back to article Virgin customer numbers dip

Virgin is reporting a slight dip in customer numbers over the last three months, but reckons those customers are of a higher quality and that the operating loss of £333 million is just a temporary state of affairs. The group has added subscribers during the last quarter - a couple of hundred thousand more are getting their TV …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Ha ha! What a shame!

    Yep, left 'em exactly 3 months ago after they tried to shaft me on price and decided they wanted to get in bed with Kurt and his wonderful bag of tricks!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    What's up with Telecoms in UK ?

    Virgin customer numbers dip

    Deutsche Telecom sees income dip

    Orange sees broadband subscriber exodus

    Have they all moved to o2 and the Jesusphone for internet ?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Debt levels...

    Debt levels are immense... £6bn... interest payments approx £0.5M.

    Thats about a £500 overdraft for every RGU (taking £6Bn/12M RGUs). If you're a customer that counts as more than one RGU, quad play, that's £2000 VM owe the bank on your behalf.

    So, Virgin customers need to start coughing up more cash for the services they use.

    VM seem to be in a race to self destruction with BT... "me first me first I want to price myself into oblivion".

    Consequently, I think you can expect the prices of telephones, broadband, TV to go up... How else are they going to fill the coffers and pay outrageous salaries to directors..?

    And before PhormUKSockPuppet mentions it, Phorm Webwise was never the solution.

    Paris because she could help to bail them out.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Quality of Customer !

    HaHa

    If VM hang around with phorm for much longer, the only advertisers their customers will attract will be the manufacturers of big, noisy exhausts for Vauxhall Nova's.

    Most people will throw away the TV and Phone subscriptions when they change ISP's as well.

    Wake up Sir Beardy!

    Paris, because unlike Sir Beardy, she does not have an image problem.

  5. Thibault Jamme

    May thay go down in pain

    Thanks for these good news.

    CableTel/NTL/Virgin media suck like a thousand tongued yet armless beast and the sooner they go down into oblivion the better. I have countless stories about their ineptitude, but one will suffice today: I once subscribed for broadband *only*. Around the time they went to bed with Virgin (Why Richard, why???) as I tried to pay my bill over the phone, I found I couldn't get past their robot: 'Please enter your NTL phone number'.

    So no way to get in touch, even to set up a direct debit (like I was going to trust them with that anyway!). BT are incompetent and slow but at least they answer the phone. So I am on BT + Zen (who are spotless).

  6. Martin Lyne
    Gates Horns

    Could it relate to...

    ..the godawful adverts currently showing at Odeons (and probably others)

    I've seen it 4 times and still can't understand half of the dialoge or, indeed, the point. MARKETING FAIL.

  7. Wize

    I wonder...

    Could it be anything to do with the letters of complaint and threat of disconnection they sent to filesharers?

  8. Oliver

    You reap what you sow

    Up:

    Network enhancements

    Down:

    Phorm

    Throttling extended

    Poor customer service

    Loss of Sky TV channels

    Price rises

    In response to the above comment about price rises, prices already went up £2 or £3 this year. I'm still with them as the broadband is actually OK value (despite the throttling) but I'd drop them like a sack of tatties if there were a better alternative.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Still not got the hang of customer service have they?

    Is it any wonder that their customer service is so bad seeing as they refer to their customers as "Revenue Generating Units"!?

    A customer is not just another number!

  10. Chris Cooke

    Virgin? Which Virgin?

    Virgin Trains? Virgin Mobile? Virgin Blue? Virgin Atlantic? Virgin Money? Virgin Media? Virgin Life Care? etc. etc. Please be more specific in future.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Oddly enough....

    ....I used to be one of Virgin's greatest detractors but things seem to have stabilised recently. Admittedly their no-help desk is still poor (for 'poor' read 'shockingly incompetent') but once I had got to the point where I was complaining virtually every day about slow broadband speeds I was finally routed through a new server and regularly get speeds of 20mb off peak and 15mb peak time.

    I played them off against Sky and brokered a deal for their XL package (TV Inc sports, phone with free calls & no line rental and 20mb broadband) for £60pcm. Originally they wanted almost £80 for this lot but a bit of negotiation sorted that out.

    My last few bills have been even lower as they have (unilaterally or mistakenly) reduced my monthly fee to £55pcm.

    And no, I do not want Phorm and yes, I hate the concept of bandwith throttling based on your download volumes but really......I can fool/block Phorm and I'm unlikely to download 3gb peaktime or 6gb during the day so why change to another provider who will no doubt prove to be just as incompetent?

    If I already know that their customer service team is staffed by cretins who wouldn't even get a look-in for a job pushing boxes down conveyor belts at Argos stores then I reckon I can just about cope with that in the knowledge that I'm not really missing Sky One, can get good broadband speeds with little downtime and I'm paying less than if I got all these services from different providers.

    AC obviously cos I don't want them to up my bills if the latest cut is actually a mistake :-)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Maybe If...

    ... They did some other major changes it would help, like:

    Mobile: Better Tariffs With Inclusive Minutes & Texts, the current tariffs are just utter rubbish at the moment, compared to the other major networks!

    Broadband: Size M speed increase to at least 4MB, and a reduction in the stand alone broadband price as £18 is well excessive, £10 would be a better price. Size L: 10MB @ £20, and Size XL: 20MB @ £30, and Size XXL: 50MB @ £40...

    Telephone: Get shot of Talk Weekends and replace it with Talk E&W as part of the basic line rental (£11) instead, then offer Talk Unlimited as their 'L' package for an additional £6.95, then Talk Anywhere 400 as 'XL' for an additional £14.95 on top of basic line rental, and Talk Anywhere 800 as 'XXL' for £24.95 on top of the basic line rental. That would be a start!!!!

    WELL WE CAN ALWAYS HOPE, AS CURRENT PRICES EVEN WITH BUNDLES ARE STILL EXCESSIVE COMPARED TO THE MARKET AVERAGES...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    virgin mobile?

    So, I'm confused. Is Virgin Mobile now part of Virgin Media? I've been really pleased with Virgin Mobile. Was with them years ago and left for O2 and came back when they had better pricing. Anyhoo, am I supporting these phorm sucking morons by using Virgin mobile?

  14. Simon B
    Thumb Up

    Virgin have made improvements over the old NTL rubbish

    I'm not going to knock them, as since Virgin took over NTL service over the last 12 months HAS improved. Took them a while to sort out the mess NTL had made but they appear to have done something about it. My broadband doesn't keep going down on me like it used to so I'm a happy chap!

  15. fnordianslip

    They even throttle access to their own mirrors

    I'm trying to download a Ubuntu 8.04 disk image so I can install it as a favour to my housemate, who's promised to fix someones broken XP machine. Virgin are kindly rate-limiting me at the moment, so I thought I'd be clever and download the image from their Ubuntu mirror. It wasn't so clever though, as the download rate still sucked.

    I found myself wondering if they throttle access to their own mirrors too, so I phoned up tech support (who conveniently enough are cheaper to abuse now) to check: firstly that I was being throttled, and secondly, that they are retarded enough to throttle access to their own mirrors. Tech supported pleaded guilty to both charges. I requested a MAC code for the 2nd time in two months (this time I'll use it) and was put on hold for 2 minutes before being told that they were now closed.

    Gits. UKFSN here I come.

    fnord

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What a crock of crap!

    I have been with Virgin ADSL now for nearly 4 years, i will be honest if it wasnt for their newsgroup availability i would drop them like a stone for eg i download a few files one week and get stm'd the following week.

    Fair enough but here is the rub im STM'd ALL WEEK from 4pm till midnight where as the cable users only get stm'd for 5hours per day.

    And they call it a service

    well this is one little Virgin that needs deflowering!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Ho hum just the usual spin again

    Revenue down while multi play customers up?

    Simple answer- new customers (and customers that threaten to leave) are getting package discounts if they take X with Y or Y with Z.

    If they want to call them higher quality customers thats up to them, but IMO thats just the usual spin to cover their failings. Add to that the way they include re-contracted customers as new, I wonder how anyone can make head nor tail of their so called figures.

    The giveaways are only going to last so long till everyones on quad play and paying next to nothing for it- then what? Gives the accountants something to do I suppose- makes me wonder when they will run out of creative ways to make the figures look good.

  18. Erix

    Re: Which Virgin?

    @Chris

    I thought it was crystal clear from the title: virgin CUSTOMERS!

  19. Florence Stanfield

    I left after 8 year due to phorm

    I was a customer and left about 3 months ago VM billing is a shambles the add refunds instead of deducting them, send out two different price bills for final bill seems both are right yet I had BB till 5th of month they billing me till 29th.

    Claim discounts back if you cancel, Tell you to dispose of the modem in an eviormentally way then threaten to charge you for the modem for not posting it back, yet have no address for you to post it back to get it signed only address online is PO box.

    I was not a heavy user my new ISP I have only gone over 3gig once at peak times heaviest month was windows update month where i hit a wopping 21gig.

    Attitude on how some staff speak to you do not help and the offshore call center is a killer.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    why are they going?

    Virgin must be feeling a bit of phorm

    oh dear how sad never mind

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I left them

    Found it impossible to change the online payment details after my daughter stopped using it and forgot her access codes.

  22. Digital Freedom

    Virgin Media shoot themselves in the feet bigtime - Unwilling to connect new subscribers

    No wonder their figures are looking bad, the amount of potential customers they REFUSE to connect to the network is unreal. Its actually very worrying because most of these are in cabled areas as well. (some need minor "construction" ie a couple of hours work for a fitter... but NO, its a cancelled job.

    Just why do they employ fitters then?

    I suffer from sub 1meg broadband from BT (5Km from exchange) My house is 100 metres away from a green VM cable distribution box, but NO they REFUSE to connect anyone in my newish street and most of us are screaming for faster broadband.

    We have even offered to PAY THEM the install costs or have a third party contractors company do it but NO, they cannot be bothered whatsoever.

    If I was in charge of that company things would certainly be different. You wouldnt have to spend millions but you could certainly find ways of connecting new people from existing cabinets....

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