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Credit policy shift costs ntl:Telewest customers

A set of mixed Q2 results prompts the company to blame a drop in customer numbers on a realigned credit policy and people moving house
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Written by David Meyer, Freelance reporter on

Cable provider ntl:Telewest has blamed its shedding of customers on the realignment of its credit policy, as well as a seasonal increase in people moving house.

The company, which recently launched a "quad-play" (cable television, Internet, home phone and mobile) offensive, released its Q2 results yesterday, which showed its telephony and television departments had both lost customers.

Broadband uptake was up by just over 100,000 customers, but the division lost market share over the quarter. Revenue from corporate customers was also significantly up.

In total, ntl:Telewest's customer base shrank by 18,900 in the quarter.

A spokesperson for ntl:Telewest told ZDNet UK on Wednesday that customer figures had fallen as "we tightened up the [NTL] credit policy [in line with Telewest's policy] so if you have a non-paying person we would disconnect them more quickly than before".

"Inevitably you will lose customers that way," the spokesperson continued, adding that people moving house in the summer was another contributing factor.

NTL acquired Telewest for £3.4bn in March, and Virgin Mobile was bought by the company for just under £1bn a month later.

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