Virgin coughs up digital tech support for clueless users
Bedwetters of the world unite
Virgin Group has launched a tech help service that will compete with the likes of DSGi's Tech Guys in the UK.
Virgin Digital Help is the company's first new UK consumer biz in three years.
It was created in partnership with outsourcing outfit Sutherland Global Services, said Virgin.
The service is pitched at clueless Blighty folk, who don't know the first thing about how to get their "digital stuff to work."
Virgin said its tech team would hold customers' hands and guide them through problems with their digital gear. It will offer support in the form of downloadable tools, online and phone help, and home visits.
The media firm also trotted out a no-shit-Sherlock survey that found the majority of the 2,000 UK consumers questioned weren't satisfied with the help they currently receive.
“For far too long, understanding how to make digital technology work has been the preserve of a small, tech-savvy proportion of the British population," opined Virgin Digital Help boss Joel Steel.
"Outside of these power users, people either miss out or spend hours in fruitless frustration. We have launched Virgin Digital Help to get Britain’s digital stuff to work. Now you don’t have to get mad, you can just get help.”
Virgin Digital Help is offering a download tool for users free of charge. It's a basic package that encourages users to run a few scans on their PC. Beyond that - and here's the rub - users will need to pony up a £2.99 per month upgrade fee to fix any problems detected on their machine.
The service offers a few things for free, such as an FAQ section on its website and phoning the tech support team. But getting any help will require a user to cough up some cash to Virgin Digital Help.
Unsurprisingly, other helpdesk players have already weighed in on Virgin's latest consumer biz idea.
Gadget Helpline's managing director Crispin Thomas was quick to accuse Virgin of entering the playing field late.
"I just don't think Richard's [Branson] concept is going to fly, and people don't want foreign based operators. We've just taken our millionth call, I can't understand how an innovative company like Virgin have come into a market so late and with such a poorly priced offering, especially as the Tech Guys and Geek Squad have been struggling in the space." ®
We are all clueless about some things.....
But that's what mates are for.
I'm good with tech. Its what I'm paid for, so I should be good.
However I'm crap at plumbing, building, general DIY and motor maintainance, but I know people who *are* very good at those things.
I fix and provide help for their computers, networks, etc, they return the favour.
No money changes hands and we all benefit from help and advice from people we known and trust.
Job done, and no semi-literate help-desk chimps needed.
Beer also accepted in payment.
...that are slagging off "useless users"
Why should the end user need to know the difference between HDMI, DVI, h.264, MPEG-2, DVB, YMCA for their telly. For almost a century, you had a single cable that went into the back of your box, end of.
How are you mean't to know how to connect to a wireless route using WPA2 connection, ooo do I need a Hex key or a certificate?
How many of you know the difference between G77a and G711u? Yet chances are you use them every single day.
The biggest reason people struggle is because anally retarded techies come up with these super ideas and then beacuse they lack genuine social skills, presume everyone else has 3 days to understand a badly written Chinlish manual (proberby supplied on a CD in PDF format).
If people actually designed things properly, they wouldn't need to read the f**king manual.
This is one thing Apple excel at (and I'm a windows user)
And before people say I'm one of them, my first pc mod was upgrading an Atari falcon from an 030 to an 040 processor, which used a thing called a soldering iron.
Oh and I also built my own car, how about you? What, you mean you have no idea how to set the tracking on your car, but you drive one every day! Maybe you should read the manual instead of going to that nice man in the tyre shop...
*Customer goes to car dealer and buys car*
"...err...excuse me Mr.Car-dealer, I bought this car and I have sat in it for 30 minutes now but it isn't doing anything. I want my money back because you are providing me with a service that doesn't work."
Punters need to wise up and not buy services or goods if they haven't got a clue what to do with it or cannot be bothered to read the manual.
It is an absolute joke that people buy computers, mobile phones, television, and so on, simply because someone tells them they should.
Worst users of all... iUsers (you know the ones I am talking about).
Says something about the state of the industry
While I am no great fan of the bearded one, he is known not to dabble in stuff that will not bring a healthy margin. So here is a lesson for all vendors and telcos:
1. Your tech support is currently not up to scratch
2. Someone who is better than you businesswise has seen a possibility to get money out of something which you perceive as an unpleasant overhead.
Tech Support Cheat Sheet
It'd probably be cheaper to just follow this handy flowchart: