Re: Bye bye Virgin
If I have to fight and go out of my way for a reasonable price, that's probably a reason I wouldn't want to be a customer any more too.
You know who gets my business? Businesses who give a toss about their customers rather than penny-pinch from them all. They are quite literally deliberately giving old grannies, happy customers, etc. a duff deal in order to make more money, if you think about that kind of sales tactic.
That said, do you know the suppliers that I hang on to for dear life? The guys who say "Well... we *can* do that for you, but it's not really our area of expertise. Let me give you the details of a company we sometimes work with who can do that better.", or even "Look, I'm not going to lie to you, you probably can get the kit cheaper on Amazon, but we have to earn a living".
As I tell all the companies that visit me at my workplace SPECIFICALLY to get a slice of the pie that I manage, I don't care about cheapest, and neither does my workplace. That's secondary to you being around next year, and doing me favours if I need them. If you're going to be around next year, I need you to make sufficient profit. If you're going to go above and beyond when it's an emergency for us, you need to make that back the rest of the year. We will PAY for that kind of service.
I am positively amazed at how many companies then continue with their "we'll undercut everyone" sales spiel for - sometimes - hours afterwards.
There's a reason that - in certain areas, like AV, etc. - I have one preferred supplier, use them exclusively and don't even bother to compare quotes or even go so far as have someone quote against them. We literally would not change them if someone was going to quote half the price. Because I *know* they will do us proud, and be there for us, whereas any fly-by-night can do a one-off cheap deal and then I'm stuck without support, with whatever they've left me with, and no-one will want to touch that stuff afterwards.
Virgin, to me, have good service. A lot of places don't have good service with them, but I can't replicate that my end. In over 6 years, my Internet cut out once because the kids pulled the cables from the street cabinet. It was back on in an hour. I get the speeds I'm promised, I have no latency issues (actually ALWAYS have the lowest ping on games), and it just does what I want. So I don't personally begrudge them the money I pay. But if you have to negotiate a 50% drop in cost every single time, rather than them just sending you a letter and dropping 10% off "for a good customer", then I would worry about who they are screwing over to do that. It's not me. But the day it is, I'll be gone.
Did it before with PlusNet - they were FABULOUS and technical and right on the ball, and even had a "Yeah, you know what you're talking about, let me put you through to tech" system that worked (e.g. changing ADSL interleaving settings because of latency on an SSH connection, that solved the problem in FIVE MINUTES from me phoning up with none of the scripted shite). The second BT took them over, they lost all that goodwill in minutes and I've never used or recommended them since.
Look after your existing customers.