Chess champ blackmails Richard Branson over data dirt

22 January 2010

Bitterwallet - Richard Branson blackmail at Virgin Media There's a new consumer crimefighter in town and his name is David Connolly. His mission? To blackmail Virgin Media and stick it to 'clinically psychotic' Richard Branson. Connolly has emailed Branson (and cc'd various newspapers and websites) to make his demands - £5,000 in compensation which may increase 'to High Court levels depending on how much interest the national media takes'.

So what's this all about, then? In his email, Connolly claims to have suffered an exhaustive list of problems with Virgin Media; some of them appear to be legitimate - failure to deliver services, breach of contract, incorrect charges - and some of them less so - 'been arrogant and rude on the telephone', 'refused to escalate the problem past the level of general dogsbodies at head office' and so on. Connolly's ace in the hole is an alleged gaffe which saw a database containing '40,000 pieces of information about Virgin Media customers including listing rude/insulting nicknames... such as "a common woman" and "a prick"' dumped in his wheelie bin.

Because of these alleged grievances, Connolly has started his Virgin Media Watch email - 'information on Virgin Media customers [sent] to national and local media every week adding new customer info, Virgin Media insults and adding more and more media/watchdog sources until they pay up what is rightfully mine'. In other words, Connolly is attempting to blackmail Richard Branson.

But who is this heroic consumer champ? His return email address identifies him as the sales manager of NWS Media which publishes the Bolton Directory, a free paper in the town. In addition, Connolly is also a 'former England chess squad member, IQ 185 and former student of Intelligence'.

As emails go, it's a little confused. He opens by plugging his upcoming book to Branson, then invites the tycoon to sue him because he's already in court anyway, then attempts extortion and all the way through is undecided whether to refer to himself in the first or third person. Since the email was distributed for publication, you can read it for yourself here.

Intriguingly, there are several examples of customer accounts and details attached to the email (we haven't published that bit). It's possible that for all his bluster, he does in fact have a comprehensive database of Virgin Media customers. What happens next? Stay tuned for next week's exciting installment of Virgin Media Watch!

TOPICS:   Privacy


  • SeptimusWigley
    David Connolly sounds like a fucking lunatic.
  • MayContainNuts
    Every company gets people who try this - I've worked for several that would receive 15 page diatribes from people every week threatening to go to court because the guy they spoke to on the phone "picked his nose funny" or something equally stupid. They must either actually make some money out of this, or get some sort of sexual gratification out of it, because they're persistent buggers and never give up...
  • klingelton
    aye, but VM customer service is exceptionally bad. VM is good so long as you never need to speak with them (and don't mind the OD service being constantly down for no descernable reason (and don't mind the set top box crashing if you change channel more than once an hour (and don't mind your internet connection capping during peak hours (and don't mind being more or less cut off should you download anything)))) aside from that, they're great. don't anyone check my perenthesis for balance...
  • Peter F.
    Where the hell did this knob take his IQ test... facebook?
  • sdp
    I feel for the guy, but Peter File is correct, there's no way his IQ is 185. His English is pretty darn shitty. Anyone with a grain of sense would take time to construct an email of this nature. It also sounds like the so-called "database" of customers was a notepad used by a door-to-door sales rep who probably doesn't even work for Virgin. Perhaps SeptimusWigley is right, he's just a fucking lunatic? I will be interested to see how this progresses though.
  • Mike R.
    He sounds like a crazy...
  • rob
    Mentalist. Undoubtedly.
  • rayhul
    david connoly is a cunt the way he talks about himself in third person shows that this guy must be a pain in the arse and no wonder virgin take the piss with him i would of done the same the slimy fuck is trying to fob them off.
  • dunfyboy
    Virgin Mobile still owe me £40 from years ago so I avoid anything Virgin and I'm backing this nutcase all the way. Maybe it's just a ploy to get Branson in the same room so he can stick the nut on him. Well, I can dream>
  • demitri
    Sounds like the sh^t I went though with NTHell ( any one remember NTHellworld) - tech side was great - the CS reps where total nobs. Still I managed to get a director to ring me in the end - after two threat of court action. If I remember they bought out the guy who set up the anti- ntl site - maybe thats what he is after.
  • john
    Played in the england chess squad.......yes perhaps as a small child in the under 10 section or something. There are certainly no grandmasters with that name no international masters either oh and no national masters either
  • gymnasts p.
    gratitude one very much for your spectacle,it's somewhat useful embattled me.
  • Han S.
    This guy is a loon! I found this site which makes for fun/worrying reading. He's worked for MI6 since he was 16 apparently. With peeple like him on the staff (As if) we can sleep soundly in our beds. :-)
  • steve b.
    Well my experience with Virgin Media is horrendous. They agreed a deal to supply at a certain price then reneged on it. When I complained they said that they wouldn't honour the deal and that they had no recordings on conversations. Constant crashes and woeful customer service make me fell (unlike a virgin) well and truly f***ed!

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