Every VM related discussion board that I look at is complaining about the deteriorating service. You don't say which area you are in but area 21 seems to have been hit particularly badly. It seems to me that there is a whole collection of issues here:
Area 21 appears to be vast, covering a great chunk of south London from Wandsworth in the west to Greenwich in the east and I have no idea how far south, and unsurprisingly there is a lot of variability within that area. I have recently written a good old fashioned, snail-mail, formal complaint to VM because the service here was down completely for me 1-3 December, allegedly because engineers were working “installing additional equipment to improve the service”. The latter is long, long overdue, and is to be welcomed, but it should be perfectly possible for them to do such work, test it without disrupting the current service, and then switch it into service in the middle of the night without creating mayhem.
And when they finally did get the system back up who was the last person to be told ? I don't think VM have the first idea about customer service. Now I am suffering the same poor service as many others are reporting, speeds hitting rock bottom in early evening, and being told that it is all down to congestion. Tell me something new.
The real questions are:
- what is actually causing that congestion ? Too many subscribers, too many subscribers trying to use the service at the same time, or too intensive use of the service like streaming TV/videos when they do use it. Most likely some combination of all three. And
- what is VM actually doing about it ? Not nearly enough is the short answer. It has its own staff predicting the likely forward loads, it is even deliberately increasing the forward load very substantially by pushing hard for triple and quadruple play customers. But
- is VM making the necessary investment in the existing network on a predict and provide basis ? No, not nearly enough it would appear. Instead it is investing a massive £3bn as part of project Ligtning to increase its customer base from 7 to 11 million i.e. buying new customers at a cost of £750 each, whilst it is spending only an estimated £0.5bn on upgrading the services for its existing 11m customers i.e. less than £50 a head.
What can one do about it ? Bestie's suggestion that everyone (who is unhappy) leaves seems a bit extreme, although it might temporarily improve the situation for those of us that remain
May I suggest that if we mount a concerted campaign to have VM invest a lot more in the existing network, even at the expense of slightly slowing down the investment in expanding the network, then it would be both to our advantage, and I suspect to VM's advantage. How? Well it is not going to help VM's cash flow if it gains 4,000 new customers but loses 1,000 existing customers, say, in the process. Moreover the continued publication of how unreliable the existing service is will not do a lot to encourage customers to switch from BT, which is who they are targeting,
So may I suggest that you start with a formal, written letter of complaint to
M/s Karen Ingram,
Customer Service Director
It does not have to be long: you could simply state what poor service you are having, say that you are convinced that it is due to under investment in the existing infrastructure, which it is, and that you would like to see the existing investment rate tripled until such time as these problems are eradicated.
Why write rather than complain over the phone (which is what they want you to do)? If you complain over the phone you simply get someone trying to fob you off with whatever they think will work, and then you just become a statistic. You write a letter and VM will take you a whole lot more seriously.
If you are really keen you could also write to Robert Dunn, Chief Financial Officer or
Tom Mockridge, Chief Executive Officer, at
Virgin Media Head office
Bartley Wood Business Park
and make the point that gaining 4,000 new customers but losing 1,000 existing customers will not do their cash flow (a key financial) any good what so ever.
What is needed is for LOTS of people to write in so that the top brass becomes acutely aware just how many VM customers are really unhappy. They are almost certainly sheltered from that information. That includes everyone reading this post, then re-post it somewhere else and see how many more people you can get to write in.
And for those of you active on Twitter, then tweet away at #virginmedia. Their PR people will be tracking it.