Monday, 8 March 2010

What?! No Subtitles!?

A few weeks ago I had a bit of a Twitter disagreement with Virgin Media because I felt it was unfair to advertise broadband as costing less when you took a phone line in addition, than if you just got broadband on it's own.

Now, I know that just broadband is cheaper than a phone line and broadband put together, but what I really wanted to know was why, if broadband only costs £12.50 to line-renting customers who pay a further £11 for their line rental, it can't cost just £12.50 for broadband customers? I mean, I’m deaf, I don’t want a phone line, but I do want broadband for £12.50 a month.

Does this make sense? Or am I just being blonde about the whole thing?

Long story short, it was a discussion that went nowhere, so I bought a Vodafone Pay-As-You-Go Dongle for my laptop, which is incidentally fabulous, and forgot all about Virgin Media.

Then yesterday, I began to wonder if perhaps I shouldn’t have been so hasty after all when I was at London Aunt's house. You see, she has the broadband, phone and TV package with Virgin Media and, as we were tired, we thought an afternoon movie might be a nice idea.

There was nothing on TV that caught the imaginations of London Cousins 1 and 2 so we decided to investigate the Movies On Demand section, which I didn’t even know existed. ‘How exciting,’ I thought. ‘This would be worth paying that little bit extra for!’

With a massive selection of movies to choose from, Night At The Museum 2 was duly selected and we pressed play.

But…

…no subtitles

‘Doh, silly me!’ I thought, before stopping the movie, going into settings and turning on the subtitles.

Still no subtitles!

Seriously, I checked three further times just to make sure but there really didn't seem to be any. There wasn't even an ‘S’ in brackets like you get on normal TV when calling up the programme information!

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?!

With two excitable cousins waiting to watch the movie, I couldn’t very well suggest watching the EastEnders Omnibus instead, so I watched Night At The Museum 2 without hearing a single word.

London Aunt and Cousins 1 and 2 did an admirable job at keeping me informed of the storyline as much as possible, but apart from that, all I could do was watch the pictures. It was like being back in the 90s again. It was depressing. Even worse, it cost London Aunt £3 and something pence to buy! The DVD with subtitles and special feature probably doesn't cost a whole lot more than that – in fact, I just checked and it’s available for £6.98.

Keen to see what they'd say about this, I tweeted Virgin Media this morning first thing and eagerly awaited their reply as they were very speedy last time. Nothing has come through yet, but once it does I will update this post.

However, a quick Google revealed a press release from Virgin Media about the lack of subtitles currently available on On Demand. So it really is true. And although I am sure, like the iPlayer, something will eventually be done about this, it makes me sad that there are no apparent – please correct me if I’m wrong – concessions for a service that doesn’t serve deaf people well.

There’s only one thing for it – at lunchtime, I’m ordering the Night At The Museum DVD from Amazon using my laptop and internet from my Vodafone Pay-As-You-Go Dongle.

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