Cyber attack costs TalkTalk 100,000 customers

The cyber attack suffered by communications provider TalkTalk last year was one of the most high-profile breaches of the year and the company has now revealed that it has cost them 101,000 customers.

The personal information of over 150,000 customers was compromised as a result of the attack, with initial reports suggesting it would cost the company around £35 million.

A key reason for the customer loss was that the breach affected TalkTalk's sales operations - substantially lowering its scope to bring on new customers - and full functionality was not restored until January, approximately three months after the incident.

In it's latest quarterly earnings report, TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding said: “Our customers have responded well, with almost half a million choosing to take up our unconditional offer of a free upgrade,” said Harding.

“Both churn and new connections recovered during December and January and independent external research has revealed that customers believe we acted in their best interest. In fact, trust in the TalkTalk brand has improved since just after the attack and consideration is higher now than it was before the incident.”

This positive spin is in stark contrast to a recent report published by analysts Kantar Worldpanel. Kantar's consumer insight director, Imran Choudhary, suggested there has been a loss of faith amongst potential TalkTalk customers: “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 is to recover from recent events, TalkTalk will need to offer more than just good value.”