TalkTalk broadband users are complaining they can’t opt out of its Error Replacement Service, which swaps NXDomain DNS results with an IP address. And if that sounds familiar, it should. Users of the budget ISP complained about the very same issue back in 2014.
The Error Replacement Service redirects links to DNS addresses that don’t exist, like those created by fat-fingered address bar typos, to a TalkTalk-run webpage. El Reg reader Louis described it thusly:
“If I type a non-existing domain in the browser, instead of getting the proper ‘Hmm. We’re having trouble finding that site’ message, I get a list of ‘search results’ vaguely linked to the the non-existing domain. This is mildly annoying, as I’d rather not send my typos to some random advertiser,” he said.
His woes don’t stop there – the “service” also prevents him from logging into his work VPN. “During connection, instead of seeing the login window, I see a TalkTalk-branded page with ‘search results’ and I can’t complete the login process,” he complained.
This isn’t an isolated problem. The TalkTalk support forum is flooded with similar complaints, no doubt partially thanks to the rise in home working caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.
TalkTalk offers a way to opt out of the service, requiring users to visit a specific web page and then restart their router. But this appears to be somewhat ineffective, with both Twitter and the TalkTalk forum filled with complaints.