TalkTalk hack to cost up to £35m


TalkTalk is offering all its customers a free upgrade to compensate for the recent cyber attack, in which thousands of people's personal data was leaked online.

Hackers attacked the TalkTalk website on October 21 and accessed the personal details of almost 160,000 customers. The bank details of 15,600 were stolen.

Dido Harding, chief executive, said that one-off costs were estimated to be in the region of £30 million to £35 million.

Speaking to the BBC, Harding said: "That's covering the response to the incident, the incremental calls into our call centres, obviously the additional IT and technology costs, and then the fact that over the last three weeks until yesterday our online sales sites have been down, so there will be lost revenue as a result."

Many customers reacted angrily when they were unable to end their contract with TalkTalk without incurring a termination fee, unless money had been stolen from them.

Customers who were financially affected directly will be free to leave TalkTalk without financial penalty. They would have to be able to show they had lost money as a result of the hack.

Customers who wish to leave for a different reason - for example, if they feel their data is not secure - would still have to pay a contract termination fee.

The type of upgrade available to customers will depend on the package they already had, a spokesman said. For example, customers with a TV package might be offered another channel.
Police have arrested three teenagers and a 20-year-old boy.

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