Virgin Media

Product Ratings
Services
38%
Support
36%
Speed
44%
Value
41%
Summary: The definition of s**t
April 27th, 2017 (Last Edited: April 27th, 2017)
I have previously been with Virgin Media, and only switched my internet to BT as, at the time, my work required me to have a BT line, and I was wasting a lot of money having 2 phone lines, the Virgin Media and the BT. I was generally happy enough, even though signal-to-noise faults happened quite regularly until they replaced my old, damaged coax cable.

After BT announced their April 2017 price rises I spoke to them to try to negotiate a deal so that my price wouldn't increase. They flat-out refused, as I was still in my minimum term (even though I could have, and then actually did, leave).

I went back to Virgin Media, and the whole transfer process was unnecessarily complicated and lengthened by Virgin's and BT's incompetence and arbitrary timescales, not to mention the fact that Virgin's activation system was down when I was installed, and they gave me a broken router first of all!

Once I was online, I started noticing issues with the connection. I have a VoIP FritzBox! for calling overseas relatives, and it worked fine on BT, but not at all on Virgin Media. The pings were also ridiculously high and variable (see https://i.imgur.com/yHn7WXcl.jpg), which was making SSH, gaming and WhatsApp/Skype calls difficult or impossible.

I reported the fault as soon as I noticed it, and to be fair to them, they sent out a first engineer very quickly. But that engineer claimed to have fixed it, when they hadn't really. I had to ask for another engineer, for which I had to wait a while. The same happened again (it was even the same engineer!). I was then told that an Area Manager had to come out and look at it, as it was beyond the normal technician's abilities.

Three times I was promised the attendance of an Area Manager. Three times the same normal engineer as before turned up, and once even in the morning when I'd arranged for the evening.

When I started making noises around 3 or 4 appointments in, they weren't taking it seriously - they were just giving me loss of service credits for the time the fault was there. After 5 appointments I was graciously allocated a telephone appointment with a certain high-up Steven, who was supposedly a master problem-fixer with an amazing track-record.

The problem was, this was nearly 2 months since installation, and I was still struggling to use the internet service for basic things like SSH and VoIP. And the earliest appointment available with Steve was nearly 2 weeks off.

I finally called in to submit a formal complaint, as it was getting ridiculous by this point. Instead of letting it go all the way, the agent I spoke with recognised that I was a problem customer and agreed to let me cancel free of charge.

Now I've just got to fight over the billing, to get a total refund of everything I've paid - I'm not paying for a service as awful as the one they provided.

Let's not forget their technician's hollow promise of a free TiVo V6 box, as the huge Samsung 500GB box they tried to install wouldn't fit. Nope, £120 + £5/month. Ha!

I'm also going to have to spend a very long time trying to understand how the hell that bodge, also known as my extension phone wiring, was done. The very definition of s**t.
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Value
Summary: So far so good
April 18th, 2017 (Last Edited: April 18th, 2017)
The new house I moved to a month ago is a factory conversion with 100 or so properties (apartments and townhouses). The whole place is prewired for Virgin, including 2 dedicated risers. There is no BT FTTC in this area, so there is no realistic alternative to Virgin.

Having heard numerous bad reports, I was nervous about signing up, but so far they have been great. The installation engineer came on time and got it all commissioned. In the month since it has never dropped below 220Mbits/sec, 20Mbits/sec upload and around 10ms ping.
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Summary: ok
April 3rd, 2017 (Last Edited: April 3rd, 2017)
works ok
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Summary: Avoid.
January 28th, 2017 (Last Edited: January 28th, 2017)
Virgin provide a mixed bag with their fibre service. The 200Mbps package, unless you're lucky enough to be in a building that's struck a deal with Hyperoptic, is the fastest option available.

When it works, it is fast - if you're not being throttled during peak times - but plenty of times it simply isn't working. The occasional down-time is to be expected but I had problems with receiving the service being paid for at least once or twice every two months, but it isn't the frequency of the issues that was the worst, it was the duration they lasted that are what make them Virgin an unbearable ISP.

In the four-ish months I've had them in my current property (yeah I should've learned my lesson from the previous time, but the previous owners were with them and there was no phone line installed...) there have been three times where we've been left with speeds of 1mbps for more than a week each time. There are only several countries in Africa that have lower average internet speeds than that, even Somalia has an average of 1.7Mbps! And that is the crux of the problem with Virgin, their reliability is not good enough and too frequently not providing even a 10th of the internet speed you should be.

If you want to send them an email then I wish you luck in your endeavour of finding a contact address to send it to. They do have an option to speak to an agent online via chat, but I've yet to see one available such is the volume of the issues they must have to deal with on a daily basis, they are a genuine rarity. On the times upon reaching them through their phone support lines they more often than not are helpful, I mean, it's not their fault my internet is terrible. Bless them, they do try to sort it out with channel changes, hub restarts, rain dances, and I let them get on with it even though I've already done them all innumerable times in the vague hope that something might reignite, and every time to no avail. It normally results in credit off my next bill for the duration of the outage, but that's a small consolation and not the point, I'd rather not have any money off and instead have a usable service 99% of the time.

In a World where most leisure time is spent on, or involves to some extent, the internet the frequency and duration of the service is not acceptable. I'll never, ever use them again after giving them a second chance in a different location only to experience the same recurring issues time and time again.

We're too carried away with speed, no one *needs* 200Mbps. I will forever value reliability over speed as the most important criteria and would happily switch to a 30Mbps service that provided exactly what I was paying for 99.9% of the time over a 100-200Mbps theoretical service.

Be warned folks, don't let the promise of speed blind you from what really matters.
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Summary: I'm happy with VM
January 26th, 2017 (Last Edited: January 26th, 2017)
I have been with VM and before that Telewest for a number of years. There have been a few outages over the years but overall the service has been fine. I currently get the full 200Mbps most of the time with a slight slow down at peak times. Uploads speeds are poor compared with the competition, capped at 12Mbps on Vivid 200 or 20Mbps if you pay an extra £5 per month for the Gamer tier.

Telephone support isn't always great, especially if you end up offshore, but the VM community forum has good folks working on it. They can be slow to respond, but don't give you alternative facts like the phone support staff. I would avoid VM for email as it has been flaky since they stopped paying Google to manage it for them and took it in house. Best to use a Gmail address or other web mail provider as it will also be portable if you leave VM for another ISP.
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