back to article Virgin Media swallows 215,000 new fibre customers in Blighty

Revenue at Virgin Media rose 1 per cent to £1,227m for its fourth quarter results, with the firm having also signed up 215,000 more users to its £3bn Project Lighting network expansion. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose 8 per cent to £583m in its preliminary results today. Virgin Media now has …

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  2. andy 103

    Sort out your pricing and customer service, Virgin

    I got Virgin Fibre on an 18 month contract. It was one of those where the first 12 months were considerably cheaper than the last 6.

    I have no qualms about the broadband itself - it's incredibly fast and their router seems to work well with loads of devices connected in my house which is very old - and has thick walls where some other WIFI hasn't always worked too well. So no complaints about the broadband.

    But, I faced a few issues in the first 3 months whereby they never billed me correctly (using the "last 6 months" rate instead of the first 12). When I phoned them they were apologetic and credited my account. But it was the fact I had to keep telling them. Their customer service leaves a lot to be desired. Making calls - if you use their phone service on their basic fibre package - is incredibly expensive. To the point where it makes you think of the olden days of phoning abroad, or mobile to mobile 20+ years ago.

    They've written to me once during the contract with a price increase - with no real justification - and a load of BS about "benefits" which are things you already got anyway.

    So, as a product, it's great and I can see why people use it. But you do feel a bit shafted particularly in terms of the customer service and overall cost. I'm still debating whether or not to renew at the end of the 18 months, that's how "meh" I consider it overall.

    1. wikkity

      Re: Sort out your pricing and customer service, Virgin

      Internet is good, TV packages are just not worth it. Last price increase was enough to motivate me reducing my package from the list of things to do at some point to things to do now, took about 4 years to get around to switching from the full to the basic channels, only extra channels we ever watched were the kids channels, which were only available on the full package.

      Kids nowadays only watch YouTube, Netflix and Disney life, now £40 a month better off (disney life is 4.99 and we already had netflix and skynow). I can completely understand why people would choose to use things like mobdro when half your subscription package is simply for a handful of channels that are not anything special, like nicktoons showing endless repeats of the same cartoons but unavailable in any other legal form by themselves.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sort out your network contention, Virgin

    Been a customer for 3 years, and in the evenings barely get 5Mb on my 100Mb connection. Logged the issue 2 years ago, they've acknowledged that there is a capacity issue in our area, but nothing has ever been done, the review date keeps getting pushed back every 3 months.

    I'm amazed they can get away with signing up new customers in areas where they cannot provide an adequate service.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Sort out your network contention, Virgin

      They have capacity issues all over the place especially if you are on the old NTL coax stuff.

      That's why they won't ack it.

      They'd have to do the same to go knows how many other customers.

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Sort out your network contention, Virgin

      Sign up with SamKnows broadband monitoring (they give you a free box and collate the results for those national "Whose fastest" surveys).

      I bet they'll get around to upgrading you then... :-)

    3. William 3 Bronze badge

      Re: Sort out your network contention, Virgin

      I can assure you it's nothing to do with that. It's just an issue with their network in general.

      They told me this.

      Same exact issues.

      Turns out that it's one of our neighbours.

      Whenever he connects, it ruins everyone else's on the street.

      He signed up.

      Mine went from 100M down to less than 1M in the evening.

      He left

      Mine went back up.

      He came back

      Mine went back down.

      He left again.

      Mine went back up.

      The exact same day, the exact same person, it was no coincidence, of that I assure you.

      4 different dates, 4 different times, exact same issue, either speed goes down, or back to normal.

      I feel sorry for the guy. He tells me no matter who he has he has issues. I told him to let me know if he goes with Virgin again so I can cancel. We had a laugh when I told him about the issues I had when he connected. That's how i discovered the exact dates matched up to my dates (I was building a daily log to complain to virgin, so I was absolutely sure they matched)

      I truly believe he has something on his network that's the issue, a faulty device, or malware, or a combination of the two.

      So long as he's on a different supplier to me, I don't care.

    4. Philippe

      Re: Sort out your network contention, Virgin

      Same thing here. I am on the 100 Mb/s and from about 6 PM at night the speed collapses to anything between 0.3 and 8 Mb/s,

      They've kept pushing back the date for the update.

      I keep calling them and asking for "customer gestures" for the lack of service. It works but it doesn't help with the lack of speed.

  4. Dabooka Silver badge

    Well I've had to go BACK to them

    And so far so good. Only shock came in bill #1 when I got charged my first and second month bill. Apparently I was told this at signup (to be fair I probably was but can't recall), but I do know I got the reduced rate for twelve months but I'm only being held to a 12 month deal; I'm free to leave when the price reverts to the full cost.

    TV box is dire though, the apps are appalling so iPlayer et al never gets used.

    1. K Silver badge

      Re: Well I've had to go BACK to them

      On the deals, Virgin have been quite good on this and will offer them to existing customers! I actually just got the full package with 200Mb/s internet for a bargain price.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only worth it if you can get fibre

    like I do. Then use that to supply your content.

    VM put the "media" into "mediocrity". There is nothing remarkable about their offerings (except notable absences). And I resented discovering that in this day and age "HD" was regarded as something worthy of charging above and beyond the "bundle" price.

    TiVo is crippled too.

    Dumped phone, TV and kept broadband. Happy camper.

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Only worth it if you can get fibre

      Well HD is the future don'cha know.

      640p is enough for any man.

  6. EddieD

    VM

    Pricier than a meeting of Dennis, Katie and Vincent, more latency than a boys public school dorm and the help line is as user friendly as a cornered rat.

    When it works well, it's the canine cojones. When it doesn't, reach for the grog.

  7. Dan McIntyre

    Been with them for almost 2 years. Was with Sky for almost a decade before that and Sky's customer service is in a different galaxy - Virgin's is appalling and their engineers lie to say they've turned up to appointments that they never arrive for.

    I'm only with them because in my area there's no fibre broadband available via anything from a BT socket and 1.5mb/s is the maximum speed, with no plans to introduce fibre so cable is the only way to get a decent internet connection.

    And the internet connection is decent - I regularly see around 161mb/s though their phone and TV services are dire. I mostly use my Amazon fire sticks for content when I want to and rarely watch TV anyway.

  8. sorry, what?
    Facepalm

    Bizarre management of the expansion plan

    I have TV, phone and broadband with Virgin and totally agree with EddieD about it being great unless and until something goes wrong. That said, they include the cost of repairs/replacements in the price you pay so that's a good thing.

    What I find very strange is that Virgin isn't making sure that all the new developments around my area get cabled up at the time of construction (I got this from a Virgin engineer when they came to install a replacement box). This would surely be the cheaper option compared to retrospective installation, and also means no horrid patching on the roads and pavements ready to generate potholes the first time we have icy weather.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Bizarre management of the expansion plan

      It was like this TWENTY FIVE YEARS ago in London. Brand new housing development in Hillingdon had to wait "at least five years" to be cabled. Despite the fact that when my friend moved in there was no pavement.

      I'll bet a pound to a penny it's because the developers wanted a bit of money from the CableCo (which was Videotron in those days) for "permission" to lay cables.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bizarre management of the expansion plan

        "I'll bet a pound to a penny it's because the developers wanted a bit of money from the CableCo (which was Videotron in those days) for "permission" to lay cables."

        It doesn't usually work that way. The developer lays cables and invites a telco to take ownership of them (i.e. buy them from the developer). If they've laid copper I doubt Virgin would be terribly interested in them.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Moved house, on 150mb with loyalty discount and no phone line.

    Speed before was spot on, now at night it's slower than a tortoise walking on flypaper after a hearty meal and a few pints. Lucky if I get 10mb. ADSL option gives me 25mb. Same area code.

    Upgraded to Hub3 (for free) and it improved a little but currently getting rebate each month because they haven't fixed it.

    I also note that they have aligned their prices with what it would cost for a phone line and ADSL which is not surprising given the company.

  10. RonWheeler

    4k Tivo?

    Pay extra to avoid aged crippleware sluggish app-unfriendly Tivo, get stuck in new 18 month contract. We're hostages, not customers.

    1. psychochief

      Re: 4k Tivo?

      i upgraded to V6 4k tivo and i have to say its blown me away, everything is now almost instant on it, just like the old tivo boxes should have been, records 5 channels too, streams from other tivo boxes and lots more tricks.

      im on 200 Mbps broadband, i just ran speedtest and its showing 221 Mbps !!! its like that at all times of the day and night, its very consistant.

      VM may be a bit pricey to some but as far as im concerned it cant be beaten and ive been with quite a few suppliers in my time, it pays to get the full package with VM, you even get loads of 'free' box-sets in with the top tv package, i certainly wouldnt put any money in that bastard Rupert Murdoch's pocket.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Upload Speed Torment

    I have no complaints about the download speeds or reliability in my neck of the woods. I'm on the HomeWorks+ package and consistently hit 318Mb. HomeWorks+ is made for home-based businesses though, and Virgin still have the upload speed at a pathetic 20Mb.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crippling rip-off

    I get a bare-bones Virgin deal for phone and internet. It's more expensive than my gas, water and electricity bills combined, even factoring in my "loyalty" discount. Used to be manageable but they are so greedy. Fibre connection? I haven't noticed any great speed hike.

  13. poopoo

    Virgin? Raddled old whore more-like. Set up by a capitalist darling who began his career attempting to defraud the Inland revenue.. nasty, greedy, rip-off company.

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