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TalkTalk feels lonely as customers fancy other brands – report

Moody lonely cat

It looks like TalkTalk is suffering from the telco equivalent to post-traumatic stress disorder from last year’s devastating attack on its network – according to research from Kantar Worldpanel.

ICYMI, nationwide multiplay service provider TalkTalk had its network thoroughly and shamelessly exploited by a teenager last year, apparently intent on penetrating anything they could. Roughly a quarter of its then 4 million customers had their personal details half-inched, although a saving grace for the telco was that credit card information was left largely intact.

Apart from being stung for a whopping £86 million in “exceptional item expenses” in its annual financials, which basically halved its profit, TalkTalk is also having a bit of a rough time in terms of customer retention and acquisition according to the research.

Kantar reckons TalkTalk’s share of customer acquisition in Q3 was the lowest of any major UK ISP, and lost considerable ground on last year’s standing. This time last year, it was above Virgin Media in terms of new customer acquisition share, with 13.4%. That number has since dropped to 9.4%, with only Sky losing more ground in the same time period, dropping from 30.2% to 25.1%.

BT, meanwhile, finally has something to smile about after being the bête noire of the telecoms sector for, literally, quite a long time. It seems like no one in the telecoms industry likes BT, what with it owning Openreach and all. BT itself was probably starting to look long and hard in the mirror, reflecting on what it could possibly have done wrong.

But UK customers seem to like BT, regardless as it gained three percentage points of market share for new customer acquisitions over the last three months. That’s definitely going to irk Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone, who are collectively seething at BT right now with its now-well-covered campaign of perpetual petulance – AKA “Fix Britain’s Internet”.

Vodafone, to be fair, was identified by Kantar as the main driver behind the 6.7% growth of “Other” internet providers this quarter. It’s started flogging broadband without line rental fees, and has been shouting it from the rooftops, which would explain its rapid gain in market share.

Kantar Acquisition Share Q3 2016


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