers, discount schemes or call bundles include calls to number translation services.
11.4 How to bar access to CPRS numbers
We offer the facility to bar calls to specific types of numbers including CPRS numbers, which will help stop anyone using your line calling UK based 0900-0909 CPRS numbers. If you use other service providers for your line rental service, then you will need to ask them to bar these calls as well. If you want to place a premium bar (or other barring category) on your line or need to check whether you already have an active bar in place, please call our Customer Service Team on 0800 083 3003.
12 Phone-Paid Services Authority (PSA)
The Phone Paid Services Authority are appointed by Ofcom to regulate phone-paid services in the UK.
Phone-paid services are the goods and services that you can buy by charging the cost to your phone bill or pre-pay account. They include charity donations by text, directory enquiries, voting on TV talent shows and in-app purchases. In law, phone-paid services are referred to as premium rate services.
The Phone-Paid Services Authority has the power to fine companies and bar access to services if their code of practice is breached. They can also bar the individual(s) behind a company from running any other premium rate services under any company name on any telephone network for a defined period. The Phone-Paid Services Authority can deal with lesser problems by issuing formal reprimands or ordering companies to come to us for prior approval.
Their service is fully independent.
12.1 How to complain to Phone-Paid Services Authority
The Phone-Paid Services Authority cannot mediate between individual customers and service providers. You can report issues to the Phone-Paid Services Authority and they will investigate potential breaches of their Code of Practice. If the service provider you report an issue about is subject to an adjudication, the independent Code Adjudication Panel may order refunds. There are a variety of ways to submit your complaint but before you do, we recommend that you visit their online number checking facility for instant information about the number in question (https://psauthority.org.uk/ ). After that, you can report an issue in the following ways:
- If you have a hard copy of the promotion in question (i.e. a page from a magazine), please supply your complaint in writing with a copy of the promotion to: Phone-paid Services Authority, 25th floor, 40 Bank Street, London, E14 5NR
- Use the Phone-Paid Services Authority on-line service to log a complaint. Report an issue by phone on 0300 30 300 20 (Monday to Friday from 09:30 to 17:00)
Calls to 03 numbers should cost no more than geographic 01 or 02 calls and may be part of inclusive minutes subject to your provider and your call package.
Before you make contact make sure you have the following information to hand:
- the name of the service provider or the phone-paid service number involved
- a copy of the text message itself confirming the subscription or the payment
- any other information on your telephone bill that might help identify the service.
12.2 Disputes regarding CPRS numbers on your phone bill
CISAS (Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme), of which TalkTalk are a member, is able to investigate if you have a complaint that we cannot resolve regarding calls to CPRS numbers appearing on your phone bill.
Before making an application, please check that the following conditions have been met:
- The company you are submitting your claim against is a registered subscriber with us
- You have already complained to the company
- At least eight weeks have passed since you first complained to them or they have written to you mentioning us
- Your complaint is not the subject of court action
- You understand that it is your responsibility to ensure you understand the process
- You are based in the United Kingdom and not the Republic of Ireland.
If you have any questions about these conditions, please call CISA for guidance on +44 (0)20 7520 3814.
13 Further information
Phone-paid Service Authority:
For support and queries about unexpected phone charges visit the Phone-Paid Services Authority website for help and support.
Website: www.psauthority.org.uk or;
Call: 0300 30 300 20
Telephone Preference Service:
If you do not wish to receive unsolicited telemarketing calls, register on line at www.tpsonline.org.uk or call 0345 070 0707
Facsimile Preference Service
If you do not wish to receive unsolicited telemarketing faxes, register on line at www.fpsonline.org.uk or call 0345 070 0702.
Alternative Dispute Resolution:
Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution
70 Fleet Street
Call: 020 7520 3827
Fax: 0845 1308 117
Office of Communications (Ofcom)
Ofcom Contact Centre
2a Southwark Bridge Road
0300 123 3333 - Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and must be included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way.
020 7981 3040 – Calls from landlines are typically charged up to 9p per minute; calls from mobiles typically cost between 3p and Fax: 020 7981 3333