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VM refuse to sign up to Ofcom code to protect loyal customers..
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Old 24-10-2020, 19:57   #1
RichardCoulter
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VM refuse to sign up to Ofcom code to protect loyal customers..

According to this interview with Ofcom, VM are the only company to refuse to sign up to a voluntary code that would stop existing loyal customers being ripped off, whilst new customers obtain cheap deals:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episod...-show-21102020

It starts about 3 mins in. Customers were advised to cancel & return as new customers to get the best deals.
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Old 24-10-2020, 20:36   #2
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Re: VM refuse to sign up to Ofcom code to protect loyal customers..

Trying to attract new customers with a cut-price deal is STANDARD practice. It's called COMPETITION.

There is absolutely no way that the prices will drop to the level of new customers.

At any point in time, what is the proportion of new customers? That will decide the levelled out prices.
As usual the regulators are intent on stuffing up, perfectly reasonable business models.
Same as the nonsense complaints about holidays being more expensive during school holidays. THEY ARE NOT MORE EXPENSIVE, it's just that the term time prices are LOWER because of the reduced demand. STANDARD BUSINESS PRACTICE.
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Old 24-10-2020, 21:42   #3
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Re: VM refuse to sign up to Ofcom code to protect loyal customers..

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Originally Posted by nomadking View Post
Trying to attract new customers with a cut-price deal is STANDARD practice. It's called COMPETITION.

There is absolutely no way that the prices will drop to the level of new customers.

At any point in time, what is the proportion of new customers? That will decide the levelled out prices.
As usual the regulators are intent on stuffing up, perfectly reasonable business models.
Same as the nonsense complaints about holidays being more expensive during school holidays. THEY ARE NOT MORE EXPENSIVE, it's just that the term time prices are LOWER because of the reduced demand. STANDARD BUSINESS PRACTICE.
You hit the nail squarely on the head there
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Old 24-10-2020, 21:59   #4
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Re: VM refuse to sign up to Ofcom code to protect loyal customers..

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomadking View Post
Trying to attract new customers with a cut-price deal is STANDARD practice. It's called COMPETITION.

There is absolutely no way that the prices will drop to the level of new customers.

At any point in time, what is the proportion of new customers? That will decide the levelled out prices.
As usual the regulators are intent on stuffing up, perfectly reasonable business models.
Same as the nonsense complaints about holidays being more expensive during school holidays. THEY ARE NOT MORE EXPENSIVE, it's just that the term time prices are LOWER because of the reduced demand. STANDARD BUSINESS PRACTICE.
Agreed. Well said.
To comply with such a regulation pricing for all would become current, existing customer prices, not current, new customer prices.
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Old 24-10-2020, 22:16   #5
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Re: VM refuse to sign up to Ofcom code to protect loyal customers..

It's important that the market is suitably regulated - there isn't genuine competition in the broadband/TV markets - although the latter is improving. The vast majority of people have the choice of one (if at all) 100MBPS+ provider be that Virgin or an Openreach product resold, plus smaller networks have their own build.

However, while regulation is desirable, it's isn't reasonable to essentially enforce flat pricing and eliminate 'new customer discounts' that are a bread and butter feature of many markets. Or even just any discretionary discounts.

The reality is the 4,000,001st customer costs a lot less to supply in terms of marginal cost than the average cost of providing everyone - which gives scope for discounting. More customers on the network means more to recover the fixed costs from.

And as said above - flat pricing would find itself near or at the standard pricing across the industry.
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Old 25-10-2020, 00:55   #6
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Re: VM refuse to sign up to Ofcom code to protect loyal customers..

Lot of Stockholme syndrome here.

The piece specifically talks about how all major providers, except for Virgin Media, have signed up to the voluntary code that means existing customers can access new customer deals. If it's such an impossible thing to do, why has everyone else done it?
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Old 25-10-2020, 02:03   #7
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Re: VM refuse to sign up to Ofcom code to protect loyal customers..

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Originally Posted by Skie View Post
Lot of Stockholme syndrome here.

The piece specifically talks about how all major providers, except for Virgin Media, have signed up to the voluntary code that means existing customers can access new customer deals. If it's such an impossible thing to do, why has everyone else done it?
So do other providers have special cut-price deals of more than a few quid for new customers?
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Old 25-10-2020, 09:07   #8
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Re: VM refuse to sign up to Ofcom code to protect loyal customers..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skie View Post
Lot of Stockholme syndrome here.

The piece specifically talks about how all major providers, except for Virgin Media, have signed up to the voluntary code that means existing customers can access new customer deals. If it's such an impossible thing to do, why has everyone else done it?
Nobody said itís impossible - however itís a fairly standard practice across many industries to offer new customer deals or discretionary discounts to those who want to jump through the extra hoops to get it. This increases market share/revenue/profits by getting customers who otherwise wouldnít be customers.
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Old 25-10-2020, 20:15   #9
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Re: VM refuse to sign up to Ofcom code to protect loyal customers..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skie View Post
Lot of Stockholme syndrome here.

The piece specifically talks about how all major providers, except for Virgin Media, have signed up to the voluntary code that means existing customers can access new customer deals. If it's such an impossible thing to do, why has everyone else done it?
Itís not impossible, it just doesnít make sense. The whole idea is to attract new customers.

Just like most streamers attract new customers by offering free trials. I donít hear people complaining about that.
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Old 25-10-2020, 21:06   #10
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Re: VM refuse to sign up to Ofcom code to protect loyal customers..

The one, minor, issue I'd heard of a few years back was where Virgin left people on legacy packages that had been overtaken by new equivalent services, sometimes slightly cheaper, with faster broadband etc. and not migrated them over automatically.

I remember visiting an elderly relative who still had a standalone modem and 20 meg when I'm sure the minimum service you could actively buy was 50 meg.
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Old 25-10-2020, 22:43   #11
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Re: VM refuse to sign up to Ofcom code to protect loyal customers..

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfman View Post
The one, minor, issue I'd heard of a few years back was where Virgin left people on legacy packages that had been overtaken by new equivalent services, sometimes slightly cheaper, with faster broadband etc. and not migrated them over automatically.

I remember visiting an elderly relative who still had a standalone modem and 20 meg when I'm sure the minimum service you could actively buy was 50 meg.
I'm just out of contract(I did get a reminder email) and was looking around at the prices, and M50 is lot lot more expensive than other BB speeds, even M500.
Eg base of Maxit TV, Sky cinema and Talk more Weekends
M50 is £132.95, M500 is £116. On top of that the M50 doesn't have the reduced in-contract price of the M500 of £70/month.
An extra £62.95/month for 18 months and then an extra £16.95 for a slower service. Just crazy pricing.
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Old 27-10-2020, 19:28   #12
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Re: VM refuse to sign up to Ofcom code to protect loyal customers..

The more distasteful thing I found (and the cancellations lady agreed with me) was that VM do deals for NHS/Emergency Services workers as new customers, but if you are already with them? Sweet FA. You can't access those deals, and it's pure luck what retentions/cancellations can apply to you. Surprised that one hasnt blown up yet, as it's a huge slap in the face.

It's a really bad image problem for Virgin. Especially as they continue to drag their heels on some of the voluntary practices and OFCOM are slowly dragging them across the coals and forcing them to adopt consumer friendly practices. Easier switching between suppliers being the most recent thing.
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Old 27-10-2020, 21:44   #13
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Re: VM refuse to sign up to Ofcom code to protect loyal customers..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skie View Post
The more distasteful thing I found (and the cancellations lady agreed with me) was that VM do deals for NHS/Emergency Services workers as new customers, but if you are already with them? Sweet FA. You can't access those deals, and it's pure luck what retentions/cancellations can apply to you. Surprised that one hasnt blown up yet, as it's a huge slap in the face.

It's a really bad image problem for Virgin. Especially as they continue to drag their heels on some of the voluntary practices and OFCOM are slowly dragging them across the coals and forcing them to adopt consumer friendly practices. Easier switching between suppliers being the most recent thing.
Itís not a huge slap in the face to not offer people discounts. While the work of the NHS and emergency services is admirable, itís gainful employment like any other for people to spend their wages as they see fit. Gestures by some companies are just that, not obligations. Virgin have had long standing arrangements with some employers in the public sector to offer heavy discounts for 12/18 months and this has always been on a new customer/existing customer adding a service basis.
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Old 28-10-2020, 23:04   #14
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Re: VM refuse to sign up to Ofcom code to protect loyal customers..

This is just typical.

The regulators seem to want fairness across the board, but they are also tasked with ensuring healthy competition.

Fairness means standardisation of prices, but by doing this customers will stick with their existing provider & stop looking for better deals. The market then stagnates as people stop switching providers, with the usual complaints from the regulator of lack of competition.
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Old 12-11-2020, 01:46   #15
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Re: VM refuse to sign up to Ofcom code to protect loyal customers..

Quote:
Originally Posted by OLD BOY View Post
Itís not impossible, it just doesnít make sense. The whole idea is to attract new customers.

Just like most streamers attract new customers by offering free trials. I donít hear people complaining about that.
Some time ago I remember you posting that you thought that everyone should pay the same price (can't remember if this was in relation to new customers or retention deals tho).
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