Virgin nearly screwed me…

I GOT a call from Virgin Media yesterday asking me if – for an extra two quid a month in addition to the broadband bill – I’d like 100 TV channels, including Sky. I almost said yes to what seemed like a bargain. Good job I hesitated – thousands of cable subscribers woke up this morning to discover the Sky channels had disappeared overnight, thanks to Virgin and Sky failing to reach an agreement on the package. Sky might be to blame, but WTF was Virgin doing trying to get me to buy this package yesterday when they must have known that it could be off the air in a matter of hours? Not amused. But did anyone sucker it?

  • fair_deal

    I wasn’t conned but I am an existing customer so very peeved off with both. Fair Deal no Simpsons function well without. Plus replacing Sky one with the Hallmark channel as a stop gap WTF is that all about.

  • The Third Policeman

    Hmm but then Hallmark has House, and Diagnosis Murder, and Monk. All quality tv. Also I see Virgin has given us Paramount. That means Seinfeld. Still no Sky 1 means no Lost! Thank God for RTE!

  • Aquifer

    Sky was the only reason for not going -And those hard drives that let you save stuff and zoom past the adverts look interesting. Paying £XX a month to have adverts stuffed down your throat, there’s a great idea?

  • gerry

    The movies are still on. How come. Sky cinema 1 and 2 and the movie channels are on but no sky one or two. Its coming up as old sky news and old sky one, WTF!!!!

  • seabhac siulach

    Legally, if one signed up to NTL/Virgin Media with Sky channels as part of the contract, and then these channels are removed, is there not a case to be made that Virgin Media has broken that contract? Are customers therefore not due compensation for breach of contract? This should be a case for the consumer watchdog…
    At the very least, customers should have been sent a letter of explanation…very shoddy…

  • gerry

    I pay broadband, tv channels and phone to virgin, basic £65 quid a month. £15 quid of that goes to the new box and an extra box upstairs, but the new box is very good, better than sky plus. It has two hard drives which allow you to record two channels at once plus play a recorded programme, all at once. Its very good, at first it stuck a lot, but now it seems to be ok. It will record a whole series for you if you want, and both hard drives have a bout 100 hrs of record space, plus a channel that allows you to catch up on tv programmes for a two week period.

  • mickhall


    Branson was known as the great groper at Virgin Atlantic, so I doubt you are the only one he has involuntarily screwed, just like you I suspect, there was little the flight attendants could do about the serial pervert, not if they wished to keep their jobs.

  • Intelligence Insider

    In terms of The Sale of Goods Act (1979) I think most people would have a pretty good case against Virgin as the goods sold (subscription including Sky Channels) would no longer be as described.

  • Caught between Branson and Murdoch – what sort of a choice is that? I used to have NTL, which Virgin has just subsumed, and was happy enough with the service. Now make do with Freeview for TV and BT for internet. Much happier.

  • seabhac siulach

    Those of a more, em, salacious mind, might have also noticed that those more, eh, ‘artistic’ movies, i.e., the porn, has now been removed from the Virgin Media ‘on demand’ channel…
    Ahem, just noticed, is all…not that I ever would watch or anything…(was always too damned expensive!).

  • willis


    They must have been getting tips from “Richard and Judy”, “The X-factor” or “Saturday Kitchen”. Stand by for lots more fun and games as we head for Analogue switch-off.

  • willis
  • andy

    Entrepreneur of the people.

    Ho Ho Ho.

    Remember when he was in similar wrangles with record companies at Our price? He took their stock then refused to pay them, claiming that they were offering better terms to internet companies.
    A self-righteous twat of the highest order.

    (mick sorry if this is too man not ball – feel free to edit)

  • mickhall

    Question, what does it say about us that a man like Branson can become a national hero? [I agree totaly with Andy’s opinion of the man.]

  • Keith

    I’d rather scoop my eyes out with a spoon than move over to sky. i’m not usually one for brand loyalty but i’m going to weather the storm. rte has Lost anyway and 24 got rubbish after the second series.

    bullying tactics by a murdoch… whats new?

  • esmereldavillalobos

    Yes, I sold out to the man years ago but Sky HD is the way forward, folks. I had NTL initially when I lived in Belfast and I was never very impressed with it. Sky + changed my life and now hi-def has made it prettier. Gerry’s point re: the Virgin PVR is valid but hey… I’ve still got the Simpsons and 24!

    Yours bending over and sucking it up…

  • Dessertspoon

    Currently have Sky but seriously thinking of getting rid. Most of the channels are crap. I only really watch the Sport channels and that’s where they have me by the short and curlies – if I want to watch the sport I have to have pretty much everything else too. I really hate them!! Hate handing over all that money to them every month. You know what I’ve talked myself into it…I’m cancelling and I’ll watch the match in the pub…but I’ll wait and do it on Monday…promise!

  • T.Ruth

    I tore the leaflet and put it in the blue bin conscious of the fall out between the two companies that was on the morning news.Virgin seemed to be on the losing side.. I recall-faintly-that there was a subtle clause in the leaflet telling those with a lot of spare cash that for an unspecified additional fee you could continue to receive Sky1 and Movies. I being poor,as Yeats would say,have only five channels and a digibox so it is of little importance but it was a strange juxtaposition of events.

  • Geo

    As a Virgin customer, what I’m wondering is whether we will be receiving a price cut for losing these channels. But what really rubbed salt in and got my goat was seeing the ‘hilarious’ infantile comments they displayed where the old channels were.

    Thanks for that Branson, you may think it’s a laugh that I’m getting less value for money now but you won’t be laughing when we switch off in our 1000s.

    You smug beardy bastard.

    (Apologies to readers with beards, really no personal offence meant!)

  • StarHound

    I’m certainly no fan of NTL as was, but I dont see why Virgin are getting so much flak here for this.

    Sky seem to be setting out to knobble the competition with the aim of cornering the market. This mean that they will put their charges up even higher and there will be no competition to switch do. That would be in one’s interests except Sky.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I generally avoid the idiot box (and comments from people here about TV technology “changing their life” are faintly disturbing), but I have a basic NTL/Virgin package. The only reason I have it is in order to see the Simpsons on Sky 1. Now that I can’t do that, there’s very little point in me paying them ~£15 a month..

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sky seem to be setting out to knobble the competition with the aim of cornering the market. This mean that they will put their charges up even higher and there will be no competition to switch do. That would be in one’s interests except Sky.

    Murdoch and his organizations are rotten to the core, but I don’t think they specifically set out to cause trouble in this case. Branson has instead decided to pick a fight with Murdoch. I think he wants to be the guy who took on Murdoch and won.

    As others have said, I don’t think Branson is the honest people’s billionaire character that he likes to portray himself as. Aside from everything else, I think this whole thing is a publicity stunt.

  • esmereldavillalobos

    I generally avoid the idiot box (and comments from people here about TV technology “changing their life” are faintly disturbing)

    Well Comrade, forgive me for speaking the truth. As a shift worker on a rolling 24 hour rota, lack of a PVR would mean absolutely no serial drama or other series for that matter would be worth watching as I would miss half of the episodes. No more fiddly VHS and good quality video so yeah, it has changed my life to a degree – I can watch what I want, when I want.

    I am sorry if my comment disturbed you; is it more disturbing to pay for a package to see one show? A cartoon (albeit the best ever)? You can own on DVD if you wait a bit?

  • mickhall

    I agree they are both a pair of so and sos, there was a good piece in the Guardian last week by Tom Bower,[I think] who pointed out that Branson has made his reputation by pretending he is talking on the big shark on behalf of the little guy when self interest has always been the motor that drove him. Another point he makes is that Branson holds himself up as an example of the free market economy, when his successful businesses rely almost totally on government or taxpayers largess. He mentions Virgin Atlantic and his privatized rail businesses, where-as in the actual free market he has failed dismally, any one ever drink virgin cola?