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Constant pre-pull delays

Tuning in

We've recently moved house and decided to take our virgin media package with us. It appears that this may have been a huge mistake. 

Our initial installation date was given as the 18th of July, as some pre-pull work needed to be done before we could be connected. On the initial call I was told that as our neighbours had VM fibre this would be very minor work. The day of the installation no one turned up and upon calling VM support I was told that the date had been moved to the 19th of August as some "external work needed to be completed first". After a number of hours on the phone without anyone being able to tell me what works needed completing or why they were delayed I was left to wait until the 19th. I was promised a call back from the pre-install team to explain why the pre-pull work had been delayed. This never happened.

I called VM a few days before the 19th to confirm that the pre-pull work had been done and was assured that it had been and that the installation would go ahead as planned. "Great!", I thought in my naivety, a one month delay is frustrating but at least it's sorted now. Later that day I get a message through telling me that my installation was being pushed back another two weeks. After yet more hours on the phone to support I am told that the pre-pull is contracted out to a company called Avonline who haven't completed the work yet. I'm told that an email will be sent to them to check the reason for the delay and that I'll receive a call back with 48 hours. This call also never happens. 

I'm left to call VM support yet again. Each time I call I get a different person who is unable to help me but will "have a look into it" and call me back. No one ever does. Eventually one of the pre-install team gives me the work order number and contact number for Avonline and I call them myself. I'm told that the installation will require some digging so the job has been passed back to VM for confirmation. Yet more hours on the phone with VM support. On the plus side I know my account number and security questions off by heart now. I'm told that a field survey needs to be conducted and to call back the day after it has been completed. I do so. I'm told that the field survey was in fact not needed, as it had already been done back in July, and that an engineer would meet me at my property on the  26th of August instead. 

The engineer arrives as scheduled (I was actually a little shocked by this). He shows me where the ducting is near the property. It turns out that Avonline were planning to dig up a long side passage to the property rather than using the existing ducting on the pavement near our gate. He takes some pictures and says that the ducting may need to be extended a short distance, but that he'll send the report to Avonline and that someone will get back to me as soon as possible with an update. 

Two weeks have now gone by. Someone from VM support calls me to ensure someone will be in the property on the 12th of September for my installation. I ask them if the pre-pull work has been done. They tell me it has. I ask them if they have checked with the pre-install team and are sure it's been done, or if they're just assuming it has been done because the installation is soon. They assure me they have checked and it's been done. I know this is a lie. A few days later my appointment is pushed back by 2 weeks again. 

I've had no reply from VM or from Avonline. Over the last few months I've seen that I'm far from alone in having these problems, both the constant delays and complete lack of customer support. My partner has a chronic illness that can leave her housebound for periods of time, so this has affected her significantly. 

I'm hoping someone from VM will see this and actually be able to assist. Aside from that, if I don't see progress on the pre-pull work shortly I'd like to raise a complaint with Ofcom over VM's conduct for the last few months (customer support has lied to me on multiple occasions). Has anyone had experience or success doing this? Do I need to raise a (another) complaint with VM first and show that this hasn't be resolved before I do so? 







Alessandro Volta

Sadly, carbon-copies of your description have been told over and over again on here across a period of years.

It is a consequence of a totally dysfunctional sub-contracting arangement between VM and the cabling sub-contractors.

On a slightly more positive note, the detail of your description of what has happened is excellent.

You will be eligible for compensation for the installation delay

but, unfortunately, you are likely to have to escalate a complaint to the ombudsman to get paid the correct/full amount you will be owed by VM at the end when you are connected. An accurate record and timeline of all VM's delays and bungling will help any claim via the ombudsman.

In the meantime, the usual advice on here is to try and get some kind of mobile connectivity set up on a rolling monthly contract to keep you going while you wait for VM.

Alessandro Volta

In cases like this, complaints to Virginmedia rarely make any difference and are usually closed off with some meaningless phrase.  Ofcom are currently collecting complaints about VM's poor customer service. 

- jpeg1
My name is NOT Alessandro. That's just a tag Virginmedia sticks on some contributors. Please ignore it.

Tuning in

Sadly, browsing this community over the last few months I'm all too aware of the difficulty in getting the correct compensation from VM. I should note that in addition to the automatic compensation one of the reps I complained to early on agreed to comp my account with £50 of credit to purchase a 4G router (I had initially asked for VM to provide one but was told I'd have to pay for it). We've been using this for a while now and it's reasonably effective but it's no substitute and is causing issues with working from home. So I continue to pay out unneccessary train fares while I wait. 

I sent a follow up email to Avonlines complaints and have been told that this has been passed back to VM again as it's a Network Build Request. Apparently I can expect it to take up to 12 weeks to get a reply. No mention of if they have had contact from the engineer but I have requested more information from them. Confused as to how a NBR can take 12 weeks to respond to. 

Alessandro Volta

In a past topic on here (which I can no longer find) I recall one customer in waiting had an Openreach connection from Now Broadband installed on a 30 day rolling contract. It looks like i is something along the lines of a £65 setup fee and then a monthly rate according to speed.

I can't offer this as a direct recommendation (I have no personal experience of Now Broadband) so you will need to do your own research and your speed options may be highly dependent on where you live as to whether it is worth investigating for yourself.

Forum Team (Retired)
Forum Team (Retired)

Hi @CJ20 


Thanks for posting on our community forum and sorry to hear about the issue with your installation


I am going to drop you a private message to collect some further details so I can check on this for you and see what we can do about this. Keep an eye on your inbox for a message from myself, CJ20. 



Forum Team

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Alessandro Volta

@CJ20 wrote:

Sadly, browsing this community over the last few months I'm all too aware of the difficulty in getting the correct compensation from VM.<snip>

You might find this topic interesting by @Chez92

who was the person I recalled taking out Now TV as a temp fix while waiting for VM (bottom of page 1).

Chez92 has updated the topic to confirm a successful decision in their favour via adjudication (end of topic). Chez92 may possibly be willing to provide further info via PM, or on that topic, on the Now TV experience and the ombudsman process if you are still in need of either!

Thanks very much for this, I wasn't aware of any companies that did 1 month rolling contracts. I've had a look and am going to see how fast they can get us set up while we wait for VM to connect us. Naturally the speeds are much slower than VM (only fttc instead of fttp) but should be an improvement on what we have at the moment while we wait (Asda unlimited data sim for ~£30 /month in a Huawei router off Amazon if anyone in a similar situation is interested - it's passable for moderate streaming) . The set up cost will be covered by the compensation (aware that I'm probably going to have to fight for this but more than happy to send a deadlock to CISAS if needed).