Thursday, April 29, 2010

Forum Fanciers

In March we re-allocated the technical support staff that had previously been helping customers on the Virgin Media newsgroups – which, to be fair, required a bit of technical knowledge for customers to setup and use – to our help & support forums, which launched successfully last year and have gone from strength to strength.

And it's had the intended results. More customers are using the forums than ever before (plus they have a bigger reach than the newsgroups ever did) to help each other out with their questions, problems and tips on our services and the support guys are doing an excellent job in helping customers out also.

I guess it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out when the newsgroup community switched over either:
[Click for a larger version, thanks to our community manager Mark Wilkin for the graph]

If you've not already done so, do feel free to have a look at the forums and signup yourself. They can be found at


  1. The graph clearly shows where the newsgroup community came for a look, stayed a week or so trying to get VM to improve this second rate service and then gave up.


  2. It's a great pity that you've chosen to isolate your most helpful customers - those using the newsgroups - from the community who wish help. Rather than wasting money on an inferior, outsourced service, why not educate your customers to use text newsgroups where they can learn about much more than just VM?


  3. Hi Guys

    Hope all's good and thanks for the feedback.

    Thought you might be interested to know that Microsoft are also moving their community from newsgroups to forums as it's a better user experience (and, for them, because of cost - which was not a consideration for us) and so more users can be helped. More info here:



  4. Noticed that support response is a lot lot slower now if replied to at all since the move from the excellent newsgroups, requests for help are now just being ignored by support for most requests, others get Carl Waring butting in all the time, annoying new users like he did old on the newsgroups, with the odd reply here and there from support.

    Something needs to be done as online support has gone seriously downhill.

    Very poor show.

  5. It's a different beast really, it's a self help community that our support teams are helping in - and there's a link to contact details for those needing support at the top of the forum, which is primarily a self help (and peer help) community.

    There's lot more customers using the forums than there were on the old newsgroups, but we are looking at additional resource at the moment.



  6. According to this post.... .....

    "Less than 0.5% of subscribers are registered users of this 'support' channel. That figure is based on VM's claimed 4.2 million subscribers and the latest figure for users of this forum, 18954, a lot smaller than the 2% (84000) who accessed usenet based support."

    ... it would appear not. Or are figures wrong?

  7. Don't know where the 2% figure came from, but that's higher than the proportion of the base that's on Usenet from when I last checked (in my previous job), and it's fair to say a smaller subset of those will have been users of the VM groups, with a smaller subset again of that using it for support.