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keinpesto
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Virgin Media droadband really so bad?

I'm moving to a new house and there is no Fibre here. Virgin media seems to be only option but having read their bad reviews I've second thoughts. So are the bad reviews for other bb providers including sky. I've been with sky for 15 years, didn't have much trouble with anything, it just worked may be I was lucky.

So the question is should I get Virgin media broadband or it's just nightmare?

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paul1276
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Re: Virgin Media droadband really so bad?

I have the same choice. Really old and slow Openreach or Virgin Media. I have been connected to VM for years now starting with a 100Mbs service and then 350 and now 1Gbs. The service has been very reliable and I would definitely recommend VM. Like just about every other broadband provider the supplied router is the weakest link. Put it in modem mode and use it with a decent router if you want the best WiFi experience.

Andrew-G
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Re: Virgin Media droadband really so bad?

When VM works, it is excellent.  Reliability is usually good.  Speeds are routinely high without any odd fall off.  Value is good for new customer deals, and there's packages like Volt that are well worth a look.  This forum and the VM staff who participate (visible by the VM logo against their name on the left) is a small beacon of light in the huge, dark uncaring universe of VM's customer service options.   The service does work for most customers, most of the time.

Against that, there's been long running problems of getting new customers connected, where a two week install time has sometimes extended out to many months.  If you encounter technical or billing problems, then abandon all hope because VM's customer service via telephone is the worst of any company I have ever encountered.  Customers regularly report broken promises to fix problems, hours-long customer service calls whilst being passed around unhelpful, disinterested staff who don't understand the technology and/or the customer problem.  Occasionally but repeatedly we read reports here of bare faced lies or made-up on the spot claptrap from customer service agents.  Formal complaint handling is very poor.  Any promise about anything from VM staff or systems (install dates, problem fix dates, customer service call backs etc) needs to be treated as a means of ending a call and chalking it up as "resolved" rather than having any truth.  Many aspects of VM operations are subcontracted, leading to dreadful or non-existent customer communication, and even within VM, specific activities are conducted in silos that don't talk to each other, and can't break through the company's own red tape even when the staff try.  If you ever wondered what happened to the Iron Curtain when the Soviet Union collapsed, I can advise that Virgin Media bought it and installed it between it's own departments, as well as appointing Aeroflot's management to head up customer experience.  Re-contracting to get a decent price at the end of a new customer deal can be a tedious exercise, and even when customers think all is good, we see regular reports of agents agreeing one deal, and putting another on the system.  Whilst VM (and all other ISPs) bandy round the term "fibre" this means nothing helpful.  In VM's case 80% of customers are on hybrid fibre-coaxial networks where the last few hundred metres of the network are delivered by ageing analogue radio frequency technology that is prone to odd problems, and getting things diagnosed and fixed can be a lottery.  The hubs VM supply are a very mixed bag.  In a very few cases they're handing new customers six year old antique Superhub 2ac's that have been through multiple customers hands already.  The Hub 3 is currently the most stable and bug free, the newest Hub 5 is to be avoided unless you wish to be a beta tester for an unfinished product, and the Hub 4 sits somewhere between those.   Whichever model of hub you get, the wifi from all of them is weak.  With the Hub 3 and 4 the company will offer boosters or mesh pods to improve things, but compatibility is confusing, availability has been poor (and is at VM's discretion rather than a contractual entitlement), and if your package doesn't give you these free then renting them is very poor value.  Personally I've invested in my own mesh wifi gear and run the hub purely as a cable modem, and suggest you mentally prepare yourself if experience shows you need to spend say £120 extra in this manner.  VM's online support tools and account management options are primitive, like something from 1997, the chatbots you encounter via phone are as bad as the human agents, and seeking support other than through this forum is, largely in the words of another customer, a Kafkaesque nightmare of broken links, circular references, confusing and contradictory information.

Choose wisely! 

If looking solely at Trustpilot, also visit ISPReview, which has a more informed user base a little less prone to angry outbursts.  Unfortunately VM's ratings aren't much better, Sky do somewhat better.  If you want a TV package you don't have much choice of course, if you can separate out the TV from the broadband, then consider the smaller customer service-led ISPs like Zen Internet, uno, Aquiss, CIX.  Although they use Openreach, there's a vast gap between their ability to get the best out of Openreach and that of Sky or even BT themselves.

You can of course order both an Openreach ISP and VM.  They'll both usually promise a two week install, and then you'll have a fourteen day cooling off period to cancel.  If either get delayed or messed up, you've got a couple of weeks to consider how the other is performing and whether to cancel that.  If both get installed on time, then you have that two weeks to run your own tests and see if speed, latency and reliability are as expected.

Roger_Gooner
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Re: Virgin Media droadband really so bad?

My broadband and TV have been very reliable. If you sign up you will have a 14-day cooling off period within which you can cancel at no cost.

--
Hub 3.0, TP-Link Archer C8, TP-Link TL-SG108S 8-port gigabit switch, V6
My Broadband Ping - Roger's VM Broadband Connection
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japitts
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Message 5 of 10
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Re: Virgin Media droadband really so bad?

This is a support forum, and the majority of users will only post when they want help with problems.

Users tend not to post to say "my broadband is great"

I'm a Very Insightful Person, I'm here to share knowledge, I don't work for Virgin Media. Learn more

Have I helped? Click Mark as Helpful Answer or use Kudos to say thanks

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Buffer6
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Re: Virgin Media droadband really so bad?

Speedtests don't give the full picture, whilst they seem to support the speeds tier, I have found that large downloads are somewhat slower

Twice I downloaded over 40GB in files and on a M350 tier it worked out around the same time taken for each download, which was around half an hour

average download speed 2021-11-03 104758.jpg

I used Google to calculate the average speed given the download size and the time taken for the download

It was still very fast but was averaging about 50% of what I thought it should be. Virgin only guarantees a minimum

download speed and it was just that. It was still very fast, but you should not think that a higher tier is going to be a

lot better for large file downloads.

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jem101
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Message 7 of 10
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Re: Virgin Media droadband really so bad?

Indeed, the truth is that nobody ever, ever, posts reviews saying how good their broadband is with company x, you only ever hear the bad ones which immediately screws the impression.

I’ve been with VM for twenty years or so, the number of problems or outages in that time, well, I can count on the fingers of one hand - but that doesn’t mean that everyone else who expresses issues with VM are lying. If it works it works, alas you won’t know until you sign up and get connected.

A couple of things though, are you a gamer? For various technical reasons (far too boring to go into now), ‘generally’, the latency of the connection is not as good as an Openreach DSL one. If that’s not an issue or if it happens to work for your particular circumstances, then fair enough!

Raw speeds are generally good, WiFi is always (despite the ISP) a bit of a black art, for whatever reasons (possibly bad design on the VM hubs), we do see a number of complaints regarding WiFi coverage, often resolved by purchasing and installing your own router/WiFi equipment - should you have to do this? Possibly not, but it is what it is!

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mart1969
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Message 8 of 10
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Re: Virgin Media droadband really so bad?

I came from Sky to Virgin. Plus side its quicker and I got a pretty good deal. Downside, as others with more tech knowledge than me will tell you is the HUB. If your anything like me you will notice a drop in wi fi coverage straight away.compared to your Sky. Virgin will give you handy hints to improve it of course but it doesn't really solve the problem...which is the Hub. 

Would I recommend Virgin...yes...especially if you cant get fiber from anybody else in your area.

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Tenebreaux
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Message 9 of 10
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Re: Virgin Media droadband really so bad?

I'll echo what others have said already. I've found the actual product to be excellent but the customer service is beyond appalling.

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Roger_Gooner
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Re: Virgin Media droadband really so bad?

Many have found that this forum is a good place for help with problems, so you don't always have to rely on customer services.

--
Hub 3.0, TP-Link Archer C8, TP-Link TL-SG108S 8-port gigabit switch, V6
My Broadband Ping - Roger's VM Broadband Connection