back to article Virgin Media cuts 250 jobs amid £3bn Project Lightning cockup fallout

UK cable giant Virgin Media is closing 30 shops and cutting 250 jobs – including a number of head office people – as a result of botching its £3bn Project Lightning superfast broadband plan. Numerous sources got in touch with El Reg to tell us that 28 posts are being cut in Virgin’s Hammersmith HQ in London, along with the …

  1. eJ2095

    Well Perhaps

    If they stop hiking up there prices.

    Come up with a better pricing system.. (I don’t want your sodding land line or TiVo)

    Deliver the speeds they promise.

    And sort out them dreadful super duds

    1. paulf Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Well Perhaps

      I was going to pile in with the their incessant "To The Owner" junk mail they're renowned for sending out (and the associated cost) but for once I can't. Vermin Media was connected to my house* but in the last 18 months I've had two, if that. In the few years before that I was getting at least 1 junk mail envelope every 6 weeks.

      Either they've realised the blanket junk mailing isn't worth it or things are so tough they can't even afford it.

      *When the previous occupants had VM the installer must have hijacked the BT cabling and routed the VM phone line through BT's cabling to the BT Master socket. When I moved in and switched back to an unbundled BT OR line, the BTOR installer grumbled and muttered something about "They're always bloody doing this" as he removed the VM cabling from the junction box on the BT cable in the porch (i.e. BT's property).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No P.45/Pink Slip for the Directors?

    Why ever not? They initiated it and it was a POS. So the workers carry the can and usual. The managers probably got a promotion...

    1. paulf Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: No P.45/Pink Slip for the Directors?

      "The managers probably got a promotion..."

      And a bonus for the improvement in profits post-P.45s.

  3. wolfetone Silver badge

    "We understand that despite the cuts in head office, none will affect directors"

    What a fucking surprise.

    1. Carl Thomas

      Some senior management have already gotten the bullet over the Lightning screw up. As this was planned for a while and isn't related to the Lightning issues be a tad unfair to fire more of them over this.

  4. wyatt

    I've never seen the point of the shops. Their 'special' offers were never something that attracted me, maybe others are different?

  5. adam payne Silver badge

    "We understand that despite the cuts in head office, none will affect directors."

    Business as usual then.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So Branson is laughing all the way to his other island after selling Liberty Media a lemon.

    1. Mark 110 Silver badge

      Branson has never owned much (if any? Its a while back - I can't remember the exact terms) of VM. He just licenses the brand to them for a few £mill per year.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "He just licenses the brand to them for a few £mill per year."

        It only takes one poorly performing franchisee to blacken the name of all the others in unrelated businesses.

        Virgin Wines email spam, Virgin Media junk mail, Virgin dirty Trains, and Virgin slow service Record stores made me boycott anything with Virgin in its branding.

        Recently I donated to crowdfunding that was via Virgin Money Giving. It was a pleasant surprise to find they are non-profit and appear to charge the recipients far less in the way of fees than do other similar operations.

        1. Shao

          Last time I heard, they charge £15 / month for Just Giving and £100 one off for VirginMoneyGiving. Depends on how long the funding goes on I suppose.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            " It was a pleasant surprise to find they are non-profit and appear to charge the recipients far less in the way of fees than do other similar operations."

            BT charge 0, nothing, nada, not a single penny.

            No idea why any charity uses the others.

            https://www.btplc.com/mydonate/index.aspx

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          made me boycott anything with Virgin in its branding.

          No more Virgin Condoms for you, then.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            >No more Virgin Condoms for you, then.

            Virgin condoms ? I always use second hand ones, it keeps the costs down.

  7. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Oh Good grief!

    My Broadband 200Mb with VM is really good. My phone and TV service are good too. We've already dumped their mobile phone network because of high prices and poor service. Please don't say that the rest of their services are going to go the same way. Increase cost and reduce service. Please no. I don't want to have to mess around with changing a set-up that works well for me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Re: Oh Good grief!

      Well there is always Talktalk......

      I'll get my coat.

      1. Chunky Munky
        Facepalm

        Re: Oh Good grief!

        Talk talk - not even once!

    2. Hairy Spod

      Re: Oh Good grief!

      you say that and I'm the same, yet 640x480 you tube videos frequently end up buffering on my Virgin 200mb service and they dont on grandma's 2mb bt connection....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh Good grief!

        "[...] you tube videos frequently end up buffering [...]"

        Are you using the same browser? On my laptop streamed videos buffer quite often on Firefox - yet Chrome runs the same ones smoothly.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh Good grief!

          "[...] you tube videos frequently end up buffering [...]"

          Are you using the same browser? On my laptop streamed videos buffer quite often on Firefox - yet Chrome runs the same ones smoothly.

          Not a new phenomenon for Virigin media customers:

          https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/12/07/virgin_media_youtube_buffering_issues_again/

      2. Steve Medway

        Re: Oh Good grief!

        This is a well known VM issue. I had their 70mb service, dropped to BT's 52mb and can now stream 4K youtube without buffering. On VM it was unuseable.

        Plus my pings are sub 15ms instead of being 30ms+

        VM's 'headline' speeds are BS. You do get the headline rate in some areas but the QOS is rubbish.

        My freshly installed BT fibre line syncs at about 55mb, so no point in me getting a faster BT connection but the QOS is awesome in comparison to VM and at less than half the price I was paying.

        1. BiffoTheBorg

          Re: Oh Good grief!

          I have 100mb VM and Speedtest.net tells me I am getting 108/6.26 which is nice, but I'm not sure how to measure QOS, do I need a high spec router or network diagnostic software?

    3. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Oh Good grief!

      Buy yourself a decent router, which Ethernet, VDSL, ADSL, 4G, etc..

      Put the VM Ethernet cable from the hub (in modem mode) in one port.

      Put an RJ11 ADSL/VDSL connection in the other.

      Put a 4G stick / SIM in for emergencies.

      Configure the routing/failover options on it.

      Pay for two "less speedy" connections without all the associated gumph, so that when one falls over you don't even notice except for the email from the router saying that it's fallen back to something else. If you buy a decent enough router, it'll even load-balance over them without you knowing the difference (I set this up on an ancient PC once with Linux, over two really-flaky ADSL lines, and every webpage you accessed or port you opened could have gone over either connection and you'd never know any difference).

      Literally, a couple-of-hundred-quid investment that will last for years and solve all the problems for you by doing what people in IT do (always have a backup, redundant systems, etc.). And there are many advantages ("Oh well, it's your connection!", really? Because I have three!), you can always move it anywhere, to any ISP, at any moment. Hell, I can even run the whole home network run off my phone's 4G offered over wireless as a "WAN" connection if I like.

      If you have a number of fluctuating qualities of service, take steps to reduce your dependency on any one of them and cover your bases. 200Mbps costs what?

      I'd rather have two independent 50Mbps services than even a 200Mbps SPOF.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lightning

    Sure this is related to Lightning and isn't due to 'Business as Usual' changes? Were you actually told that this was due to Lightning or have you put 2 and 2 together?

    The Lightning snafu has caused cost overruns which will be recouped either by passing fewer premises or cost underruns on the rest of the project. The stores, etc, just weren't worth keeping open. In Leeds for example there are two of them a matter of a few minutes walk from one another and they hardly ever seem to have any punters in them. There's also the standard 'pop up' store as well.

  9. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Construction work “had not progressed as originally understood.”

    We didn't actually expect you to believe us, that was a marketing statement that bore no relation to the actual reality on the ground and we didn't even consult our own technical people before making it.

  10. Carnoire

    6-8 weeks...honest

    I'm not sure this'll help anything - been waiting for Virgin to install Fibre in my flat since late April (unable to get BT FTTC services - Exchange Only line). I'm currently awaiting an update from the "Lightning Hot Desk" regarding some outstanding construction work - the left hand doesn't know how to co-ordinate with the right hand, never mind what it's doing...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I changed to Virgin Media and went all in (claims of up to 200Mb download (whatever!) , TV, phone) after 7 years in Sky and cannot wait to switch to another provider.

    I WFH 3-4 days a week and connect to systems all around the world and at least once a month the internet goes down and when I can be bothered to ring they always blame it on maintenance. Well, working for Cloud IaaS provider our goal is to deliver maintenance in a seamless manner, and regardless of whether it is impacting or non impacting, we let our customers know!

    Virgin Media have been as MASSIVE disappointment, especially after switching to them having been with Sky for 7 years (BTW, I had a free 10Mb broadband and it was far more reliable than this crappy service).

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