Feeds

back to article Virgin Media's 'bye-bye to buffering' beardy Bolt boast BANNED

Virgin Media is banned from suggesting that its broadband is fast enough to spare punters from "buffering" delays online after rival BT complained. The national telco successfully cried foul to the UK advertising watchdog over a telly commercial featuring Olympic track champion Usain Bolt pretending to be Virgin Group's beardy …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

jai
Silver badge

stunning

awesome work on the subtitle alliteration! top job!! it's a dying art but always a pleasure to it done well

14
0
Coat

Re: stunning

Awesomely alliterated article about awful advertising!

2
0
Thumb Down

Dear BT and Sky

instead of moaning at VM about their adverts and buffering. Perhaps you could spend some time sorting your networks out such that VM are no longer able to say "four times faster than average".

Recently got 30mb upgrade from 10mb on virgin media (free?). BT STILL say they can't do Infinity even though they have some cabinets in my area and claim the exchange is 'upgraded', so maximum predicted is about 10mb on 'upto20'. Which means, even on the 'slowed down' , its 50% faster than I might get if I signed up for BT/sky.

Oh yeah, that's probably why the just complain about the ads to the ASA..

Mind you, VM is right, sky anytime+ is now working a treat, no buffering like there was at 10mb :)

13
2
Rob
Bronze badge

Re: Dear BT and Sky

Of course that's all well and good if you live in a cabled area. Where as BT is trying to roll out those speeds to as much of the country as it can financially justify, I don't see Virgin upping the amount of cabled areas they have.

8
2

Re: Dear BT and Sky

I don't see Virgin upping the amount of cabled areas they have.

Nope, all I see is them bitching that people are getting subsidies for roll-out and they're not. Of course, if they were willing to bite the bullet and share access to their ducts (as is required of anyone getting the subsidy) they'd be just as capable of gaining access to that particular trough as the competition are.

We live in a Virgin area, not that it's had any kind of investment since the Telewest days. We've actually still (technically) got a ban on rooftop aerials as Telewest cabled a communal link into each house. The fact that it's broken somewhere along the line (a few years ago now too) and Virgin refuse to repair it doesn't affect the ban, but definitely affects my choice about which providers I'd even consider.

I know people who are perfectly happy with Virgin (at least until they have to use the customer service dept), just as I know people who are perfectly happy with the competition. I guess the answer is to go for what's best in your area. Not good news for Virgin though as they don't even seem to want to expand into newly built area's at the moment, at some point they're going to need to invest otherwise the number of 'virgin' areas as a percentage of the UK is going to continue to shrink

7
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Dear BT and Sky

That's the really sad thing about BT and Virgin. BT seem to be more interested in converting Virgin customers to BT than providing existing BT customers with a better service.

Perhaps they are obsessed with subscriber counts rather than revenue? or they're trying to stop Virgin from growing?

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Dear BT and Sky

Yeah, at least BT admits when they can't provide a service. VM will sell you the connection anyway, but you will be sitting on the line meant for 10 with 100 other unfortunate souls, until they can resolve "oversubscription fault" sometime next year.

1
1
Meh

Re: Dear BT and Sky

Heh, we are still using the old Telewest supplied Pace STB and Surfboard cable modem.

But at least the new, darker, Richard Branston has increased upstream speeds from 50kbytes/second to 100kbytes/second.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "Richard Branston"

He doesn't make pickle, you know.

0
0
FAIL

All that really matters...

Is this last line;

"They said the ad was no longer running and would not be aired again"

What's the fecking point if the adverts have already run and even finished? Useless bastards yet again.

9
0
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: All that really matters...

Exactly what I was thinking, the ad has achieved it's goal!

That's the way it works these days, company X pushes out an ad that pushes it's claims a little too far, they get told off and the hoo-ha surrounding the banning of the ad generates far more publicity than the original ad!

Well done ASA, I bet old Beardy is really proud of how he manipulated you mugs!

0
1
Gold badge

Re: All that really matters...

In a sane world, the point would be that Virgin are now required to launch a second campaign to correct any mis-apprehensions created by the first. Sadly, the ASA don't have the powers of a judge.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: All that really matters...

what it means - though it won't get shouted at you from hoardings - is

Vrigin Media were dishonest/lied/economical with the truth/tried it on/pulled a fast one/phrase of your choice

and were found out.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: All that really matters...

"In a sane world, the point would be that Virgin are now required to launch a second campaign to correct any mis-apprehensions created by the first. Sadly, the ASA don't have the powers of a judge."

Fortunately, BT and Sky are getting their back by using equally mis-leading advertising so VM can complain back at them. I think the current Sky advert (or is BT?) is pushing on-line video/TV and shows the whole family watching different things on different devices at the same time.

But if you look quickly and squint just right you see some text in the bottom right of the screen saying there's a 4GB data cap at the displayed price point. I reckon that means your data cap is going to kick in on billing day, and that's the whole familys "internet experience" up the creek for the rest of the month.

2
0
Silver badge

So now what about the ads from BT claiming you can get super fast fibre from BT when only a fraction of the population can?

Not that I'd want to get my internet from BT but it pisses me off every time I see the smug supposed geek in the adverts.

11
0
Anonymous Coward

I'm more bothered about their Wifi claims given that the Wifi on the HH3 is shit and unreliable. Hell, I've even done some (proper) testing in multiple locations using different kit, sending them results alongside possible causes of the issue. Does anything get done? No. The recommendation is to buy a new router (which I'd have done anyway, but am determined to stand on Principle given their heavy advertising of the great Wifi)

2
0
WTF?

Now if VM could explain why the 'Fantastic' & 'Amazing' & '3 billion percent better than the competition' doubling of speed that they spent large amounts of money telling me about in January 2012 ('Coming SOON!') has been delayed until August 2013 then I'd be very interested. It's almost like it was a con but that would be a nasty insinuation and possibly libelous as would SCAM and RIPOFF and SNAKEOIL!

3
2
Devil

All of those claims you just made involve you buying something you don't already pay for.

If you were going to quit, you still can. They didn't sign you up into a new contract with a promise of faster speeds, and if you did sign a new contract because they promised you faster speeds for free, you've learnt a valuable life lesson.

0
5
BXL

Yup. I've ordered BT Infinity 24 hours after I've found out that the "doubling" has been delayed by a minimum of 6 months. I'll be getting a slower service from BT but it'll be £10 a month cheaper and BT have not lied to me yet.

1
0

>and BT have not lied to me yet.

I think you'll find that'll be 'cos you've only just ordered the service, give them a chance.

0
0
Silver badge
Stop

"It's an expensive mistake for VM"

Why? Did the ASA fine them? I thought they were just slapped on the wrist and told not to show an advert that had already run its' course and so was no longer being shown anyway. Apart from the Virgin reps' time I can't see where the expenses are.

7
1

Re: "It's an expensive mistake for VM"

" Apart from the Virgin reps' time I can't see where the expenses are."

A big lunch for the ASA chaps?

3
0
Stop

Re: "It's an expensive mistake for VM"

All companies who have an ad banned say that it had expired anyway. Fools people into thinking they didn't really get snubbed by the ASA, when they really did.

0
0
FAIL

You STILL get Traffic Management on 30Mbps

Quote their sales page

"Downloads without hidden charges: Acceptable Use Policy applies. Traffic Management operates from 4pm to 9pm and 10am to 3pm, to ensure a consistent user experience."

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: You STILL get Traffic Management on 30Mbps

Yeah, but if all your using for is watching video, you won't hit that cap. Even if you do, things like iPlayer remain unaffected IIRC.

Its a moot point though, if you lived in a student infested VM area... my mate was doing better by popping up a wifi hotspot with his jailbroken iPhone (I only mention it was an iPhone cos its predecessor was on that truly unlimited Orange tariff that is no longer available, and he won't give it up)

0
1

Re: You STILL get Traffic Management on 30Mbps

Yeah

it drops all the way to 15mb... After downloading 7gb.. (3.5 depending on which time ).

So basically still 'flipping fast'

4
2

Re: You STILL get Traffic Management on 30Mbps

I'm on Virgin Media (still on 20Mb, waiting for 60Mb upgrade to happen) and when I downloaded latest Mist of Pandaria beta patch which was 20Gb I was getting 2.4Mb/s then within 30 mins this dropped down to 520Kb/s (that's megabytes and kilobytes not bits as displayed on MoP download).

That's how good VM's traffic shaping is. Over 80% reduction. Took bloody hours to download because of that.

0
0

Re: You STILL get Traffic Management on 30Mbps

"it drops all the way to 15mb... After downloading 7gb.. (3.5 depending on which time ).

So basically still 'flipping fast'"

you are kidding right?

I am on BE, Get the full 24MBit, constantly, day and night, no traffic management, no traffic shaping....no matter how much I have downloaded....

7GB LOL, I have downloaded more than that in one afternoon downloading my backups from on-line storage services!!

1
2

Re: You STILL get Traffic Management on 30Mbps

That sucks. I downloaded well over 100Gb from steam at about 75MBit/s one evening last week over BT infinity. No reductions in speed at any time.

For the first time in my life I actually have a decent internet connection, how long before they oversubscribe it?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: You STILL get Traffic Management on 30Mbps

Get your bits and bytes right FFS....

KB = Kilobytes

MB = Megabytes

Kb = Kilobits

Mb = Megabits

No good trying to put up an argument if you don't understand the differences.

100Gb & 75MBits/s < What's that? You downloaded 100Gigabits at 75Megabytes a second??

"Get the full 24MBit" < No, I assume you get 24Mb/s, which equates (VERY loosley) to 2.4MB/s

"20Gb I was getting 2.4Mb/s" < I think you mean you were getting 2.4MB/s (on a 20Mb/s link)

0
0

£52.6m on marketing costs

Most of that went on mailshots through my door.

4
0
Devil

Re: £52.6m on marketing costs

And 'I bet The Occupier' didn't even have the decency to come around and collect it either!

1
0
FAIL

Re: £52.6m on marketing costs

Hey Mr Apostrophe, how the hell did you get over there?

1
0
FAIL

Re: £52.6m on marketing costs

and my door too..... and we are not in a cable area !!

0
0
Stop

Re: £52.6m on marketing costs

Same here. I called them to complain and got nowhere. I receive more mail through my door from VM addressed to "The Occupier" than I receive mail from my bank and all my utilities combined.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

was it actualling bufferring? or do they mean caching.

I always thought that when you play a video and it says 'bufferring' it is actually 'caching'. Bufferring is when you can't play the content as fast as it is streamed and so it needs to be bufferred somewhere until you catch up - i.e. buffers protect you from something too fast to handle - so the need for buffers indicates a good network, not a bad one.

Perhaps my understanding is wrong - feel free to correct me (and I know you will :-)

2
1

Re: was it actualling bufferring? or do they mean caching.

Not sure why you were down voted, even if your understanding is wrong.

...maybe someone took exception to you failing to close your brackets.

0
0
Gold badge

Re: was it actualling bufferring? or do they mean caching.

A cache speeds something up by retaining the most frequently used information in memory or unchanged information in memory.

I don't therefore think it is a cache, but a buffer to cope with fluctuations in transfer speed to stop starvation of data.

0
0
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: was it actualling bufferring? or do they mean caching.

They are all buffers, we also have "pre-buffering" to load up on slow incoming data before playing it back fast and the dreaded "buffer underrun" when burning a CD, whereby the buffer holding data to be written awkwardly was found to be empty when the laser hit the virgin plastic area, resulting in a coaster.

> the need for buffers indicates a good network, not a bad one.

It most certainly indicates a shunt from a data sink to a data source where both are working at differing rates and someone wants to temporarily cover up this ugly truth.

0
0

Legitimate buffery?

0
0
Happy

in the interests of fairness

I was happy with plusnet, but headed to VM because I wasn't prepared to wait decades for the fibre upgrade to occur and let me have more than 2meg broadband.

whilst I'm aware many punters have problems, installation was a doddle, even phoned and came early, fitted no fuss and last speed test I carried out got me 47.5 on a 50meg contract...we've had 2 outages in 18 months for about a hour or two each. would love to join in the moaning against a big corp, but so far so good...

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Tenant advert?

That specifically states that you don't get buffering stutters with their service...

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Tenant advert?

I guess someone has to formally complain. By the time the ASA act, the ad run will be over and all they will get is another mild slap on the wrists...

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Tenant advert?

I've not seen that one for a while but doesn't that one relate to the iplayer/4OD/etc services built-in to the STB TV service rather than the broadband everyone else has to use to get those services?

Please, correct me if I'm wrong. I've got a VM V+ PVR so rarely see adverts at less that 32x speed :-)

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

Misleading

Of course it was misleading, Usain Bolt claimed he was Richard Branson, but he really wasn't. I spotted that one a mile away.

7
0
Alert

Balls.

"It's an expensive mistake for VM, which spent a whopping £52.6m on marketing costs in its first quarter."

It would have been an expensive mistake if they'd been fined that much money for running a 'misleading' ad (i.e. lying through their teeth) but they weren't.

If, however, they had been, perhaps these lying liars and all their lying friends would stop lying to us.

Looking forward to the future of advertising: "buy our cake, it's cake".

1
0

Re: Balls.

"Lying through their teeth" is a bit harsh, the cable broadband service is genuinely very good.

Easily the best ISP I've had, I'm normally into rabid forum wars after the first month or two and I'm two years in.

Blessed relief after a seriously aggro minus-net experience a while back.

2
0

Re: Balls.

It's a lie.

0
0
TRT
Silver badge

I'm more concerned...

that they said that my area would be doubled in July, and last week the page that shows when you can expect to be uprated changed to show we would have to wait until October now!

1
0
Happy

Re: I'm more concerned...

So phone them up.

I downgraded from the 20Mb "old-L" package to a 30Mb "new-M" package, they were round to fit my new modem within a day or two. This despite my area being marked as due for the doubling upgrade months from now.

My broadband bill is now £10 cheaper than it was, my broadband is faster, the caps are less silly, the new modem was free.

1
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.