November 24, 2015

Virgin price rise poll confirms level of discontent

The poll I've run on this blog over the last ten days illustrates the level of unhappiness in Virgin Media's customer base with the news of yet another price rise in early 2016.
Only a quarter of the 349 respondents think they will stick with their current package, considering it good value. Half of those who voted will be looking to downsize the package at the first contractual opportunity, whilst the remaining quarter will leave Virgin Media for good.
That should make extremely worrying reading for Virgin management. Sure, the poll's 349 voters may not be an accurate representation of the overall customer base, but if anything we are the people who care about and use the service the most and we probably pay the biggest monthly subs as a result.
I've been a Virgin/NTL customer for almost 15 years, but the TV service is no longer good value and our TiVo boxes seem to get slower every time I turn them on. I have a mandatory phone line I never use and over 200 channels I never watch, and broadband that is way faster than my family's needs, served by a flakey "super" hub which needs rebooting daily. My bill is currently £124 a month.
I will be seriously considering my options when my contract is up in February. Now TV, coupled with our Smart TV's Netflix, Amazon and YouTube, will cut our monthly bill by more than half and give me all the TV programming we need.
And they're putting prices up? Again?
Not happy.


Mark said...

In 15 years as a cable customer you've never noticed that Virgin ALWAYS follow behind their competitors? I thought the whole basis of this blog was to report on the HD channels which took an age to reach Cable and still lag behind Sky in terms of numbers?
Virgin along ago decided to give much less precedence to their TV service and concentrate on Broadband and Telephone.

I imagine an updated TIVO will (eventually) be launched, but not before Sky Q is well established.

Nialli said...

True. The frustrating thing with Virgin TV is that even when they have something very good they still manage to make a complete hash of it. For example, they had On Demand content long before Sky but managed it so badly you could never rely on it (missing episodes, unannounced removals, etc); the TiVo apps promises they never delivered on. Even Netflix, YouTube and iPlayer on the TiVo are so poorly implemented they are only used in my house as a last resort.

rowland2008 said...

I agree with Nialli i found Netflix grainy and horrible thru Tivo also the Spotify app was poor as well, also you have to factor in the cost of Now TV entertainment package if you want the channels still missing from Virgin Media.
For the first time in years i'm seeing things from the other side now being a BT customer,I'm getting a consistent internet connection just under 50mbs from BT infinity that does not go missing during peak times,i now only get the channels i want with the aid of what BT call their bolt on tv service i.e.Discovery,Nat Geo,Fox,Syfy,History,Amc,Watch,Universal,etc most in HD.
I also now have a BT telephone line( free connection with the package) this now opens up my options when my contract is up,it seems to me that Virgins TV service is facing real competition, if your not happy guys is it not worth considering trying some of the competition out their,just a thought.

Mark said...

If you are genuinely "factoring in" the costs of NOW TV simply because Virgin doesn't provide Sky Atlantic, then I'm amazed you haven't simply gone with Sky for TV.

Similarly, Netflix and Amazon are easily accessed via the majority of Smart TV's with minimal outlay to get an Internet connection.

As for moving from Virgin to BT for broadband….nah, just nah.

Jezler said...

I thought it may be useful to state I've just recontracted to around a £65 a month for the full service - all the sky premium channels plus an additional box hd, fastest broadband etc. They beat sky by a good £10 a month. Sky then came back matching the offer and offering a free month. I stuck with virgin but it seems a great time to be a consumer get wheeling and dealing!
They confirmed the prices I'm signing up to are 2016 prices so no additional charges come Feb / mar

Griff said...

I've been loyal to VM for 15 years (NTL onward) despite moving house. Word for word I agree, finally with some comfort that I'm not alone and there better things - with the main poster of this thread. I agree so much that I thought I'd written the post myself and in a moment of advancing seniority forgotten that I'd written it myself! I even pay the same. So with a TiVo box that regularly has 3 red lights lit, with an advancing broadband speed heading over 200mb, with a router that just about services 4 people, Hive, Sonos, Apple TV, power lines, FIFA 16 and CofC on every available 'ageing device', even a xmas tree that turns itself on at sunset - with an 'ecosystem' that now prepares itself for the ever growing IoT, I felt prepared with VM to battle it out with whatever comes next.
Until yesterday.
On a shopping break, I headed into EE to discover that with EE TV, I can record 4 shows in HD. I can walk from 1 room to the kitchen, to have Michael Buerk on the BBC news follow me. I can upgrade to Sky Sports for only the months that I'll actually use it. And record sky sports / movies from Now TV. They'll even as a deal get supersize my already too much 10gb phone data allowance to 20gb so I can move my wife onto a shared data plan. Take all these savings (less the admittedly extra phone incentive) and I'm £1000 a year better off. Time to spend £500 each on 2 new smart TVs that offer even more capability to stream room to room and I'm quickly talking myself into moving away from a company that is rewarding loyalty with additional costs for no additional benefit.
Why shouldn't I move from VM to EE? I've got 2 reasons : both of which I already have an answer for : they can only offer 80gb speed not 150 or more that's coming. But do I really need this anyway? And so far there isn't a second EE TV box available but there is one in the pipeline. And if I can stream to a second smart tv anyway from the 1tb EE TV box there is no need for a second box anyway is there?

Nialli said...

Can EE TV record from the Now TV app? I didn't think it could.
For me the weakness of the Now TV service is that you can only get the last month of a series via catch up (same as iPlayer), so if EE TV does allow you to record the channels from NOW TV that would make it a serious contender for many.
If you do take up EE TV please let this blog know how you find the service