Customer losses at the broadband supplier TalkTalk were worse than expected, down 43,000 in the three months to the end of September as its customer service offering effectively imploded

But the turn-around strategy is "well on track", its chief executive Dido Harding said yesterday.  Ms Harding pointed out that earnings were up 36 per cent and added that the company was working on a "better experience for our customers".

TalkTalk had suffered damage to its reputation after a series of fines from the telecoms regulator Ofcom. In the wake of its acquisition of Tiscali in the UK, back-office technology issues saw it continue to charge some customers who had cancelled the service. It made £2.5m in goodwill payments but in August was hit a £3m fine, the largest ever handed out to a UK telecoms provider. 

Ms Harding said there was a "lag" between the overhaul of its operations and an improvement in customer numbers. TalkTalk predicts it will add net new subscribers again during the first half of next year. 

Revenues fell to £844m in the six months to the end of September, from £887m a year earlier. It reduced forecasts in the second half to 'broadly flat', which, according to analysts at Espirito Santo, implies £1.6bn for the full year, a fall of 4.6 per cent.

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