If anyone cares how the call limit debacle ended, feel free to read on to learn how it surprisingly concluded to my [almost] entire satisfaction.
When the phone bill came a couple of weeks ago, I immediately called the customer service and disputed the charges on our calls to Russia. Given that every single one of those calls during the billing cycle was charged at the higher rate, and I had documentary evidence that we dialed the necessary prefix every single time in the prior cycles, the TalkTalk rep agreed that my assertion of the billing problem on the TalkTalk side was valid. However, the said rep was powerless to do anything about it. Instead, he advised me to send a letter – written correspondence is still the king in these parts – to the central billing office, explaining the problem and asking them to investigate. Which I immediately did.
When I came home from France the other day, one of the mail items awaiting me was a correspondence from the TalkTalk customer service. Within, there was a requisite apology for the inconvenience, an admission of the billing error, and a notice of a refund of £164 to my account. Which I already confirmed had been posted.
I still had to do a curious dance to have my line unblocked. Apparently, having a sizable credit on the account does not automatically remove the restriction – an action initiated by the account holder is necessary. During normal business hours, I hope, pointing the state of the account to a finance rep may have been enough; since I arrived home when the offices were already closed, I could have waited a day to speak to a person or used the automatic payment system. The system informed me that my minimal payment was £0, but I did not leave it to chance, charged £1 to my credit card, and by next morning had the phone service working fine again.
Silly, really. But at least, we came out alright.