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?

Vista Pricing – Shamefull

Although we have mentioned MS Vista in the past on this blog, it was always unlikely that we would upgrade to it in the very near future. A recent check of the technology news helps confirm this.

It seems that Vista has been released in the US with an MRP of $99.95 (Upgrade version of Home Basic). Given the current exchange rates and using Reuters currency converter this works out at £51.23,

For some reason, it has been decided to sell Vista in the UK at £85 + VAT, which works out at about £99.88.

What madness is this! According to Reuters this is the same as US customers paying $194.72. I cant imagine MS would ship many boxes at that rate.

Just goes to show, you can pay nearly a hundred pounds, have to upgrade your hardware and learn a brand new way of working, or you can get linux for free. I think I can honestly say the only way Why Dont You will upgrade to vista will be when we get new computers and it comes pre-loaded with no alternatives.