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back to article Virgin Media finally turns an annual profit

Virgin Media pulled in annual revenue that was just shy of £4bn, the company reported this morning. The telco recorded an operating cash flow of £1.6bn, while net income for the year ended 31 December 2011 sat at £75.9m - that's the first time Virgin Media has racked up an annual profit from its business. It took the company …

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Anonymous Coward

Profits

From previous experience, the profits must come from costcutting in their customer service departments.

T'was good back in the day when it was Cabletel.

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Anonymous Coward

Do they still have Phorm?

'nuff said

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They never did - they looked into it but when the shit hit the fan with the iffy (I'd say illegal but no case was ever answered) BT trials, VM sensibly went no further with it.

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has this got anything to do with them finally stopping people from hacking their cable TV?

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No mention of the price rises 1st April?

I expect ARPU will increase again...

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Anonymous Coward

prices

why the downvote? prices are going up by £3.50 for us in april, and performance has defninitely been suffering in our area recently.

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There is no Virgin Media customer service.

There is a robot with an annoying accent that answers the phone. But that's more of a customer disservice.

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The direCt route to customer retentions on their phone system is all the service i've needed for a long time. Dont even have to pretend your leaving to renegotiate. That's service ;)

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TRT
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I'e always found...

that the VM forum is the best place to get customer service. They have techs who regularly wander through there sorting things out. Recent dealings with Virgin...

Good.

V+ box was playing up - replaced with a new one within two weeks, no charge.

Not able to remotely access my router - rebooted the DOCSIS modem via their website from work. Cool.

Remote control didn't have codes for my weird Swedish telly. Asked for a new one and got it free of charge. They asked a passing engineer to drop it off on the way past to save on postage.

Bad.

Blatant lies. Engineer who came to replace V+ box didn't show and they claimed he knocked and phoned my landline. Trouble is, I didn't get a landline as they had no spare capacity in the roadside box.

The newer combi-modems don't have modem mode or support DynDNS. Little sympathy from customer services about it.

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Anonymous Coward

Modem mode

I'm using it on my SuperHub right now. You need firmware R30.

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TRT
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I know they have modem mode in R30, but does it do DynDNS yet?

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Flame

Stop moaning

I would give YOUR left and right arm to have Virgin cable and not the tosh ADSL over Victorian copper wires I am currently reduced to. Us on ADSL dream of speeds in excess of 5mbits... I used to have 50 when I lived in Leeds from Virgin and that was 50, not up to, just straight up out of the gates, at ALL times 50... I would happy pay handsomely for it as well.

If you cant customer services get out of brighty..

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Hear fuckin hear! (stuck on a .5mbps copper line).

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Anonymous Coward

Grass isn't always greener on the other side...

Virgin fibre optic sucks here. You pay for 50 meg, but you're lucky to get 5 meg most the time.

The ADSL connection 40 miles away at my parents is far more consistent.

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Anonymous Coward

BUT HOW?

The service is shit! And I don't mean customer service (who is dumb enough to need customer service for a box that plugs into a cable) I'm talking about THE SERVICE

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Speaks someone who's never been a BT customer I'd guess?

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THE SERVICE varies greatly depending on where you are in the country and which part of their network you are on.

I've had amazing service and piss poor service in 2 different places.

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I'm with the AC

Disclosure: I do not work for BT or an affiliate. I don't know anyone who does.

I dumped VM. The service was dreadful. It would go AWOL for hours at a time several times a month - usually at inconvenient times when everyone was using it in the evening. Got a BT contract to run alongside and for three years it's been great (I know, I'm gobsmacked too). 5-7mb/s. In March the Infinity service should come on-line which claims to offer up to 20 mbps. We'll see.

After 6 months side-by-side I ditched VM. Never looked back. Mind you we don't watch much telly and for us Freeview is OK. I don't appear to need 50mb/s (are there many services that can serve content that fast?).

Tried to negotiate with VM but it was a non-starter. Why do I *have* to take a redundant phone line for a broadband contract which adds 13.50/month? We've all got mobile phone contracts, right?

Anyway, in my experience VM offered a questionable service and are inflexible.

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Installation Fees...

That are a nightmare to waive - even for just a modem install, are probably what are driving up the profits.

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TiVo users

Its actually 273,000 *new* TiVo users last quarter with total up at 432,000 (12% of all their TV subscribers) .... I checked this in the VM press release when I saw different figures from yours in the Guardian

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Confusing reporting

They quoted customer numbers are sometimes talking about Landline phones, mobile phones and Cable TV but it is very unclear.

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Anonymous Coward

The problem....

....Virgin have is that they've pretty much pissed off their existing customer base, such that a significant number will leave the moment there's any competition.

I'll certainly be going elsewhere when I can get someone else to provide a comparable connection.

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Anonymous Coward

question is...

will the fascist uk government muck it up?

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Great time to be a customer.

Can't wait for my FREE speed increase and cost reduction on my 100Mb connection.

As for the Super Hub's not having modem mode, have you actually logged in and gone down to the bottom, on the left hand side and clicked Modem Mode?

As for other companies providing a comparable product it won't happen.

BT lol "yeah you can have Fibre and up to 100Mb but you will actually only get about 20Mb - 30Mb some people may achieve more than 80Mb but those people have to live in the exchange"

VM can go from 100Mb to 400Mb with a few changes, and then with a expensive change they can go to 1gb down and 1gb up by changing to Docsis 4.0 and providing the modem's to do it, which they use on Business at the moment.

I have been with Virgin for along time now and will stay with them because the service is excellent, no other company compares in my mind.

The only thing I don't like is the off shore call centres but you get that with most companies so, I just deal with it.

All the VM staff should be proud of what they have done.

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Not wanting to quibble but when Virgin quote ARPU of £47, this is on a monthly basis (£47 revenue per user per year would be pretty dire performance for a cable operator) and ARPU stands for average revenue per user not annual revenue per user. Just to confuse everyone even more, Virgin quote ARPU on a monthly basis, Sky do it on an annualised basis.

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Anonymous Coward

The did it...

by not actually providing the services that they are charging for. 6 months with what can only be described as 56kbps speeds from over selling and not upgrading infrastructure. Useless fuckers.

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FAIL

They want more customers but...

VM will absolutely NOT spend money on any more coax to connect new houses within reach of the green cabinets. I need some "construction" to get connected but they won't do it despite me offering to fully pay for it.

How can they run a business where everyone who wants connected can't be, because they won't run a new wire?

Crazy situation and not one person in VM gives a shit.

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Cable in built areas

Apologies if you have been down this path before, but have you tried cablemystreet@virginmedia.co.uk ?

It usually takes a few weeks for them to come back to you, but it worked for some people in my area. As long as you are not on a private road and capacity is available back at the hub for more distribution, you may get lucky. Contact centres can usually tell you little useful information, but VM do have new build officers these days who weigh the business case up.

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Cable in built areas

Apologies if this posts twice!

Have you been down the cablemystreet@virginmedia.co.uk route ?

They usually take a few weeks to reply, as they need to survey etc, but if there is a case to extend the build and it is both technically and commercially viable for your street, then you will get a fair answer. VM do now employ new build officers, but they do cover pretty large areas geographically.

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My broadband cannot really work properly at 50Mb (regardless of what they say they are rate limiting SSL) but yet they say how great it will be when they increase my speed to 100Mb then 120Mb. You can give 1000Mb with dumb ass rate limiting doesn't work well at the moment. (I used to do daily backups to a vps over SSL now it is just not possible don't have enough time in the night).

I want to switch to some version of BT Infinity (When it is available wholesale to an ISP that doesn't use crappy QoS. (And has something a suitable cap - 100GB won't be enough).

It also stops me using QoS on my own network to make everything smooth no matter what happens.

I think Virgin gets about £120 a month off me and all I need is an internet connection. (Never really use the TV / landline).

Don't see why they don't offer a fully unrestricted connection. (Or fix the QoS so it works in a sane manner - If I am capable of doing it then they should be.)

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QoS

Perhaps you need a business service as opposed to a consumer based service. If you are wanting an end to end QoS solution, then consumer broadband is not the right product for you no matter which access technology they use, be it DOCSIS or xDSL. You can get fibre based Ethernet based solutions from a number of providers, but expect to pay £4-£6K pa for a dedicated 10Mb service with all the QoS you can use. You can put your valued traffic into a AF class of service....

You say "fix the QoS so it works in a sane manner..." Docsis is a radio technology to the head end (i.e. not Ethernet), so unless the MSO is going to resegment the network for a niche of users - highly unlikely, you are not going to see QoS on a consumer product. Internet traffic is marked as DE in any operator core network.

Certain marketing types do often talk a lot of nonsense about QoS, usually because they have no understanding of how networks really work and this tends to mislead people.

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Oh well

Branson/Jobs - same kettle.

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Anonymous Coward

Surprised...

Considering HR policy is to decline "by far the best" candidates on the basis of them wearing "inappropriate" shoes to interview in the middle of a 'kin snowstorm.

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