They may have been inefficient at fixing my phone problems in the past, but they certainly know how to get junk mail through my door.
I’ve also read, that they still haven’t concluded a deal with BT so that their TV customers can get the matches BT has the rights to.
Most of the junk mail was addressed to that person, who doesn’t live here, the Mr. D.E.A.R. Householder.
Anything, marked without my name is instantly put into the green sack for recycling. Perhaps I should hang one outside for the postman!
BT seem to be pulling out the stops to get customers to use their broadband services to get sporting TV, and especially football.
As I’m a customer of BT Vision, I don’t need to do anything.
Every few weeks, I get one of these through the post, delivered by the Royal Mail.
I have registered with the Mail Preference Service and I do have sign which says No Junk Mail. But the mail is addressed to the Occupier, which is apparently not covered by any rules. Perhaps, I should send it on to the Occupy London people.
Virgin shouldn’t really worry, as except for their trains, I don’t and won’t use any of their products. And anyway Virgin Media is expensive.
I was listening yesterday to the BBC’s morning phone-in and they were talking about debts and especially how people have got into trouble over Christmas.
If I look at my finances over the last year, they have improved somewhat and I felt that although I’m living on my savings until my house is sold, I’ve probably got almost a year more before my avings run out, than when I moved here in December 2010.
So what major savings have I made.
The first is the the television, phones and broadband. I like Sky Sports, and the big saving is that I can’t have an obvious dish here, as it’s a Conservation Area. Although, I could probably hide one on the roof! I did try Virgin by cable to get Sky Sports 1 and 2. Now I’ve switched to BT Vision with of course Freeview. I now pay about £50 a month to get phone calls, broadband and Sky Sports 1 and 2.
I don’t seem to miss out on watching anything I want to, but the saving is a thousand on Virgin Media and a couple of thousand compared to Sky.
Note that I only rarely watch films on television and generally stick to the four BBC channels, the two Sky Sports channels and radio.
The biggest saving is not having a car. I don’t miss it one bit, although perhaps it would have helped on Christmas Day to get to my son’s. But with the amount of money I save, I can afford the occasional black cab or mini-cab.
Getting rid of the car has other benefits too in addition to the obvious financial and logistical ones.
You walk a lot more, which is obviously good for you. I always walk with my eyes open too and I see things in shop windows that I might like to buy to improve my lifestyle or things that are just interesting in the street.
Walking is a real joy in a city and in no way inferior to walking in the country. In fact, I think it is more thought-provoking.
So how many people with serious debt problems have still got the expensive television, the full Sky and an expensive car?
A couple of months ago, I compared the two systems for getting TV and broadband.
The only thing, I didn’t have was any sensible price comparison. My last seven months of Virgin cost me an avverage of £132.75 and I’ve just paid my first BT bill without any setup charges. It was £45.85, which is a saving of about a thousand pounds by using BT instead of Virgin.
I’m also still getting junk mail from Virgin.
When I first moved, I went the Virgin Media route and subscribed to Sky Sports 1 and 2.
A couple of months ago, I threw the cable out, as Virgin Media couldn’t give me a working landline telephone.
I now have BT broadband, with which I use BT Vision to get the same Sky channels.
I don’t regret the changes one bit.
- BT is much cheaper. Not sure totally how much, as I haven’t had a bill with all my landline calls. It looks like it might be about £70 compared to £130 for Virgin.
- The BT service appears to be more reliable. Virgin cable seemed to go up and down like a whore’s drawers. Perhaps this was partly due to the state of their boxes in the street, which had had the doors removed.
- Since I signed up with BT, I think I’ve only had one spam e-mail or leaflet in the mail. Virgin still keep sending them, although in the last week, they seem to have stopped. Perhaps, they’ve got the message.
- With BT, if I lose broadband, I still have the TV without Sky through Freeview.
- I know this is personal taste, but I think the BT website is easier to use. The login is certainly better.
So bye-bye Virgin and never may you grace my door again.
I suspect though it will be all irrevelant in the future, who your broadband supplier is. You’ll get all your TV channels other than the free-to-air ones on subscription of some sort through it.
I suspect too, that you’ll be able to subscribe to advert-free versions of things like Sky. At a premium of course.
I have just installed BT Vision.
It seems to work well and I’m just watching the cricket on Sky Sports 1.
Technically, I like the concept of watching most things free through Freeview and getting other things from broadband or by unlocking channels on Freeview. I think it is a concept that will grow like Topsy.
I know too, that I’m paying a lot less than I did for a poor service from Virgin.
A few points of comparison.
- I have Freeview television in my bedroom, so now I have the same channel numbers in my living room and my bedroom. I didn’t with Sky or with Virgin.
- Picture quality is good, but I have just fitted a new aerial.
- All the features like stop the picture and then contunue are there. Virgin may have had them, but I never found out how to use them. The designer of the Virgin box, was probably a games-optimised person, who didn’t understand logical system design for those who don’t and never will play games.
I’ll add to this list as time goes on. But I’m not regretting moving away from Virgin.
As I’m moving to BT Broadband, I looked at BT Vision. I was surprised to see that the basic package doesn’t include two channels; CNN and filth. After my experiences in Hong Kong, I can live without the first and earlier this year I saw enough filth to last a lifetime.
But I need the broadband first and for that I need a working phone line.
I’ve now been without my landline for a couple of weeks now. Although, I didn’t realise it for some days, as I was away and also because most of my friends phone me on my mobile number.
So on Friday, I did what I should have done when I moved in; I signed up with BT.
Today after a very long phone call, I cancelled Virgin. I did eventually get someone sensible, but as I had to ring on my mobile and I phoned them for perhaps twenty minutes, I suspect it wasn’t cheap.
It did however cost me over seventy pounds to get rid of them.
Hackney council today wrote to me saying that I could get rid of five heavy items a year by just giving them a call. If disposing of Virgin and their useless service were so easy.
Incidentally, all of their cabinets round here have had their doors stolen.
In my experience, electrical equipment doesn’t like working in exposed conditions.
I shall now be using BT for phone and broadband, Freeview for television and the pub for watching football on Sky.
My Virgin Media service is terrible, so I want to cancel. As an example, I haven’t had a landline for about 10 days now. Every time I try to get through to service, I end up on hold listening to terrible music. It’s probably cost me several pounds on my mobile. In one case they tried to see me more services. If I want more crap, there are many much better places to buy it, where I get some service.
As an aside here, could my terrible Virgin service, be due to the fact that their connection cabinets round here have no doors and are open to the elements.
I didn’t have the phone number to hand, so I did the obvious and typed “Virgin Media Phone Number” into Google.
After the adverts trying to sell me more Virgin services, there are some helpful companies that can connect you. I obvious don’t want more crap, so I ignored the adverts and as the helpful companies looked a bit dubious, I read about them first.
They are call referral services with expensive numbers and cost 10p a minute from a BT Landline and considerably more from a mobile. As I’ve only got my trusty Nokia 6310i, I didn’t even think about ringing them.
Virgin Media were the fifth in the list and there were about 10 of these call referral services.
By the way the number to ring for Virgin Media is 0845 454 1111.