A rant about Virgin Media

2014-11-01

This isn't the sort of thing I would normally post on my site, but I'm so frustrated by the awful service I've received from my ISP, Virgin Media, over the last week that I felt the need to vent and let off steam.

On Monday, six days ago, my cable broadband service went offline. This isn't entirely unheard of, but normally rebooting my modem resolves it. If not, it usually comes back on its own afer a couple of hours. I was a bit fed up when I couldn't get it back online, but assumed it would be back to normal the next day.

It wasn't, the service was still down and I was unable to work on Tuesday. Virgin Media's 'service status' page showed no problems, so I guessed it must be a problem with my modem. I called Virgin Media and they arranged an engineer visit for Wednesday. Later, on Tuesday afternoon, I received an email telling me that they had identified an area fault and so the engineer visit was cancelled. Their service status page updated to show the fault, with an estimated fix time of 16:00 on Wednesday.

Wednesday afternoon rolled past and the fix time was pushed back to 20:00. Later that evening it was pushed to 20:00 on Thursday. At this stage with a 48-hour outage and no end in sight, I was getting pretty fed up.

On Thursday morning I called Virgin Media again and asked for more information. They were very polite, but ultimately of no use whatsoever. They essentially repeated the non-information from their service status page. I sent a Tweet to Virgin Media on Thursday evening. They told me: "I can see we're working hard to get this sorted. We're working on getting this fixed by 8PM tomorrow. I can understand the frustration. We want this fixed as much as you do." That was clearly not true, if they wanted it fixed as much as I do, it would have been fixed on Monday evening.

It's Saturday now, six full days after the outage originally occurred, and the latest information I have from Virgin Media after this evening's estimated fix date rolled past is that it will be fixed tomorrow at 16:00. As you may imagine, I'm not holding much confidence that it will actually be fixed tomorrow. The frustration when as each "fix time" arrives I eventually get a further update pushing it back by another day is incredible.

I've been with Virgin Media for a very long time, over 15 years -- in fact, right back to when they were ntl. Over the years I've generally had good service from them, and have recommended them to many people. I now retract all of those recommendations. For an ISP to be unable to fix a service outage for a whole week, and not even communicate a reason for the outage or a realistic end date, is just sheer incompetence. As soon as I can get back online, I will be looking for alternative ISPs.

Right now I'm unable to work, my email is unorganised, I'm running up extra charges on my phone for exceeding its bandwidth allocation, and I still don't know when my connection will be fixed. So thanks very much Virgin Media, I am not a satisfied customer, and I suspect that soon enough I won't be a customer at all.

2014-11-03

My service was restored this morning. I still have no explanation of what happened or why it took so long to fix.