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littlefullmoon
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Virgin Media internet outages happening twice in a month

So in October alone, I've had 2 Virgin Media outages, both on Monday afternoons and evenings, which has affected my online teaching work quite severely as that's my busy day of the week where I get the most work. It has caused me a lot of stress as I worry about my reliability ratings being damaged due to cancelling lessons on that day. Thankfully so far, my state school clients' lessons have not been affected, because if they were, my reliability ratings would indeed be damaged badly even if I had to miss one lesson due to the internet outage. School clients absolutely will not reschedule and I lose £20 per lesson missed.

Private clients however, they are open to rescheduling, but still, the hassle of having to cancel on the day, when they may have made other plans already to fit around our lesson etc, is not good in terms of my overall image and reliability to them. I have to refund them if they can't reschedule too, again £20 a lesson missed. I had to do that for the 5th Oct outage and . Plus they are able to leave reviews for me on my tutor page and I don't want a bad review!

Yesterday the outage happened again at 1.30pm and the timescale given on the server status page was that it would be fixed by 8.30pm. I know that's just an estimate, but without any certainty attached to the timing, I just couldn't risk annoying my private clients. So with just 3 hrs to go till my lesson with a private client (as it's half term, there were no school clients yesterday), I rescheduled my lessons with my private clients, to some inconvenience to us both, as we all had planned things to do with our kids during the half term and now those plans have to be altered thanks to the outage. Annoyingly, Virgin Media sent me a text message half an hour later to say it has been fixed. So basically I cancelled the lessons stressfully for nothing. But on hindsight, I was right to do that, because I couldn't have known when exactly the problem would be fixed, as Virgin couldn't provide an accurate estimate.

We've had Virgin Media for quite some time. I've only just returned to tutoring since May, and this time only doing online tutoring when I used to do them face to face. From May to August, I only tutored 3 lessons a week so thankfully outages never affected them. However, I upped my tutoring hours in October because I needed the money this time, so I've been doing 10 hrs a week. It's not even that much compared to some other professional tutors, but since I upped the hours, I am really starting to notice just how bad and intermittent our Virgin connection is. 

I always do my tutoring sitting next to the router with my laptop. Granted it's not a wired connection. I have no issues with speed. I only have issues with complete internet outage, and that happens often enough in this first month that I upped my tutoring hours, stressed me out enough, for me to think : I need to get out of my Virgin contract and switch.

Virgin customer service reps I've spoken to were as useful as a chocolate teapot. They claim that my service is fine as shown on their system at the time of calling, and therefore they cannot allow me to leave my contract early.

Well I've had it. After reading this online article about the number of complaints OFCOM receives about each major broadband ISP in the UK, I just signed up to EE broadband today, as that is number one on the OFCOM list in terms of getting the least complaints... and I can't wait for it to be set up so I can use that in case Virgin internet decides to go on an outage again! I've been complaining on Virgin's Twitter Feed and they have at first said call 150. I said I did, lots of times, even was on call with 3 agents being passed from pillar to post yesterday for more than an hour. All they do is try to sell me the Boost which they say will improve my device's connection to the internet - that's unhelpful because my device has no issue connecting to the internet or getting top speeds, but that's only when there is no internet outage in my area! Unfortunately, the outages in my area happened twice alone in this month, both on Monday afternoons, and I'm only noticing how often it is because I've upped my online teaching hours in October!

Virgin's Twitter staff said okay, make a post on here and I might get a Virgin engineer to make a house visit??

Okay I'm doing that right now. I'm not holding my breath, and I've got 12 mths left on my Virgin contract which I absolutely refuse to pay a fee for leaving, so I'll stick with it, but with EE broadband in my house also, I'll really be able to compare the difference in quality and reliability. If a Virgin engineer would like to come over and check what's wrong with my internet, please do. For now, I'll just leave my Virgin internet for my kids to utilise as they don't stand to lose earnings if there's an outage, although annoyingly, yesterday afternoon, the outage did happen during one of their online tuition lessons, so it's really a hassle that they have to to watch the recorded session afterwards to catch up, without the benefits of real time interaction with the tutor... And I paid for that lesson, I won't get a refund because it's a group lesson and it's recorded, so if we miss it, it's too bad.. I knew the terms and conditions when I signed up. The teacher is great, my kids like him, that's why we persist... But still, it would be nice if the outages didn't happen so often in a month. I'd be happy to spare them my EE broadband connection in future if I don't need it for work and the Virgin internet experiences another area outage again. 

 It does seem to be a common occurrence in my area. I'm a member of my local FB neighborhood group and every time I experience a Virgin internet outage, a few other people post about it too on the page, so I'm not the only one. And some of our neighbors have switched over from Virgin to Cityfibre since it rolled out over here a few months ago, due to Virgin internet being so unreliable here. Virgin cs reps often like to phrase it like I'm the only one with the problem in my area. No it's not. They also like to say that my problems can be improved by buying their home speed booster - no it cannot. My problems are not for lack of speed. I don't know how many times I can say that before they really take heed. My problems are due to complete internet outage which makes their claims of fast speeds irrelevant. My router simply isn't getting any internet at all, and green lights showing on it when it happens! Repeated rebooting of the router during these times doesn't do anything to get rid of the green lights during an internet outage either! (Yet Virgin claims their system shows absolutely nothing wrong with my router... So they don't have to do anything about it... And this has been going on for a while, even before I started online tutoring.. it's easy to live with their problems when you don't rely on their services to earn a living!)

 

 

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legacy1
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Message 2 of 14
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Re: Virgin Media internet outages happening twice in a month

Its not like the internet is a simple thing to get right and working 100% just look what happened to Facebook when they went down.

Maybe look at getting a dual WAN router with fail over

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jpeg1
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Legend
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Message 3 of 14
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Re: Virgin Media internet outages happening twice in a month

Virginmedia does not guarantee a continuous connection and it does go down from time to time. It's a residential service and you use it for business at your own risk. 

You can either subscribe to a business contract, or get a fallover service on 4g/5g.  The same applies with other providers. 

littlefullmoon
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Message 4 of 14
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Re: Virgin Media internet outages happening twice in a month

  • Sure, but according to OFCOM Virgin gets the most complaints for service issues... So no matter how you justify it, it still doesn't look good, and I'm obviously getting the bad end of Virgin's stick on here. 
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littlefullmoon
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Message 5 of 14
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Re: Virgin Media internet outages happening twice in a month

Doesn't Virgin not allow the use of any other modem router than their own, and it has to act as a bridge even if you get your own router? Anyway I only want something that works quite reliably out of the box, and I'll see if EE is better for me. I don't want to be faffing around with this.

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jpeg1
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Message 6 of 14
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Re: Virgin Media internet outages happening twice in a month

Virginmedia 's customer service is appalling, and deserves to get the bad ratings.  But the actual broadband connection isn't bad.

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littlefullmoon
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Message 7 of 14
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Re: Virgin Media internet outages happening twice in a month

Yes the broadband isn't bad in terms of speed, but only when it isn't going through an outage in my area. It's no good if it's good speeds only when there's no outage, and then it decides to have regular outages over which a consumer has absolutely no control nor forewarning about...

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jpeg1
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Message 8 of 14
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Re: Virgin Media internet outages happening twice in a month

The router can be switched off and drops back to a simple router.  Many customers use their own router with satisfactory performance. 

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littlefullmoon
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Message 9 of 14
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Re: Virgin Media internet outages happening twice in a month

That's what I meant - the Virgin router still must be used as a bridge, even if you buy your own router. You still wouldn't get any internet if Virgin goes on one of its usual and common outages in my area, no matter how expensive and great your bought router is, that you've hooked up to the Virgin router used as a bridge. I'm not going to bother with this because my issue is not even with the connectivity of the router to my device's. My issue is simply to do with the frequent internet service outages in my area... Getting a good router will not solve that. That's literally a problem with Virgin itself.

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jpeg1
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Message 10 of 14
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Re: Virgin Media internet outages happening twice in a month

You are getting the service you paid for, with no guarantee of continuous connection. 

Apologies for my previous slip.  I meant a simple modem, of course.  

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