The two companies have so far failed to agree a new carriage deal, and arbitration has been dismissed as an option, so no temporary reprieve for customers. Sky is not refusing to provide service, it is simply refusing to do it for the price Virgin is offering – in the same way that a shopkeeper might sell an apple for 20p, and refuse to accept an offer of 10p from someone trying to haggle. It is not bullying, just simple business economics.
Yes, Sky is fighting its corner and coaxing as many disgruntled Virgin customers into its waiting arms as possible, but it is doing so in a reserved and, incredibly, dignified manner. The adverts inviting Virgin customers to cross over are polite, clear and don’t gloat – I expected much less from Sky and am impressed that the company is taking, and for now staying, on the moral high ground. Virgin on the other hand has spent the last nine days jumping around trying to attract the attention of anyone passing by, screaming, stamping its feet and balling its eyes out like a little brat in a supermarket (and don’t you just want to smash it in the head with your trolley – I know I always do).
Even a look on Virgin’s Fair Play web page reveals that its own customers are fed up and are not interested in defending a company that has done nothing since its rebranding to earn the support and loyalty of its demoralised customers. Remember, these people (and I am one of them) are already weary from years of dreadful and disrespectful customer service when the business was Telewest and NTL. Other than a name change and a few more redundancies nothing has changed. Changing the name and dumbing down the company’s web site and literature does not equal the silver bullet needed to fix the many problems at Virgin Media.
I have a BT engineer coming next Friday to switch my phone line back to BT from Virgin, and once this is complete I will be sending the cable TV box back to Virgin as well. Depending on what level of DSL service I can get off my new BT connection, the cable modem may be following soon after.