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RobertIain
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Message 1 of 42
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Repeated problems, Leeds LS22 area

So, we had a short area outage last week, usual recorded message about it being a complicated issue and though the engineers were working it there was no available fix time. After a few hours it seemed to have been resolved - until roughly 10:30 in the evening on the 22nd August, when it all fell over again. The symptoms then were exactly the same as the previous fault (and actually are almost always the same for all the system failures I've experienced over the last few months), the superhub suddenly starts to reboot, try reestablish connections, completes the process - and then reboots again. That will carry on until whatever is busted at the Virgin end of the system is back up and running, so I rang the helpline to make sure that as I suspected the area fault was back, and the recorded message told me (as expected) 'sorry your area has intermittent broadband fault, our engineers are working on it but it is a complicated issue so we do now know when it will be resolved'.

The new twist was it offered me the option to be notified on my mobile when it was rectified, so I chose yes to that, was directed to enter three letters from my password, and then - I was connected to the recorded message telling me there was nobody to answer the phones until 8 am tomorrow....

To add extra insult, just before the system failed yet again I did manage to collect my email - including one from Virgin telling me my monthly payments were about to increase, but that was to mainly to ensure the future reliability of this marvellously reliable system.....

What exactly does Virgin think 'reliable' means, and how on Earth do they come up with their supposed "when we measure our network to homes, we're 99.98% reliable" figure they are quoting in that email, because as a long time user of your services, that's absolutely untrue.

How, precisely, are you measuring this number and why is it nothing like the actual experience of the people who rely on and pay for this 'service'? If that percentage is right I would expect to see service loss on no more than one day per year - certainly not twice in less than a week, and casting my mind back over we have had at least 8 apparently identical 'area faults' in this year alone. Since the symptoms we experience are without fail the same, the impression given to customers here is someone is just bodging a 'repair' that will last 'for now' and dashing off to some other job.

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Rezoloot
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Message 2 of 42
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Re: Repeated problems, Leeds LS22 area

You don't think your contract has finished do you?????, you can check on VM website for the date you singed up and date ended, I've never heard of anyone getting a warning saying its about to finish and suppose if its computer driven architecture, could be instantly just denied service, just a thought, good luck though, hope you get it sorted

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RobertIain
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Message 3 of 42
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Re: Repeated problems, Leeds LS22 area

I guess I should not be surprised by the total lack of any sort of useful response, but just to keep on the pointless task....  the outage three weeks ago, that kicked off this thread was, as usual, fixed by the end of the following day - but of course it was the usual bodge it and hope job, because today we had exactly the same issues in the area, the same recorded message about how it was 'complicated' and there was no estimated repair time, and of course a few hours later it's back working again (I've even signed up to the text messaging service to be told when faults are fixed - but of course I have had no text message, simply found out the internet access was back again by leaving the PC running and checking intermittently to see if it showed the connection was working again....)

The earlier questions still stand - why do we repeatedly have these problems (this is at least the seventh time this year, and it's been going on for several years), why is there never a proper fix rather than a 'patch it up and hope' temporary bandaid repair, why does nobody acknowledge there is a recurring problem, why can't your helpdesk make sure whoever is responsible for this mess (who us mere customers are not allowed to trouble with our complaints...) actually gets told in no uncertain terms what a shoddy job they are doing...

But I guess the answer is the usual - first line help want to help but are not allowed to, management hide behind the helpdesk who are their useful screen against the customers, and since all the other UK ISPs seem to be pathetically bad there's no profit in Virgin being any better than them when they can pocket a small fortune for the absolute minimal effort and investment - whilst writing to the customers explaining they are hiking prices so they can improve on their already almost faultless service..... apparently I experience 99% reliable service, based on the total fiction in the last email I received from Virgin explaining why I would have to pay more for it to be even better. I really want to know how this '99%' is calculated, since it's certainly not what the customer experiences.

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Moderator (Retired) Ralph_R
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Message 4 of 42
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Re: Repeated problems, Leeds LS22 area

Hi RobertIain,

Apologies for the connection issues, looks like there has been an ongoing SNR (noise ingress) fault in the area, currently reported on F006535531.

The reported fix date is for today, though as you've experienced this kind of fault can be difficult to track and pin down...touch wood all will be successfully resolved on this occasion.

Please let us know though should problems persist and we'll gladly check on the situation for you.

Kind Rgds

 

Ralph_R
Forum Moderator

The do's and don'ts. Keep the community welcoming for all. Follow the house rules


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RobertIain
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Message 5 of 42
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Re: Repeated problems, Leeds LS22 area

Trouble is, this really is a recurring issue and has been for many, many months - and the craziness of Virgin support gets worse!

I'd signed up to be told by text when the current problem had been resolved at the time of my first post in this thread - but never got any notification for that fault, or the subsequent one, being resolved - even though both faults had been 'fixed' and the internet was working fine.. However yesterday (18th) at 10:49 I got a text notification of fault F006535531 telling me 'We have identified the problem and an engineer is on his way', estimated repair time 16:00 on the 19th. Then today I received another text updating that to tell me the estimated repair time is now 11:45 on 21/9/2018 - except the internet is working (which is how I am posting this), was working at the time of the first text, and according to my router log only had any issues in the late afternoon of the 17th.

I have no clue what is going on - but I also suspect neither do Virgin. This fault keeps recurring, never gets properly fixed - only 'patched up' until it comes back again, and whatever tools you are using to 'monitor' the system are clearly hopelessly inaccurate. Rather than just 'touch wood' can we actually get this sorted out? Well over a year of recurring problems is not down to 'bad luck', something on your network clearly is not right, and when you mail me claiming over 99% availability someone is either hopelessly misinformed or simply lying to me. It ain't anywhere close to that reliable, never has been and based on experience never will be.

 

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RobertIain
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Message 6 of 42
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Re: Repeated problems, Leeds LS22 area

Not sure how this in any way qualifies as support, but here are the mot recent 'updates' to my mobile about this error -

18th September :

Virgin Media Outage Update - Description: Service update. Broadband, Voice and TV fault F006535531. The latest update we have is: We have identified the problem and an engineer is on their way. The estimated repair time is now: 19/09/2018 16:00:00. The Virgin Media Team.- ID: F006535531. Best wishes, the Virgin Media Team.

OK, error identified and engineer on the way....

19 September :

Virgin Media Outage Update - Description: Service update. Broadband, Voice and TV fault F006535531. The latest update we have is: We have identified the problem and an engineer is on their way. The estimated repair time is now: 21/09/2018 11:45:00. The Virgin Media Team.- ID: F006535531. Best wishes, the Virgin Media Team.

So same error identified again, and another engineer on the way (where did the first one go?_

21 September  (about 30 minutes before writing this post)

Virgin Media Outage Update - Description: Service update. Broadband, Voice and TV fault F006535531. The latest update we have is: We have identified the problem and an engineer is on their way. The estimated repair time is now: 24/09/2018 12:05:00. The Virgin Media Team.- ID: F006535531. Best wishes, the Virgin Media Team.

So the same problem has now been identified three times, but two engineers are apparently still lost somewhere in Yorkshire - hopefully search teams are out trying to find them, or at least the third one finds some trace of them when he/she actually arrives at the supposed 'fault location'.....

Pretty obviously, 'support' is just sending a pre-formatted email that is absolutely inappropriate for the second and third messages in this farcical chain, because actually being up to date with what's going on and providing any useful information is outside their pay grade. Meanwhile, this shambles continues (at least 8 such area failures so far this year alone, and it certainly pre-dates 2018), no acknowledgement that it's a serious ongoing problem, no acceptance of an obvious failure by Virgin to provide the services they claim to supply (and happily take money for), and no remotely believable indication this is actually going to be properly resolved rather than just bodged up and taped over until it all happens yet again.....

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RobertIain
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Message 7 of 42
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Re: Repeated problems, Leeds LS22 area

And a few minutes ago, another text - or rather, the same old text with a revised estimated fix time ....

24 September :

Virgin Media Outage Update - Description: Service update. Broadband, Voice and TV fault F006535531. The latest update we have is: We have identified the problem and an engineer is on their way. The estimated repair time is now: 27/09/2018 12:05:00. The Virgin Media Team.- ID: F006535531. Best wishes, the Virgin Media Team.

Fourth time they have 'identified the fault', fourth time some hapless engineer has been sent somewhere ... and still no indication what exactly is wrong or any believable 'fix time'. This really is not what 99% reliability of service looks like.

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Rezoloot
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Message 8 of 42
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Re: Repeated problems, Leeds LS22 area

do yourself a massive favour, go to http://www.speedtest.net/, register with them, login, it keeps a record of your speeds, log in every time be good or bad results, believe me you'll need it, you can download your log or share, I have been treat quite well from VM but I honestly believe when I was speaking to a person in an other country it was because I had proof from logs, like I say, keep a log, I know I benefited me hugely, I mean really benefited me.

 

Good luck, record all

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RobertIain
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Message 9 of 42
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Re: Repeated problems, Leeds LS22 area

I already use Speedtest, have done for several years - the problem being raised here is nothing to do with ping speeds, data flow  or packet loss, it is that intermittently (but often) internet access for users in this area simply stops working, Virgin make a ton of excuses about it being a 'hard problem' and claim to send out an endless string of engineers, get things working again for a while so regard it as a 'solved problem' and then exactly the same damn problem comes back again a few weeks later, and we repeat the whole pointless cycle. Looks to me that nobody is actually managing a good, reliable service - they are just botching repairs, marking their performance as excellent because they send out messages (usually misleading) about issues quickly, then hit another artificial target by apparently sending 'engineers' at once (even though the issue is never genuinely solved), and then have the sheer nerve to raise prices arbitrarily because they want us to continue getting the 'excellent' levels of service, 99% reliability and all sorts of other fantasy stories they spread create the false image of a serious, customer focussed organisation when they are anything but.

Front line staff genuinely try to help, but usually cannot - whatever passes itself off as 'management' either is utterly ignorant of the real experience of their customers, or don't give a damn about it. I strongly suspect the latter, you can't remain ignorant of how poor your service is for so long without serious effort to hide from the truth.

There is a fundamental underlying problem with their network setup here, has been for years, still is, and is simply being plastered over in the hope that the customers give up trying to get to the truth about what's really going on and end up settling for shoddy service - mainly because the rival internet companies in the UK have such awful reputations many customers are resigned to putting up with this poor service for fear of getting something even worse.

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RobertIain
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Message 10 of 42
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Re: Repeated problems, Leeds LS22 area

And another 'update' ....

27 September :

Virgin Media Outage Update - Description: Service update. Broadband, Voice and TV fault F006535531. The latest update we have is: We have identified the problem and an engineer is on their way. The estimated repair time is now: 5/10/2018 15:05:00. The Virgin Media Team.- ID: F006535531. Best wishes, the Virgin Media Team.

Identified it again, sent yet another engineer... now looking at maybe something being done by 5 October. Perhaps. This particular cycle of this problem (and it is FAR from the first time we have experienced this exact same mess) began 22 August. It's actually been going on, at various times, for years... and it feels to be still as far away from being resolved as it ever was.

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