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Complete preinstall disaster: unnecessary wayleave, postpones and questionable personal data handling

On our wavelength

Good day lads, hope you all get better broadband service from virgin than I do at the moment considering I literally do not and cannot receive it 😆 I also hope that the service is worth it because preinstall has been nothing but a nightmare so far.


Had virgin xgs-pon go live on my street a month or so ago and signed up for installation via on-site rep who talked great deal about xgs-pon capabilities, like how it could achieve symmetric speeds and all that. Sadly rep failed to mention that those are hypothetical possibilities and virgin still offers 10:1 speed ratio even on xgs-pon 😐 what a disappointment. Even then unfortunately VM postponed install 3 times so far (and each time I had to ring our previous ISP to extend the service as we cancelled early because we thought we will be getting new ISP, but i eventually got back onto the rolling contract with them until this mess gets sorted) despite that the fibre box already been fitted to the front of the house after the first postpone.


After second postpone notice we phoned virgin because the box was already installed so the delays shouldn't have happened and they sent on-site engineer to see why installation isn't possible, which turned out to be a blockage up somewhere either on our or some other street which was known to be an issue after the first postpone. OK fair enough but this really should've been told upfront by a VM rep and not 2 weeks later by the on-site engineer.


2 weeks of delay go by and yet again i receive another 2 week postpone, and cherry on top is that they've sent me an email that my installation is actually postponed indefinitely despite the my virgin portal showing that my installation is still due late december but i digress.


As it happens to be for whatever reason the indefinite delay is because they need a permission in form of a 'Wayleave agreement' from one of the neighbours 2 houses up, and they actually asked us to go up to them, get their email address and then email their address to the residential wayleave team at virgin so they could reach them out.


To me this is complete nonsense. Neighbours house on the same street (which is a building up), and our house are not directly neighbouring (our wall is not connected to them), and our premises don't even intersect! Couple living there are not even our landlords either.


And why does virgin ask us to obtain our neighbours information? At best it's a bit silly they would rather send 3 different engineers to our premises to install services (yes, they've sent 2 different teams so far to lay the cable and install the box, with 3rd which would've been actual service installation inside the house) than to send 1 official rep to contact the neighbours about the agreements, and at worst they're delegating processing of personal information of other people (as they've asked for an email of our neighbours) onto us which should be none of our business and this should not be our problem at all.


I've rang the local VM rep and preinstall CS yesterday to try to solve this complete rubbish of a situation but the former did not pick up the phone and latter said that install engineer team should call back within 24 hours but to none of my surprise neither the rep or 'install engineer team' called back since.


Anyone have a clue as to how to unravel this mess and what to do now? I'm not asking my neighbours for their email or to sign a wayleave agreement because our premises, as I've said before are not within boundaries of each other and do not even intersect, nor do neighbours own the land around or on our premise. I do not see even why digging on their property is required to get broadband services on our premises? Virgin already dug on our premises to lay the cable and put the box on the wall of the house, no problems there. As far as I'm concerned the 'wayleave agreement' or any of the other permissions are not necessary here at all.


P.S As a funny little anecdote, the local VM rep back when helping us with filling the order talked smack about other FTTP provider in the area that was supposed to go live but did not 😆 Funny that, the other full fibre ISP might not have went live in due time but they did not promise or sell us the service they could not provide and they even explicitly stated to not cancel our current ISP services yet. Virgin on the other hand promised big and ended up giving bugger all with a headache! I have not even had actual services yet and it's already a pretty appalling experience.


Alessandro Volta

Sadly, all of the bizarre pantomime antics of VM's installation processes, which you have described, have been mentioned in various past topics on here.

Unfortunately for you, you seem to have been on the receiving end of almost all of them combined into one single installation!

There is not actually a lot you can do directly yourself that will kickstart the broken VM installation processes into life to complete the job.

You should start keeping a detailed record of events (dates, times of all calls, messages, texts etc. along with any missed appointments and failed appointments where someone turns up but no work was carried out). Keep the record in a timeline format with links from the timeline to each piece of recorded evidence. This will make it easy for you in the future to put forward a case to arbitration for the correct compensation, should that be necessary.

Wayleave issues are a common excuse that VM will use to avoid payment (even though from what you say getting wayleave permission does not seem to apply in your case). This is why it is important to keep detailed records.

It is also significant that VM has advised you of an indefinite delay to the installation. You should check the exact details of what that says. There is provision in the compensation scheme for VM to issue you with a 'cease notice' advising VM will stop paying compensation. This might typically be when VM intends to cancel the job so double check exactly what has been stated.

VM rarely ever follows the compensation rules correctly in the topics reported on here so be prepared to fight for whatever you might be due by way of compensation.

You will not get any sensible information from VM that you can truly rely on. Your installation may be finished imminently or you may get no installation at all. All you can do is wait to see what happens.

One of the VM forum team should reply here within a few days and may offer to 'raise a complaint' for you which is supposed to help in some way. Whether it actually does anything or not ...

Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

Is you road fully adopted by the local Council. or is it private.  If it's private, I would guess a wayleave will be needed by every property on the road.  But yes, fully agree, it is not your place to be doing VM's work in gathering permissions for this.

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On our wavelength

Haha, looks like my bad luck strikes again 😆 I'll start gathering all information from first interaction with VM to present day collected and stored for future use. Wasn't aware they were dodging compensation this way, I thought that for a big company like them it'd be the least of their concerns. Before signing up my standards were fairly low as is but this is a new to me!

As far as indefinite delay is concerned, in the wayleave email they said, quote:

Your neighbour will need to sign a copy of our Wayleave agreement before we can continue with the installation of Virgin Media services.
Unfortunately, we will have to place the installation on hold until we receive their [neighbours] permission.

To me this reads that they've postponed my installation indefinitely, until the 'wayleave' thing is sorted. Does not read like they're gonna cancel the install on me but hey I might be wrong 😅 I hope not.

Cheers for insight, looks like I'm in for a ride!

On our wavelength

I'm very confident all roads in our town are public and are operated and maintained by local council. I don't even think we have a single private road in the town, but even if we do the street I am on is 100% public, so VM needs local council permission to use it, which as far as im aware they have not had problems with ever. Even if it were private, it's a bit strange they would need Wayleave with my neighbour 2 houses up but not me or any other neighbours around 🤔

Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

It may be they need to dig up across your neighbours garden or something? Usually it’s footpaths or roads, but who knows what the ducting plans are?

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On our wavelength

Pretty much all houses on our end of the street do not have front facing gardens and majority do not have street accessible gardens, so they are at the back of those premises. I don't think that ducting or access points are the problem since I can see every metallic chamber where the fibre line usually ends at every premise boundary before being brought up to the house. Every single one of them from what I see are pretty much straight line to every premise with no need to pass through the garden or even vegetation, since the paths are made out of tiles and each paths ownership is by it's premise.

The problem is that the further ducting and fibre line have already been dug up and brought to the front wall of our house at the fibre box, so VM have access to our premise and managed to work with it prior without having to bother our neighbours about Wayleave agreements or anything of that sort. I'm just out of ideas as to what is up with wayleave stuff and our neighbours, because none of our premises interact with each other and there is a straight path accessible everywhere to every premise within it's own boundaries 🫤

@owltimemvs wrote:

Haha, looks like my bad luck strikes again 😆 <snip>

Yes, that reads a suspension of the installation rather than a cancellation. Seems like the wayleave issue is the thing you need to overcome then. VM will use that as a means to try to reduce any compensation due.

As mentioned by Adduxi, the issue might be to do with VM having to cross over, or access, someone's property for some reason, even for a very small distance. There have been past topics on here involving delays due to distances of just a metre or two where VM thinks a wayleave issue was involved.

What sort of age is your property and the ones nearby? There has been some past VM 'confusion' on here for installations on 'modern' housing developments (1960s onwards) where ownership of land such as 'service strips', or similar communal areas, has become uncertain over time.

On our wavelength

As far as I'm aware, I don't see why VM needs any access to cross someone's property even for a millimetre because the quickest and cheapest to do path to our house is entirely through our premise (the entire path from access point to our house is entirely within our premise), as they've already done so when first 2 preinstall engineer teams showed up. But still even if they need to talk with my neighbour for whatever reason, they have to do it themselves because I cannot do their job for them 🫤

No clue how old are the properties around here to be quite honest! But if I were to make a few educated guesses it's not that old, definitely built way after 1960s and building does not show much if any aging. Not too new either, it has been here since at least 2000s or maybe even before that. I don't see where the land ownership disputes can happen on our end of the street, though. To me it's pretty straightforward for most properties where the land ownership goes, as most premise have their own path which is owned by each respective property and those paths do not intersect or connect to each other, not on our end anyway.

Only VM can (maybe) answer your questions about the wayleave issue. I am certainly not suggesting that you should have to deal with it.

You should get a reply from the VM forum team on here within a few days. They may offer to try to help or just log a complaint to see if an answer emerges. (But set your expectations to a suitably low level about anything useful or sensible happening!)