Not at all happy! Could someone tell me what KPBLOCK means? No one at Virgin's call centre seems to. Meanwhile, I thought I'd do some lateral thinking and ask The Wise Ones on here.
First some background and an opportunity to get this off my chest: Over the last year or two our phone line has been mostly shocking. Occasionally ok, but mostly shocking, with loud crackling often obliterating all other sound. About a year or more ago the line got so consistently bad I finally braved the obstacle course that is Virgin's call centre and contacted them to get it fixed. The engineer, arriving three days later, told me that the 'pit' in the road was full of mud which had wrecked the connections. He told us that the inspection cover was letting in water from the puddle that forms over it when it rains and the water was damaging the cables. Anyway, who cares, he replaced some bits and left with our phone working and the line noise-free.
A few months later the problem returned. Got it fixed again. This happened once or twice more until, about six months ago we lost the line completely. We had no phone line for about three days until they were able to get to us to repair it. The engineer went away saying he needed a different team because they needed to replace the cable under the road. They returned the next day and once again it was repaired.
Roll on a few months and the crackling came back. I booked an engineer, the crackling went away and perhaps over-optimistically I cancelled the engineer. Then, about a month ago, the crackling returned. Not too bad at first, but then about a week ago the line died completely: no dialling tone, nothing. I call Virgin. They can't get an engineer out to me for eight days this time. Today he finally arrived and showed me the state of the 'pit' which was full of mud. He fiddled around with it for half an hour before telling me the cable under the road needed replacing (sound familiar?) and he would have to call some colleagues to do it later in the afternoon, but I wasn't to worry because they would be working in the street and wouldn't need me. They duly turned up while I was out and left a card with, amongst the usual chirpy comments had some strange markings and codes on it. It also said in blue biro "copper wire repaired". I checked my phone and - guess what? - dead as a ******** doornail! I look at the card and see it tells me to call Virgin's number and quote "KPBLOCK" to them.
By now I'm not too happy. So I pick up my mobile, hang out the window (did I mention mobile reception here is awful?) and go through the infuriatingly patronising menu system for the umpteenth time until I finally get to speak to someone. After the usual scripted friendlies, I quote my secret weapon code-word at him. Nothing happens. He has no idea what I'm talking about. After a few minutes of ineffectual ranting and then apologising for ranting ("I'm sorry I know it's not your fault, but..."), I get told an engineer will be able to come tomorrow. I now await developments.
Does anyone still remember the days when you could pick up your telephone, dial a number and just speak to someone clearly? About 40 years ago perhaps, but it did once work. Really.
So, three questions please.
One (more out of curiosity): what does KPBLOCK mean?
Two: Why didn't the engineering call-centre have any idea what it meant despite my being required to quote it?
Three: how can I escalate this issue beyond just making an increasingly long and frustrating series of calls once every few months to get what is clearly a completely useless phone cable relaid and the road properly resurfaced?
The engineer arrived as arranged yesterday morning. Super-polite and helpful as always despite being the third engineer arriving to fix the problem in 24 hours. He had no idea what the history of the fault was or that there had been others before him, so I explained the whole sorry tale yet again. Also, incredibly, he had no idea what an RPBLOCK was either (how is it that the people on the forum know more about this than the engineers or the the call centre staff). He suggested the card the previous engineer left was an old card that isn't printed anymore. Anyway, he got down to work and in about 20 minutes had it all up and running. He explained that although the previous engineer had replaced the damaged cable, he could not access our property to put a pulse on the line. This meant he lost the line outside when he reconnected and connected us up to the wrong line. Or something like that anyway...
Interestingly sometime yesterday afternoon a metre square patch of tarmac appeared where the leaky inspection cover was (I'm guessing the cover's still underneath). Hope it keeps the rain out, because if it doesn't and they turn up to fix it again, things could get very entertaining. Tell them I'll lend them a Kango hammer if they knock.
Still, the fact remains, if Virgin don't fix the road properly, we'll continue to get bad connections and dead lines every few months. It's really not good. It took Virgin nearly a week to get it repaired this time. My partner has an elderly father who lives alone and mobile reception here is hopeless. During last week he tried to call us twice. It's been ridiculous; to pick up our voicemail we have had to drive a mile from the house and park up. It's not surprising your long-suffering call-centre staff have to endure the insane ravings of customers like me on a regular basis.
Anyway, thanks for checking in Terri. As of today, all is working fine again. I fear however, this is not the last this forum has heard from me or of this saga.
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm glad to hear that the engineer has fixed the problem with your line and apologise again for the difficulties you have experienced getting this fixed. Any issue affecting your service that requires roadworks would be escalated by the attending engineer so that local permissions can be obtained and the dig work and construction can be arranged. I can see that no such escalation has been advised by the attending engineer. If you should experience a loss of your service again, please let us know and we can escalate this for you.
I can also see that a loss of service credit has been applied to your account and you will see this on your next bill.
Virgin Media Forum Team
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