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'The nthell:world web forum is one of the earliest examples of an independent effort mobilised by consumers against the actions of a single company. Formed in 2000 by NTL customer Frank Whitestone, it is a consumer lobby community, which set out to provide a public sounding board for customers disgruntled by the company's service. Currently numbering over 25,000 members, nthell:world became an influential force because its focus concentrated, laser-like, on just one service provider (now Virgin Media), offering a space for customers to vent, share and highlight poor-quality provision. In what has become a public relations risk, company representatives who type "[Company Name] sucks" into Google will often find that just such grassroots campaigns have been started against them.

'Although the body of customer experience passing through the nthell:world represented bad publicity in high definition, in recognition of the positive contribution the site's users were making to improving its services, NTL's CEO Simon Duffy met the site's owners in 2005 to discuss integrating nthell:world into the company's own customer service offering — ensuring urgent problems highlighted on the forum were routed into the organisation's existing infrastructure. Founder Whitestone later sold the site to NTL and joined the company as staff.'

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