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Virgin Media Admits "Crap Service" From NTL

Posted: 24th Jan, 2007 By: MarkJ
Virgin Media's (ntl:Telewest + Virgin) head of internal communications, James Weekley, has admitted that cable giant NTL has had a history of "crap service". He may be correct, although to hear somebody inside the operator go on record with it will come as a surprise:

His disclosures about the task of rebranding two unloved cable companies under the glamorous Virgin umbrella come at a sensitive time. Next month the group will start a £20m marketing blitz fronted by Hollywood star Uma Thurman as it relaunches NTL as Virgin Media.

At the centre has been a campaign among its 13,000 employees to improve customer service at the cable company, which Mr Weekley admitted had been decidedly poor in the past. He also used the phrase "synergy hell" to refer to the perceived uncertainty within the business as it seeks to complete a 6,000 headcount reduction by the beginning of next year. A consequence had been some very tired staff, he added.

Mr Weekley was not available for comment, but a spokesman for Virgin Media said: "This shows a brutal honesty about what happened before and the challenges that lie ahead. The perception is that a Virgin company generally sails along with no problems at all but becoming a Virgin company isn't easy.

You can't just stamp Virgin on it and everything suddenly goes well. You are overlaying a very entrepreneurial risque culture on to what was essentially a utility.
"

NTL’s problems and communication difficulties are almost legend among some of our regular readers and such a stark admission of past problems is refreshingly honest.

The Telegraphs piece will give those concerned that NTL's part of the network would drag overall quality down (Telewests has been good) a brief pause for hope. Still, the proof is in the pudding.
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