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Virgin Media Ad deal with Phorm causes a Storm

# 21 February 2008, 09:38 by Cable Forum

Virgin Media’s deal with Phorm, the company which has technologies to serve up relevant ads based on web surfing habits, which will kindly be passed on to them by Virgin Media, has caused a bit of a storm. The cable co’s punters have had their say on our forum. Hundreds of our members have voted in our Poll started at the beginning of the week. 95% of those who took part in the poll, do not want their every move on the web tracked and then this data sent to a third party.

The main question being asked is why can’t customers opt in rather than being forced to go through a website, just to opt out?

Another question being asked is, have Virgin Media lost the plot and gone a step too far with this?

To opt out, customers have to visit the webwise site and check a box to say they are opting out, this then stores a cookie on the users computer.

Even though it says on Phorm’s own website that privacy will always be maintained, customers will be given unique number and will not be identifiable from this.

Oh great, I’ll sleep better at night knowing this, but really – I couldn’t careless how much privacy is maintained, I don’t want to be served with any adverts regardless how much interesting they can be made for me, if I want to go and buy something, I will go and look myself!!!

Virgin Media was contacted the other day and they had told me they hadn’t implemented this system yet, but then told me BT had taken a step further and are said to be trialling 10,000 customers with it.

My guess is that Virgin Media are watching BT closely before they make their move but for the love of god, Virgin Media, customer satisfaction should be your number one priority, this whole system appears to be a no brainer, if you love your customers, I call on you and urge you to ditch this whole idea.

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