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General => General Discussion => Topic started by: peter on January 25, 2013, 12:37:28 PM

 



Title: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: peter on January 25, 2013, 12:37:28 PM
Is anyone else in Thames Ditton having problems with Virgin Media Broadband?  I am consistently having problems.  Every Friday, the internet drops out at about 11a.m.  I call up the call centre in India and go through the usual script, reboot the modem etc etc and results in the same outcome - no service.  They schedule an engineer.  Then in the evening, the service comes back at some point.  The engineer never shows.

I'm going to write a formal complaint to them as I can't seem to get across that it is a regular problem.  Just wondered if anyone else has regular broadband problems with Virgin and whether it is a fault with equipment in Thames Ditton (e.g. some server device or something)?

That's my major gripe - secondary - since the speeds have doubled, my speed when I get service seems worse - I'm supposed to be on 60Mb but only tend to get around 10 or less.   


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Deborah on January 25, 2013, 01:52:59 PM
Mines been ok, but I do only use it early morning and late at night. Speed is also ok.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: tdres on January 25, 2013, 02:07:38 PM
I've had the same problem, peter.
Service generally pretty good until the last couple of weeks, then it was out most of the day last week sometime (I think Friday) and for about an hour this morning. Usually I just wait for it to come back - not much point contacting anyone unless it's out for a longer period as it does tend to get fixed reasonably promptly.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Juninho on January 25, 2013, 02:46:18 PM
If its any consolation for a week now I have had issues with Sky Broadband... intermittent dropping,etc.

I called up last night and got told there was potentially a fault on my line... I was on hold on my mobile whilst they were doing some 'tests' but the call got dropped (I need my broadband for my mobile as I use a sure signal box!) - and to be fair they tried calling back but got my answer machine.

I couldn't face being on hold for 20 minutes again so am waiting until the weekend to sort it...


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Admin on January 25, 2013, 03:03:38 PM
Yes.  After a terrible few years with BT Business broadband I switched to Virgin about four months ago and that has been pretty bad too.  My neighbour also switched, and that installation story was horrendous.

I also had a Virgin engineer ring the doorbell to announce that he had been called out to fix my telephone.  "You mean, this telephone I'm talking on as we speak?"  I asked: "I haven't called anyone out."  "Ah," said the engineer.  I added: "Perhaps you were called out to next door, as he has been having problems?"  "Nope - it says here number 6, and if that's what it says I can't do anything about the one at no. 4"  We said goodbye, laughing.

The basic problem, though they won't admit it, is that the sales teams have been signing up customers hand over fist for fast broadband (and the share price has been rocketing to giddy levels) but it seems they do not have the infrastructure in place to support it.  Virgin was choking the traffic (against their service level promises) in the evenings - I had speeds of down to 6MB at one point, instead of 30.  I have had several discussions with the techies.  It turned out that they "were awaiting a part" and that "the cable was degraded" and today's outage is the third this month while they try to fix that.

They told me it would be out until 1700, but it was up again at about 1300.  Last time they told me it would be out for nearly two days (but it turned out to be three-quarters of a day)

I have to say that the techies have been very responsive on the phone, and when I complained that I was not getting the service I am paying for, I have had my bill reduced for both December and January....

And BT was also bad - though not out for long; but with slow speeds, DNS failures and outrageous billing a frequent occurrence.

PS: see this thread: http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Up-to-30Mb-Speed/Esher-area-slow-in-evenings/td-p/1584986/highlight/false


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: peter on January 25, 2013, 03:23:04 PM
Quote from: Admin on January 25, 2013, 03:03:38 PM
Yes.  After a terrible few years with BT Business broadband I switched to Virgin about four months ago and that has been pretty bad too.  My neighbour also switched, and that installation story was horrendous.

I also had a Virgin engineer ring the doorbell to announce that he had been called out to fix my telephone.  "You mean, this telephone I'm talking on as we speak?"  I asked: "I haven't called anyone out."  "Ah," said the engineer.  I added: "Perhaps you were called out to next door, as he has been having problems?"  "Nope - it says here number 6, and if that's what it says I can't do anything about the one at no. 4"  We said goodbye, laughing.

The basic problem, though they won't admit it, is that the sales teams have been signing up customers hand over fist for fast broadband (and the share price has been rocketing to giddy levels) but it seems they do not have the infrastructure in place to support it.  Virgin was choking the traffic (against their service level promises) in the evenings - I had speeds of down to 6MB at one point, instead of 30.  I have had several discussions with the techies.  It turned out that they "were awaiting a part" and that "the cable was degraded" and today's outage is the third this month while they try to fix that.

They told me it would be out until 1700, but it was up again at about 1300.  Last time they told me it would be out for nearly two days (but it turned out to be three-quarters of a day)

I have to say that the techies have been very responsive on the phone, and when I complained that I was not getting the service I am paying for, I have had my bill reduced for both December and January....

And BT was also bad - though not out for long; but with slow speeds, DNS failures and outrageous billing a frequent occurrence.

PS: see this thread: http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Up-to-30Mb-Speed/Esher-area-slow-in-evenings/td-p/1584986/highlight/false

Thanks for the reply admin - and a bit annoying to learn switching to any other provider will not solve things!  Yes, today it came back about 2pm.  And I also have been told I will be without it for a few days.  I keep getting a tenner or twenty quid off my bill but I just want a reliable service.  I have also managed to get hold of technies who tell me the cable has degraded but I'm not sure I buy it (randomly selected from a book of excuses)?

On the subject of getting hold of the technies, is there a shortcut to doing this?  I get very frustrated calling the call centre in India to be walked through the modem reboot script (knowing full well this will not fix it) and then to be told an engineer will be booked to visit (after several hours the problem rectifies and I never hear back from the booked engineer anyway!).

I have written a complaint letter to them today.  I really wish they'd just get on and fix it as we are clearly experiencing the same issue as I suspect many are in Thames Ditton.

Also interesting to hear about the general slowness - some days I've had it as low as 1-2Mb and I'm supposed to be on 60 (and of course that's what they're charging me for)!


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Admin on January 25, 2013, 04:09:23 PM
If you have  a Virgin phone (as I now do) then dial 150.  I find that after a bit of automated rigmarole that gets through quite quickly, and sometimes it is to a person with a strong subcontinental accent, other times a brisk engineer from Yorkshire or Scotland...(these times seem to be when you call and receive a service message about 'problems in your area' at the outset of the call).

I could believe that the fibreoptic cables might be degraded as they were laid down by Nynex in about 1993.  That said, we have had no connection problems so far (touch wood!) with Virgin's cable TV which we've had for two years, nor with the phone which we've had with the broadband for about four months.

So I am inclined to think it's the reason above - sales team recruiting more customers than the system can handle (one Virgin engineer volunteered as much, at the roadside); engineers racing to catch up.

I've looked at their shares but they pay almost no dividend and have rocketed up so fast it can only be the success of the sales team that's driving the share price!


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: mg on January 25, 2013, 04:15:55 PM
Will make sure Robert reads this thread.  Don't think we can get any special service for Thames Ditton unfortunately !!!  I know that there has been a problem recently that the engineers have been trying to fix.  I also know that thieves stealing copper cables causes huge problems for areas but don't know if this has happened here. 


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on January 25, 2013, 04:23:10 PM
These are supposed to be fibreoptic!


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on January 25, 2013, 04:30:21 PM
...and I'm sure Robert will be aware from the Virgin community forum that there are similar problems in many other parts of the country, where customers complain that they are being choked ("traffic managed") contrary to the Virgin service commitments on that score, and get erratic and painfully slow speeds as Virgin tries to juggle all those it signs up to a network and system that quite clearly can't handle the load.  However, in this area they maintain that there are no capacity problems, and our problems are just to do with a need for maintenance.

All that said, I've found them responsive.  I just get the strong impression that it is not a joined-up organisation.  The episode with my neighbour's installation was another example of that.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: peter on January 25, 2013, 04:36:56 PM
Quote from: Keith on January 25, 2013, 04:30:21 PM
...and I'm sure Robert will be aware from the Virgin community forum that there are similar problems in many other parts of the country, where customers complain that they are being choked ("traffic managed") contrary to the Virgin service commitments on that score, and get erratic and painfully slow speeds as Virgin tries to juggle all those it signs up to a network and system that quite clearly can't handle the load.  However, in this area they maintain that there are no capacity problems, and our problems are just to do with a need for maintenance.

All that said, I've found them responsive.  I just get the strong impression that it is not a joined-up organisation.  The episode with my neighbour's installation was another example of that.

Who is Robert?  If he has the power to fix things, then I will buy him several beers.

<rant>
There are definitely capacity problems in this area judging by my experience, Admin's experience and several others.  And I've had problems since November so I wish they'd get on and do this maintenance..!  What exactly is this maintenance I wonder?  New cables down the street?  Or a new box at an exchange somewhere?

If you think about how much time collectively TD and Esher residents have probably spent on the phone to Customer Services, it would have paid for a new cable or box several times over!</rant>


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Emberman on January 25, 2013, 05:32:19 PM
Has anyone else found their Virgin broadband connection suddenly disconnects for no apparent reason? 

Switching the modem off for 30 secs, then on again, usually resolves the problem.  Sometimes I've also needed to right-click the LAN icon, then ask it to 'repair' the connection.   Occasionally I've had to do the above, then also reboot the laptop to regain the connection, which takes considerably longer !


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: mg on January 25, 2013, 06:53:57 PM
Robert is Vice President Controller of Virgin Media - so money side of things not technical.  Sorry - but I will get him to read this thread and then he can relay views on as appropriate.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on January 25, 2013, 07:31:38 PM
Quote from: Emberman on January 25, 2013, 05:32:19 PM
Has anyone else experienced the problem that their Virgin broadband connection suddenly disconnects for no apparent reason? 

Switching the modem off for 30 secs, then on again the problem usually resolves.  Sometimes I've also had to right click the LAN icon and ask it to 'repair' the connection.  Occasionally I've had to reboot the laptop to regain the connection.


Internet providers will use one main router to handle a substantial number of connections simultaneously via the same shared IP (Internet Protocol) address.  When the number sharing grows too large, connection speed can drop off or perhaps the connection is dumped by the router.  When you reboot your modem, it is seen as a new request for connection and the router assigns a new IP address to you.  Again, this is shared by a number of users, but load-sharing algorithms mean that your new request will be assigned to a router / server that has some capacity.  So your new connection works fine until.....a large number of users accumulates on it.  Then  you reboot....

Same for BT's ADSL connections - the problem you're seeing is in handling the requests at their end.

Sometimes - and this was often very bad with BT - your browser will take an age to get connected to the web server serving up the page you've requested.  Yet when you test your connection speed, it looks fine.  This problem is with the internet provider's DNS - Domain Name Servers.  When you request a web page, the Domain Name Server looks up its IP address from its domain name (e.g. www.bbc.co.uk) and sends the request for the page to the BBC's server bank, which sends it back to you.  If your provider's bank of domain name servers has insufficient capacity to handle all the users currently requesting pages, then your request can get delayed or hung up.  Again, it's a question of the internet service provider investing in enough capacity to get by most of the time, but not enough to handle peak loads.  In this second, DNS, case, rebooting won't make a blind bit of difference.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Admin on January 26, 2013, 06:35:16 PM
So, a day after the latest maintenance - and I am getting just 1.74MBps on what is supposed to be a 30MBps connection.

Dreadful.  Time for publicity, I think.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: rudi on January 26, 2013, 07:11:11 PM
I often work from home on a Friday and over the past 4-5 weeks our virgin broadband drops out between 11am and 12.30pm, just as Peter has described.  I'm also better off by several £10 apology payments but as Peter has said, we'd just like a reliable service.  Each time I call 150, I go through the unplug this, reboot that, wait, plug it in again routine and after an hour or so it comes back.  I've mentioned that it happens on a regular basis but they don't seem to care.

This Friday just gone I was 10mins into the conversation and the telephone line went dead.  I didn't bother calling back (like I've done before), half expecting/hoping that I'd get a call back from Virgin Media......  I'm glad I didn't hold my breath.  It came back up an hour later.

The better half often smirks to remind me that it was me that insisted on moving away from BT (bored with waiting for fibre to arrive and being told that it was coming next month, then next month, then...).


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Admin on January 26, 2013, 07:46:36 PM
BT was dreadful too!  And more expensive, all told...

Service message just now: "You might find that your Virgin TV, TiVo® service and Virgin Broadband is not working at the moment. An engineer is on his way.... Fault reference: F002323911"

Indeed you might.....yet again.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: peter on January 26, 2013, 08:28:19 PM
I love the way they say 'an engineer is on his way', as though there's someone at this very moment driving in their van to urgently look at the problem. 


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Admin on January 27, 2013, 01:32:30 PM
This morning's service message online repeats the above information but after all, it is a weekend....

Mine was down to 1.7MBps this morning.  I suppose they will say we should be thankful it is working at all.  But the fact is that in none of the four months since I signed with Virgin have I had the broadband service as advertised and stated in the service agreements.



Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Admin on January 28, 2013, 07:27:55 PM
Still very bad speeds.  Still "We have identified the problem and an engineer is on their way."  Well, that was Saturday night and now it's Monday night so I guess the engineer must be coming from the Kyle of Lochalsh!


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Admin on January 29, 2013, 08:05:48 AM
Speed down to 0.42 Mbps earlier, and the service schedule's target date to fix it is 8 pm tonight, 29 January.  We shall see.

Meanwhile mention of Virgin broadband in the men's changing-room at Colets yesterday afternoon brought forth a chorus of snorts and exclamations: "They are rubbish," one grizzled veteran averred.  "They 'upgrade' you to 30 Mb and you're lucky to get ten."

As is so often the case with these organisations, Virgin want customers to contact them by telephone to the call centre only.  They provide no email address on their website, nor a postal address for customer service or complaints.  If anyone here has a working address for email or written communications, would they please let me know?  Preferably not to their PR people, but to the management.  Thanks.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on January 29, 2013, 08:43:07 AM
Virgin Media's shares are up by over 75% since last May.  Their broadband offering includes this advertised statement: "want consistently fast broadband even at peak times, then you'll be fine with our up to 30Mb"

In the few months I have had the 30Mb package, speeds in the evening have more often than not been reduced to below 10mb; tests with the BBC streaming site have, on about 75% of evenings, shown that the connection speed is inadequate for streaming HD video; we have had four separate outages altogether; and explanations from the tech staff concerning each problem have sometimes been different from one day to the next.  Excuse after excuse, reason after reason: but the net result is that in no month have I had the service advertised and promoted.  When I read the other threads in the Virgin Media Help and Support forum, it's clear that there are many other regions (including Esher and Walton) where there are similar problems and identical reports of 'choking' - the euphemism for which is "traffic management."

Yet they continue to bombard householders in the area with 'offers' to sign up more customers for a network that appears unable to support them at the speeds advertised.  And even though I succumbed and had Virgin Broadband installed, along with the TV and Phone (which last two work well, so far), they are still mailshotting me with the same offer!


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: peter on January 29, 2013, 08:58:45 AM
I wrote to them last week at this address:

Complaints, Virgin Media, PO Box 333, Matrix Court, Swansea, SA7 9ZJ.

I think Watchdog, Trading Standards or Ofcom maybe the next port of call.  It is truly shocking that they can provide such awful service and continue to sign people up with the promise of Usain Bolt speeds.  If UB lived in Thames Ditton and used Virgin Media, I'm sure he'd think twice about endorsing such pathetic speeds/service!

Ooh I do love a good vent in the morning!


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Juninho on January 29, 2013, 09:02:17 AM
Well at least you are 'eligible' for the offer !

I have a friend who gets the mailshot and tried calling them only to be told they don't do the super fast in his area yet but they can sign him up and he'll pay more than what he currently does (good deal no).

And like I said - if its any consolation I ahve not had decent broadband at home sicne the middle of last month.

Still - the plus side is that I can finally have time to read all those baby books I have been given... oops turns out I ahve been doing it all wrong (as I was using the internet for my 'advice' !!)...

Oh dear...
Quote from: Keith on January 29, 2013, 08:43:07 AM
they are still mailshotting me with the same offer!


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Admin on January 29, 2013, 09:12:27 AM
Quote from: peter on January 29, 2013, 08:58:45 AM
I wrote to them last week at this address:

Complaints, Virgin Media, PO Box 333, Matrix Court, Swansea, SA7 9ZJ.

I think Watchdog, Trading Standards or Ofcom maybe the next port of call.  It is truly shocking that they can provide such awful service and continue to sign people up with the promise of Usain Bolt speeds.  If UB lived in Thames Ditton and used Virgin Media, I'm sure he'd think twice about endorsing such pathetic speeds/service!

Ooh I do love a good vent in the morning!


Thanks, peter.  I will write to them too.

I was likewise thinking of referring the issues to Trading Standards in Surrey.  Of course, citizens throughout the nation have been complaining that headline speeds were not usually delivered whichever provider is involved, but the providers weasel out of that by pointing to the small print promising "up to" the headline speed.  However, Virgin Media's promotional material is full of specific activities you are supposed to be able carry out with their 30 MB or 60 MB services, and the raw truth seems to be that you can't do those things for significant parts of the time (especially in the evenings, just when you are at home,on the internet and may want to be watching streaming video).  Their advertising therefore looks to be misleading.

PS: I know we have several members who are in senior positions in the media, particularly TV.  If you are reading this thread, please pm me.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Admin on January 29, 2013, 09:53:27 AM
I have now dug out the email address: webteam@virginmedia.com  but have yet to test whether this meets with a response or is one of those "don't call us, we'll call you" emails.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on January 29, 2013, 11:15:27 AM
Ah! - here is a useful website (http://www.saynoto0870.com/companysearch.php) if you are tired of being ripped off by premium calls to automated call centres: "Say No to 0870"  I found this in following a comment on the news that the private company running HM Revenue and Customs’ 0845 telephone helplines (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/tax/9832821/HMRC-hotlines-make-six-figure-profits.html) is making hundreds of thousands of pounds in profit from taxpayers' calls

They list freephone and landline alternatives.  A search for Virgin Media reveals a page full of telephone numbers.  Including:
0800 9522044 (freephone) Customer relations  Also for: 0845 454 2222
0800 9539500 Broadband services
01256 752000 Head office switchboard
Also for: 0845 454 2222, 0845 840 7777
0800 0520800 Customer services & faults
Head office switchboard: 01256 752000 formerly 0800 953 1800

"Unverified numbers database":
0800 0521865 Broadband complaints
0800 0528310 Customer Relations; Mon-Fri, 0800-2000
0800 0520339 Customer services / ?complaints department
0800 0521920 Customer Services
and the interesting:
0800 9522283 "Chief Executive's Office Complaints Team" The website notes: "This is direct to a small team dealing with 'escalated complaints' only. STAND YOUR GROUND BUT BE POLITE. Be prepared for a firm attempt to deflect complaint"

01256 754554 Neil Berkett CEO (Chief Executive Officer)
0151 477 7734 "151 This is the direct number to Managers in the faults department for escalating unresolved fault issues. I have always found them to be very helpful in sorting out issues which others were unable to."


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Admin on January 29, 2013, 03:52:02 PM
Quote from: Admin on January 29, 2013, 08:05:48 AM
Speed down to 0.42 Mbps earlier, and the service schedule's target date to fix it is 8 pm tonight, 29 January.  We shall see.



Hello again.... By the looks of it the engineer finally arrived in the area, for after being out altogether this afternoon, we are now back up on the internet with - so far - 30MB.

I'll keep doing the speed tests & streaming tests  to see whether the capacity problems that have been choking speeds down in the evening continue.  We've been here before....


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: peter on January 29, 2013, 08:45:29 PM
I came across these other links whilst reading about VM user experiences:

http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Up-to-60Mb-Setup-Equipment/KT7-loss-of-connection-for-24hours-ref-F002164702/td-p/1465228[/url]
[url]http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Up-to-30Mb-Setup-Equipment/KT7-Connection-Failure/td-p/490987[/url]
[url]http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Up-to-30Mb-Setup-Equipment/Catastrophic-speed-latency-and-jitter-in-KT7-for-more-than-a/td-p/1115381[/url]

Ok, they are not 2013 but the first guy describes Friday drop outs - familiar? The last guy ends up leaving VM as they don't care.

Over subscription article in Bristol (sounds like KT7 too):
[url]http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/Virgin-ridiculous-Broadband-problems-caused/story-17122675-detail/story.html

And today, I had a Facebook advert from VM advertising their new underground/tube station service - the comments about service were very telling:

www.facebook.com/virginmedia (http://www.facebook.com/virginmedia) and look at comments under the virgin wifi post.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on January 30, 2013, 10:28:34 AM
It's good to see the social media and Virgin's own forum being used by so many of their customers to belie their corporate public relations spin.  The cumulative weight of evidence is impressive.  And these are just the people who make the effort to protest.  How great must be the multiplier of all those who either don't know how to check their speeds or don't bother, or are so deadened by the endless effort needed to get institutions to do their job that they have given up.

Meanwhile:  since the maintenance yesterday, the speed here has been as advertised with no choking over the past 18 hours, and streaming speed adequate for HD video.  Let us (me, peter, rudi and any other local virgins) keep tabs on the speeds at recorded dates/times.  It's tedious, but without the evidence they will easily wriggle out of criticism.  There are various speed testers, and I have found that the one Virgin's help forum recommends is rather suspect - it will tell you you have a 30Mb connection when in fact on other evidence you don't.  The best and most consistent one I have found is:

http://www.broadband.co.uk/broadband-speed-test/

and the BBC iplayer diagnostics site (which carries out streaming tests of your connection)  is impeccable - and does not reflect any commercial interest in promoting broadband providers or in getting you to switch.  Moreover, you are measuring one of those very activities that, according to Virgin's promotional statements, you want their broadband in order to do:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/diagnostics


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Thames Dittonite on January 30, 2013, 12:23:46 PM
Our TV and broadband is down again between 11am and 3pm.
TOTAL RUBBISH!


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: tdres on January 30, 2013, 01:27:45 PM
Mine too - out twice today and just come back on.

I spoke to them yesterday but all I was offered (eventually!)was a measly £6 off my bill and no explanation.

I've been with Virgin for years and usually they've been good, but this year has been terrible so far.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: peter on January 30, 2013, 01:31:35 PM
Yup - it's out again in Thames Ditton.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: peter on January 30, 2013, 01:50:17 PM
There is a fault disruption.

You might find that your Virgin TV, TiVo® service and Virgin Broadband is not working at the moment.

Fault reference: F002330557

Reported at 01.12pm.  Will be fixed by 05:15p.m. according to https://my.virginmedia.com/faults/service-status

I wish they described what exactly the fault is.

>:(


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Admin on January 30, 2013, 02:21:39 PM
Dreadful - yet again.  After less than a day since it was patched up, disconnected from 11.20 to 1410.

Meanwhile the bard of Thames Ditton has sent in the following doggerel, which he says is "based on Coleridge's Ancient Mariner but fortunately not as long, though it could have been."


"An Engineer Is On His Way"

As I drove home one stormy night
I thought I passed a van
A spectral van in dirty white
And in it was a man

All haggard and awry was he
He grimaced.  As in fear
I passed this ghost, he cried to me
"I am an Engineer"

"I'm on my way." His voice was faint
"Still on my way...." - he cried
I saw the word in faded paint:
'Twas 'Virgin' on its side

At home down was the line today
And flickering on the screen
I saw the words "I'm on my way...."
A ghost in the machine

I typed a question in. To wit:
Where are you going to?
"I know not where's the end of it
"But somewhere near to you

"Or near to someone else"
he said;
"No matter where I go
"The problem is the system's dead
"Or nearly dead. I know

"They're coining money hand o'er fist
"New customers have bought
"Subscriptions. There's more on the list
"Than networks can support

"But still they sell, and still they sell
"So customers go mad
"With rage in this abysmal Hell.
"Now when I was a lad

"A company did what it said
"For which it charged a fee.
"Or else it ended in the red.
"But things have changed.  You see

"They advertise the branded name
"And sell their mothers dear
"But when it all goes wrong they blame
"The unhappy Engineer."


I'm sorry for you Sir, said I
No wonder you're a ghost
I see right through the Virgin Plan; aye -
All at consumer cost
A cunningly inviting plan; breathtaking plan; heart-aching plan
Where virgin innocence is lost....

I'd switch to British Telecom
Whose services I had
Alas, there's no escaping from
The fact they were as bad.

However, seeing Virgin's stock
Has gone up like a rocket
I think I'll buy myself a block
So I'm not out of pocket.

As for the Engineer, I trust
He one day will arrive
At peace: a well-deserved rest
So we again may live.
With internet at our behest, the service problems well addressed, their customers will be impressed
And Virgin may survive.



Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Flex on January 30, 2013, 02:30:31 PM
Perhaps the service should be renamed "Verging on broadband" ??


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Ratty on January 31, 2013, 11:27:40 AM
10:30 am Virgin Media Broadband & TV down again today: Ref: 23054108

Spoke to someone who eventually admitted it's the same fault dating back to 25th and offered £10 compensation.

Worst part is I am also with Vodaphone and the signal booster works through the router so can't use mobile when this happens either.

Back in the office now :(


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on January 31, 2013, 11:56:46 AM
Sorry to hear you are having problems today.  I had hoped they'd fixed things.  Mine is working so far today, with speeds as advertised.  Cable TV was partly malfunctioning  last night but responded to reboot / reinsertion of card.

PS: however, I expect further problems for on viewing the Virgin support forum I see:

There is a fault disruption.
You might find that your Virgin TV, TiVo® service and Virgin Broadband is not working at the moment.
Fault reference: F002323911

Engineer on site
Estimated fix 15.00


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Rhodrich on February 02, 2013, 07:23:52 PM
My Virgin broadband went through a very bad patch a few months ago, but it's been fine recently.  Currently getting the following on an 'up to 30mb' package:

(http://www.speedtest.net/result/2481529503.png) (http://www.speedtest.net)

I've got no complaints.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on February 03, 2013, 11:23:19 AM
Mine's working at the moment, but the Virgin tech forum tells me there's (yet) another fault in my area:
You might find that your Virgin Broadband, Virgin TV or TiVo® services are intermittent, with the picture freezing or disappearing now and then.
Fault reference: F002334615  Reported Sat 2 Feb, "An Engineer is on their way", estimated fix time 4pm Monday....


Fortunately it was OK for the rugger yesterday.




Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on February 04, 2013, 01:29:02 PM
Despite being on the mail preference list to avoid junk mail, I get another sales envelope from Virgin this morning encouraging me ("Householder") to sign up.  But I am already signed up...

I can't help noticing that alongside their logo is the slogan: "KEEP UP"....


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on February 05, 2013, 08:34:12 AM
Virgin Media's shares have leapt by almost 15% 28% 13% this morning -  "in discussions" with Liberty Global, Inc. (LBTYB), an international cable company.

Liberty Global, now there are two words to conjure with.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Juninho on February 05, 2013, 08:43:35 AM
Luckily for me I bought a boat load following the resolution of your broadband issues!!!!













I wish!

;D
Quote from: Keith on February 05, 2013, 08:34:12 AM
Virgin Media's shares have leapt by almost 15% 28% this morning -  "in discussions" with Liberty Global, Inc. (LBTYB), an international cable company.

Liberty Global, now there are two words to conjure with.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on February 05, 2013, 08:59:36 AM
I thought about it but concluded that they had gone up too far, too fast.  Drat.

However, further evidence that a TD Misery Fund that had bought into BT, Stagecoach, Virgin Media, Carillion and May Gurney would have done very well.  Harder to acquire a stake in Thames Water, although China has done so - it is owned by Kemble Water, which is in turn mostly owned by the Australian  Macquarie Group, listed in Oz but not here. 


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on February 05, 2013, 11:51:34 AM
Now a DT article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/9849237/Billionaire-John-Malone-eyes-Virgin-Media.html

"....Virgin Media has since made a comeback, turning its first annual profit in 2011 and then seeing record numbers sign up to the service following its high-profile advertising campaign in the second half of 2012 ..."


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on February 06, 2013, 08:19:20 AM
In the takeover Virgin have stated that they have increased the number of cable customers by 88,700 over the last year.

Here in Thames Ditton, the last (TV) fault reported 2 Feb was scheduled to be fixed yesterday.  This morning the Viirgin Media faults page reveals that yet another (fairly minor) fault with TV in this area was reported yesterday and should be fixed today.

Virgin Media's boss Neil Berkett (http://uk.news.yahoo.com/liberty-global-buys-virgin-media-071231292--finance.html): "Virgin Media and Liberty Global have a shared ambition, focus on operational excellence and commitment to driving shareholder value."


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on February 08, 2013, 09:42:58 AM
Yet another fault with Virgin Broadband and TV in our area, reported on 7 Feb Fault reference: F002341899
"an Engineer is on their way"... expected to fix today.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on February 10, 2013, 10:01:46 AM
And again in TD area: Partial probs with TV reported 9 Feb  Fault reference: F002344219  'an engineer &c &c'  estimated fix by 12.40 today


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on February 12, 2013, 08:03:05 AM
And another partial Virgin cable  TV fault in TD: Fault reference: F002346629, reported 11 Feb, "Engineer on way..."


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Ratty on February 12, 2013, 10:49:06 AM
The reference numbering therefore suggests there have been 2410 faults across their networks since Sunday. Oh well, at least we're not alone  ::)


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on February 13, 2013, 12:14:00 PM
and another, reported yesterday in TD, partial TV fault ref: F002348296

I keep seeing these expensive Virgin Media marketing ads saying that unlike other providers, you get the speeds/service they say you get!

However, for nine whole days now I have been getting the 30MB speed round the clock, for the first time since I signed up at the beginning of November.  How about the rest of you Virgins?

Meanwhile the Fund of Misery portfolio, now in its eighth day, is showing an increase of 2.03% against the FTSE 100's upwards crawl of +0.6% in the same period.  Have we hit upon a novel investment strategy (relationship between customer misery and better returns for shareholders?).... time will tell ....


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: peter on February 14, 2013, 10:45:23 AM
I am still waiting to hear back from Virgin regarding my complaint letter - it's been over 2 weeks now.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: peter on February 16, 2013, 04:28:53 PM
Speed dropped to 0.14 Mbps at 3.30 today for over 1 hour - was unusable.  Back at 26 now although I am supposed to be getting 60. 


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on February 18, 2013, 09:39:01 AM
That's dreadful.  I see that today in the TD area (of my Virgin line) there are no outstanding faults reported and Virgin claim: "Good service."

I know what it's like, this is probably a red rag to the bull, but have you put in a current report about your continued choking periods?

When you see those glossy TV ads proclaiming that you get what they promise, it makes you furious doesn't it?!


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: peter on March 11, 2013, 10:00:52 PM
Speed is down at 0.4 mbps - should be 60. Can't stream. Anyone else got VM broadband speed issues this evening?


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on March 11, 2013, 10:28:52 PM
Quote from: peter on March 11, 2013, 10:00:52 PM
Speed is down at 0.4 mbps - should be 60. Can't stream. Anyone else got VM broadband speed issues this evening?


Mine is OK, just round the corner from you, and has remained at or near the stated 30Mb since I last reported, and BBC streaming tests are OK.  Checking the fault reports online, for my number there is only a partial TV fault reported:
"There is a fault disruption.
You might not be able to watch certain programmes on Catch Up TV and TV On Demand on your Virgin TV or TiVo® service at the moment.
Fault reference: F002380430"  Engineer on the way &c.

It would seem that your particular installation is giving particular trouble?  In our case, various engineers' tests and visits found (in addition to the local area fault) that our signal strength was not correctly tuned.  They say that the wireless link from the user PC to the router/hub can be problematic, but I guess you have put your machine right next to the hub for testing (we have two hard-wired, with network cables, and another wireless)


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Ratty on March 21, 2013, 05:48:03 PM
Down to 0.14Mbps today. Called Virgin an the admitted this is due to the same fault reported back in February "But it'll be fixed by tomorrow".

Held out for my £20 rebate again. Hopefully a bean counter in Virgin will spot the payouts and give the engineers a kick up the backside to fix it.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Admin on March 29, 2013, 09:49:07 AM
Mail reports (http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-2300497/Virgin-Media-unlimited-broadband-ad-banned-BSkyB-BT-complain-misleading-heavy-downloaders-speeds-cut-HALF.html): "Virgin Media 'unlimited' broadband ad banned after BSkyB and BT complain it's misleading"

My broadband was cut off two days ago during 'maintenance' in the area but then resumed.



Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Ratty on March 29, 2013, 09:21:37 PM
My rebate plan failed as it turned out that despite their having being promised them on the phone they weren't actually added to the account.

Then because they weren't shown on the system they never existed as far as the overseas call handler was concerned.

It took a 45 minute phone call and my request to discontinue the service before I was passed to the UK retention team and the refunds agreed. Then had call from engineer yesterday to assure me that the technical problems had suddenly been solved and would I consider a 30Mb super hub as an incentive to stay. Today my speed is back down to just under 5Mbs and the service status page suggests an engineer will not be out to fix the problem until Monday.  >:(


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Ferris on April 15, 2013, 08:29:23 PM
I live in Thistledene and since moving in we had VM and a 20Mb connection, which seemed pretty good and regularly got 20Mb.  End of last summer we did the free upgrade to 60Mb and regularly get 1Mb, most of the time get 15 to 20, every now and then get 30Mb, but never get close to the 60Mb on offer.

A couple weeks ago (and not for the first time) we were trying to stream a film to the TV and performance was rubbish, a quick check revealed 1.4Mb so we called the VM helpline.  Cut a long story short I wasted 2h of my life before the dude in a Indain call centre hung up.  Nice.  We gave up.  Few hours later we were back to 'normal' performance.

I find the systems with these sort of companies are okay, but the second you need to deal with a human on a phone you are dead.  TBF the guys who come out on site are pretty good in my experience.  Recently I need to re-route my 'cable' where it crosses my front lawn (to a pipe I had laid under the lawn), VM standard call out was £125, and the thought of all that pain, and the chance they mess it up and we have no Broadband etc.  I bought the special connecters online and did it myself.  Less than a fiver and 1 1/2 hours.  Job done.

Mark


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on April 15, 2013, 08:56:17 PM
After a few weeks when I was getting at or close to the target 30Mb round the clock, things have lately begun to deteriorate in the evening with speeds choked back to around 18MB.  I have not yet summoned up the energy to complain again, as although 18MB is not what they advertise and promise it is not at the pain threshold.  But it's heading downwards.....

However on checking their service website they claim 'good service' for broadband in my area although there is (yet another) fault with the cable TV catchup and OD service.

Your speeds of 1 - 5 MBps are shocking and it is high time that the responsible press began to publicise these serious and protracted shortcomings.  Virgin can spend oodles on ads with Branson and David Tennant but the truth is not getting an airing.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: peter on April 15, 2013, 11:25:48 PM
I just had a 20 outage - total loss of BB.  11.05-11.25pm


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on April 23, 2013, 10:09:56 PM
And our On Demand TV is completely up the spout.  "An engineer is working..."


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on April 25, 2013, 12:29:46 PM
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/virgin-media-apologises-after-late-payment-fee-bill-sent-to-deceased-customer-goes-viral-on-twitter-and-facebook-8587530.html


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Keith on June 27, 2013, 08:39:24 AM
Ofcom's figures (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/10144317/BT-suffers-surge-in-complaints-about-its-TV-service.html) show that Orange and Everything Everywhere generated the most complaints about broadband, at 0.57 per 1,000 customers. Virgin generated the fewest on broadband for the first time since the Spring of 2011.

Mine's been stable these last two months....


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Deborah on June 27, 2013, 06:32:21 PM
I have never had a problem. Always been excellent!


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Ratty on April 25, 2014, 05:13:53 PM
Problems with Virgin Media broadband again today which are expected to continue until the end of the month.

Apparently the system will not allow them to credit my account for the loss of service  as I have already received a "goodwill payment" within the last 12 months to compensate for their poor service!!  ???


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: peter on April 25, 2014, 05:57:12 PM
Mine was also not working from 11am->4pm.  Very annoying.  I managed to see a Virgin Engineer on Watts Road - he said the box there (near the fallen tree) was the main route into Thames Ditton and it had no signal - he suspected someone had drilled through a cable although who knows.


Title: Re: Virgin Media Broadband
Post by: Juninho on April 28, 2014, 09:11:16 AM
Sounds like they are quite quick at getting it fixed then?

I left sky and joined virgin a few months back - we have had a few days when it has been down for a few hours but no more or less than sky. Generally the download speed when I check it is +30 and I am told it will go up in a few months.

The upload is not amazing though - circa 2/3. My sister has fibre through BT and they get closer to 20 upload. I don't upload at all really - so again not an issue for me.


I do find I randomly have to reboot the router every now and then (i.e. turn it off and turn it on again - 95% of issues with computer related stuff seems to be solved by this!) - this more for the wifi.

I reckon I have to do this once every couple of weeks on average so not a big deal.




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