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jpeg1
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"The false economies of shoddy support"

That's the headline of a whole page article in the technical magazine PcPro, this month.

The journalist relates his experience of signing up to Virgin Media.

It's something that many users have found.

Will Virgin Media's management ever learn?

spgray
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Re: "The false economies of shoddy support"

false economy for who?
if it was economically bad for the shareholders then they wouldn't do it.

do you really think the people that run the business are morons? they are business men and women that know what it takes to make a profit (which is the primary function of any business).


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Re: "The false economies of shoddy support"

Liberty Global Annual Revenue (Millions of US $)

2019$11,542
2018$11,958
2017$11,276
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jpeg1
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Re: "The false economies of shoddy support"

I've said the same myself in the past. But I'm beginning to think it's more a case of US shareholders being unaware of what's happening on the ground in the UK, rather than knowing and not caring. 

A business with a good public reputation must be a better investment than one that is slated in the press and social media.

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spgray
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Re: "The false economies of shoddy support"


@jpeg1 wrote:

I've said the same myself in the past. But I'm beginning to think it's more a case of US shareholders being unaware of what's happening on the ground in the UK, rather than knowing and not caring. 

A business with a good public reputation must be a better investment than one that is slated in the press and social media.


whilst revenue is high (and profits remain acceptable) why would they need to be aware.
figures show that whoever is running day-to-day business in the UK is being successful.

i'm sure profits and revenue outweigh what the press and social media think. should those figures start to slide i'm sure someone will step in.

the most successful (ie profitable) businesses tend not to have the best public reputation


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Andrew-G
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Re: "The false economies of shoddy support"

@spgray figures show that whoever is running day-to-day business in the UK is being successful.

You think so?  Read this. I might add that given VM's circa £150-250m marketing budget, achieving no growth looks like failure to me.

i'm sure profits and revenue outweigh what the press and social media think. should those figures start to slide i'm sure someone will step in.

Unlikely.  In constant pricing, VM haven't grown a shred in the past few years despite p*****g billions up the wall on Project Lightning.  And those were the years when it was vitally important for VM to undermine FTTP growth by cementing customer relations, but instead VM's senior management stuck to the same old stagnant model of milking a monopoly of high speed internet.  But that didn't matter because Liberty Global has a dominant shareholder, and he is only looking at this from the perspective of "keep the plates spinning until the time is right to unload on a gormless buyer".  For a long time it looked like Vodafone would be that gormless buyer (and lord knows, they've "previous" on that charge), but then Telfonica (who in turn have been looking to offload O2 for years) agreed a merger proposal.  In reality both parent companies were thinking pre-Covid that as a "quad play" business, VIM2O plc would be even more suitable for offloading onto gullible IPO buyers... 

the most successful (ie profitable) businesses tend not to have the best public reputation

Is that so?  You'd better do some research and get it published to disprove (amongst many similar examples) this.

You are of course fully aligned with the thinking of VM's management and the key shareholder.  He may yet be proven right if he can offload VIM2O on loose-walleted fools, you will be proven wrong because the remarkable growth of FTTP is going to rip the rug out from under VIM2O's speed monopoly and its wretched customer service will be exposed in all it's fully-comparable glory.  But the dominant shareholder will be rising off into the sunset, with a stetson full of cash. 

 

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spgray
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Re: "The false economies of shoddy support"

TL:DR

If the current support system wasn't working for them as a business then they wouldn't keep doing it. Note that I didn't say it was working for the customer, but rather working for the business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Andrew-G
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Re: "The false economies of shoddy support"

@spgray TL:DR

Or perhaps TCDU: Too Complicated, Didn't Understand.

If the current support system wasn't working for them as a business then they wouldn't keep doing it. Note that I didn't say it was working for the customer, but rather working for the business.

Can't speak for you, but I've worked in senior roles for a range of nationally and internationally recognised names, and it is entirely normal for companies to keep hammering away with a business model that isn't working.  Once a business has got mass scale, then it is certainly not impossible, but difficult and slow to change that.  Management of these incumbent businesses keep focusing on selective positives, and rationalise any unwelcome data, rather than treating each day as though somebody else is going to steal their lunch if they don't take the initiative.  VM are no different.  In the past that strategy (of profit maximisation at the expense of customer service) worked, simply because there were few alternatives.  Going forward, Openreach will have more and more FTTP availability, there's a range of other high speed offers (KCOM, Hyperoptic, Cityfibre etc).

There's also an interesting thing about VM's ability to compete price for price with Openreach FTTP.  ICBA to talk through all the possibilities of that, but there's a lot of threat potential in that.

But finally, why are you apparently defending VM, when to judge by your BQM, they are delivering you a stinky service?  From our previous discussions you've said that latency doesn't matter, but why then display the dodgy latency as part of your signature?

 

 

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spgray
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Re: "The false economies of shoddy support"

Strange why you assume I'm defending Virgin. I'm neither defending nor criticising.

Personally I couldn't care less where the customer support is based or how it is run. Any time I've used it it has been no better or worse than any other supplier I've had.

The bqm, as you continually say, doesn't "look" good, but it has no apparent impact on service. The guys over on thinkbroadband suggest that if service is fine then the bqm looking good or bad is of no relevance, and I tend to agree with with. It's there as part of my signature and not for yourself to worry about.

However, I would suggest you think more carefully before suggesting anything is too complicated for me to understand. You would be extremely foolish to do so. May I suggest the "very insightful person" tag you have been given slightly misleading.


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Re: "The false economies of shoddy support"

@spgray However, I would suggest you think more carefully before suggesting anything is too complicated for me to understand. You would be extremely foolish to do so. May I suggest the "very insightful person" tag you have been given slightly misleading.

Go on then, I'll be delighted to hear of your credentials and experience on technical matters.  If this is wanger-waving, I was doing systems and application programming on advanced resilient military computers before the internet even existed, I've got two degrees to my name, I've worked for the world leader in EPOS systems, overseen IT strategy for the world's largest energy supplier, as well as representing my employer at AI conferences at the Royal Society.  I do hope you're not going to come back empty handed here?  

Before attempting to claim the high moral ground you should consider the insulting tone of your "Too long; Didn't read" ?  You didn't think that might be both rude and uninformative?

I also note that you haven't responded to most of the points raised.  And the curious issue remains; You have a BQM that is very poor, you insist that it doesn't matter (and I accept that may be the case), but yet you display it in your signature.  What is the point?  "Here's some complex data that shows something that doesn't matter to me; Be impressed mere mortals!"  

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