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Converted to digital line, emergency backup kit failed

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After a landline fault my home phone line was converted to a digital line (against my wishes) at 1am this morning I was woken to my life line saying phone line disconnected, the installed mobile back up clearly isn’t working as it should! 

anyone else experienced this?


there is no option in the faults reporting process to declare that you have both a broadband connected phone line and an emergency backup unit that has failed.

Prettypointless emergency kit if it fails!  Please escalate this as a matter of urgency!

140 REPLIES 140

Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

Why have the care alarm sent you a new out of date care system? Have you asked about what they plan to do when all companies switch to digital voice?

Alessandro Volta

A past similar topic

suggested that it would be feasible to add your own SIM to the backup unit for greater flexibility for calls in/out but that arrangement would not be supported by VM (and you would obviously have to fund your own compatible SIM). The above is just a past forum post (not validated or tested on any other posts AFAIK) so make of it what you will and use at your own risk.

Your chain of devices linked to the 21CV line does seem to have a number of vulnerabilities and possible points of failure for something to go wrong. If you had an option to merge some devices into a lifeline device incorporating mobile failover, that would seem to be a better option IMHO.

It’s not just the care system though is it I’m registered with many services as a priority user.  999 is the only important number people need to contact.  Why don’t Virgin just enable the sim to make calls and link them to the home phone account package?  

why are virgin and other phone providers able to make this someone else’s problem when they created it and can just as easily solve it

Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

@pogit1 wrote:

And it does have a Virgin pay as you go sim in it and customer services changed my account to remove my mobile number and added that as my mobile number.    

Atleast I have incoming call ability now it’s not an 01 number but an 07.  You couldn’t make this up.

it’s supposed to be a simple to use back up what it is a limited mobile sim.  Crazy why isn’t it just a virgin sim linked to my home phone account able to make calls online with my existing package.? 

I'm not sure what you mean by this. The SIM in the back up unit doesn't replace your landline or your use of your home phone service. It's designed to be an outgoing unit for 999 / 112 only.

The back up unit sits between your Hub and a landline handset which ideally is a wired one. When it detects a loss of dial tone on the landline for a period of time it'll activate so when you dial 999 / 112 it's routed over the mobile network.

It's not provided for incoming calls to the SIM, and you shouldn't be giving any mobile number that's on the SIM to anyone. If the unit is replaced at any point it's possible you'd end up with a different number on the SIM in that replacement unit.

I work for Virgin Media - but all opinions posted here are my own

My point is there are many more urgent numbers that people need to call.  Unpaid carers, paid carers, water company, electric, gas, police health none emergency but urgent numbers.  People have landlines Oren pulley because they are a fallback line incoming and out going.  It’s a telcos responsibility to provide the service they are removing. Even if it’s a combined home phone unit that encompasses a SIM card linked to the home phone account.  I pay for 24/7 calls to be included in my land line, I expect that to be honoured in resonance circumstances and as the did until I was changed over aka in a powercut.  Yes I do have. A mobile but many don’t, many can’t use them for lots of different reasons. 

My point is it could easily be a full back up service.  Indeed that’s what most companies are looking at doing.  Having landlines and internet backed up by the mobile network. I believe EE has already launched theirs 

Forum Team
Forum Team

Sorry you feel this way @pogit1. I understand your concern and frustration. If and when there are any updates that Virgin Media intend to do with back up mobile networks or other technologies, we'll be sure to let our customers know. 

Here to help 🙂
Virgin Media Forums Agent

Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

The only reason the SIM is there is to identify you to emergency services call centres. The SIM is not there for anything else. Most mobile devices now connect to ANY network if you ring 999 or 112. So even if VMs mobile network signal is poor in your area, the EBUL should still be able to operate on another network.

VM 350BB 2xV6 & Landline. Freeview/Freesat HD, ASDA/Tesco PAYG Mobile. Cable customer since 1993

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Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

On the other hand why should a private company like virgin media keep a aging expensive old tired network for the 1% of people who refuse to use a mobile or refuse to ask for a compatible emergency alarm from the companies that have known about this change for years?



@pogit1 wrote:

My point is it could easily be a full back up service.  Indeed that’s what most companies are looking at doing.  Having landlines and internet backed up by the mobile network. I believe EE has already launched theirs 

If it was easy OFCOM would have mandated a full backup service. What OFCOM does recommend in the event of a power cut is that the backup unit has 24 hours on standby and one hour of talk time (as the  vast majority of power cuts last considerably less than an hour). OFCOM also believes that mobiles are the preferred backup although those in areas which may suffer long power cuts should be provided with an alternative solution.

It should also be noted that lengthy power cuts, such as caused by a planned outage or a bad storm, are known about well in advance, so you've plenty of time to get ready by charging your devices and making important calls in advance.

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