Crazy I need to ask the community due to Virgin being so difficult to talk to, but there you go.
My mobile reception in my home and most of my street is appalling. Most of the time I get no signal at all. People on O2 have no problem where I am. So before I switch from Virgin to O2, is there anything that can be done about this? Can Virgin supply repeaters for the house, or route calls through broadband when the signal is poor, like some other services can?
This won't directly help the OP, but is perhaps some food for thought - worth remembering that EE themselves have numerous "self-help" or WiFi-based coverage solutions to help localised coverage issues such as these.
Sorry if it sounds harsh, it's honestly not meant to - but just sometimes worth remembering that the cheapest phone tariff isn't necessarily the best tariff, and sometimes MVNOs appear cheaper for a reason.
Heck, "cheaper isn't better" is probably why operators like Talk Talk don't clear up the market..they'd certainly give me cheaper broadband than Virgin, but it wouldn't be as good. Just trying to keep this post politically-acceptable :-)
Two years ago I used VM tethering on my laptop all the way from one end of the country to the other, with excellent signal. A year later it was limited to just the city centres, which on a train means five minutes every half an hour. I dread to think what it would be like now. So rapidly going off VM mobile and their inability to negotiate good coverage or speed with EE (EE does 4G but Virgin-EE doesn't).
I know someone locally with EE directly, and they were provided with a device that switched their mobile to broadband when at home. I don't think they could get it working properly, so ditched EE anyway (but they aren't very technical, so I don't know how much of that is down to user error). I have also seen generic GSM/3G/4G signal boosters online for about £150 (not sure how much I would trust those, as there is very little information about them, including whether they are even legal, plus they support a limited number of simultaneous phones, so there is nothing to say my neighbours wouldn't eat up its bandwidth anyway).
Anyway, I'm just after a cheap SIM-only mobile with a small number of inclusive calls and texts, and a moderate amount of data. Most of the time I'm on WiFi for data. O2 seem to have good coverage where I am, but EE (and therefore Virgin) are very patchy indeed, in my small coastal town.