Virgin Media’s Chief Executive has mocked the company’s closest rival. Tom Mockridge has hit out at Sky by describing their broadband service as “lousy” in comparison to Virgin’s.
Mr. Mockridge made these comments whilst speaking to journalists from The Mirror. He criticised Sky’s latest broadband offer which sees their customers receive two years of free internet when they take out a subscription with Sky Sports.
The Sky deal was viewed by critics as an attempt to take on BT. BT’s sports channel BT Sports will remain a free service to those who are using their home broadband for 2014 and 2015.
Tom Mockridge, who actually worked at Sky as their Deputy Chairman between 2012 and 2013, said customers would “see through” their attack on BT.
He stated: “You have got to think, if someone is going to give you their broadband for free, it means their broadband is maybe not that good.” He also said that customers who are suffering with an operator who cannot provide a good connection should consider “switching to a proper operator”.
Tom Mockridge gave the interview in promotion of his company’s own fixed line offering. He told the newspaper that Virgin is making an investment of over £1 billion every year in its broadband network.
He continued: “Frankly, the bigger we get, the more money that has to go in.”
These recent comments by the Chief Executive Officer are only going to add fuel to the fire of Virgin’s rivalry with Sky. The two providers have competed for British customers for a great many years. Sky may have the largest customer base but the National Customer Satisfaction Index has them ahead.
The National Customer Satisfaction Index said Virgin Media’s customer satisfaction reached 71% whereas Sky’s was 69%. The other two major broadband providers in the UK, TalkTalk and BT, lagged behind with 67% and 65%.
The Sky broadband offer is being advertised as the provider’s “best ever broadband offer”. It allows customers to get two years of free Sky Broadband Unlimited when they activate Sky Sports 5.
The channel is being touted as Sky’s new home for European football. It will show matches from top-tier leagues around Europe such as Spain’s La Liga as well as UEFA Champions League matches. The broadband offer is an attempt to market the new channel.
Sky are estimating that it will save £330 over two years compared to what is currently being offered by the company’s rival BT.