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Shell Ditches Half a Million Broadband Customers 

Posted by John Donovan: 14 Dec 2023

In an astonishing display of ‘see ya later’ strategy, Shell has decided to bid adieu to the British residential energy market. But fear not, Sir Charles Dunstone’s broadband empire, TalkTalk Telecom, is swooping in like a knight to rescue nearly half a million of these abandoned souls.

Sky News, ever the bearer of intriguing news, has whispered that TalkTalk Telecom is all set to absorb a whopping 480,000 broadband customers from Shell Energy Retail UK, courtesy of UK energy superstar, Octopus Energy. But let’s not talk about the price, because apparently, that’s a bit hush-hush right now.

This isn’t some groundbreaking expansion for TalkTalk, though. They’ve already been playing host to these Shell customers on their wholesale platform, so it’s more of a ‘changing rooms’ situation. What’s in it for Sir Charles’s group? Oh, just the sweet, sweet retail margin from these 480,000 customers. No biggie.

Earlier this year, Octopus Energy, led by the enigmatic Greg Jackson, decided to play ‘big fish’ and swallowed Shell’s household energy business, which included about 1.3 million British homes. This deal turned Octopus into a giant sea creature in the UK gas and electricity supplier ocean, now valued at several billion pounds.

And what did Shell say about all this? Absolutely nothing. It’s like they’ve decided to ghost the UK energy and telecoms supply business. Their parting gift? A modest 2.1% market share in broadband.

Octopus, on the other hand, is on a shopping spree. After buying Bulb Energy and its 1.6 million customers, it’s now added Shell’s offerings to its collection, propelling itself from a mere contender to a podium finisher in the retail rankings.

The moral of the story? If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the broadband kitchen. 

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