back to article Virgin Media wields mighty jobs axe

Virgin Media, the UK cable giant, is cutting 2,200 jobs - about 15 per cent of the workforce. The cuts should mean savings of £120m a year by 2012 and come in the wake of a strategic review begun earlier this year. Most jobsd will go in the last quarter of 2009 or 2010. Virgin said the implications of the proposals for …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I bet that

    1)The quality of the customer support goes down.

    2)The CEO salary & bonuses go up.

    By the way I'm sorry about using "Quality" and "customer support" in the same sentence with regard to Virgin Media, without using the qualifies "does'nt have" or "has never heard of" or any of the others usually read on the VM user forums.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear

    "Virgin Media today announced that it is undertaking a restructuring of its operations aimed at driving further improvements in its operational performance and ensuring it offers the best possible products, service and value for money to its customers."

    Which is total bullshit, frankly. Current service standards are abysmal at best. Broadband speeds on VM's network are now the worst they've ever been. Not to mention draconian traffic management to mask the underinvestment and strain of extra customers.

    How they imagine that having less staff will in anyway help matters is beyond me considering the number of UBR upgrades that have been postponed, month on month.

    Seems hard to imagine service could get any worse without serious effort.... though no doubt VM will prove me wrong.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Investors only, move along please

    Seriously!!! This is Mr Berkett making all the right noises for the bankers following the debt restructure a few weeks ago...

    Also, those of us who've been here [VM] for some time, know that it's the annual pre-christmas laxative administered internaly by email a few hours before it hits the press to make it all the more effective. Only difference this time, is that no heads will be cut until Q4 '09... that a year away folks, come on, There'll be a black man in the white house before I fall for that one again...


  4. Anonymous Coward

    UK interwibble starts to wobble...

    cos all the gerbils are for the chop (yumy stewed rodent!)


    lots less customer support (goodbye to india... hello nigeria)

    lots less customers....(cos who wants to have thier banks accounts migrating to 3rd world)

    lots more bandwidth.... cough.. cough... except your kneeCAPPED cos ur torrents, BBC iplayer and usenet have been blocked...

    lots more customers to tis-SKY-ly...... (uh-oh) thats Not so good...........

    ho hum back to BloodyTeribble Broadband...

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Going downhill fast

    More job cuts at VM? Well, anyone want to bet that it'll be the engineers and UK service staffs that get chopped? When, I would guess that the overwhelming majority of customers would just love to see job cuts targeted at the board and the other top manglers, sorry "managers".

    @Oh dear,

    sorry don't agree with some of what you've said. I've always found the UK-based service folks to be very helpful and friendly. Likewise the overwhelming majority of the engineers I've dealt with have been competent, efficient and friendly, (the minority being the one barely trained a-hole who managed to knock out my 'net service for about three days). Oh, and I regularly get 1100KB/s quoted rates on downloads using my 10Mb/s service. I'm happy.

    What I've not happy with (and agree with you AC) is that the draconian traffic shaping - just watch the high speed download (see above) drop to 200KB/s (or less). Plus the TV service is pretty unreliable and not that good (apart from the on-demand services). Oh and the totally clueless sales droids - had one the other day that tried to sell me broadband with VM, why the frak didn't he check my records - in which case he'd have seen that I've had that service for years! And don't get me started on the 'can we sell you a phone service" calls from them... :(

    All in all I really feel sorry for any of the UK staffs that are being P45'd, (apart from the sales droids and that a-hole engineer of course). I can't see this being a good announcement for the VM customers by any aspect.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    As the great Nostradamus forsaw...

    "...when the wealthiest tremble in fear of the abyss, and the virgin strikes down a fifth part of her children, the child-like bearded knight's fortunes will twist and tangle like the ivy as fully a score of yoemen, crimson in garb and temper, jump him in the Tescos car park..."

    Of course the way he wrote those things you could make it mean anything. Its a trick they use to make themselves look good. I saw it on TV.

  7. andrew mulcock

    how much per year

    so does that mean each person costs Virgin an average of 54K per year ?

  8. Richard Cartledge
    Thumb Down

    Poor devils

    I hated their TV service as the video is too compressed and the box navigation slow and cumbersome so I went with Freeview via a mac mini and elgato eyetv. Their phone service was too expensive and low-tech, so I went with Skype.

    Their broadband had been generally good, it has slowed down considerably in the last 9 months though. I only pay £10 for this though which is cheaper than any using the BT line.

    I find their call centre staff these days to be A1, they used to be dire. Their marketing material is cringeworthy and clearly aimed and jobless Labour-louts and chavs. It would be a shame if it gets worse, and it's a shame there is now no decent and good value broadband available in the UK.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's chuck some pity their way.

    It may have been re-branded a hundred times over but this is still the same company that borrowed a heap of cash back in the early 90's to build a brand new cable network to your door. They did not have the luxury of having it paid for by tax payers, like BT did, and so the subs that you pay them do little more than cover the interest payments on the debts they ran up ages ago. Sure, their customer service sucks, their network hasn't been updated since it was built and their actual internet peering transit is probably just a single Cat5 in LINX but they really have to keep their Op-Ex down to a minimum because they can't afford anything better. With the current credit crunch the investors are going to be scrabbling around to get some of that debt back and that means that they have to start making plans to cut their Op-Ex even more so they can pay more back and faster. They can't just re-mortgage the whole thing on another big ass loan any more than those northern families in the adverts during countdown can now.

  10. Anonymous Coward


    Hmm, the irony is that in recent times - or at least, the past year - customer service has improved immeasurably since we first joined them about three years ago. Somehow I don't see this continuing when these cuts happen.

  11. Norfolk Enchants Paris


    Are you Amanfrommars' infant son? Or are you incoherent for some other reason?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Didn't he also mention Phorm?

    I understand that Mr Berkett also mentioned Phorm?

    "-- No Phorm?: Virgin has identified behavioural ad targeting as a growth strategy. Though Phorm has long claimed Virgin and Carphone Warehouse are due to join BT (NYSE: BT) in trialling the controversial behavioural targeter, Berkett said: “Our next initiative probably won’t be with the Phorms of the world.” "

  13. Mike Groombridge


    I've never had a problem with customer service. had a couple of stupid engineers but no worse then the sky engineers and BT we had before and i can have 3, 300+ k downloads going to together with no problem. so i can't complian maybe it's cause i was telewest and not ntl i hear ntl old service was bad so i imagine it'll be the ntl staff for the chop. (sorry ntl staff ) don't know any one who had telewest whose had a major problem since the switch. especially now we are getting sky channels back. i feel sorry for the staff for the chop i hope they can expand and keep them on.

    Ofcourse all this could be cause i live within a mile of there south essex office

  14. Thomas Baker

    People power, feel my wrath!

    I cancelled my Virgin Media Cervixes the other day and now they're laying off a few thousand people. Just goes to show. Don't mess with me. Straw - Camel - Back, you know the rest.

    On another note, with regards the internet being locked down, (see Australia and us in other ways), and Virgin Media (one of only a small number of alternatives to a BT-based ISP) about to be run by one man in a basement office with Telnet, isn't it about time some smart cookie came up with a new internet transport?

    I hope Wi-Max hurries up and becomes cheaper/more widely available and more potable in terms of lots of different companies perhaps could set up and be responsible for the infrastructure thus making competition better and making them less susceptible to gubmint pressure to hand over data, etc.

    Or some other mechanism. Won't be long now before we need a new internet. Encrypted data over radio waves anyone? Get back to the ham days where anyone can send/receive radio signals with minimal kit and know-how. I'm sure it won't work but some other method perhaps exists. We need to wrest control of the internet or a.n.other internet from corporations and gubmint lap-dogs. We need a true people's internet that's connected yet independent. Hmm...

  15. Jimbob

    Darn company speak

    Grr company PR BS speak annoys me:

    "Virgin Media today announced that it is undertaking a restructuring of its operations aimed at driving further improvements in its operational performance and ensuring it offers the best possible products, service and value for money to its customers."

    Do they thnk we are thick? How does cutting jobs improve products? Please tell..

    If they were making jobs then a similar PR BS spout would be released. It is just words with no meaning.

  16. AJ

    From My Understanding...

    ... Based on recent articles in the press over the past few weeks, the majority of jobs that will be at risk are in telesales - and the main aim for VM is to close sites and have less, bigger call centres and offices as since the merger nearly 2 years ago they ended up with double the office space and a lot of buildings that stand half empty or in some cases scarce!

    It does seem like a big kick in the face for all the staff who have busted their bollocks since the merger to improve customer service and put their all in the company to improve its image etc

    But I also agree that money needs to be saved so they can meet their debt repayments and dig themselves out of the huge debt hole they are currently in - its down to operator costs which is the main thing they are trying to reduce, but selling off buildings they own which are not full would be more benefical with minimum job cuts by relocating their staff and cutting the number of 'regional headends' which again reduces operating costs...

    In some areas where ex Telewest and ex NTL where right next door, you now have the situation where there is 2 lots of offices, 2 regional headends (which deal with the TV side of things) both doing similar roles - guess time will tell what their plans are!

    One thing is for sure, if they send more jobs to INDIA they will well and truely put the nail in the VIRGIN MEDIA COFFIN as people wont stand for anymore shite from cable!!!!!!

  17. Andy Livingstone

    I have a little list

    Someone very near the top of Virgin Media heads it. That would be an excellent starting point in improving Customer Service.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Record industry's puppet ISP

    That would be the same ISP that valued its relationship with the record industry above its paying customers.

    Couldn't have happened to a nicer company.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Who needs Virgin Customer Support?

    I mean seriously? You have a cable modem and it sits there switched on. Occasionally the cable light may flash.... so go do something else for a but. Oh look, by magic the cable light is solid again and you are back online.

    Not a customer? Go online and order it. Some guy will come round and install it. No need to even pick up the phone.

    If you really are so brain dead that you need to even ring their "customer services" to discuss a plastic box with some lights on it then quite frankly you, sir, are and idiot and deserve the quality of service and shortened lifespan from the stress of it all.

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