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Another repull fail

watercooled
Superfast

Following on from intermittent connection problems mentioned in another thread, a VM tech visited yesterday and diagnosed a damaged cable so booked a repull, which was attempted today.

The short version is, we now have nothing at all. First contractor team completed repull and disappeared. Another team turned up wondering why they were booked because there was no obstruction or something, but asked if it was working. I said it wasn't. Modem won't sync, no TV, nothing. I was home in time to speak to the contractors who tried re-terminating the cable and changing taps without success, but said they couldn't do any more because they don't have any test equipment to check the signal themselves. One guy kept insisting it must be an internal wiring problem despite me explaining it was syncing fine on the old cable, and then claimed it was working because the router was broadcasting its SSID (which it will do even with the coax pulled out). And they spent some time criticising the work of the previous team. They then left saying there's nothing they can do, and to contact Virgin Media. Being Friday, that means no Internet until at least Monday (another appointment booked), assuming it's a simple fix, and perhaps longer if the new cable has been damaged and needs re-doing.

Even the tech support conversation was hard work; I must have tried to explain the situation about five times with long periods of silence wondering if I'd been disconnected in between.

What a shambles. I saw the horror stories on the forums but assumed it must be uncommon.

Why are people sent to complete a job if they don't have the correct tools to do it, leaving the customer worse of than before they arrived? And why is the process so disjointed?

 

17 REPLIES 17

goslow
Alessandro Volta

Your story has been repeated in previous topics on here. A customer has a partly working connection. A new cable is advised. The contractor cuts/removes the old cable then fails to commission the new cable. The customer then has no connection at all.

As to your 'why' questions, the answer must doubtless be 'money'. VM has outsourced much of its cable installation work to sub-contractors. The contractors seem to have total control over the installation operation, once tasked by VM. If the individual installation is simple/easy then it is completed and the contractor gets paid a (probably small) sum of money.

If anything goes wrong with the job, or it becomes more complicated than planned, then the wheels instantly fall of the installation machine. Why this happens, from the topics on here, is not clear but a past topic made mention of escalating costs on a job, beyond the standard price, require VM approval but it could equally be the contractor targeting easy jobs first for which it will get paid upon completion.

The contractors sub-divide the installation and often the installation is time-limited. In my own street recently, I watched a VM sub-contractor make four separate visits to pull a cable from the street cabinet to the end of the road (a distance of about 75m). Each visit lasted 30 to 40 minutes and part way through they obviously got stuck with the cable pull underground. At that point they stopped and left. A few days later another team returned and carried on. After 3 or 4 visits, across a week or two, they had completed the task.

If you phone VM for info on how an installation is progressing, you will be 'guaranteed' the installation will happen on the date VM tell you. But VM has no control or knowledge of the process and the agent on the phone is doing nothing more than reading the date to you from a screen.

watercooled
Superfast

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, seems to be the case. It's immensely frustrating going from partial broadband service to zero broadband/TV/phone service in what should be a repair job. Can't even get a decent mobile signal here for reliable tethering as backup.

I really don't know how they've messed it up. The last contractors I spoke to seemed sure it was connected, and for a while the modem was showing a single unlocked downstream signal of something like -17dBmV, 20dB SNR, so I wondered if it had been put on a very low tap. One guy walked back to the cabinet and said it was already on highest so moved it down one to see if that made any difference (obviously just guessing because no meter). This guy was very friendly and did seem to be trying everything he could. I think they also reterminated/tightened both ends.

So I'm wondering now if power level is far too high and overloading the receivers, though probably not because moving from RG7 to RG11 shouldn't cause such a huge rise from ~0dBmV it was at previously, although the tech yesterday mentioned he was measuring something like 20dB tilt if I heard him correctly. I don't think I have any attenuators to try either.

Or could also be a damaged cable I guess, but the bits I can see look alright with decent bend radius etc. Some minor abrasion from the pull but nothing major.

I'll report back if/when I find out what the actual problem was.

watercooled
Superfast

Quick update for the latest development. Just had a notification from the VM app - an area fault has appeared covering broadband, tv, phone. I wonder if the contractors knackered the whole cabinet? 🤣

watercooled
Superfast

Well it seems whatever was causing the total loss was fixed at some point this morning, and TV/router synced again. Maybe coincidental with repull, who knows. Not having test equipment means the contractors didn't!

Anyway, the intermittent T3 & packet loss spikes have returned, noticed by videos cutting out, web pages not loading for a minute or so at a time, so the old cable was seemingly a red herring.

I still have the appointment booked for Monday which they hopefully don't auto-cancel. Not sure if it's a bad router or some local noise issue, but it's similar to what was happening a year or so back and they replaced the modem then too, but that didn't seem to change much at the time. The self-service network test reports an intermittent signal problem too.

bc7f69b928c64d0d45124e07ccdcc9df50183eac-01-07-2023

watercooled
Superfast

So after another visit, the tech replaced the last few bits to rule out any other wiring issues; the small run of coax running indoors, and the old isolator. But the issue still remains, so it looks very much like a network noise issue.

Is there any chance a mod could see if this has been escalated in the area? It remains intermittent, but causes irritating drops, quite often around 7-9pm, so I wonder if someone in the street has some bodged or DIY wiring causing noise ingress when they're using a certain appliance.

When the drops occur, I see T3 timeouts, US channels dropping to 16QAM or dropping out altogether, and the associated packet loss spikes on BQM.

US.png

c7b2625fdbf0b716e64213b0f5a15471b2f52917-06-07-2023

Thanks for coming back to us with an update on your issues watercooled.

I have looked into this and can see that there is an SNR issue in your local area with a current estimated fix time of 10am on July 14th.

Kind Regards,

Steven_L

Great, I'm pleased it has been escalated.

Thanks for getting back to me!

Well, the 14th has been and gone, and the problem remains. Any updates on this? Connection still intermittently unusable.

Time Priority Description

16/07/2023 10:42:57criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:42:57criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:42:37criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:42:37criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:42:17criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:42:17criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:41:17criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:41:17criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:40:57criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:40:57criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:39:37criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:39:37criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:39:17criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:39:17criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:37:37criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:37:37criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:36:17criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:36:17criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:34:38criticalNo Ranging Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;
16/07/2023 10:34:37criticalUnicast Ranging Received Abort Response - initializing MAC;CM-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CMTS-MAC=**:**:**:**:**:**;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;

7abb9c1123f4b2480f5e921da55e3c7bbd6368ab-16-07-2023

-tony-
Alessandro Volta

did you seriously expect anything to happen on the 14th - the screen told the VM person it would happen on that date so he confirmed it to you - what he did not confirm was his knowledge that this was no more than a guess by a computer that it would happen - when VM get back to you they will give you another computer generated date in the future when its all going to be fixed - theres as much truth in that as the man in the moon - all you can do is wait

you mention internal cables and a splitter was replaced - check all connections are at least finger tight - a small spanner or pliers is better just to give them a nip - have been where you are with cable replacements and seen what you are seeing - everything was fine in the house but they missed a connector in the external box that was half a turn slack - in my case that solved the problem - mistakes can happen - so worth checking

____________________

Tony.
Sacked VIP