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Fixing Broadband/Cancelling Contract

Hello,

I was wondering if someone direct me to a contact at Virgin Media that can help me. 

I've spent 3 hours in the last week on hold on three separate calls with customer service. Two of these calls resulted in the operator just giving up and hanging up on me (happy to retrieve call logs if required). The main issue at hand is that virgin aren't meeting their contractual obligation with regards to our contract. The call that was dealt with properly ended in a new hub being sent to us which has actually resulted in the speed/connectivity getting worse. We pay for the M350 package and at best achieve download speeds of 90mbps (via ethernet). Contract states that "The guaranteed download speed is 50% of the advertised speed of our service on the date that you placed the order and is set out in the speeds table.". The current speeds are far from the 181mbps that we have been promised. 

We question at this point why we are now paying for a service that Virgin Media can't provide, and ask why are we being sold a service that cannot be provided. I don't intend on spending anymore time on the phone to end up being hung up on after hours on hold. After a short time spent on google, it's no surprise that Virgin Media has been voted amongst the worst for customer service in the UK. 

It would be good to speak to a customer service representative that actually intends to help us either fix our issue or cancel our contract.

Regards,

Cameron 

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Message 2 of 14
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Re: Fixing Broadband/Cancelling Contract

Before getting back to VM... did you move to 350 from a 100 package? It isn't unknown for the "upgraded configuration file" not to be sent or not install correctly so it could be set to 100. The way to tell is go into the Hub settings and find the " configuration" data and look at the "Max Data Transfer Rates" boxes for upstream and downstream - what are they set at (they are in bps)?

90Mbps - is always a suspicious number. It often means your device (what is it?) is being limited to a max of 100Mbps. There are several possible reasons you need to eliminate.

First swap the ethernet cable to a NEW Cat5e/6/7 one (not Cat5) - old ones do fail especially if they are not "solid core" and the end connector contacts can break (I have had a few do that).

Then check that your NIC card is actually a 1GB spec one (and not just 10/100) and that its dirvers are up to date.  Also that in your "Network" setting it is set at 1GB and not 100Mbps.

Finally there are dozens of reports of where software can be limiting speeds (unbeknown to you) like Dell's SmartByte, antiviral packages, QoS software, browsers can be corrupted, other devices connected, etc, etc.

So can you do the speed test exactly like this and see what you get.
---------
Connect the device by the good ethernet cable, directly into the Hub which you have first put into “modem mode” (see VM website for “How To”).  Then only one ethernet port will now be functional and wifi is off. Test speeds at speedtest.net (not the App!) to your nearest VM server - try on 2 different browsers.

If they are still low – boot the device into safe+networking mode and try again.


--------------------
John
--------------------

My services: HD TV on VIP (+ Sky Sports & Movies & BT sport), x3 V6 boxes (1 wired 2 WiFi,) SH2 in modem mode with Airport Extreme Router. On VIVID200, Talk Anytime Phone, x2 Mobile SIM only iPhones.
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Re: Fixing Broadband/Cancelling Contract

Hi John,

Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed response.

1. 

Primary Downstream Service Flow

Max Traffic Rate - 402500089, Max Traffic Burst - 42600

Primary Upstream Service Flow

Max Traffic Rate - 38500089, Max Traffic Burst - 42600

Hopefully this answers the first question.

2.

It's not exactly 90mbps, that's the number that it generally reaches at most. A lot of the time it will fluctuate below that. The cable currently being used is CAT5, so yes, that could explain the reduction in expected speed via ethernet, however surely VM can't expect you to plug in every device in via ethernet in order to achieve these promised speeds? Devices connected via wifi experience much slower speeds.

I will try to find a way of plugging in a new cable but unfortunately that's gonna have to be ordered. I've also checked all drivers to make sure they are up to date. The devices being used to test speeds are all relatively new so I'd be hesitant to blame any of the hardware being used. We've actually had to purchase a third party router (Tp-link 1750) which improved connectivity but unfortunately had no impact on the speeds. 

3.

I will get a new ethernet cable ordered and carry out the tests you've suggested.

I appreciate you taking the time to help, thank you. Unfortunately though, I think my experience with VM is about to come to an end. There's not a chance that VM can expect your average customer to carry out the procedures you've suggested. If I'm paying a lot of money for the package that's advertised, it should be on them to make sure I receive that product. I shouldn't have to spend my evenings on the phone or forums trying to find a solution. I feel there's two solutions at this point, they either send an engineer to fix the problem or I cancel my contract. 

Thanks again.. apologies for the rant. 

 

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Message 4 of 14
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Re: Fixing Broadband/Cancelling Contract

You have the config for 350Mbps in the hub.

The speeds quoted by virgin are the speeds delivered to the hub and achievable by a device with a gigabit cable LAN port and a CAT5e/6/7 cable.

Wifi speeds are not quoted nor are they covered under the speed guarantee and they are not what you pay for or part of your contract. 


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Message 5 of 14
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Re: Fixing Broadband/Cancelling Contract

Hi Gary,

I understand that in order to achieve the maximum advertised speed we must use a device with a gigabit cable LAN port and a CAT5e/6/7 cable. However, I am not achieving the minimum guaranteed download speed with a device with a gigabit cable LAN port and a CAT5e/6/7 cable. We are achieving nowhere near the "normally available speed (between 345-380mbps)" with a device with a gigabit cable LAN port and a CAT5e/6/7 cable. 

This is an extremely worrying scenario if VM are selling packages with the expectation that every device will be a device with a gigabit cable LAN port and a CAT5e/6/7 cable. Gross misrepresentation of what customers are expecting to receive. Very small proportion of their customer base will use a device with a gigabit cable LAN port and a CAT5e/6/7 cable.

Regards,

 

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Message 6 of 14
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Re: Fixing Broadband/Cancelling Contract

But you aren't - you are using a Cat5 cable and we dont know what the NIC card spec is yet as you haven't told us yet 🙂   Cat5 cables went out with the Ark. They were ever only specced up to 100 Mbps (though some can exceed that)  - I would bet that there's your issue. Fix that first and see what the Network settings reports on the new cable (it will for sure be at 100Mbps on a Cat5)

Its likely that VM may well be delivering 350 Mbps TO your Hub which is what you are contracted for and specced for. They will say that If your equipment is not capable of receiving that then its up to you to sort it out. I would say >90% of customers who choose >100Mbps will know to use Cat5e or better cables and NIC cards above 10/100 and wifi devices capable of receiving those higher speed.

If this is the case you will only ever get ~100Mbps download - no matter which ISP you eventually end up with.


--------------------
John
--------------------

My services: HD TV on VIP (+ Sky Sports & Movies & BT sport), x3 V6 boxes (1 wired 2 WiFi,) SH2 in modem mode with Airport Extreme Router. On VIVID200, Talk Anytime Phone, x2 Mobile SIM only iPhones.
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Message 7 of 14
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Re: Fixing Broadband/Cancelling Contract


@cmmaclean wrote:

Hi Gary,

I understand that in order to achieve the maximum advertised speed we must use a device with a gigabit cable LAN port and a CAT5e/6/7 cable. However, I am not achieving the minimum guaranteed download speed with a device with a gigabit cable LAN port and a CAT5e/6/7 cable. We are achieving nowhere near the "normally available speed (between 345-380mbps)" with a device with a gigabit cable LAN port and a CAT5e/6/7 cable. 

This is an extremely worrying scenario if VM are selling packages with the expectation that every device will be a device with a gigabit cable LAN port and a CAT5e/6/7 cable. Gross misrepresentation of what customers are expecting to receive. Very small proportion of their customer base will use a device with a gigabit cable LAN port and a CAT5e/6/7 cable.

Regards,

 


But you said you were using a CAT5 cable. This is limited to 100Mbps. 

And actually the majority of customers will have the required cables and equipment - CAT5E was released to market in 2001 when CAT5 was depreciated and replaced, so 19 years ago. 

Likewise Gigabit LAN was released in 1999, so 21 years ago.

Cat5e/6/7 cables are dirt cheap as are USB Gigabit Ethernet adaptors for devices that only have 100Mbps LAN ports in order to upgrade equipment as cheaply and effectively as possible. 


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Re: Fixing Broadband/Cancelling Contract

Interesting, I didn’t realise this was the case. I’ve ordered a CAT7 cable. Hopefully this will improve the results I'm getting. 

Whilst I agree that Ethernet connectivity is dirt cheap and easy to implement, I know very few people that actually use Ethernet for the devices within their house. I’m the only one in a house of 4 to do so.

I feel that VM advertising speeds expected on WiFi devices would be a lot fairer representation that the maximum speed with a wired device. I think they’re pretty reliant on people not being wise to what these speeds actually mean and how to monitor them. 

Regards,

 

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Re: Fixing Broadband/Cancelling Contract

I’ve just become aware of the fact that there is a different CAT5 cable.. CAT5e. I’ve ordered a CAT7 cable to try and fix that part of the problem. 

Can you direct me towards finding NIC card spec please? 

Interesting. I now feel part of a small minority! Time to educate myself on networking. 

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Message 10 of 14
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Re: Fixing Broadband/Cancelling Contract


@cmmaclean wrote:

Interesting, I didn’t realise this was the case. I’ve ordered a CAT7 cable. Hopefully this will improve the results I'm getting. 

Whilst I agree that Ethernet connectivity is dirt cheap and easy to implement, I know very few people that actually use Ethernet for the devices within their house. I’m the only one in a house of 4 to do so.

I feel that VM advertising speeds expected on WiFi devices would be a lot fairer representation that the maximum speed with a wired device. I think they’re pretty reliant on people not being wise to what these speeds actually mean and how to monitor them. 

Regards,

 


You can’t advertise or guarantee WiFi speeds as there’s too many environmental variables, along with the fact that different devices have different WiFi cards/chips capable of slower or faster speeds depending on the spec etc etc.

And if you read the speed guarantee for Virgin it’s quite clear what the speeds cover and what they don’t  

More than 50% of the 30+ devices I have in my home are connected by Ethernet as opposed to wireless as it’s just easier and more stable for them to run that way. 


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