Virgin set to push home phones

Virgin Media is set to launch a marketing attack on gaining and
retaining home phone customers after chief executive Steve Burch
revealed telephony as an underperforming business.

A briefing note issued by analysts Lehmann Brothers yesterday (Tuesda…

Virgin Media is set to launch a marketing attack on gaining and retaining home phone customers after chief executive Steve Burch revealed telephony as an underperforming business.

A briefing note issued by analysts Lehmann Brothers yesterday (Tuesday) reveals that Burch sees telephony as a "weakness." He told analysts that while everything else had been "going according to their expectations" the home phone unit has failed to deliver.

The company posted a net loss of 64,000 telephone subscribers when it announced its end of year results last week. Burch ascribed this loss to customers who only subscribed to the home telephone service defecting to the Carphone Warehouse-owned Talk Talk service and taking advantage of "free" broadband.

The marketing focus on clawing back telephone subscribers is earmarked for July.

Carphone chief executive Charles Dunstone started a broadband price war in April last year when he launched "free" internet access for customers of Talk Talk’s fixed-line phone service.

Six months after the launch, Dunstone revealed he was expecting losses of £70m, £20m more than expected, because of the popularity of the service and because it struggled to cope with customer demand.

By October, it had attracted 65,000 broadband customers and at the time he said that over 15,000 people were joining each week.

BSkyB and mobile phone operator Orange responded with similar "free" services last summer.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here