Pensioner’s in-store protest at Carphone

Carphone Warehouse’s broadband customer service woes continued when a pensioner staged a lie-down protest at one of its stores in Kent.

Analysts have repeatedly warned broadband providers about the importance of customer service in the increasingly competitive broadband sector. But Carphone’s reputation took another blow when 71-year-old Brian Crews went to its store in Beckenham with a sleeping bag, pillows and sandwiches after experiencing months of problems with his TalkTalk phone and broadband service. He vowed to stay until the service was fixed after his phoneline was disconnected. Carphone then fixed the problem within three hours.

Crews, who also put up homemade posters in the area advertising his problems, told a local newspaper: “I would advise everyone to have nothing to do with TalkTalk.”

Carphone revolutionised the broadband market earlier this year by offering “free” broadband to customers who sign up to the group’s £21-a-month international call package. But it has not been able to cope with the huge uptake after more than 500,000 people signed up in the first seven months.

Carphone chief executive Charles Dunstone admitted in an interview at the weekend that TalkTalk has only “dragged itself up to the same poor level of service that you get from all broadband suppliers”.

But he says the company will launch initiatives that will put it ahead of everyone in the New Year.

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