A year on: How our staff have continued to build connections that really matter

01 April 2021

Since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, Virgin Media’s services have provided a lifeline for loved ones kept apart by restrictions, helped keep children learning as schools closed and ensured businesses could continue trading during lockdown.

Throughout the pandemic, not only has our network remained resilient, but along the way our people have supported customers – whether on the phone from their bedrooms, at on-street cabinets or dig sites across the country, from technical sites and even in customer’s homes – to ensure that we kept people connected at a time when they needed it most.

As we take a moment to pause and reflect, we look back on a year where our dedicated staff have continued to go above and beyond to assist our customers every single day.

This includes Maria, who works in our customer care team, and has been helping vulnerable customers as a priority since lockdown begun. Her proactive support for one customer with Asperger syndrome has seen her act as their main point of contact at Virgin Media, helping them manage their account – something which they find challenging.  Knowing that the customer struggled with social interaction, Maria created a plan for their home technician visit tailored to their personal needs, including arranging for a technician who was already known to the customer to visit, providing updates every step of the way during installation and helping the customer manage their personal information. These small actions made the experience that bit easier for the customer at what could have been a difficult and stressful time.  

Likewise, our engineers have continued to work tirelessly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to keep our customers connected. This includes network engineers like Lee, Abul, Graham, Shane, Simon and Vivek, who last week worked through the night to upgrade the network in Southampton, helping prevent any disruption to services during daytime hours. Despite burning the midnight oil, the team continued working the next day to help keep customers connected while minimising disruption.

And whilst our services have become even more essential to homes across the UK, they also have been a lifeline to many businesses. At the start of the pandemic, many small businesses suddenly had to reinvent how they work. Sara who runs Salut Wines, a bar in Manchester, had no online presence in March 2020 when her successful business was forced to close due to the lockdown. However, with the backing of Virgin Media Business, Sara and her team set up an online shop and were soon running bespoke virtual wine tasting events. Sara describes the services as “an absolute lifeline” and praised the Virgin Media Business staff for helping them avoid “disaster”.

Our people have even been helping get Covid-19 shots into arms and supporting the vaccination rollout. When Graeme, an installation manager, discovered a blocked duct late on Friday night which would have prevented us from installing essential connectivity to a Covid-19 vaccination centre, he jumped into action. Graeme and his team met on site and worked through the weekend to install new equipment and reroute the connection to ensure that Chingford Leisure Centre was connected by the time Monday morning rolled around. Their hard work prevented any vaccination appointments needing to be cancelled.  

These stories are all unique in the challenges they’ve presented, but what ties them together is the dedication and determination of our people in helping keep our customers connected. They are just a few of the countless examples I’ve seen recently of the commitment, creativity and resilience demonstrated across Virgin Media, and show the difference we make for our customers every single day.  

Whilst we begin to look towards the future of life beyond restrictions, it’s important to look back at what our key workers have achieved. Our services have never been more essential, but it is our staff who have been delivering for customers day in and day out, building the connections that really matter.

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