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Virgin Media UK to Give Customers Real-Time Engineer Updates

Thursday, July 19th, 2018 (9:22 am) - Score 4,398
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Cable operator Virgin Media has announced that their broadband ISP and TV customers will “soon” be able to keep track of exactly when their technicians (engineers) are due to arrive for an appointment, which will be done via real-time updates on their smartphone, tablet or computer.

Under this system anybody booking a service appointment should receive a unique link to the real-time tracking system, which will display the technician’s name, estimated time of arrival (down to the minute, including traffic conditions) and a live map so customers can track the technician’s progress when they’re on their way.

The new service, which has been developed alongside location platform company Glympse, will also send out an appointment reminder the day before the event. A demonstration of all this can be viewed here, which looks similar to the sort of tracking system that many parcel delivery companies have been using for the past few years.

Neil Bartholomew, Executive Director of Consumer at Virgin Media, said:

“We know that waiting at home for a technician can be frustrating, even more so when you don’t know when they will actually get to you. Customer expectations are always increasing and this powerful new tool will provide clear, simple and transparent information to help our customers plan their day better and make it as easy as possible to get on with their busy lives.”

The service will initially go live around Liverpool, Guildford and the Cotswolds, although the full roll-out is due to take place this autumn 2018. It’s hoped that the system will both reduce customer uncertainty and also cut down on the number of missed appointments (e.g. when a customer is otherwise engaged or pops out to the shops).

Virgin claims that the new technology can reduce the number of missed appointments by up to 10%, which might not sound like much but that’s a noticeable cost saving.

Leave a Comment
9 Responses
  1. Avatar Optimist

    How will customers be kept informed if VM’s network is down?

    • Avatar Mike

      Perhaps VM should consider putting a 4G router + SIM in each superhub which enables if the network is down.

    • Avatar CarlT

      For business customers perhaps. A tad excessive for residential ones.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      This is not much more than what we already get with some courier companies.
      4G backup can currently be expensive on VDSL (e.g DrayTek V2862LN-K) but if you need resilience well worth it. Assume similar cost if VM included such functionality into their Router. Unfortunately we have less choice with VM supplied kit (they own and retain it) other than adding your own 2nd router. BT have promised a 4G enabled router for next year but it will probably turn out to be a locked down fudge. There a number of alternatives out there and are certainly recommended if used with a multi SIM data sharing package.

  2. Avatar un4h731x0rp3r0m

    Great idea, one quick glimpse at your phone and you know when the engineer is likely to turn up.

  3. Avatar someone

    curious to know what their engineers think of this and how they negotiate the privacy laws

    • Avatar un4h731x0rp3r0m

      I imagine for the most part engineers that do their job well will like it and so will the customer. No more lies from either side like “we did call but nobody was home” when they did not and on the other side claiming “they were home but nobody came” when clearly they were not home and an engineer did come.

      As for privacy laws its not really any different to a parcel courier and being able to track them. DPD has a very similar system.

  4. Avatar A_Builder

    Great idea.

    Now OR need to follow suit!

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