NTL today re-branded itself as ‘Virgin Media’ in a bold move by Virgin. Why is it a bold move? Because the Virgin brand (with the exception of their phones) are a trusted brand – NTL is completely the opposite.
Changes include a new ‘download movies/tv shows’ service for broadband users (something I’ll certainly be looking into), ‘no limits’ broadband (something previously promised by NTL), a much much simpler website and from the looks of it – real HDTV support. I’ve also noticed their policy fully supports companies making lawsuits against their customers such as ‘illegal’ downloading and that Virgin will support them in any way they can (something that NTL stopped a while ago, since the time of ‘the letter’ coming in the mail).
Beforehand the website had become so cluttered for use that made no sense that it not only was it annoying to use but you had to click 3-4 times to get to a page that you wanted – and that’s if you where clicking in the right places.
Here’s five things ‘Virgin Media’ needs to do to revive NTL out the dark ages:
- Make the broadband stable. It needs to stay up 24/7 and not have constant ‘down time’ for ‘maintenance’ at eight hours a time. Support your users and give us real ‘uncapped’ downloading – no hidden messages when the user downloads too much one month.
- Revive the promises of NTL from their Digital department. We hear about ‘new 200gb boxes that let you record and all this jazz’ every time someone comes out to replace one of our NTL digital boxes (which is once a year, at least). I want to see some of this in action.. I want to see these boxes and have the company show me that something is happening rather than just talking about it. Up until now those ‘jazz boxes’ have been in testing for two years.
- Hire some decent programmers for the digital service – or just use Telewest. Telewest merged with NTL a while back and we’ve not seen a single benefit from it. However, Telewest offers instant channel browsing, a real guide system, smaller boxes, better remotes, instant on-demand, teletext… shall I keep going? The point is, Telewest have done something great with their software on their boxes, NTL haven’t – why isn’t this something all customers are experiencing?
- Stop closing NTL customer support buildings. My mum used to work at one and this building has shut down 10 or so departments out of 12 or so since she left. Not a direct reflection of her leaving but merely a showing of how little NTL has valued customer support that comes from this country. We are now shipped to India where people don’t know what ‘E4′ and ‘The family movie package’ actually is – which makes our calls three times longer and ten times more frustrating.
- Bring the Virgin brand in with force. Give us a sleek red box with the Virgin brand that becomes the purple cow of boxes underneath the television, give us something to say ‘Virgin have come into the digital market’ and don’t stand still with the innovation and improvements for four years like NTL have done with their ‘Jazz boxes’
- Number six (isn’t there always one extra?) – improve the damn interactive service. Why can’t NTL users press Red when it says so? Sky customers can.. I can only presume this is because it’s a bad platform behind it. We can on E4.. and recently BBC, but not really anywhere else.