If you’ve bought films and TV shows via TalkTalk’s digital download store, it doesn’t look like you’re getting a full refund.
A week or two back, we reported the news that the firm TalkTalk was permanently shutting down its digital store, through which it was previously selling digital films and TV shows. You can read that report here.
The store stopped selling films and shows in 2021. Customers, however, were still able to access their digital purchases via its platform, as is right.
Now, though, access to the entire store is being closed from 31st October 2023. Customers who bought movies and TV shows to digitally ‘own’ will no longer have any access to them. If you paid £10 for access to a movie, your access is being removed for good as of 1st November 2023.
Customers affected have been in direct contact with Film Stories telling us that the firm isn’t offering a full refund for the purchases they’ve lost access to. Lost access, through no fault of the customers themselves we should note. They bought film and shows worth in some cases hundreds of pounds. One told us they were being offered a £25 credit towards their broadband bill, which is scant compensation for an investment in over 75 movies from TalkTalk’s service.
TalkTalk, incidentally, has described these purchases as ‘owned content’.
Since we first reported this story in the mid-October, we’ve been trying to get clarification from TalkTalk as to whether customers affected would get a full refund for the films and shows they’re no longer able to watch. We’ve not been having too much luck, with a few different on the record statements offered.
We’ve asked again, and got a couple of responses today though.
In specific answer to our question, ‘is there any more clarity on refunds?’, a TalkTalk spokesperson told us that, “we have created a route for resolution for all customers irrespective of whether they have watched their content, and communicated with them directly.”
We didn’t quite understand that, so asked in return, ‘Can you just clarify if customers are getting a full refund for the purchases they’re no longer able to access?’.
The response we got – again to that specific question – was, “we’re communicating directly with impacted customers.”
In the absence of any clarity, and based on the information given to us by affected TalkTalk customers, it does imply that they won’t be getting a full refund, and will be losing both money and access to their film and TV collection as the result of a corporate decision.
Should we have read that incorrectly, we’d be very pleased to update this piece with confirmation of affected customers getting a refund.
However, if a full refund isn’t offered, it’s a disgraceful situation. You wouldn’t expect, should you buy £100 of DVDs from a shop, that the shop would come into your house a few years later and leave a minimal gift token in return. It feels like that’s not a million miles away from what’s happened here.
Affected customers may well want to go down the CISAS route, as one forum poster at TalkTalk has done. It’s worth reading their post here.
Hopefully, the affected customers get proper refunds in due course. It doesn’t seem that’s the case at the moment.
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