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Bye bye Virgin

Well, after 18 long years it is time to call it a day with VM.

 

I found they are offering the 'ultimate oomph' bundle for 89.00 for new customers for 12 months, on a 12 month package (will go up after 12 months, but you are not contracted to stay). My current package has slower BB (m350 .vs oomph m500) and I don't have sport or cinema (both included in oomph) and you get an unlimited minutes and data Sim with oomph (I don't get a sim of any kind with my existing) yet I pay 11 pound per month more than that.

 

I took a look at sky and for 76.00 I can get the full package Inc. sport and movies.

 

I called the help line and selected 'I am thinking if leaving'. I advised the price of sky and also what I had seen on VM website. I was first told there is no way offers on the web site for new customers can be offered to existing. I advised I didn't think this was too good and was then told they can offer. I advised I would be happy for existing payment to remain the same and would stay if they put me on the oomph package (so still would be paying 10.00 per month more than a new customer) I was then advised the price would be 140pm. When I queried the agent went back to the original position that the offers can to be given to existing customers, however, if I wanted to reduce my payment, I could remove some items from my exiting package - why would I do that when I can get all I have now, plus movies and sport from sky for a fair bit less? - no thanks!!

 

Next I was offered a 5 pound per month 'good will' reduction in my bill if i signed a new 12 month contract (I am currently out of contract) again - no thanks!!

 

you sure know how to look after your customers Virgin - on my way to the Sky web site now!!, that's over 1200 pound a year you will lose out on!!

 

 

very disappointing given the length of time i have been with VM, and the amount of my hard earned they have had over the years - it wouldn't even have cost them anything to put me on the oomph...

 

 

later....

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Re: Bye bye Virgin

Cheapest way of getting a bundle is to ALWAYS up-sticks to a new provider at the end of the discount period.  So cycle through VM to Sky, then to BT, and when the BT discount ends, you come back to VM.  

Although I believe Sky (and possibly BT?) have agreed with Ofcom that if existing customers push, they'll offer them the same deals as new customers.  VM are holding out, we'll see if that's sustainable.  I suspect not, but it may take a year or two for VM to realise and react.  

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Re: Bye bye Virgin

'Although I believe Sky (and possibly BT?) have agreed with Ofcom that if existing customers push, they'll offer them the same deals as new customers'

in part, but not till next year.

i suspect everyone's prices will just go up to take it all into account.
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Re: Bye bye Virgin

i suspect everyone's prices will just go up to take it all into account.

With VM, yes because they have always operated a pricing ratchet.  Wholesale routing costs go up, our bills go up. Competitor prices go up, our bills go up.  Regulatory intervention goes up, our costs go up.  VM invest for new customer access, our (existing customer) bills go up.  Dollar/pound exchange rate moves against VM's owner, our costs go up.  Dog in Croydon breaks wind, our costs go up.  Under no circumstances do VM see any need to reduce costs.

More widely, I'm not so sure.  A huge amount of industry cost is driven by "churn", and if Sky and others find that churn reduces because they'll price at new customer levels, then they have a competitive advantage.

Personally, I think the solution is not to indulge any of the big, customer-hating bureaucracies like Sky, VM and BT in the first place.  Choose a smaller, better performing Openreach ISP, and ignore the loss leader promotions of the big companies.  Like energy suppliers, the big companies have had their chance to make things better, none had the insight or courage to do that.  

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Re: Bye bye Virgin

And yet someone I know called today to reconnect a week after disconnection and was given the option of either taking a new customer deal for 12 months or going back on the plan they had at disconnection.

Seems to be based on person to person at VM's end
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Re: Bye bye Virgin

I've not previously heard of winback efforts after a customer has left, but it fits VM's more aggressive pricing stance.  At every point up until the moment of disconnection, the customer could be (and probably is) bluffing to get a better deal.  Given those customers a discount is (in VM's eyes) lost revenue, and that loss is entirely from margin, so reduces VM profits pound for pound.  When a customer has just gone, VM have already lost all the revenue, and it is worth offering a new customer deal.  I don't think that's person-to-person, because the retnetions and winback agents will be following very clearly defined scripts and policies.  The discounts will vary, but the amount of agent discretion is not huge - if the agent starts "escalating" the available discount during a retention call, then they'll be following a  pricing policy that says "no initial discount - if customer pushes, offer minimal discount - maybe more on offer if the customer threatens to leave" etc.

There's also a competitive aspect to winning back former VM customers during their cooing off period - if (say) Sky acquired the customer through a PCW or intermediary, then Sky will have paid the intermediary around one month's total revenue, and they'll have paid Openreach provisioning costs, plus their own customer on-boarding costs.  If VM win the customer back, that's probably £200 loss for Sky.

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