We’ve had an incredibly frustrating day today as our Virgin Media ADSL broadband service has disappeared.
At first I thought our Belkin router-modem was to blame. Using my wonderful 3 mifi device, I got onto Virgin’s website, which said everything was working fine. So I reset the modem repeatedly, to no avail. I then spent almost 45 minutes trying to get some kind of help from Virgin’s customer helpline.
This is a summary of the experience:
The automated telephone system asked for letters from a security question. I had no idea what the question was – and the system gave no alternative option of speaking to a human being;
When I managed to pass this groundhog day test (purely by getting onto the website by the mifi – heaven knows what anyone without this option would do), a customer service person told me she couldn’t tell my what my ADSL password was, as she could only help with email passwords. She told me I had to call another number;
I called this second number. It turned out to be a paid for technical advice line. When I got through, the agent said he had no idea why I had been told to call, as they only deal with software such as anti-virus programs. He also said the first person should have been able to confirm my ADSL password. He couldn’t. He said he’d transfer me back;
I was then stuck on hold with music playing for ages, with no indication that I was in a queue. I gave up and called the original number;
More endless music. I was asked to choose the music – not a good sign! When I finally got through to someone, he told me that there was a national ‘outage’, and I should reboot the modem every hour. He also said he would refund the phone charges.
Three hours later, there’s still no broadband connection.
It’s time to consider an alternative broadband supplier, after 14 years. Virgin’s service is becoming very unreliable, and it’s hardly the cheapest. We gave them a second chance after service standards collapsed two years ago, but I can’t face much more of his after two outages in three weeks.
PS: we got back online late this afternoon. But hours later, we’re barely getting 1MB/S.
I know a very good broadband provider!
There are an increasing number of national outages, for whichever provider you use. This is partly due to rocketing demand and partly due to the increasing competition and the ever present drive to reduce prices. This means less margin for providers, which in turn means less spent on good quality support staff (especially at weekends, evenings and night).
Just don’t assume that you’ll be able to do anything during the Olympics – the demand for bandwith will be enormous and we are expecting a huge problem with those businesses who have opted for “cheap” provision and will suddenly find out what contended really means.
Bev – I agree that the craze for the cheapest possible service has done no-one any good – except perhaps those who genuinely can’t afford to pay more. I’d much rather pay more for a service I can rely on. To be fair, apart from an awful period in 2010, Virgin has been OK until recently. I’ve found its home broadband far more reliable than Vodafone’s mobile internet.
Who do you recommend?
Broadband Supplier : This one comes highly recommended via those wonderful folks on the hill who gave you “3” Mi-Fi. http://www.zen.co.uk/
LOL, at least with Virgin you get to choose the music while you’re on hold!! 🙂
As for the time to fix the problem, the terms and conditions of many consumer services say it can be a week or more. Not helpful I know, and not something they really provide as a headline to their advertisements. Many providers will have an option that allows you to pay more for better customer service and a faster time to fix, but that will cost you extra. If it’s important to you then check out the business-focussed services.
I agree with a couple of the other comments – having a mobile dongle handy is a good idea as a backup. And +1 for Zen Internet, those guys know what they are doing when it comes to great service.