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george57l
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Message 1 of 25
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Advance notice of outages

Today I lost broadband for a while, mid-morning. TV still working but heartbeat on TiVo blinking and not able to connect to TiVo from iPad via hub.

150 tells me there are works going on in my postcode area to improve my broadband service (!) and will be complete by 3pm at latest.

Just how hard can it be, 24 hours in advance (or longer) to do a database query 'list all customers in this postcode and pull their email addresses' and then push the email addresses to a standard / automated email to be sent to them all saying 'outage planned for (this date) between (these times)'?

It can't be that hard. And despite several times feeding back to VM that it really would be appreciated if these outages didn't happen out of the blue, and that they have the wherewithal to provide notification in some manner similar to this, they never do.

Come on VM - this would be easy to implement and would dramatically improve customer service and reduce customer dissatisfaction.

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chenks
Fibre optic
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Message 2 of 25
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Re: Advance notice of outages


@george57l wrote:

this would be easy to implement and would dramatically improve customer service and reduce customer dissatisfaction.


would it really?
i imagine you'd still complaints, i never got an email, i never read the email, i don't have email, why should i have to read an email.. etc etc.
why not just call everyone? or text them? or personally knock each persons door.

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teabag
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Message 3 of 25
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Re: Advance notice of outages

Over the years, if any major planned outages/work was planned, I received a posted letter advising.

But for short planned outages, I don't see a problem of not being advised. Internet is important to me - so I always have a backup measure in place :-)

---------------------------------------------------------------
BB 200 - Hub 3, Phone Talk w/ends, Mobile Sim only £9 and £8 sims. Customer since 1993.
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george57l
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Message 4 of 25
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Re: Advance notice of outages

Yes, it would, "really".

Yes, I imagine they would still get complaints. Yes some would miss an email and maybe still complain. But SOME would get such a notification and thus NOT complain. Some would be very happy to get notice and would be able to make alternative arrangements and be satisfied they had the chance to do so, so OBVIOUSLY it "really" would REDUCE complaints, as in: there would be fewer of them, and some people would be more satisfied than currently. So yes, "really".

I see you are of the "unless there is a perfect fix it is pointless doing anything" school. Good luck with that. And as for your other ideas, I guess they just follow on from that philosophy: "if a fix is not perfect, list a load of impractical things that would address the flaws depsite being wholly impractical", merely to ridicule a reasonable suggestion.

May your glass be forever half empty.

Though for the record, texting would be as effective IF it were the case that VM had subscribers' mobile numbers. We know they DO have our email addresses. Sending texts and emails can be highly automated. Not so much so, knocking on doors. Phone calls could be automated I guess, but are less efficient that emails (or texts).

Thanks for your constructive response. Goodbye.

 

 

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chenks
Fibre optic
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Message 5 of 25
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Re: Advance notice of outages


@george57l wrote:

Yes, it would, "really".

Yes, I imagine they would still get complaints. Yes some would miss an email and maybe still complain. But SOME would get such a notification and thus NOT complain. Some would be very happy to get notice and would be able to make alternative arrangements and be satisfied they had the chance to do so, so OBVIOUSLY it "really" would REDUCE complaints, as in: there would be fewer of them, and some people would be more satisfied than currently. So yes, "really".

I see you are of the "unless there is a perfect fix it is pointless doing anything" school. Good luck with that. And as for your other ideas, I guess they just follow on from that philosophy: "if a fix is not perfect, list a load of impractical things that would address the flaws depsite being wholly impractical", merely to ridicule a reasonable suggestion.

May your glass be forever half empty.

Though for the record, texting would be as effective IF it were the case that VM had subscribers' mobile numbers. We know they DO have our email addresses. Sending texts and emails can be highly automated. Not so much so, knocking on doors. Phone calls could be automated I guess, but are less efficient that emails (or texts).

Thanks for your constructive response. Goodbye.

 

 


do you have any stats to back up your statement that it would definitely REDUCE complaints? or are you just making assumptions?
ok we know it would reduce them by 1 (ie you), but the cost to implement a system compared to that of pee-ing you off by not implementing a system is a no-brainer.

take an outage as a chance to go life your life away from the internet. go for a walk, feed the birds, visit family, take a long walk off a short pier etc etc.

seeya Smiley Very Happy

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george57l
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Message 6 of 25
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Re: Advance notice of outages

Well I do not recall ever having a letter, personally, but that's neither here nor there. Nice to know they do do it, though. Thanks.

Several hours of outage or intermittent service is not a 'short' outage, in my book. And an automated process simply needing someone to enter postcode, dates/times of outage and ticking a box to select an appropriate standard text template would cost very little and surely any advance notice is preferable to an unpleasant suprprise. Had I known in advance of today, for example, I'd have planned to go somewhere I can get a mobile signal and tether, or decided to do a couple of important things last night rather than today.

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george57l
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Message 7 of 25
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Re: Advance notice of outages

I said it would reduce them, and it would - even if only by one, you are correct.

As to whether it is cost-effective (even assuming VM has an appropriate methodology for measuring the monetary value of customer (dis)satisfaction) that's the obvious question and one for VM to decide, which is why I made it as a suggestion they may wish to consider. If VM consider this approach, I doubt your responses will form any part of their evaulation as to cost-effectiveness.

I might equally ask whether you have any stats that complaints would only reduce by one (me) and that it is thus a no-brainer that it can't be cost-effective. Where's YOUR stats?

Thank you for your advice regarding how to spend my time. Might I suggest you spend yours trying to be a little more constructive? Or is trolling on such platforms your main hobby? Goodbye, again.

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cje85
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Message 8 of 25
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Re: Advance notice of outages

Virgin Media Business customers get advanced notice of any scheduled downtime even if it's only expected to last ten minutes, but not residential customers. I think that's in line with most other ISPs.

Residential customers sometimes get letters if there is major work being done which could result in the service being down for much of the day.

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george57l
On our wavelength
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Message 9 of 25
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Re: Advance notice of outages


@cje85 wrote:

Virgin Media Business customers get advanced notice of any scheduled downtime even if it's only expected to last ten minutes, but not residential customers. I think that's in line with most other ISPs.

Residential customers sometimes get letters if there is major work being done which could result in the service being down for much of the day.


Indeed. Thanks for the confirmation and advice that it seems to be industry standard practice. Heaven forbid an ISP should innovate/differentiate.

VM could differentiate themselves by providing superior service with what would seem to be a simple process. And my service was potentially going to be down or intermittent for perhaps 3-4 hours, according to their recorded message. One's definition of 'much' may be different, of course. ;-)
I don't expect a letter - especially as, for all I know, these works are 'flexibly' scheduled so the lead time of sending letters may not be practical. An automated process to give ANY advance notice would surely be welcomed by a sufficient number of customers to make it worth VM investigating this. But I'll not be holding my breath, of course, this being VM!

I've made the suggestion. Perhaps a VM mod will see it here and pass it along internally. No doubt the more people come along and say "What a stupid idea, here's a few more" or "Well, *I* don't need it so who cares about anyone else" or "it's standard practice", then the less likely VM will be to take any notice.

Maybe I should become a business customer.  ;-)

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VMCopperUser
Problem sorter
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Message 10 of 25
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Re: Advance notice of outages


@chenks wrote:

@george57l wrote:

Yes, it would, "really".

Yes, I imagine they would still get complaints. Yes some would miss an email and maybe still complain. But SOME would get such a notification and thus NOT complain. Some would be very happy to get notice and would be able to make alternative arrangements and be satisfied they had the chance to do so, so OBVIOUSLY it "really" would REDUCE complaints, as in: there would be fewer of them, and some people would be more satisfied than currently. So yes, "really".

I see you are of the "unless there is a perfect fix it is pointless doing anything" school. Good luck with that. And as for your other ideas, I guess they just follow on from that philosophy: "if a fix is not perfect, list a load of impractical things that would address the flaws depsite being wholly impractical", merely to ridicule a reasonable suggestion.

May your glass be forever half empty.

Though for the record, texting would be as effective IF it were the case that VM had subscribers' mobile numbers. We know they DO have our email addresses. Sending texts and emails can be highly automated. Not so much so, knocking on doors. Phone calls could be automated I guess, but are less efficient that emails (or texts).

Thanks for your constructive response. Goodbye.

 

 


do you have any stats to back up your statement that it would definitely REDUCE complaints? or are you just making assumptions?
ok we know it would reduce them by 1 (ie you), but the cost to implement a system compared to that of pee-ing you off by not implementing a system is a no-brainer.

take an outage as a chance to go life your life away from the internet. go for a walk, feed the birds, visit family, take a long walk off a short pier etc etc.

seeya Smiley Very Happy


The cost of having a database run a check for users on a specific cab and then getting an email going out.

If you think that will cost much to design an implement then you must be a politician, lawyer, or accountant.

Your making a lot of, dare I say rude, assumptions about the OP.  Perhaps the OP spends 23 hours a day visiting family, taking walks, feeding birds and all of that jazz.  For them they spend 1 hour a day watching heartbeat.  So telling them to go outside is a bit rude as your making an assumption about their way of life.  Heck, I could go on so far as to say you should get out more instead of looking to be rude on forums, but that would be me making a judgement about you so I shall not do it.

Anyhow, major planned works I have received notice of in the past.  But some things are spur of the moment.  street box needs repairing due to fire/damage/whatever.  Re-segmentation, from memory, typically has happened like 1-3am in the past so I cant see that being the issue.  But you should look at it this way, if they are upgrading something then your connection should get better, so a few hours downtime might well be worth it.

----
I do not work for VM, but I would. It is just a Job.

I would also make websites for them, because the job never seems to require the website to work.
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