Virgin Media boss Tom Mockridge has lashed out at BSkyB by claiming that its broadband service is "lousy".
Such a jibe might appear - on the surface at least - as an obvious moan from a rival player, but his vehemence might surprise some considering that Mockridge was the deputy chairman of BSkyB, which is 39 per cent owned by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, in the immediate aftermath of the News of the World phone-hacking affair.
Mockridge, who became Virgin Media's chief in May last year after US cable giant Liberty Global bought the company, told the Daily Mirror that BSkyB was attempting to fool its customers by offering what he thinks is an inferior broadband service for free to any new subscribers who sign up to its sports package.
“When someone offers you something for free, generally most customers are smart enough and realise they are paying for it somewhere else," he told the newspaper.
“You’ve got to think, if someone is going to give you their broadband for free, it means their broadband is maybe not that good. If you are putting up with a lousy broadband service, and you can’t get a good connection, maybe you should go to a proper broadband operator."
Mockridge confessed that Virgin Media still had room for improvement with how it deals with punters, however. He said that the ISP had ploughed cash into improving customer service over the past five years.
"We're not perfect but we have got a lot better than we were," he claimed. ®