Tiscali Brand Binned By TalkTalk

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

It is the end of the line for Tiscali, after new owner TalkTalk called time on the Tiscali brand name

TalkTalk has formally ditched the Tiscali brand name after it completed the acquisition of the UK Internet service provider (ISP). But the move has raised fears that some customers will be left out of pocket.

The Carphone Warehouse, which already owns TalkTalk, AOL and Opal, acquired Tiscali UK back in May 2009 for £236 million. The deal means that TalkTalk now has approximately 4.1 million subscribers in the UK.

“From today the Tiscali brand is no more and we’re committed to giving all of our customers absolute clarity about who we are, the services we provide and the prices we charge,” blogged Charles Dunstone, CEO of The Carphone Warehouse.

“We want to make it very clear that being part of TalkTalk is much more than just having a different logo on the top of your bill,” he added. “For that reason we’ve reviewed all of the pricing tariffs and can say from today that if you’re with TalkTalk you’re getting the same value as your fellow customers.”

“For many of our customers this will mean a reduction in their monthly bills, others will see no change with the remainder getting a small increase,” he wrote. “Any customer visiting our website can clearly see our tariffs.”

“We’ve gained a lot from the Tiscali acquisition, most notably TV and Portal expertise and some great people, but from today the brand name will disappear and our focus is on TalkTalk,” he added.

Tiscali was able to grow its UK market share by offering customers cheap broadband connections. But there are concerns that many of Tiscali’s customers will have to pay more per month, after Tiscali’s broadband-only users were warned that they would see a price rise of £5 per month if they do not take the TalkTalk phone line rental service.

Rival ISPs have noted this and have been quick to offer a refuge for disgruntled Tiscali customers.

Plusnet (owned by BT) for example are offering Tiscali customers a special three month free offer if they migrate to Plusnet by the end of January.

TalkTalk did not return eWEEK Europe’s calls at the time of writing.