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TalkTalk: ‘We’re the Rebels, BT and Sky is the Empire’

TalkTalk’s chief executive Dido Harding has compared the competition to ‘the Death Star’ and TalkTalk to the ‘Rebel Alliance’ in an interview outlining the company’s strategy.

Harding spoke mainly of plans to turn the company’s reputation around. Despite being one of the biggest ISPs in the UK, TalkTalk is still plagued by poor customer service, something it’s found tough to shake off since its launch four years ago.

During tours of call centres Harding talked of drawing the battle lines between TalkTalk, the plucky outsider, and the rest of the broadband market.

TalkTalk: ‘We’re the Rebels, BT and Sky is the Empire’

Speaking to the Telegraph, Harding said of the Star Wars analogies as being “like a political rally,” adding that the company was “unconsciously incompetent” upon launch.

“Two years ago, we were unconsciously incompetent, letting our customers down and we didn’t even know it. We are much more consciously incompetent now.”

TalkTalk: We’re consciously incompetent

While we appreciate that Harding’s tongue was firmly in cheek here, we can’t imagine that sit well with anyone who’s had a bad time with TalkTalk’s customer service team. “When we get things wrong we understand that we’ve got it wrong and we know how to fix it,” Harding added, saying that the eventual aim to be “consciously competent.”

That zinger aside, we can’t help but point out that the number of complaints is generally on the decline.

TalkTalk’s also been proactive in dispensing advice on how customers can tune up their broadband connection. Also, for those who want it, TalkTalk’s HomeSafe offers a quick and easy way on placing content filters on the web (though it looks like they’ve still got a bit of work to do on that…).

Harding also reiterated plans to make a dent in the mobile market and talked of turning TalkTalk into a “quad-play” provider along the lines of Virgin Media.

Along with mobile, broadband and fixed-line phone calls, TalkTalk is to launch its own YouView-branded box. When we spoke to TalkTalk last week about its plans for its YouView channels, the ISP remained tight lipped about its plans. It’s expected that channels available to former TalkTalk TV customers will make up the bulk of its YouView offering.

Channels available included Sky Sports 1-4 and Sky Sports F1, National Geographic and Film 4 on Demand. Given that Sky’s Now TV is coming to YouView it remains to be seen what (if any) Sky channels make the jump to TalkTalk YouView.

YouView has the potential to shake up digital TV in the UK. For now though, signs point to BT coming up with the more attractive YouView offering.

Time will tell if TalkTalk’s run on the Death Star will go more the way of Luke Skywalker or Jek Tono Porkins.

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