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EggDaddy06
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Incredibly slow speeds at peak times Tunbridge Wells area

So I signed up to Virgin mid Sept. M200 package.

For the first 8 weeks it was excellent - 170-210mbps d/l at all times, 19-21mbps u/l at all times.

About 4 weeks ago I noticed very slow speeds in the evenings, and that my upload had permanently dropped to between 8-12 mbps.

I have a Hub 3 in modem mode with a Asus RT-AC68U router. I have a mixture of wifi and hard wired devices in the house. Both types are affected so it isn't the wifi issues. I have tried rebooting both hub and router, factory defaulting the Hub 3 and removing my ASUS from the equation and running the Hub 3 in full mode with the ASUS disconnected. Nothing makes any difference to the low speeds.

Spent 5 days trying to reach support via the app, only to wait until the next morning for a response telling me I needed to be at home... which I obviously wasnt.

Eventually took the day off and called 150.

When i finally got through 90 mins later, I was told there were works in the area until 23Dec to improve capacity and I may experience slower speeds in the evenings.

This has never shown on the service status page.

I logged a complaint at the time as the service received was so bad. They said 28 days for a response, which will be 17th Dec so still waiting on that!

I chased yesterday via the app and was told that all works in my area have been finished and I needed to speak to tech support when I am at home so they can run tests!

Just held for 90 mins, got through to a lovely guy in tech support..... and he confirmed works ARE still ongoing and I can expect issues until 23 Dec!

Absolute shambles! He was very apologetic but said there was nothing more he could do and no way I can check status myself.

So who do I believe - 1st line support who tell me works are done, or 2nd line tech support who said 23 Dec is the correct end date for the works?

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Andrew-G
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Message 2 of 19
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Re: Incredibly slow speeds at peak times Tunbridge Wells area

Sounds like the curse of over-utilisation.

In some areas VM do indeed undertake work to rejig the local networks to balance loads and eliminate over-utilisation. But sometimes that's either not possible, or judged uneconomic if there's a need to spend money on more equipment. And sadly VM have a long history of quoting fix dates that involve no fix, and the problem gets a new fix date a few weeks or a month or so ahead.  This pretence of fixing it can go on for years, and there's no way of knowing if any fix date for over-utilisation is actually backed by an genuine plan of action and programme of works.  Quite often it seems not, and at the moment I'd guess the company are reluctant to do anything too costly when they may hope that when the pandemic has receded, so will data traffic.

You MIGHT see an improvement when your area is upgraded to DOCSIS 3.1, and sufficient customers are using the Hub 4, which might help matters, but this could be many months, even a year or two hence. Simply you having a Hub 4 on its own won't improve matters.

If you see download speeds below 107 Mbps you could invoke VM's speed guarantee, requiring them to fix the problem in thirty days, or release you from contract without early termination penalties; If you do want to do that then you need to have evidence (eg screenshots of speed tests to Ookla) that show any instance of speeds below 107 Mbps on three consecutive days.  If it's only upstream speeds that get hammered then there's no guarantees at all.

 

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EggDaddy06
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Re: Incredibly slow speeds at peak times Tunbridge Wells area

Hi,

Yes, they have said the works are utilization works.

Funnily enough, text support finally came back to me an hour after I spoke with with phone support. They told me that the issue has been escalated and the new finish date is 15th Dec!

Seems odd to have gotten two different dates within an hour!

I was feeling hopeful all would be resolved by Xmas, but your message makes me worry that I could just be being fobbed off.

If the issue is still present at Xmas I think I will have to invoke the speed guarantee as the evening download speeds are shocking - just did a test on a hard wired PC - 10mbps download!

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jbrennand
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Message 4 of 19
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Re: Incredibly slow speeds at peak times Tunbridge Wells area

Gather some evidence. Get and save speedtests from speedtest.net - preferably on a device connected to the Hub by ethernet cable - every evening (get 2 samples separated by an hour or two).

Also f you haven’t already, set up a free and secure “Broadband Quality Monitor” to continually monitor the state of your connection and record any true network dropouts , latency issues, packet drops, over-utilisation, etc., (it will also allow you to differentiate between those and simple wifi dropouts).

It does it 24/7/365 and it keeps a visual record of any/all of your network disconnections, useful data to have to match to the Network logs (in your Hub settings) and also in discussions with VM - note it will take a few hours to start seeing a sensible picture - post up the “link” to the “shared graph” (as per instructions on the TB website) when you have the first 24h period so we (me & Andruser) can take a look - OU issues will stick out like a sore thumb.

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality

--------------------
John
--------------------

I do not work for VM. My services: HD TV on VIP (+ Sky Sports & Movies & BT sport), x3 V6 boxes (1 wired 2 WiFi,) SH2 in modem mode with Airport Extreme Router +2 Airport Express's. On VIVID200, Talk Anytime Phone, x2 Mobile SIM only iPhones.
EggDaddy06
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Message 5 of 19
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Re: Incredibly slow speeds at peak times Tunbridge Wells area

Thanks John,

I have setuo a BQM and once I got the router configured it is now showing results. I will post a graph here in a couple of days once I have a full 24 hour period of data.

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EggDaddy06
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Re: Incredibly slow speeds at peak times Tunbridge Wells area

So here is a graph from last 24 hours, and some info on usage from 5pm:

5pm - 8pm - Son playing Fortnite on Xbox

Speedtest @ 19:24

Wired: 11ms Ping, 64mbps DL, 9mbps UL

Wifi: 15ms Ping, 58mbps DL, 8mbps UL

8pm - 9:30pm - Disney+ Streaming

Speedtest @ 21:25

Wired: 10ms Ping, 33mbps DL, 11mbps UL

Wifi: 13ms Ping, 56mbps DL, 10mbps UL

10pm - 11:50pm - Apple TV 4k Dolby Vision Streaming

Speedtest @ 21:25

Wired: 8ms Ping, 146mbps DL, 14mbps UL

Wifi: 11ms Ping, 120mbps DL, 12mbps UL

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/f1e3c497ed57074643cf4e7d0bcd9bf693... 

(Sorry, not sure how to embed the image here, tried so many combos!)

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Andrew-G
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Message 7 of 19
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Re: Incredibly slow speeds at peak times Tunbridge Wells area

The BQM confirms there is a utilisation problem.  If you're currently in a fixed term contract you should raise a complaint now invoking the speed guarantee.  Put the complaint in writing (phone service is so poor there's little point trying that).  The reason for doing this now is that the speed guarantee is that if VM can't or won't fix a speed problem in thirty days, they release you from any minimum contract period.  Obviously if the 23 Dec fix date is adhered to, you'd stay with VM, the precedents VM have set give me no confidence that they will deliver.

If you're already outside of a fixed term, the speed guarantee isn't worth the pixels its displayed upon, in which case choose a new ISP (and choose wisely - all the big companies have poor service, and the decent ISPs are mostly companies you may be unfamiliar with), and get that ordered ASAP, and cancel VM only after the new connection is in and working.  Check speeds you can expect with the new ISP.

If in the interim (or within 14 days of the new ISP connection going live) VM did fix the over-utilisation problem, then you could always use your cooling off rights to cancel the new ISP connection, although that would mean you stay with a company for whom customer service doesn't seem a priority.  

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EggDaddy06
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Message 8 of 19
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Re: Incredibly slow speeds at peak times Tunbridge Wells area

Thanks for your assistance. Much appreciated.

I had raised a formal complaint with Virgin which they said they would respond to by 17th Dec so I will wait for that response and invoke the speed guarantee in response to their response.

In the mean time, looking at the top 10 rated ISPs on the list on the top right of that page, even the top ones have some horror stories dotted in amongst the good reviews! Do you have any personal recommendations?

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EggDaddy06
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Message 9 of 19
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Re: Incredibly slow speeds at peak times Tunbridge Wells area

The other issue I have is I live in a household of gamers, and nowadays 50-100Gb downloads and patches are common, so I went to Virgin to get that 200mbps download speed... which was fantastic for the first 8 weeks!

I don't believe I have any other FTTP options in my area and FTTC will only give me up to 67mbps wont it? I was on that package with Plusnet and our average download speed was between 45-55mbps and these big 100Gb downloads would take hours.

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EggDaddy06
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Message 10 of 19
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Re: Incredibly slow speeds at peak times Tunbridge Wells area

Andruser - what would a BQM graph look like for a connection that didn't have utilization issues in the following three scenarios:

1. Gaming Online

2. Downloading a large file e.g. xbox game

3. Watching HD stream e.g. Disney+

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