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Wakey
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Message 1 of 8
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New customer, cancelling this weekend

200meg was installed last week after they recently dug up our street (Ossett, West Yorkshire).

Was surprised to be left with speed tests (last Sat afternoon) of only 35mbps or so. Engineer said it may 'settle down'.

Called VM who got engineer back, he swapped modem. It was getting a bit later now, and the speed was up to 50 odd.

Then that evening after 11 it went up to 150. Early (8am) next morning (a Sunday) 200- fantastic, problems solved.

Only for late morning it start to slow, and Sunday afternoon it to slow to a sub 20.

This general pattern repeats every day.

After spending many hours on the phone and messing about testing the connection etc, it was eventually admitted to me by a 2nd level tech that they are sorry but my area has 'utilisation' and I should have been told. It was stated that the 'fault' would be submitted and an engineer look at it. I asked whether this was what I know as 'contention' and was told that they 'may' be able to fix it by 'rebalancing'. I asked what would happen next, would someone contact me? He said well, they could leave a note on the system but the fault would be logged. That was nearly a week ago and nothing is listed on the pages of Virgin Media when log in and look at status.

Needless to say I wasn't hopeful with a 'rebalancing'. Like clockwork, I can get 200+mbps early morning, at 'peak' times when I wish to use the system it is much slower than my BT broadband (constant 45-50) at around 20 but it fluctuates wildly. Thankfully my BT is still operating because Virgin forgot to tell them to cancel.

10% or less of the 'up to' speed- what a joke.  I was told by the salesman it would always be much much faster than my BT. He said get in contact if any issues, he is my point of contact. I emailed him some very detailed emails about this, but the silence is deafening.

The worrying thing is they continue to sell it to people on the two housing estates that they recently installed it on. Not only are they selling an up to 200mb connection they cannot deliver at the usual times people wish to use it, this is simply compounding the issue. What they are doing needs to be investigated by Trading Standards.

I have already explained my issues to my neighbours who have cancelled their pending orders, and my next step is to talk about my experiences on my local community Facebook site which has thousands of local members. Many people will not realise their connection may be a fraction of what they are paying for, (10% in my case) so I need to explain they should all be doing speed tests at peak times.

No one from Virgin ever bothered to get back to me. As stated, due to errors by Virgin I thankfully have BT and will be cancelling Virgin this weekend.

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Sceliphron
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Message 2 of 8
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Re: New customer, cancelling this weekend

All I can say to you - Welcome to Virgin Media. You just described the problem of 90% of their customers. Last time there was "overutilisation" in my area it took them 8 months to fix. It worked well for 4 months and then it all went downhill again.

I cancelled my contract with them and today was meant to be my last day. As soon as I cancelled I got bombarded by phone calls and emails begging me to stay. So after reducing my price in half I decided to give them another chance. Sadly it was pointless.

Today they sent an engineer who checked stuff around and decided there was a problem with the cable running from my sitting room to my spare bedroom where my PC is. He assured me that after he changes the cable all will all be ok. Strange logic - as my internet connection works perfectly fine EVERY MORNING and goes down the pooper as soon as it's 5PM. So.... no - the 5 meter cable isn't the problem. Haven't heard before of cables having mood swings and working properly only before peek time.

Virgin Media just REFUSES to admit there is an issue with their entire network in my area and keeps selling and overselling to new customers. The guy today even had the cheek to give me a £50 if I brought a new customer in....

It's hopeless

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GMAN73
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Message 3 of 8
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Re: New customer, cancelling this weekend

Still cannot believe that VM still take on new customers in areas suffering from high utilisation. Its a complete joke. VM are getting worse, they should focus more on upgrading their network instead of doing speed upgrades that there network cannot cope with.
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cje85
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Message 4 of 8
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Re: New customer, cancelling this weekend

It's been happening for years. Ofcom, Trading Standards etc aren't bothered. The best thing you can do is cancel if BT/Sky or others are available in your area.

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Wakey
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Message 5 of 8
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Re: New customer, cancelling this weekend

Well I cancelled. In fairness Virgin were pretty fair. The first person I got through to said that they had no record of the utilisation on the system- despite the fact I had been told it was suffering utilisation and someone near me informs me they have been told it is going to be fixed since last December but cables have to be dug up.

The second person in retentions was very straight and said there was no incentive they could offer to make me stay, as there is no fix date for it, apologised for it and cancelled me off.

If it were working as advertised it would be fantastic, and when you ring up the support etc are better than most. But I am afraid I have lost all confidence in a company that just continues to sign up new people despite utilisation issues.

This is how it should work:

1) Know network capacity- 2) Only sign up people until you know network capacity is reaching a point (not at a point) where you cannot deliver the promised service- 3) Before reaching point 2, modify and upgrade network to increase capacity- 4) If point 3 fails for some reason, do not sign up anyone until point 2 is complete.

Why this model cannot be operated is anyone's guess. I suppose they would rather just keep signing people up and keep revenue increasing, on the assumption that most people won't have a clue  their 200mbps internet is running at 20.

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Superuser
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Message 6 of 8
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Re: New customer, cancelling this weekend


Wakey wrote:

Well I cancelled. In fairness Virgin were pretty fair. The first person I got through to said that they had no record of the utilisation on the system- despite the fact I had been told it was suffering utilisation and someone near me informs me they have been told it is going to be fixed since last December but cables have to be dug up.

The second person in retentions was very straight and said there was no incentive they could offer to make me stay, as there is no fix date for it, apologised for it and cancelled me off.

If it were working as advertised it would be fantastic, and when you ring up the support etc are better than most. But I am afraid I have lost all confidence in a company that just continues to sign up new people despite utilisation issues.

This is how it should work:

1) Know network capacity- 2) Only sign up people until you know network capacity is reaching a point (not at a point) where you cannot deliver the promised service- 3) Before reaching point 2, modify and upgrade network to increase capacity- 4) If point 3 fails for some reason, do not sign up anyone until point 2 is complete.

If only...Downside is,a couple of users with *ahem* "higher usage profiles" on a segment can break it. So they have to balance commercial viability vs utilisation. I wouldn't argue they have that balance wrong in some areas, clearly selling in an area that ALREADY suffers overutilisation is madness. Remeber when usage was capped? No overutilisation in those days...

Why this model cannot be operated is anyone's guess. I suppose they would rather just keep signing people up and keep revenue increasing, on the assumption that most people won't have a clue  their 200mbps internet is running at 20.

What you said. Most people only test their speeds if something goes pear shaped. A lot not even then. 


 


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Wakey
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Message 7 of 8
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Re: New customer, cancelling this weekend

Just out of interest Kippies- what is a segment? I am in Ossett, Area 014- will the whole town be suffering utilisation, or just a bit of it? Which bit of the network is the culprit (physically) is it the exchange.

Since raising this issue locally, lots of other people in ny locality have come forward with similar stories, and lots have been speed testing, never previously knowing they had 20mbps on their line, but they are now too taking it up wth Virgin.

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Superuser
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Message 8 of 8
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Re: New customer, cancelling this weekend

VM dont have exchanges, not in the BT sense

A CMTS feeds X number of cabinets which feed Y number of subscribers. So to alleviate overutilisation they can resegment, which means fewer subscribers on a node. Or upgrade the CMTS. So its difficult to tell how wise an area is affected  without knowing  which CMTS each of their HUBS is talking to.