I was one of the people in the programme - I complained to Watchdog and agreed to take part in the filming for two reasons:
1) Customer service staff were rude (and on one occasion downright aggressive) and entirely unsympathetic - I might have just quietly left, possibly returning when the problem was fixed but for the incredibly rude telephone support staff member who was hell-bent on ensuring I couldn't leave my contract without suffering at least a further 3 months worth of degraded service, with another month of notice.
2) At no point was I given an indication of when the problem would be fixed. Give me clear information about how long I'll have to wait and I can make an informed decision. The review dates given out are clearly meaningless - giving people false hope with them (only to then repeatedly let them down) is worse than not telling them anything. The standard response from the customer support staff on this forum of "oh yes it's over-utilisation, that must be really frustrating for you" is simply not good enough.
You'll note that both of those reasons aren't actually due to the degraded service, but VMs poor response. Both of these points are addressable now - cancelling my service was entirely avoidable with a bit of customer care. Two things to consider:
Be honest about the timescales - I might leave in the short-term but I'd have left thinking that VM was a company with a bit of integrity that could be trusted, and would probably have returned when the issue was addressed. Attempting to obfuscate the issue with misleading language has the opposite effect.
When a customer is suffering a degraded service, offer them something that's proportionate to the problem. A ~20% reduction for a 90% degraded service is a bit of an insult. When combined with lengthy (or more precisely indeterminate) wait times for a resolution the ~20% becomes even more meaningless. Claiming that the service works great for around 60% of the day is a cheap cop-out. You're better than that.
Any company that treats a customer of over 20 years in this fashion AND let's them walk away in these circumstances doesn't deserve to stay in business. You're failing to deliver what people are paying their hard-earned cash for and waiting for them to complain, to escalate a complaint and then involve a third party before you'll do the decent thing is pretty shady practice. Customer services in VM need to take a long, hard look at themselves and then start managing the situation instead of just responding (poorly).
To address the point about everyone in the programme getting their service "fixed", a number of us in the programme live very near to each other - I don't think it's a coincidence that the service was upgraded within a couple of weeks of the BBC presenting their evidence to VM but they're obviously not going to cough to that (in any event, it's taken nearly 3 years to fix it). That might be a little depressing for those of you in other areas still waiting but I didn't do anything you can't do - talk to your neighbours and contact Watchdog (who do follow up on stories), ISPA etc collectively if you're still not getting anywhere and hold the chief exec to account - he's committed to changing so make sure he does. If they're advertising in your area then mystery shop them as well and if they're still misleading customers then present your evidence to the authorities. It takes a bit of leg work but it's a damn site more effective than doing nothing and just hoping it gets better.
Re: F004175974 - a request for help so please don't move
O dear once again the CEO of virgin Media has spoken, and once again he has put his right foot in between his upper and lower jaw, now he has gone and instantly fixed 4 customers because of high utilisation and over subscription, there will be hundreds of legal cases for him to do the same for all the others, even CISAS can now force VM's hand into a fast fix turnaround, as he has done it for the 4 on national TV.
Well done Tom, you have fixed all the problems, because if you don't, the victims, discriminated hundreds of your crippled network could take it further.
Don't you just love cockups <----- yes another VM CEO publicly announced word, "cockup", done by VM's leader.
Nearly all of those issues were fixed without any acceleration. The biggest variation from the planned fix time was less than 2 weeks.
Unless you're a lawyer and know all the facts you might be over-reaching a tad with the above. I doubt you're a lawyer and you clearly don't know all the facts given you claim the CEO 'instantly' fixed all the issues.
I posted a few weeks ago that VM were looking to fix the bulk of issues within weeks and nearly all of them within 3 months. Nothing to do with Watchdog, but to keep customers happy, and to ensure compliance with upcoming Ofcom / ASA rule changes.
The biggest problem is being resolved through some quite extreme measures, other issues are being resolved through extensive architecture changes and network upgrades.
To address the point about everyone in the programme getting their service "fixed", a number of us in the programme live very near to each other - I don't think it's a coincidence that the service was upgraded within a couple of weeks of the BBC presenting their evidence to VM but they're obviously not going to cough to that (in any event, it's taken nearly 3 years to fix it).
It actually was a coincidence. Your area might have been pushed up the queue slightly but it was slightly, less than a fortnight. The work in question couldn't be done over 2 weeks just like that else it would've been already.
EDIT: I should probably don a flame retardant suit. This isn't directed towards yourself but when they aren't what people want to hear facts aren't popular, and I'm likely to be accused of lying
By that reckoning then, the upgrades would have been known about in April when I involved ISPA. So why not say that? Why give us a review date of end of August, push it back to November and then January 2018? Surely it's just easier to say "we're scheduled to do some network upgrades in June, give or take a month"?
As I said, in any event, it's taken them nearly 3 years to fix it and they've provided no meaningful info in that time frame - that just isn't good enough.
The remaining Motorola / River Delta stuff should be dealt with shortly.
I do hope the River Delta CMTS for Temple Ewell, Kearsney, River and Dover is upgraded soon - been going on for months and standard ADSL is now faster than cable for file downloads for an area that never previously had issues and was superb for speeds. I was 'pro-Virgin Media' an never wanted to leave but this is far beyond a little bit of inconvenience for a while whilst stuff is procured and scheduled for a fix. VM never seem to see anything via the network monitoring tools or rarely, so they are either not up to the job or just configured incorrectly.
Of course, I'll never know, because VM Management/Service Management never publish an 'anticipated' schedule of dates as a rough guideline, preferring customers to never know a date which is disgraceful. Even if you can't stick to a date for genuine reasons, or there is slippage, just be honest about it.
Re: Broadband Speed: BBC Watchdog Discussion Thread
06-07-201700:03 - edited 06-07-201700:21
This is a thread to combine any comments and conversations about our broadband speed in light of the current media coverage.
Please keep this on-topic, and don't post in this thread asking for assistance - instead please read our article about How to check your Broadband speed first, and then if needs be, + Post a question
Your Community Moderators
And the purpose of this thread is what, exactly??? A repository for all the unfavourable posts expected throughout the boards that contain the word 'watchdog' no doubt!
It would appear that BBC Watchdog feels that Virgin Media needs to 'get up to speed'.
Tom Mockridge was full of it, quoting what he said back in January 2016 about how advertised speeds need to be comparable. He is fully aware of his companies practice of selling unachievable speeds, and has insisted that the company has "re-briefed all of our sales agents on the company's sales policy, and we are providing additional training to ensure everyone complies with it."
He went on to boast about the £3 billion of investment. Nothing to do with alleviating the over utilisation, but money to expand the network into new areas. Just to be sure he even quoted the code name 'Project Lightening' which happens to be running badly behind schedule.
Well, us UK consumers are needed to help Liberty Global service its heavy debts. Project Lightning is expected to deliver nearly two thirds of the New York-listed company's cash flow growth, failing to keep up the pace could be damaging. Overselling on the other hand..........
----------------------------------------------------------- I am in an OVER UTILISED VIRGIN MEDIA AREA - poor speeds of 0.3Mbps to 4Mbps every evening. Contention reference "F002896495", has now become F004952644. Ongoing since March 2014. 17 review dates... Next Review JUNE 2018