Virgin Media & Sky mash cable service

Once upon a time there was Blueyonder. It had a cable TV and phone service and cable broadband. You took the cable tv and phone to get the best broadband service there was, if you were lucky enough to live in a cable area.

The service kept randomly upgrading as well until it’s now pretty fast. The costs kept upgrading as well, while ADSL got cheaper and better. They also stopped letting you pay in handy cable shops and subjected you to the world’s most torturous customer “service” phone-line imaginable (though that seems to have improved.)

Then little clouds started appearing on the blueyonder horizon. They merged with NTL – the inferior cable service. They started charging insane amounts if you paid a few days after their chosen date and over the phone or online, rather than by direct debit.

Now they’ve been bought by Virgin and the Sky part of the cable package is not going to come with it any more. But, wait, they aren’t giving any money off their rental charges. Because they are offering some Virgin media collection of programmes. Like Challenge, ffs.

I can live without Sky One. (I’ve already seen all the Simpsons.) I would never watch Sky News. No FX means no chance to see the Wire on terrestrial, (but I’ve already seen them.) I just don’t know where the “Sky” package starts and ends.

The maximum tv package already costs as much as their fastest broadband. One provides perfect internet service. The other provides a diet of shite. ( It is possible to go through the hundreds of channels over and over again without finding anything to watch some days.) So, is there any reason for me not to halve my bills and throw the TV bit?

Short of phoning them up, I need to know if “Sky” includes the other things in their Premium package: Discovery, Sci-fi, MTV, even Hallmark (with its non-stop Lawn Order) Does anyone know? If you do, please tell me in time to cancel the tv service..

And does anyone know if it can be legal to have taken advance payment for a service and just change it to an inferior one without any refund?

7 thoughts on “Virgin Media & Sky mash cable service

  1. I had a look at the new VM site earlier today (I’m a Smellyvest customer) to try and see how I could block those damned SMS-by-phone messages, and found this:

    which seems to explain a little more about the channels (that soon won’t be) available.

    I also called TW/VM to try and block these calls, and the recorded announcement said something about calling a number to find out the latest, but it only played once and I didn’t have a pen to hand to jot down the number.

    It doesn’t look like too many channels would go (Sky Movies, etc. are excluded from this) though.

  2. As far as I know, the ones going to go will be the Sky * ones (other than maybe Sky Three as that is on freeview, although why any one would watch it unless their TV was actually broken is beyond me).

    I am still a bit of a luddite (freeview) although Cable was tempting (mainly for high speed broadband, not the channels) I dont live in an area that is likely to ever get cable installed.

    heather, I would suggest you work out what channels you actually want then find out if they are staying. I suspect you can do without the TV package.

  3. Thanks a lot, Nullfidian, for the information and link. No great loss then. I didn’t even know there were a Sky 2 and 3 available from Telewest, so I won’t exactly notice their absence. (I don’t have Sky Movies and Sky Sports.)

    I got the Virgin email and it wasnt quite the same – it was lot vaguer or maybe I was too miffed to read it properly.

  4. No probs. To be honest, I don’t even think that I have Sky 2 or 3, so it’s even less of a loss. I would miss 24 though, but then again I’d just buy it on DVD when it came out anyway. Unless I could, *ahem* you know *sniff* find it online, maybe. Or something… 😉

  5. 😀 I think 24 would have been the only reason I’d have wanted Sky 1, but I struggle to watch it one episode a week so either wait for the DVD (and spend a weekend watching it nonstop) or see what *ahem* alternative methods there are…

    Current season is going well though! Nicely outrageous.

  6. I`ve been with telewest for years and am not impressed that virgin, after
    taking over, have got rid of one of the main channels we, as a family watch,
    SKY ONE. I may soon be swapping over to SKY for this reason!

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