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Pineapple S.

1 Level 1 Contributor
  • 2 Reviews
  • 60 Helpful Votes
  • 2 Thank Yous

Experience: Computers & Technology, Home & Garden, Health

Member since January 2020

  • Reviews

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2 Reviews by Pineapple

2/19/20
Where to start? It has been SO awful, that even the process of trying to leave TalkTalk has been incredibly distressing
- There was a fault with my broadband that took 2 and a half hours of phone calls and online chats, over a few days, to get resolved.
- They would tell me the fault was resolved and then it would happen again.
- Every time you contact them it takes 10-15 minutes before the issue can actually be discussed (they have to spend ages waiting for your account to come up on their screen and it takes ages to get through their security).
- Every time you speak to a new person (they pass you from team to team and back again), the issue has to be explained all over again.
- It is very difficult to understand each other. I would explain the issue and they would usually misunderstand (with the exception of when I managed to get through to a manager. Often I was unable to understand what they were saying).
- During all this I was told I had 'some orders' in process. I had not placed any orders. They told me I had 'done one click' on an email I'd been sent and placed an order for something. I had not. They did not believe me. I later checked my email and I hadn't even opened any of the sales emails from TalkTalk in recent months. They said they would cancel said 'order' (surely it can't even be legal for someone to make a legally binding action through one click on an email?).
- This led to a conversation about pricing. I had come off fixed term and was then paying a ridiculously high price each month. They offered me a better deal. I agreed to go ahead with this and start a new fixed term contract. When the time came around for this to have started, I checked my bill: I was now paying even more than before...
- I had three different conversations with them about this ranging from 1-2 hours long each. They denied that they had agreed a new fixed term contract with them with this price. One of the advisors even said that the 'one click order' had never been cancelled and concluded that what the person had agreed with me over the phone was just to continue with the 'one click order' that had apparently been on my account. This of course does not make sense since I was still on a rolling contract, although I did now have the faster fibre, just at an extortionate price...
- Instead of the refund for my overpayment, I was offered a 'goodwill gesture' of £10 that nowhere near matched what I was actually owed.
- They offered me a new contract that matched what had been agreed weeks before. In addition to the better price, I would be on a rolling contract rather than a fixed term contract. I asked the advisor to email me the offer this time since I could not trust the verbal offer after what had happened last time. He said he was unable to send emails, and eventually agreed that one of his colleagues would do this. I never received an email. When I called them again they knew nothing about the offer, and denied that it was possible.
- During all this I asked for copies of a couple of 2018 bills since in 'My Account', only the last 12 months-worth of bills are available. When they arrived they were 2019 bills and had a strange town included in the address field.
- They agreed the lower price, but with a fixed term contract. I explained I would go ahead but would take my complaint to the CEO since they were still not acknowledging that they owed me money and had failed to put in place the new contract that had been agreed, and had denied they had ever owed it to me. I was told that if I pursued my complaint then the 'goodwill gesture' would not be given to me.
- I told them I would switch to another company and asked them to escalate my complaint further. They said they would and that I would receive a phone call. I received 3 strange phone calls from an 0800 TalkTalk number at different times that literally rang my phone for half a ring and thus were impossible to pick up.
- In the meantime I arranged to switch to Vodafone on 17th Feb. Then Plusnet offered me a better service. I cancelled Vodafone and was told that Vodafone manage the communication with TalkTalk so I did not need to do anything.
- On 17th Feb my Internet connection stopped. When I called TalkTalk (strangely, I still had a phone line, and still do even writing this!) it became clear that my complaint was still open but that they were not interested in responding to it. I was passed from team to team and in over the space of 16 hours I spoke to 7 different people. In that time I was told lots of different things like 'maybe the openreach exchange is being upgraded', 'I can see your line is still active'. It wasn't until I spoke to a manager that I was told what had happened: they had disconnected my internet because they were told by another provider that I was moving to them on that date and said they were not aware that this had been cancelled. I was told there was nothing that can be done because the line is now disconnected and to have internet I would need to start a new contract with them (not a chance!).
- I did explain to them that because my Plusnet contract doesn't go live till March, they would otherwise have two weeks of extra custom from me, but, computer says 'no', of course. During the 96 minute conversation I looked up prices for buying extra data from my mobile phone provider and decided this was a far better solution in the interim anyway, since the silver lining is: I AM NOW FREE OF TALKTALK!
I hope I have been able to give you a sense of how crazy-making these experiences with TalkTalk have been. I felt beyond frustrated, and violated, since as far as I am concerned they have actually stolen from me, having gone back on what they agreed, and then denied all of this and not giving me full reimbursement for the resulting overpayment. To have to spend hours and hours getting anything resolved is just soul-destroying, especially when they have such a non-accountable attitude. I can't imagine any circumstances under which it would be worth getting involved with this company in any shape or form. I am writing this in the hope that I can prevent others from having the experience I did.

Update 25/02/20: I have received a bill for a Feb-Mar service even though the service is disconnected. The advisor I spoke to had a very passive-aggressive attitude, and he hung up on me.
1/3/20
I want to present a balanced review because there is a lot of worth in what Melanie is intending to provide for people who have been narcissistically abused, but I found that the overall package fell short of what is advertised.

Narcissism:

Melanie's programme is for those could be at any point on the spectrum between having been seriously abused by someone with NPD, and those who have experienced what you might call a 'toxic relationship', or emotional abuse in a relationship. This in itself is what makes it so helpful to so many people. The problem with then going on to call anyone who dished out such abuse (NP disordered or not) 'a narcissist' and 'a false self' is that it encourages the idea of separation between 'us' and 'them', which is unhelpful when considering that we are all connected and that separation is in fact an illusion, which is some of what is happening when we find ourselves suffering at the hands of another's behaviour: we are a part of that dynamic, which is exactly what we are addressing when we do the NARP work - OUR part in things ('as within, so without'). Melanie does acknowledge that so-called 'co-dependents' are similar to so-called 'narcissists' in terms of their 'wounding', and I suppose that the categorisation is helpful to provide a language in which to help people understand the dynamics involved, but it also seems to have the effect of encouraging those using this programme to act in what might be seen as narcissistic ways in defending themselves from 'narcissists'. It's so important to learn about boundaries as part of the recovery process, but when we become too fixed and rigid in these then we start to become like that which we think we are defending against, which is evident in the behaviour of some of the moderators and MTE 'support' staff (please see my experiences detailed below). Similarly, when 'no contact' is encouraged/employed as a blanket rule (without considering that while some individuals are downright dangerous, others are far less so), then this starts to edge into 'devalue and discard' territory - classic narcissistic behaviour.

Videos, Articles and eBooks:

There are so many of these available, which is fantastic, and I found they really helped me to make sense of my experience and to frame it in helpful ways. Melanie is very clear and brings the subject matter to life, and her presence, experience, and insight is inspiring. However, as stated above, there are holes and anomalies in the content (as I've found there is anywhere on this subject to be fair, since the current culture is so keen on labelling people). While it's useful to have a clear philosophy to cling to at a time when you are taken over by the confusion of trauma, and cognitive dissonance, I found that digging deeper left me realising that the subject of how and why we attract certain things and people into our lives is so complex that the labelling part just undoes some of that wisdom and can leave you more confused so beware of relying on explanations that seek to categorise people too far.

Meditations:

I found these relaxing and soothing, which is very useful with trauma.

NARP modules:

These have a mix of different ways of shifting or clearing the felt experience in the body, bringing in source as light, and connecting with past lives or selves that may be related to the feeling in your body. Over a 2-month period I did the moduling dozens of times: generally once or twice per day. They are each around 30 minutes long so it is a big time commitment. I don't mind that given that right now I am dedicated to healing, but I didn't feel I was connecting with it in the way that others have. I stuck at it and tried different things like putting some of my blocks into the Goal Setting Module, and sought help on the forum to try to make sense of my own experience and to help myself trust the process. I had such a bad experience there (see below) that it affected my feelings about the whole moduling process, which I was already struggling with. I think it's something you need to really believe in for it to work. I struggled more and more with believing because I wasn't feeling much change in my bodily feelings that I could really attribute to NARP. When I then found the behaviour of some of the moderators and support team so incongruent with the ideas behind NARP, I lost my confidence with it even more. I also now think that there are alternative approaches out there that might be more helpful for me, which I am going to try. I am already aware of Focusing (an approach created by Gendlin following research of what works best in psychotherapy), and found that the key elements of the modules involved something similar. Focusing goes into far more depth in terms of working with the felt sense so I feel that there could be a lot of value in trying this for the trauma caused/brought up by narcissistic abuse. What I found the most valuable about the modules was how they helped me to identify unhelpful core beliefs with greater colour and clarity alongside reading and listening to some of the resources I found this really helpful in uncovering what it is that is 'within' that had led to the 'without'. Now, for resolving these... I feel that EFT (tapping) and hypnosis might be more useful alternatives to NARPing.

Fear-based Marketing:

Melanie's focus is on 'thriving', which is fantastic, but there is an undercurrent of fear behind the marketing, which goes something like, 'if you don't go within and shift your trauma, you'll continue to experience abuse and will never thrive'. I'm sure there is some truth in this. However, Melanie presents her method as the only answer, and on the forum NARP is certainly presented as the only way the tone being that if you don't get on with it, there is a problem in you, and you're not 'going within', rather than considering that a one-size-fits-all approach may not work for everyone, and that going within effectively might look different for some people (and it doesn't necessarily mean they're not going within!).

Forum and 'support' team:

I understand that the moderating is carried out by volunteers, who I'm sure in general are nice people with good intentions (one of them tried to guilt-trip me about this), and I think this is a huge factor in the experience I had: while they are people who have used the modules successfully and know a lot about how to get the most out of them, it became clear that they are not people who have been trained in how to hold space or facilitate (at least the ones I came across). Given what the forum is there to do it should be important that anyone moderating (because they're not just moderating posts for offence etc, they're also giving the advice and it is made clear in the code of conduct that those using the forum must not challenge this advice make of that what you will) the space is skilled in communicating with people who have suffered trauma. It became clear to me that the MTE moderators are not, and the power that they are given is easily abused, which for abuse victims is a re-play of what they've already experienced. If people have an issue with anything they post, then the onus is put on the individual to 'go within' to 'work this out within yourself' so to speak, which allows abuse of power to go unchecked, especially when the MTE support people who do the email communications exercise exactly the same kind of attitude. This amounts to a complete lack of accountability, which again is another characteristic of narcissist behaviour and therefore re-plays the abuse experience. I had one particularly awful experience of the forum. I was 'temporarily banned' like a naughty child after I stood up to how I was being spoken to by one of the moderators. Then, the follow up communications I received from their 'support' team just got worse and worse. Really condescending and passive aggressive. I find their approach to be extremely punitive. The horrible experience I had on the forum amounted to being scapegoated, isolated and gaslit (very common things that happen in narcissistic abuse), which would obviously be re-triggering, and then I was treated as though I wasn't 'going inward' because I'd dared to suggest that the issue was something outside of myself. This is really dangerous for those who've already experienced abuse/trauma and have been lulled into thinking they've found a safe haven. When I said I wasn't finding the forum safe, no attempt was made by the MTE team to address any of the issues. In fairness, they did eventually give me a refund of the entire programme, but that seemed more about avoiding dealing with me or the issue, as they made no attempt to repair what had happened either with regard to the forum or their appalling communications.

I think that employing trained staff rather than volunteers would help address the problem with the forum and customer service, but I doubt it's the whole answer: I strongly believe that the composition and culture of organisations reflect the person at the head of the organisation, including their shadow. We all have one, and it is so important to develop awareness of it. This takes commitment within organisations to stay accountable and open and to 'look within' the organisation as well as individually, to avoid projecting outwards onto customers for example. This may be a lot to ask of an organisation, but it's especially necessary if you're going into the business of supporting people who've been abused in any way. I am left concerned for the people who use the forum and end up parroting the same kind of statements as the moderators, and who at the same time as being continually invited to 'look within' are actively discouraged from doing free thinking or challenging poor behaviour when they see it - what kind of message is this to give to abuse 'thrivers'?

I hope this review helps people in making a decision as to whether to purchase, and in deciding how to approach the programme safely if they do.

Pineapple Has Earned 60 Votes

Pineapple S.'s review of MelanieToniaEvans earned 60 Very Helpful votes

Pineapple Has Received 2 Thank Yous

alexandrab55
Alexandra B. thanked you for your review of MelanieToniaEvans

“Thanks, I've had a negative experience with MTE and was struggling how to word it. Your posts and others have helped me feel "not alone."”

marysueh3
Marysue H. thanked you for your review of MelanieToniaEvans

“Thanks for sharing this. I had problems with the modules too and felt I was in a repeating loop with the moderators. I finally gave up. I also felt Melanie is a bit self-righteous and yes the whole thing felt at times like programming.”

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