Come on Sharon, why isn’t Ofcom doing more to regulate Britain’s terrible broadband services?

I know you all like to hear about my problems with Virgin Media, the cutting edge of the cable revolution (nobody thinks, least of all them).

Anyway, VM finally admitted today that they have a faulty cable in my area of north London. They’ve known about this for years. We had this from a manager, whose name I have but won’t mention as it would surely terminate his career.

Why haven’t they replaced the offending cable?, we’ll get round to it one day. In the meantime here’s ten quid off your package.

They also said, for the second time, that an engineer would be round in a certain time slot. But nobody appeared. Ring, ring..oh, we changed our mind but we texted you. No they didn’t. This is customer service from the 1860s.

Sharon-White--010Virgin, one of the only two cable providers in the UK along with the almost equally useless and cynical BT, is regulated by Ofcom. Ofcom now has a new, presumably smart, boss in Sharon White (left) from the Cabinet Office. A damehood presumably awaits her at some stage.

So why doesn’t dame-to-be Sharon get on to these broadband suppliers – who are charging premium rates and paying themselves loads of money – for not delivering the service they’re charging for?

If this was a used car dealer in Acton – the late, lamented Arthur Daley perhaps – they’d be up before the beak in no time and have their trading licence taken away.

Is this likely to happen? Pork chops might fly.

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that in the UK, and around the world, big business increasingly equates to bad business.

And no government, or shiny regulator, or the the businesses themselves (obviously) have the slightest interest in doing anything about it.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.