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Virgin Media UK Contractors in Wrexham Attract More Complaints

Sunday, September 15th, 2019 (5:57 pm) - Score 2,313
virgin media project lightning rollout wrexham

The Offa Community Council in Wrexham (Wales) is to lodge a complaint with the main town council after local residents in several areas complained about Virgin Media’s “terrible” street works, which had been left like a “snails tail” and some driveways were inaccessible for over a week.

Sadly no pictures were provided to accompany the story on the Leader, which makes it difficult to judge. However it’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time that Virgin’s civil engineering teams have run into problems around Wrexham. At the end of last year some of their contractors were accused of “sexually inappropriate behaviour” by several women (here) and there have also been other issues with the impact of their works (here).

The current rollout appears to stem from their 2016 announcement, which saw Virgin Media pledge to extend their ultrafast broadband (mostly FTTP in this area) and TV network to cover an additional 24,000 premises around Wrexham as part of their Project Lightning scheme (here).

Meanwhile Wrexham Council said they were aware of the latest complaints and have raised them with the operator, although they have no powers to stop utility works from taking place but they do coordinate and inspect such works. The council can also order that remedial works be carried out if such work is found to be substandard or defective.

A Virgin Media spokesman said:

“Virgin Media is in the process of expanding its network in Wrexham which will bring ultrafast broadband speeds to local residents and businesses.

The condition of roads and pathways have been monitored throughout the build and we will work closely with the council to ensure that any corrective works are completed and meet the required standards. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

As stated earlier, it’s difficult to judge this particular case without more details and some pictures, although it’s worth noting that deploying new infrastructure like this is an expensive business and sadly there are occasions where the disruption can be quite significant.

Such disruption often rubs people up the wrong way, particularly if the prior notification is not received by everybody in good time (nobody likes having their driveway blocked for several days or weeks but sometimes this is unavoidable). We’ve seen plenty of similar gripes being directed toward other operators too, so Virgin is by no means alone.

Other types of street work (e.g. resurfacing roads or installing new gas pipes) can also be just as disruptive. However over the longer term a bit of disruption is usually a small price to pay for access to ultrafast broadband connectivity, which can also help to boost local property prices.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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7 Responses
  1. Avatar Mog

    We’ve had similar problems in Bridgend. Grass verges dig up on the street and not made good afterwards, concrete paths dug up and filled in with tar, no communications from contractors with driveways blocked without notice. The street had approximately 100 houses and they took three weeks to do the work and still haven’t finished. Complaints to project teams have been met with disinterest.

    Whole exercise has frustrated residents and people are saying that if the experiences are this bad now, they have no interest in finding out what the service is like when you have to pay for it and are not interested in buying and I have to agree.

  2. Avatar Meadmodj

    NRSWA Section 66: Avoidance of unnecessary delay or obstruction re “reasonable steps”. The Council has the powers they need. If it was Gas or Sewers (deep excavation) there may be a case for long periods but the contractor should not be creating unreasonable delay for comms simply for their convenience and what happened to plate steel if there is a delay?

  3. Avatar Jake

    Virgin Media appear to employ the most incompetent staff in the business. Literally the same happened on the housing estate next to me. New project lightning but they are slow as snails putting it in and destroyed several driveways and gardens during the process.

    As for the incompetent staff, I asked VM to survey my estate MULTIPLE times. Each time comes back ‘not economic for 11 homes’. But there are 400 homes on my estate so they missed 98% of the estate…? HOW? Oh because they are wholly incompetent.

    VM staff are also utterly incompetent at handling social media questions.
    VM staff are also equally incompetent at handling questions on their own forum. In fact they ignore such questions because they are clueless.

    VM waste everybodys time by registering on a website which is pointless.

    Their engineers (in vans) lie profusely when you ask them what they are doing and nobody has a clue what is going on. This malarky is a proper disgrace for their investors.

    This company behaves deplorably yet we all just want to be connected.

  4. Avatar James

    Virgin media are a terrible company and customer service is none existence
    Scamming people in to paying for faster speeds that they never give

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