Dear Mr Berkett
I am writing to you to make you aware of the strength of feeling in Virgin Media’s customer base regarding the lack of high definition services on your cable TV platform.
For the last eight months I have produced a website promoting Virgin’s high definition services. During this time the site (www.vmhd.blogspot.com) has had almost 50,000 visitors. To me, that’s a good indication that there’s a lot of interest in the availability of HD programming on cable TV in the UK.
Unfortunately, Virgin Media’s HD services do not satisfy that enthusiasm or level of interest from your customers. One part-time channel and a diminishing selection of On Demand programming (that appears in a chaotic, incomplete fashion) is extremely poor value for your premium customers. Filmflex HD movies come at a considerable additional cost.
To capture the opinions of this frustrated community I set up an online petition (http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/VirginTVHD) calling for signatories to support a demand of Virgin Media that you increase and improve your high definition TV services. Even I did not expect such a sizable, rapid and vocal response. Please find attached the signatories collected in a single week of the petition – 615 in total.
I appreciate that Virgin Media believes that its broadband and On Demand services are its USP. I understand that infrastructure and technologies are undergoing significant upgrades at considerable cost. But surely you cannot ignore your highest paying TV customers who at the very least should have high definition services on a par with those already promised by Freesat and Freeview.
Like so many others, I have selected Virgin Media over Sky and BT for my TV, broadband and telephony services. Like other VIP customers I’m paying over £1,000 a year for services – that’s a premium rate for what should be a premium service. The current TV provision is very clearly not seen by your customers as of a premium standard, particularly with regards to the availability of high definition programmes which are so clearly the future of quality TV services. Unless something is done soon by the Virgin management I fear that there will be a migration to Sky by your highest paying customers that will dwarf the impact of the loss of the Sky basics in 2007.
I await with interest your response to the signatories on this petition.
Kind regards, etc etc
June 21, 2008
Petition letter - comments please!
I've drafted the following to accompany the petition when I send it to Virgin Media MD Neil Berkett next week. Any comments welcome.