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Virgin Media - Delayed Installations and Denied Service Calls

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
To give some insight to why I'm posting this, before recently turning my attention to mobile connectivity and joining this fine community here to share and discuss, I spent a lot of time over at Virgin Media Community Forums discussing and supporting Virgin Media customers using my 10 years customer experience and technical knowings about cable broadband (specially Virgin Media)

Over the past year, it won't of escaped anyones attentioned that theres been something going on in the world that has crippled the daily lives that we lived/lead in say 2019....

However, as a now previous Virgin Media customer, who up until then end of February managed 4 Virgin Media accounts (previously 9 accounts) I found myself at the start of tghe pandemic forced into heading to the Virgin Forums to get information on and support from staff after spending 36 days trying to reach support about a billing issue (lines unavailable for support)

While the staff at the forum where a great help, despite having the world on their hands, I noticed a terrible trend of existing customers asking for help being told NO way to much,

The following is a postof mine pasted from a thread over at the VMCF...

I find it somewhat ridiculous that there is still refusal to do work for existing customers, but new customer installations have not stopped during the whole lock down periods.

I might add that also during the periods mentioned that Openreach and Contractors have continued work both inside and outside of homes, Sky also continued to support customers (albeit for a short period during lockdown 2 they where not entering homes), but this restriction has been revoked and they are now entering homes for a ll manner of services.

As previously mentioned, Virgin hasn't had any issue with sending engineers into homes to install new services or send engineers for faults (big and small)

I think if I was 'still' a customer and was asking for Virgin to maintain my service for a cost, I would expect some damned action..

But of course, we can keep blaming covid, because there's no ethic anymore.

Liberty Global need to check themselves, not even having a waiting list available is ridiculous,

The mess I foresee once Virgin lift the bar on service calls is going to lead to waiting lists as long as 6-12 months I think, the amount of customers awaiting 2nd box installs will no doubt be their first priority and the amount of outstanding work of this type that's been put on hold over the past year is not going to clear overnight that's for sure.


I feel pretty positive that a significant following here are Virgin Media customers and probably had or still having issues like these or related, and encourage them to post/vent here as the community at Virgin Media is somewhat blind to customer service and expectations of customers.
 

Meatball

Pro Member
I am not a fan of VM but have recently returned as FTTP is not on the horizon for some time. Its taken 4 weeks to get the M350 consistently above 250 during busy periods but we are finally there, I hope. Like most ISP help desks they go straight to "it must be you" but as soon as you are clear that you have disconnected everything other than the Router, connecting via wired device and are testing using the Speedtest on their own web site every hour it cuts them short and they appear to transfer you, not sure if its technically different but at least I had a more sensible conversation.

I had a self install but given the Covid situation I think their "Where QuickStart is unavailable, we’re still installing Virgin TV boxes for new customers, but for now we won’t install any extra TV boxes to minimise our technicians’ time in customers’ homes. Customers will receive a £10 monthly bill credit until we can safely complete their order" is a sensible position to take currently. I know some people are getting decorating, new carpets fitted etc, that's up to them, I don't think it is a good idea running cable around into bedrooms etc and VM needs a consistent policy.

The side benefit may be it also gives people time to consider the benefits of 360TV, mine is back in its box.

As for customer services, I think VM were simply not prepared for remote working of call centres and central functions with volumes also high due to selling products that will probably be fine in lightning areas but may be causing grief in legacy areas.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Hi @Meatball ,

Yes, I saw your review, I also remember you from many years ago when Virgin was suffering congestion across Crawley area.

Unfortunately they don't seem to have solved the Crawley issues in the 10 years they have existed, I gave up after two years and moved to FTTC.

I saw you update regarding the speed improving but would like to highlight to you that may not last, depending on how much more 're segmentation work' Virgin do, just so your aware re-segmentation is effectively just moving bandwidth around the network, so where your bandwidth has improved it will have now decreased for other customers.

I had a notification tonight from another user in Crawley who is still suffering with utilization issues, Virgin will certainly lose out in this area unless they change drastically, as you know their is a couple of Full Fibre alt nets currently ramping up work to cover Crawley with Gigabit+ services.

Issues in Crawley in 2016 went far beyond just bandwidth problems too, physical infrastructure suffered from ageing and lack of care.

I tried the 360 TV when I signed up to them in November, I was supposed to get V6 but due to lack of stock for V6 ended up forced to 360 which I didn't want and by end of December I was ready to put it in the bin for various reasons, I think the biggest let down with the 360 is the 360 mini, why didn't they make it wireless for the linear TV side like Sky Q Mini.

As mentioned I've since dropped Virgin for 4 different addresses that I managed comms for, they just pushed my buttons 100x too many times.
 

Meatball

Pro Member
VM have good market share in Crawley due to the historic terrestrial TV reception. No announcements for Crawley to get Docsis 3.1. If they do proceed many of the estates need significant upgrade of the capacity, distribution cabinets, attenuation etc. Currently their team are doing their best.

Cityfibre propose to cover the main estates and are completing Langley Green and now started in Ifield but no detailed plan so assuming 2024 for me based on their current rate. Also saw what looked like a F&W aerial splitter on a pole in Pound Hill the other day. EE 5G coverage is good but await better/cheaper 5G modems before recommending.

With little detailed information it is hard for many to decide currently hence VM and perseverance.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Seems like CF working there way out from Manor Royal then, which would make sense as there would be presence there already.

Sounds like Broadfield could be next, maybe Southgate after that
 

Gandi69

Pro Member
As cityfibre rolls out across my city I feel that virgin media days of lackadaisical support are going to be numbered. I left them this february just gone after 16 years of using them as my main ISP as I'd had enough of the masssive latency issues when gaming and the complete disinterest in getting a resolution to the problem. Ok I've only got a quarter of the download speed I once had with my current FTTC but Im happy that I have decent latency now. I cant see myself ever going back to Virgin Media now that new technologies for greater speeds are becoming available.
 

Meatball

Pro Member
Looks like VM have their work cut out in new areas too. Just happened to be in East Grinstead this morning. VM finishing off their Fibre rollout and there on the top of the poles were both OR and F&W FTTP splitters. CityFibre have stated EG is in their phase 2. The drop wires I saw appeared to be FTTC still.

Alright for some.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
I think we'll see some prices on Virgin drop in future to compete, currently i think they are milking as much as possible before competition comes in.

They're losing chunks of customers in and around Birmingham areas too.
 

justcycling

Member
Looks like VM have their work cut out in new areas too. Just happened to be in East Grinstead this morning. VM finishing off their Fibre rollout and there on the top of the poles were both OR and F&W FTTP splitters. CityFibre have stated EG is in their phase 2. The drop wires I saw appeared to be FTTC still.

Alright for some.
The town does appear to have 3 providers however where my mother lives in the south central part of town VM have no plans to cover her road (RH194TB) or surrounding roads (RH194TL) as I enquired of them on her behalf in Jan 2021 (This might be the circa 20% they seem to leave untouched in most locations)

I also reached out to F&W and they are the same only doing small parts of town mainly served via telegraph poles in the west part of town with no plans to do her area of town.

OR are however doing whole town I beleive albeit areas served via underground ducting are still WIP.
 

Meatball

Pro Member
Yes Altnets are being very selective. OH remains the cheapest and provides the best ROI short term as a single micro-duct to the pole with an aerial splitter means they can serve a number of properties from a single fibre and avoid ducting costs to properties that may never take their service. So its cheaper and is less risk for varying market share.

Langley Green in Crawley is predominantly OH and whilst CityFibre have provided properties in the roads without OH there are roads left out and their coverage is pretty much the same as VM. The 15%-20% may become an issue going forward in some areas.

OR have an incentive to cover 100% as they will want to recover their copper network eventually but there will be a limit to the economical case if the wider area is dominated by others. However regarding your mother OR is planned https://api.superfastmaps.co.uk/fibrecities/1.0/?city=East+Grinstead so it should be in the next 12 months. If not CityFibre should not be far behind if they don't revise https://cf-mapping.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/maps/deployment.html

.
 
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