Hundreds of thousands of customers are abandoning TalkTalk after it was hacked in October 2015, according to market research company Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
The group estimates that 250,000 people left the British telecoms company in the fourth quarter of 2015 after hackers stole customer data. This was offset by 100,000 new customers — making an overall loss of 150,000. TalkTalk has around 4 million UK customers overall.
TalkTalk has around 4 million UK customers overall.
These losses don’t appear to be regular turnover. Kantar told The Register that TalkTalk lost more subscribers in Q4 2015 than every other UK broadband company put together.
TalkTalk was targeted by hackers in October 2015, resulting in the theft of more than 150,000 customers’ details, the company says. This was significantly less than the 4 million people who were immediately feared to have been affected.
Days after the hack was made public, Business Insider spoke to people claiming to be involved in the hack. One told us that they did it for “s—ts and giggles,” that there was no financial motivation behind the attack, and that the company’s security was “horrible.”
“Customers have lost faith in TalkTalk as a trustworthy brand,” Imran Choudhary, customer director at Kantar, said in a statement. “TalkTalk continues to offer some of the most attractive promotions across the home services market and almost a third of its new customers did choose it for this reason, but there can be no doubt that it lost potential customers following the major data hack. If it’s to recover from recent events TalkTalk will need to offer more than just good value.”
Kantar’s estimate is based on a market research panel of 15,000 people.
TalkTalk’s stock has been in an overall decline for the past year — even before the hack. It started 2015 at around 326 pence, and after reaching highs of around 400 pence in mid-2015, it declined to 268 pence prior to the hack, and sits at 198 pence today.
The Financial Times reports that the company has spent £30-35 million in the aftermath of the hack.
The police have made five arrests as part of their investigation into the hack:
- A 15-year-old boy from County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
- A 16-year-old boy from West London.
- A 20-year-old man in Staffordshire.
- A 16-year-0ld boy in Norwich.
- An 18-year-old man in Llanelli, Wales.
The 18-year-old was arrested on suspicion of blackmail; the other four were arrested on suspicion of offences under the Computer Misuse Act.
Business Insider has reached out to TalkTalk for comment.