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“Over Utilisation”

I’ve just got off my fourth (or fifth, lost count now) call to VM customer support because of latency / packet loss issues affecting me competing online. 

The last three times now the subject has boiled down to “over utilisation” in the area, with whichever representative I’m speaking to saying “it will be fixed by this evening”. Last week, Monday, and now today - almost exactly the same conversation process.

I’m based in Northampton, UK. My pingplotter shows a pretty steady connection most of the time and then random red spikes, jitter, packet loss, etc. I’m surely not wrong to feel skeptical when being told the same story for the third time just now over the phone. Starting to sound like a cover story and uncanny that every time it’ll be “sorted by 6pm today” or around that time, and then the problem is still there that evening the past two times, so not expecting today to be any different. I’m guessing many others are having this same experience?

I’m on 200mb, Hub 3.0 hardwired to PC. Turning it off and on seems to help for a bit when the intermittence starts happening, but problems eventually return. I see that others run their hub in modem mode with a more advanced router attached doing the work, should I look into doing something like this myself or will it be of no help at all while VM is claiming utilisation issues? I’m not a net whizz but have learned a lot during all this. 

This has been affecting me for 6-8 weeks now, I’m always one to persevere and try to be patient but now I’m not far off moving provider, I really need to have these issues sorted while eSports is booming in popularity due to Covid19, others are not suffering issues so why should I accept disruptions for this amount of time? 

I feel like I’ve tried everything, running off a VPN and stuff like that, nothing has made any difference. I compete in eSports racing, so far I’ve had to exit races that were live on UK TV sports channels and lost out on potential prize money because my connection was so unstable that my car would flicker and bounce around the race circuit on live stream and others screens causing chaos. This is a really poor advert for VM

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Alessandro Volta
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Message 2 of 29
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Re: “Over Utilisation”

Are they “claiming” issues, as you put it, or have you been given a fault reference number?

Fix dates are also only estimated fix dates, not full and final. 


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Message 3 of 29
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Re: “Over Utilisation”

The question you need to ask and get officially answered is EXACTLY WHAT VM are supposedly doing to fix this?  Increasing capacity is very expensive and usually offers poor returns for the company, and in rather too many instances it seems that VM don't do anything after they've over-sold connections and created an over-subscription problem, they just set a "review date" a month or so hence, and hope that the complainer gives up, or that there's sufficient churn-out of customers to bring the local network back within its capacity.

Might be time to initiate the VM complaints policy, and if need be escalate to the arbitration service CISAS...... 

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Message 4 of 29
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Re: “Over Utilisation”

Yes, in the first phone call around 2 weeks ago. They said there is some work going on in the area at the moment after complaints of low connection speeds and high latency during gaming. With a rough ending date of 13th May. I've never been given any sort of fault reference number.

I accepted this, and then called on 14th May, still with problems having ran a traceroute software on my PC that morning with problems. They then said "oh the work won't be finished until Friday 15th, we are trying to solve issues with over utilisation and that's the latest update I have here." So I again helf out for the weekend.

Called on Monday 18th still with issues and the answer was "Sorry the latest I've got it it should all be sorted by 6pm this evening. Everything should be solved by then, again mentioning utilisation issues. That night in a race at 8pm I had the same issues. I thought maybe I'll wait a day, reset the router again, and see. Still problems yesterday evening. Called today: "Yes sir I understand, what I have here is that everything will be done by 5:20pm tonight." That's fairly precise for an "estimation" no?

I have another esports race tonight so I guess I'll do another quick router "off-on" and cross my fingers.

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Message 5 of 29
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Re: “Over Utilisation”

I'll be phoning tomorrow and asking for some exact clarification if I still experience issues tonight, which I feel stupid for even hoping I don't. And yep, complaints procedure and keep upping the steps until something happens.
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Message 6 of 29
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Re: “Over Utilisation”

Fix dates are estimated only, again.

So the date may move.


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Message 7 of 29
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Re: “Over Utilisation”

It took many years for the utilisation issues to be fixed in my area.  They kept using the excuse that they are waiting for planning permission from the council before they do any work, but this just pushed the date forward every few weeks.  Sometimes they would claim it is fixed, only to have another ticket open for the same problem as before with yet more excuses about delays.

Be prepared for a waiting game.  A very long waiting game.

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Message 8 of 29
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Re: “Over Utilisation”

And yep, complaints procedure and keep upping the steps until something happens.

Well, best of luck, but I'd be very surprised if you could force VM to increase capacity.  You might get compensation if you're persistent, but what you actually want is a good quality connection, not a few quid of reluctant compensation.  A question only you can answer: Would you change ISP if this persists?  Because the history of VM in matters of over utilisation is not at all good.

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Message 9 of 29
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Re: “Over Utilisation”

The fact is that VM are doing nothing to fix the Over Utilisation the dates of this being fixed are constantly moving to the expected end of lockdown, latest given to staff is 3rd June these VM crooks have made no attempt to fix this problem and are just fobbing people off with scripted excuses hoping to get past effects  of chinese virus and keep some customers.

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Alessandro Volta
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Message 10 of 29
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Re: “Over Utilisation”

Engineers are limited and only working on major issues.

Fix dates are estimates and if they are pushing them out further due to safety issues or waiting for council approval to dig the roads/footpaths (which is correct) then so be it. 


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