Thursday, 30 May 2013

A Better Reception

Customer service is preached by almost every company these days. And rightly so. Some companies will fall over themselves in their collective efforts to attract new customers. Nothing wrong with that. However, there are those who treat their long-standing, loyal customers with less deference.

The lovely Marion has been a customer of Virgin Media for more than eight years now. She has never missed a payment and never thought of going elsewhere for television, broadband and telephone services. Until now.

Virgin have used the services of Jamaican Olympic star Usain Bolt to promote their services recently and, it has to be said, with some success. When Marion contacted Virgin Media recently to enquire if, as a loyal customer of the best part of a decade, they might be willing to offer her an improved package the answer was an unequivocal no - unless she was willing to pay about £5 more per month. New customers can get a pretty decent package for about half the price Marion pays. But if she wants this she has to pay even more.

When she spoke to Virgin Media by telephone they came out with some spiel about how they are always keen to attract new customers. But nothing about rewarding loyalty. Although polite enough, the Virgin Media people were steadfast in their approach. Loyal customer? Ha! You'll still need to pay more, dearie....

Marion has now turned to Sky for an alternative. Of course, as a new customer, she has been offered a very good deal. A deal that has more than Virgin Media currently offers - a larger choice of television channels, faster broadband and free telephone calls at any time (as opposed to evenings and weekends with Virgin) More for less - the monthly price is just short of £5 less than Richard Branson's outfit. And for the first six months this is half price.

It made me wonder how many other people have felt their loyalty has been misplaced and have jumped ship. Richard Branson might want to consider this before the good ship Virgin Media sinks altogether...

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