September 10, 2016

Virgin Media price rise: customers have had enough

After Virgin Media announced yet another 2016 price rise for customers whilst offering even less for our money I ran a poll to gauge customer dissatisfaction. I expected some kick back, but nothing like the fury the latest hike has stirred.
There was a sizeable vote: 420 votes cast, and the response can broadly be split into thirds:

  • A third of existing customers say they will leave for other providers (Sky, BT, Now, etc)
  • A third will call to downgrade their services to cheaper options
  • A third will wait to see how the long-promised new TiVo box will be priced before making a call

What is remarkable is that just 4% still consider Virgin good value. That’s damming, and alarm bells at Liberty Global should be ringing with that kind of response from their existing customer base.
VIRGIN MEDIA, ARE YOU LISTENING?? Here are some of the responses you have been posting following the price rise announcement: Customer Dissatisfaction


Chris Till said...

I would dispute this as complete hyperbole.

Of course in the heat of the moment on a blog post poll designed to produce these responses, you were going to get this result.

In reality, Virgin Media is still good value when compared to the competition. It's unfortunate that prices seem to keep endlessly increasing, but so do everyone else's prices.

People need to just have a reality check instead of running around like headless chickens at the first mention of the dreaded price rise.

Perhaps if people think it's so obscenely expensive, it's a sign that they shouldn't have signed up for any such service from any supplier.

Paul Southon said...

Chris,i totaly agree..
If u cant afford it, dont sign up for it.

Paul Southon said...

Every year every company puts their prices up. Sky,virgin media,bt,ee etc etc puts their prices up every year. Always think about that before signing up. If u cant afford it, dont have it.

Jez24 said...

I have been with cable for over twenty years, but I am getting to the end of my tether in regard to prices. I pay Virgin £92.00 pcm before the price rise and when I tried to see what BT could offer along the same lines I struggled to reach £60. I would be swapping 200mb (I would be happy with a 100mb, but virgin tell me that would cost me more!)for BT's 30-40mb, but most of the rest of the package was pretty similar, a few less channels in HD, was the only other thing I would miss.

Leod said...

People just need to pick up the phone and ring them, can usually negotiate a deal if you're polite and friendly. Don't ring up ranting as you never get anywhere, remember it's not the person on the phone who puts the prices up.

Nialli said...

My problem with Virgin Media’s pricing since the Liberty Global takeover is that we are too frequently being asked to pay more for fewer services. Spotify? Gone. The TiVo Apps? Unusably slow. The TiVo? Lamentably dated and slow when compared with the opposition. Channel lineup? Still missing Sky Atlantic, ITV Encore, AMC etc.
Whilst I understand that a service providers own costs increase and these are usually passed on to customers, three increases in a year, each over the rate of inflation, is unjustifiable.
I know that if I call Virgin I can negotiate a better price for myself, but surely for Virgin there’s a higher churn rate with every price rise and these individual deals are losing them money? To add insult to injury, we are told that the existing customers are funding the network expansion – that benefits Virgin but does not benefit existing customers in any way, yet we are being made to foot that bill. It doesn’t add up.
There will always be people who can afford to pay top dollar, but they should get the best service to go with that. That’s what Sky has understood from day one and Virgin Media still can’t get its head around. That is why customers are so pissed off.
This blog originally campaigned (successfully) to get a decent HD service. It then campaigned for the full Sky lineup (partially successful). I’ve been a loyal NTL/VM customer for almost twenty years and I feel that the company is fleecing me. I haven’t received the letter yet informing me of the price rise but once I do I will be on the phone, wasting another couple of hours trying to get a reasonable price for the services I have.
Wouldn’t it be easier if all customers got transparent, fair pricing from the outset?

Jon said...

I HAVE moved to Sky (for TV, kept my Virgin BB, which is best in class). The arrogance of this further price increase was the last straw. But, you might say ironically, I am actually paying MORE now.

It's not the affordability that (for me) that is the problem, it's the value for money. Virgin TV has fallen so far off the pace, both in technology and content, trying to charge MORE for my bundle would be laughable if it wasn't so pathetic.

With Sky Q I have Sky Atlantic, far improved box sets, better PQ, a far better user interface and functionality, and 10-bit 4K. Benefits I am very happy to pay for.

If Virgin want to up the price of their packages several times a year they'd better focus on truly increasing the value of those packages.

gavmat said...

Hi Nialli, I have been a Cable customer for many years (20 I think) and have read your blog for some time.
With the price increase my bill will be in excess of £150 which to me is just about getting to the limit of what i'm prepared to spend on these services. I have always been on the top package with sports, movies, fastest broadband and talk anytime.
Now I have read on various forums people arguing saying you shouldn't have signed up to these services if you cant afford them blah blah blah....but..when I got cable many years ago it was affordable to me. Over the last few years though my bill has been creeping up and up at an alarming rate, much faster than my wage's!!

So last week I made that call and yesterday had Sky Q installed, Virgin TV is cancelled and dropped to 100mb broadband with a phoneline. I am sad to leave Cable TV but the price for Sky was just too good to turn down. I know I lose BT sport but I can live without it.
I wanted so much to hold on for the new Tivo but then I thought they are just going to make me pay even more for that.
I asked Virgin to put me on new Full House vivid 200mb which is £120 a month but they said that's for new customers only and would only drop my bill by £10. When my 12 month deal with Sky runs out maybe I can get a good deal with Virgin...who knows?

I will continue to read your blog as I am still a Virgin customer and I do enjoy it as well. Hopefully I will be reading your opinion on the the new V6 Tivo sometime soon.

Nialli said...

Thanks GavMat. I wonder how many people wouldn't be looking too seriously at Sky Q if they hadn't been prompted by the latest price rise from Virgin Media? It feels like Sky smells opportunity and is moving in for the kill with its pricing at the moment.
BTW, I don't have a 4K TV (and have no plans to buy one) so I'll be passing on the details as they emerge but won't be doing a box review myself - assuming I'm still with Virgin for TV when the box finally lands.

David O'Donovan said...

I am currently in a rented house, and the landlord doesn't want a dish installed. I saw an offer for SKY Q full package for £35 a month. I think its meant to be a friends and family offer. Anyway I phoned Virgin about the price increase, and they dropped my bill by £6.50 a month. So I am now paying £46.50 per month. I am currently on a 12 month half price offer which runs out 12/02/2017. My package includes line rental, 200MB internet, and TV with Sky movies. (Full House TV + Movies ). My current deal seems good, as 200MB internet is normally £45 a month on its own.

I am in two minds to cancel the services completely before 31/10/2016, and avoid the £91 a month bill onwards from February.

T Lima said...

I'm changing to BT + now tv. Always good to change so they don't think they have the power. 50Mb is okay for me. Virgin never delivers 200Mb anyway, most of the time not even 100Mb. In one years time when my contract ends I will see if I will change to another one, go back to Virgin or stay.