Ofcom's latest customer satisfaction report is out and it doesn't look good for Virgin Media, which languished at the bottom of two lists representing its core business. The communications watchdog placed the telco in last place for landlines and pay TV. Meanwhile, it was second worst in the fixed broadband stakes, where …
They can't even port their own number back from BT
Three years ago I left VirginMedia for Sky+ TV and BT phone/broadband, I ported the phone number from VirginMedia to BT without a problem. Now I'm trying to get everything back to VirginMedia and the new Tivo box but VirginMedia are having issue porting the number back ?!?! I'm waiting for a call today, if they say it can't be done I'm going to cancel unless they offer TV XL for free!
Hate their existing customers
I currently pay £25.25 for their 10Mb broadband. I contacted them to reduce the price but they refused, and wanted me to pay £35 plus £30 one-off fee for 30Mb! Time to move I think. Plus you can only INCREASE your service on their 'self-help' website. You need to call to downgrade. Arses.
VM customer service is woeful but I stick with them simply because I refuse to pay for a landline I don't need.
If you write to VM customer services specifically asking for a written reply all you get is an acknowledgement letter and a lot of missed calls on your phone.
Except you need the phone line if you want their TV service... I'd quite happily change broadband supplier but I'm not paying for 2 phone lines, neither of which I need. And I can't put a dish up, so I'm stuck with them for the TV too!
You can get TV without their phone service because I've got it. You can't do it via the website
"You can get TV without their phone service because I've got it. You can't do it via the website"
1) Just because you've got it doesn't mean it's still available.
2) I used to have VM broadband+TV without the phone. Having left Telewest before because of poor service, I didn't want cablephone again, but one day wandered into a street salesman who said he could do cable broadband, plus basic TV free for a year, in an offer only available door to door. So I signed up for the broadband+free TV. After three months they started charging me for the TV. It took months to get a refund, me and the salesbod were both accused of lying, and when my minimum term was up, I left. Again.
Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
Won't get fooled again.
Not to mention I don't like Branson much.
Who needs a TV service when you've got the Internet? I've been living off iPlayer, ITVPlayer, 4od and Demand5 for over a year with no problems. Best part: no TV Licence required since no live streaming.
Its cheaper to have the phone line and not use it, due to their bundling.
Only if you have TV too. If you just want broadband it's cheaper to not have a landline. £21/month for just BB
Fix. The bloomin'. Superhub.
Allegedly, the Superhub can be configured to act as modem-only, allowing you to use your router of choice. VM don't supply modems anymore, probably to make life easier for their script monkeys. "Turn off your hub, wait five minutes then turn it back on again." I wish they gave us the choice of hub or modem, with the understanding you may be on your own with some support issues.
It;s not allegedly...
One click, reboot your superhub and bob's your uncle - you have a high-speed modem.
Works a treat.
Where is this click of which you speak?
It's in the advanced settings and called Modem Mode. If you don't have it then you need to power cycle your superhub as it grabs the latest firmware on start up.
As for Virgin and others, they're all penny pinching as the masses want really cheap Internet. So we have to put up with contention, traffic shaping and bandwidth limits.
"Satisfaction with Sky’s customer service was significantly above average, with customers particularly pleased that advisers took their questions or issues seriously,"
What?! A friend was having trouble with her Sky broadband and I tried to give her some help. The customer service we received from Sky amounted to "it's a free service, what do you expect?" every time it was reported. That's taking customer's seriously is it? Needless to say she dumped Sky and Sky couldn't understand why. It appeared to me that the people we spoke to took the attitude that the broadband service wasn't part of the main service and was just tacked on.
Admittedly this was some time ago so things must have changed.
For myself I wouldn't knowingly touch anything that had any connection with the Murdoch family, no matter how good it happened to be.
So long as nothing changes, it works well...
The VM cable service is quite good, consistently fast, and quite reliable - most of the time. If anything goes wrong, then it's an entirely different matter.
And the VM techies dealing with email must surely hang their collective heads in shame and lie about their job at parties because of a) the migration of the original mail service to becoming Gmail-hosted, and b) the length of time it has taken them to migrate the old blueyonder and ntlworld email domains to the new VM email domain. This was promised about two years ago - and it still hasn't happened. And nobody seems to be sure that it will happen in 2012, either. An utter, utter, shambles! (And that's being kind.)
"The VM cable service is quite good, consistently fast ..." Yes but my 20MB cable connection is now consistently fast at 7.7MB. At least when it was a 10MB connection I used to get a consistent 9.8MB.
As for their email luckily I'd ditched it long ago as it was never "best of breed", but I had it in my Mailwasher config so still checking in case anyone still had the old address - until it stopped working altogether then it was easier to forget it than try to get it back to life.
I wonder if VM service depends on your region?
I'm in Bath, which is in the old Telewest part of Virgin Media and I've never had anything other than excellent service from VM. But I know quite a few people in other parts of the country who've had woeful service over the years.
Telewest were fantastic, and from what I've heard NTL were bloody awful, so I wonder if the customer service organisations are still split?
I've also never had a problem with my Superhub, but I might have just got lucky with that (although I'd love one I can attach to the wall like the old modems).
However I do think their packages are starting to look increasingly uncompetitive. If/when we move, hopefully next year if the housing market starts moving again, we'll probably switch to BT Infinity which should be city wide by the end of the year.
I never thought I'd see the day when I was seriously considering moving back to BT.
We were Telewest customers and service was excelent. However service went downhill pretty rapidly when VM took over.
VM BB is OK but TV/phone are a rip-off
I only went of VM for broadband 'cos the BT line dropped from 4MB down to just under 1MB over 6 months, they said it was too many subscribers in the area and there was nothing they could do. BT promised infinity but said a max of 10MB/s was possible at £35/month. I live just north of Enfield, 15 miles from central London, so hardly in the sticks! VM offered me 20MB for £25/month, touch wood, in 9 months I have not rebooted the modem once and it's been consistently the same speed all the time. The one thing I do like about VM is that they tell you up front when you'll get your service speed lowered, so you just do everything overnight.
VM TV and landline are a serious rip-off though, so I stuck with Sky for those two.
I must be the exception here, I've got Virgin broadband and love it, decent speeds, decent service.
To be fair, when I was with BT at my previous house, I had no issues from them either. Is this possibly a case of the vocal minorities having undue influence?
Not a fair assesment
To be fair, I am please that you have had good service from both providers, and I myself had excellent service from VM all the while the service for Broadband was up. When it was up, full 10MB no probs. As soon as any issues arise and you need to engage the help desk, thats when the problems arise.
I have had too many calls to count to the helpdesk where they a) dont understand the actual issue, b) try and fob you off with excuses
I don't blame the helpdesk, they are scripted to provide 1st line, I get it. I am techy minded so understand some of the process. But VM's main fault is not providing decent updates/information to customers experiencing issues.
As the the minorities have undue influence... just because you do not have issues doesnt mean nobody else is....
I was thinking the same.
Been a Telewest>blueyonder>VM customer for many (more than 10) years at my previous address. Recently moved quite a long way for work reasons, and the deciding factor in which house to choose was the fact that one of them had VM cable down the street. The BT line and the satellite dish which were already at the house are now unused. Lead time from ordering to fitting - four days.
I have never had any significant trouble with the cable services, and on the odd occasions that I have (mainly too strong a signal years ago, requiring an attenuator between the modem and the line, and the notoriously bad silver TV box two or three years ago), I always had straight-forward conversations with the folks on the phones, and the engineers have been great. This is in contrast with people who are with other providers (including a friend who works for BT Openzone, who hates the BT service he gets and only keeps it because it is free!)
Virgin reminds me of an old userfriendly comic about a guy that went and bought a massive pipe but had no idea on how to use it.
With Virgin, however, you pay for a massive pipe that you _can't_ use even if you want to! Genious
crap "have you switched it off and on yet" script driven customer 'service' lines when you get a problem.
Then you try to understand the sometimes difficult to hear english as spoken by an Indian person(why it that so much easier when you are talking face to face with the same person?)
then you get VM changing the channels available all the bleedin time.
Sadly, if I want internets.... the choice is VM or a BT landline ...........
You're lucky. We're stuck with a BT landline. No LLU, no 3G and no cable.
The annoying thing is that there is an illusion of choice in so far as you can purchase your line from somebody else, but it's still a BT line and BT Wholesale broadband into your ISP. The trouble is that most punters don't realise this. They think they are moving away from BT, but what they are getting is effectively a BT service sold by somebody else.
For me the market should be shaken up. Any ISP that advertises LLU services should be forced to provide ISP services at the same price to any property that can be connected to the BT network. Sure it would still go through BT Central, but they should be forced to charge the same price. I've seen plenty of bilboards advertising broadband for ridiculously low prices in areas where LLU is not available. Walk right up to the billboard and you see the small print reading something like "Where available. Prices may be significantly higher in some areas." Given that you can't usually read the small print since you're passing in a bus, train or car it's a pretty cheap trick. This to me this sort of advertising ploy is much worse than the "up to" business.
It's also amazing how many ISP sites you can visit where you are quoted something like £4.99 pcm right up to the last page where suddenly it has risen to something like six times as much even though you put in your phone number on page one.
What's the point in 50mb if you can't stream anything?
If you look at Virgins forums, or have a Virgin internet connection yourself, you will know that you cannot strem youtube or iplayer videos over Virgins internet. My uncle has Virgin, as does my place of work. It is rubbish. Thank god I have Sky broadband at home.
I'm sorry but...WTF?
I'm on Virgins 30MB cable and I can stream Youtube, iPlayer and anything I choose!
Whilst I accept that there may be people who have issues with their connection your statement that "you cannot strem youtube or iplayer videos over Virgins internet" is complete rubbish!
I have 30Mb from VM and I can stream just fine thanks. I have no problems with my connection speed and regularly getting just over 30Mb on speed tests. Sure it gets slower during busy times but it's still far better than most BT customers will get at around 16 - 25Mb. I don't know how you can be thankful for Sky broadband...
I had this problem too. Fixed it by going into the superhub options and enabling multicast. Been fine since then.
The issue of slow speeds over Virgin or any other ISP is quite a complex one, but too many retards assume it to be simple. I'll give you a nice example.
I often hear statements such as "I'm on ISP X and I can't stream youtube or iplayer so it's crap." The first advice I give is always "call the ISP" and the response is usually that the ISP say everything is fine. And the ISP usually denies shaping the likes of youtube and iplayer.
The next advice I give is to run tests on at least two of the popular speed test sites. These usually come back as being slow.
Then I get the user to check the sync speed of their DSL (if they're on DSL) and they will usually tell me it's nice and high.
The next question is usually to ask what speed their wireless connection is. It's amazing at this point how many tell me that the speed is 1 or 2Mbps. And they still blame the ISP - they provided the router after all. However I usually find the problem is not down to specific router problems, but commonly using the default channel when everybody else on the street is using the same channel. Sometimes it's other things. Like my neighbour who's wireless card simply refused to run at anything other than 1Mbps. My card in her machine was fine at a minimum of 48Mbps anywhere in the house. A new card sorted her problem, even though she'd spent weeks bitching about her ISP.
My tolerance level is low today.
You obviously don't know what you are talking about so, follow the old advice of :
It's better to sit quietly and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
VM's service is dependant on which region you live in, in a previous job you couldn't use VPN connections within some regions.
The constant sources of crap with VM seems to be their Indian call centre for the following reasons:
1: The VOIP system that is either incorrectly configured, or bandwidth starved
2: The inability of said staff to understand that when you say you want to reduce costs, they try & sell you a more expensive package
3: The call centre's inability to understand any form of regional accent
4: If it's more complicated than turn it off & back on again it's a 3 day wait for their 2nd line staff to contact you (who then say have you turned it off & on again)
Once you get a hold of the UK staff things do improve though.
I dare say that if the Indian staff got some proper training it would probably help matters a lot.
Don't assume just because you have a problem everyone is in the same boat
VM customer service is about as good as BT or any of the others that use call centres, call queuing, scripted conversations and poor technical training. However to assume that one specific experience describes the entire customer experience is stupid. I have VM tv, phone and broadband. TV is a bit of a ripoff, particularly when you discover to keep your own rates in line with advertised rates you have to call them and ask for it. Broadband almost always delivers the headline rate or near as damn it. (DNS lookup is sometimes a bit slow) and Phone is basic and what more can u say.
So all in all a could do better scorecard from me... but I don't presume to know everyone elses experience. So why should you.
Eh? I have the 50mb package and I watch hd content on iplayer no problem.
NNTP via easynews I get around 5.6Mbyte/sec.
Maybe you need to purchase some clue?
100mb is buggar all use when they *still* treat gaming traffic as P2P and prioritise it accordingly.
Shit customer service in 2 countries
The NTL leopard has never changed its spots nor will it.
"Satisfaction with Sky’s customer service was significantly above average"
Really? Unless I'm reading the article wrongly, 64% satisfaction (Sky's score) isn't even "significantly" above the lowest (57%), let alone above the average, which must be higher than 57%.
Either way, if the very best customer service still only satisfies 64% of people, that's a pretty damning indictment. This article suggests that Ofcom are using Sky as some kind of shining example of service that all other companies should aspire to - hopefully that's not the case!
Cost cutting works, doesn't it?
So, having embarked in 2010 on a massive cost cutting excersise that is supposed to streamline the business, make it more efficient and allow it to concentrate on it's customers it would appear that it isn't having the desired effect.
The whole process is part of the 40/40 programme that is supposed to get VM working so well that it's share price increases to $40 (check out the current and long term performance) whilst making a 40% efficiency improvement in operating costs. The principle architecht of this programme is a very famous bean counter who came across from a large retail organisation and is trying to run VM in exactly the same way.
Because supermarkets and tech companies are the same. Aren't they?
I think this was an accurate rating for virgin
We are on the 50Mb service, which rarely hits the mark.
This year has seen many outages, once for 3 days. Whenever I ring to raise a fault, the default response seems to be "your router is broken". It never is.
My modem gets disconnected VM side, and they maintain it is connected. Once one of their more enlightened support people refreshed their connection and saw that the modem was down. Finally someone listened.
I don't want the landline, but I must have it and pay for it.
They can't do an ADSL and cable connection to the same house to give me some redundancy in broadband provision.
Broadband is OK, but the phone charges...
Broadband is OK, but the phone charges are a ******* rip off!
My BT phone bill used to be about £20 a month, Virgin charge me in excess of £50 for the same usage...
Can't argue with you there ... not that I notice as I only use the landline to ring my parents at the weekend.
Ditch the VM phone and use a VOIP service instead. Vonage costs £5.99 a month for 2000hours of UK geographic calls. 0845 0870 a few pence a minute and no connection charge. You also get free calerid for with VM charge £2 so the actual cost is ~ £1 for virtually unlimited landline calls.
You need to use 18185 or 1899
I heartily agree with you - the solution is simple - sign up with a phone overrider like 1899.com or 18185.com and watch your phone bills drop dramatically
As always, depends which way you cut it
We're on the "M" bundle (no longer offered) so get basic everything. Former Telewest customers. Can't fault the cabled broadband. Blazingly fast (I have a BT-supplied BB for work-from-home so I can do comparisons) and has only ever gone off once in 10 years.
TV service is so-so.
However, their marketing is abysmal. So I'm an existing customer ... and can't see any reward for my loyalty. Everything they do is about gouging the customer for £x/month more. I wanted premium number block- that's £1.50 ... A MONTH. Same for caller ID.
It would be tempting to move, but the neighbours did a few years back, and it seems they have never had a week when they haven't had to contact one of their TV/Phone/Broadband supplies about something - despite changing them every few months. So I realise that my premium is buying me hassle-free time. But it is a hell of a premium.
I did enquire (by email) about buying a second line, when work-from-home came up. No reply meant BT got the gig - and that's gone down twice this year.
I also asked if they could do a combined package with mobile minutes in it - ideally spread over 3 phones (me, wife, sprog). Again, the silence was deafening.
Maybe beardie could come back and kick ass ?
I was getting irritated at the charges in general, in the end I went to the disconnections dept and said asked them to give me a reason to stay with VM.
They where helpful and I ended up with a tivo, keeping the original VM box (in a different room), larger tv package, faster internet, and a bill reduction.
Don't bother with any of the other customer service people.
I have been with BE for my broadband for over 3 years now... untill i subscribed to be, I would switch service as soon as I possibly could to try and find a good service provider. Prior to BE, ADSL24 was an awesome service until entanet made changes to the service and screwed everything up.
Since joining BE, the only time I have had a drop in service was when i requested them to change some settings on the line to improve speeds when I first joined. Speeds areconstand day and night, nothing is throttled or limited in anyway except for the price. I called them a year or so ago and got them to fix the price of my connection for the life of my subscription. £18 per month for a 24mbit down and 1.4mbit up connection.... and I constantly get those speeds... (I can hit the exchange with a half brick from my front step, which probably has something to do with it!!)
I have only ever had to call CS a few times regarding billing, and the issues were resolved with no problems (the billing problems were my fault, changing banks)
on the whole, an exelent service I cant fault in any way shape or form !!
and I dont work for them .....
I can second that - been with Be for about 5/6 years and have never had any issues.
Solid 18mb connection with no limits and no shaping.
I pay a premium for it over Skys free offering (use BT for phone and Sky for TV) but well worth my £20 odd a month.
I'd like to ....
Make that Virgin Media spokeperson eat all the Junk mail I get from them in a month. All addressed to 'The Occupier'.
Is there any way to get it through their thick heads that NONE repeat NONE of the people in my household will buy anything from them. Never in a million years. The more they send it, the more we will refuse to use their service.
'Suck on this VM'
Heh - they send the same crap (to "The Occupier") even if you ARE a customer :\
We get their marketing crap even though they don't provide a service in our area and say they have no plans to do so. Brilliant.
- Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST
- Review Pixel mania: Apple 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display
- NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM
- Hate the BlackBerry Z10 and Passport? How about this dusty old flashback instead?
- Google's Mr Roboto Andy Rubin bids sayonara to Chocolate Factory