back to article Virgin Media? More like Virgin Meltdown: Brit broadband ISP falls over amid power drama

Virgin Media, one of the UK's largest broadband and TV cable providers, is suffering an outage right now. If you can't access the internet or watch the telly, then it's not just you. It's quite a few of you. It appears the blackout includes business and home connections, and kicked off around 4pm BST today. At the time of …

  1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Should they email you notices

    via that internet connection that doesn't work? =-}p

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Should they email you notices

      Really should have an auto service that sends an SMS to customers to let them know their service may be experiencing issues in their area, and hopefully, an estimated fix time.

      It sounds like a no-brainer basic concept. Less people would be likely swamp their customer lines to find out what is wrong.

      Disadvantage is an easily accessible record of how often the service goes down for the customer though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Should they email you notices

        "Really should have an auto service that sends an SMS to customers to let them know their service may be experiencing issues in their area, and hopefully, an estimated fix time."

        That requires competent company staffs and real ITs, which is too expensive. Better to get cheap high-school drop-offs on the customer service line and monkeys on the technical support line.

        /s

      2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Should they email you notices

        Less people would be likely swamp their customer lines to find out what is wrong.

        Fewer.

      3. Santa from Exeter

        Re: Should they email you notices

        That might work if you also get your mobile from them.

        I don't and deliberately don't hand out my mobile number willy-nilly

      4. The Specialist

        Re: Should they email you notices

        >Really should have an auto service that sends an SMS to customers...

        At least 1 ISP (A&A) send sms / email notifications already and much appreciated.

      5. rmason Silver badge

        Re: Should they email you notices

        @Teiwaz

        Cost is a small issue there too. SMS cost money.

        I can't see them being keen on paying £X000+ each time they have a fault for text messages. they'd need to do another price rise, and we've all just had this years!

        1. Vimes

          Re: Should they email you notices

          I can't see them being keen on paying £X000+ each time they have a fault for text messages.

          Perhaps the additional cost will be an incentive to keep large scale incidents to a minimum?

          For that matter surely SMSs would only represent a significant cost if they keep on failing to provide the service to such a large number of customers? Small scale outages would presumably be less of an issue.

          For me personally Virgin Media has been on the whole reasonably reliable. It's when things inevitably fall apart - as it will always do occasionally with technology - that the problems start.

          Keeping customers informed isn't their strongest point apparently and when I asked them via Twitter this morning what had happened the previous day they couldn't give me any information. Given the scale of the outage I don't think being willing to tell such a large chunk of customers why they weren't getting the service they were paying for is particularly unreasonable. Apparently Virgin Media disagrees.

          1. oldfartuk

            Re: Should they email you notices

            Ive found the virgin mediia fibre service very reliable.

            The eTV they claimis 300 chaannels is really 100 channels, then the same 100 channels in HD, annd then the same 100 channels an hour later. And then you subtract all the dross (reality TVv, repeats, cooking, travel, sport) you end up with about 30 actual usable channels, that merely show the same repeats over and over.

            The customer service is dismal to average, providing you dont mind sitttitng with your eart to a phone liistening to lift music for half an hour or more.

            But the worst bit is the way they relentlessly jack the price up at regular intervals, you start off paying £40 a month and the next time you look at the bill its £70 or £80 and still rising When Bransons Necker Island got trashed by a hurricane, the bills went up the folllowing week..

            I told them to stick it many years ago.

        2. Dexter

          Re: Should they email you notices

          SMS don't cost money to the network provider; they are the ones who are charging you!

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Should they email you notices

        > Really should have an auto service that sends an SMS to customers to let them know their service may be experiencing issues in their area, and hopefully, an estimated fix time.

        Any company will think that's a terrible idea. It's telling the customer "we broke your service, you really should switch to someone else." Many won't realise because they're out at the time or weren't using the network. Many will think it's the just some problem with the interwebs and not know who to blame. But tell them it's your fault and they all know.

      7. Paul Stimpson

        Re: Should they email you notices

        In addition to developing the system, that requires them to pay for all the text messages. I used to work for a cable company and I know just how resistant to systems that can run up unpredictable, potentially-large charges they are...

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: Should they email you notices

          its still pointless. when my vm broadband goes down i usually check the status page via my mobile, it always shows 'no issue'. Then you click on the diagnose and it says 'unknown issue', finally phone up and after the switch off and on again 'what colour/lights do you have' they tell you it is down in your area. useless.

    2. William Towle
      FAIL

      Re: Should they email you notices

      We rang VM up once due to problems with the internet service.

      An automated response told us the lines were busy but they would be able to accept reports through the web form.

      Oops.

  2. Down not across

    Status page

    Their status page is rather worthless at best of times. I've lost count the number of times it claims everything is fine when there are faults (confirmed by calling their customer "service") in the area.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Status page

      While mine, in London, was fine when I logged in after 6:00pm the comment about VM's status page is something I can confirm. I've experienced outages in the past when not only was the status page not showing it, but their own front line staff hadn't been told. So they took me through the usual checks, then passed me onto an engineer who promptly says, "Oh yes we've had a lot of reports in your area..." or "Yes there's an outage..."

    2. The Specialist
      Coat

      Re: Status page

      Well, the internet was out in the area and they could not login and update the status pages. Mine is the biker Jacket ---->

  3. Martin J Hooper
    Thumb Up

    Preston Lancashire area fine and working all day....

    1. robidy

      The internet or the status page ;)

    2. Sonic531

      Lancashire area seems to be fine. Bolton and Blackburn are good.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        it depends on the backbone I think. preston and blackburn is the old Telewest backbone. Ours in cumbria is the old 'wight cable'. probably different infrastructure.

  4. Paul

    If your internet connection is important to you, you should have a backup circuit.

    I have a Zen primary circuit and a cheap crappy Plusnet secondary and automatic failover, its not rocket science.

    Stop whining when your only provider goes down and you're too cheap to pay for a backup service.

    1. batfastad

      This.

      Someone quoted complaining about lost clients... Well they actually lost them the moment they made the cost decision to use residential broadband with no failover.

      Even if you don't want an additional fixed circuit then tethering off a 4G connection is perfectly acceptable to get things done these days.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not just residential

        It didn't just affect residential connections if the updates from our leased line provider (runs on a VMB tail) are anything to go by. At least we had a backup connection that ran over FTTC so whilst it wasn't anywhere near as quick we still had an element of connectivity. But it's back now so I'll see how many pence we get back in SLA credits for our 3 hours of "downtime".

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: Not just residential

          We have a VM leased line. That stayed up.

          We also have a VM-managed, but BT-supplied leased line. That one was down on the timing in the article.

          We also have half-a-dozen staff complain that their Internet was "really slow" at home last night (quite what they think I can do about that, I'm not sure!)... almost all of the BT.

          I'd be inclined to think that this is at least partly "BT equipment not joining to VM network" rather than just VM on its own - a lot of their connections are now just ordinary BT-resell stuff, not VM at all.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I keep an unlocked Alcatel portable hotspot into which I can insert any spare live data SIM. Then, should the broadband go down, I still have connectivity. (It's been handy a couple of times.)

        Why this is beyond Mr. Whining Businessman up there is beyond me. Incidentally, if you think he's whining now, wait until he receives his £1 per day outage compensation.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          can confirm that three dont block VPN on their payg. Wife has an 8gb three contract and that gives you SD netflix outside the data allowance and they allow wifi share. perfect for outages.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Didn't BT's back haul go titsup at ths weekend...

    3. Down not across

      If your internet connection is important to you, you should have a backup circuit.

      Absolutely. Which is exactly why I have crappy DSL backup in case VM plays up. Which is not that often, but when it does it tends to be a while or at best intermittent for quite some time.

    4. phuzz Silver badge

      If you're using a 3/4G dongle as a backup, just bare in mind that a cheap pay-as-you-go SIM from O2 or Vodafone will probably block any VPNs you usually run. EE seems to allow them though. We've been told to upgrade to the (much) more expensive business service if we want VPNs over 3/4G.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Helpful VPN advice. Ironically my Virgin BB was restored after being down for most of Monday morning a few hours before this big outage and it stayed up. I was busily shopping for one of those Wifi routers with in-built 4g Modem when it came back.

        In the meantime I was running over my phone tether and can confirm that 3 sims don't have the VPN restriction. At least their 'full fat' phone sims any way, cant confirm their data-only sims, but 3 are usually less 'death of a thousand cuts' than the rest of them. ie no extra charge for tethering etc etc.

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          If you're looking for recommendations, we use a lot of Draytek routers (2832 specifically) at work, together with USB 3G dongles as backup and have only good things to say about them.

          For slightly cheaper you could go for an ASUS router and run Merlin's firmware.

    5. Vimes

      Stop whining when your only provider goes down and you're too cheap to pay for a backup service.

      Or simply don't have the money.

      Stop assuming people are living sufficiently comfortable lives that they can afford this. It might not be much to you (even for a 'crappy' line). It might not be feasible for many others.

    6. illiad

      Better our switch as provision for two CELL dongles, so it falls over to the THREE network..

  5. silks

    Lost Packets

    My monitoring shows lost packets at almost exactly 4pm here in North Yorkshire across two Virgin Media installations but no extended outage.

  6. cosymart
    Happy

    Fine Here...

    And has been all day in the Midlands, what outage :-) (via VM)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems OK

    Here in Sittingbourne at 2000.

    1. Phil Kingston Silver badge

      Re: Seems OK

      I've heard Sittingbourne is 20 years behind.

      Confirmation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seems OK

        Not as far back as your so-called humour.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: Seems OK

          that sounds like maidstone talk. South of M2 envy.

  8. Byz

    No problem here

    In the southeast all tv's and internet working fine :)

  9. K Silver badge

    Fine here...

    Sutton, South London..

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No problems in Manchester but then again we have gravy you great southern shandy drinking softies.

    1. PM from Hell

      Steak and Kidney puddings

      I can just about manage without gravy at the chippy here in the midlands but have to return back to the northwest on a regular basis to get a steak and kidney pudding fix.

      It seems completely unknown elsewhere in the country and the efforts served up by gastro pubs cant complete with a Hollands steak and kidney pudding chips peas and gravy

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Steak and Kidney puddings

        get a steak and kidney pudding fix.

        It seems completely unknown elsewhere in the country

        Unless you have a supermarket nearby. Or can cook..

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Steak and Kidney puddings

        It seems completely unknown elsewhere in the country

        Completely unknown except for in every Asda or Iceland or Tesco or Sainsburys.

        Four for £2.25, quite expensive for dogshit en-croute.

      3. Avatar of They Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Steak and Kidney puddings

        Having lived near the factory that made them for nearly 15 years. You wouldn't eat a Hollands pie.

        Just saying.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: Steak and Kidney puddings

          Being a Wiganer I wouldnt eat a hollands pie either. Dont get me started on those pukka things. Pooles pies for me.

  11. a_mu

    Backup

    What happened to the days of expecting a reliable service,

    I can't remember in the old Post office days having outages, phones just kept on working, or is that silver lining.

    What happened to Virgin having backup power ?

    or are they cash strapped, that they cut back on that,

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Backup

      What happened to the days of expecting a reliable service,

      Two things:

      Beancounters don't care.

      Customers don't matter.

    2. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Backup

      "I can't remember in the old Post office days having outages, phones just kept on working, or is that silver lining."

      That's just silver lining, plus the fact that you would only notice if you were making a phone call at the time of the outage.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Backup

        Phones stopped working, still do now and then its just you probably never noticed or just waited until it started working again. It was just usually never vital to make an instant phone call. At worst case you'd ask a neighbour or use a phone box. We didn't demand perfection and just got on with life rather than acting like the world had just ended.

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: Backup

          We didn't demand perfection and just got on with life rather than acting like the world had just ended.

          Well said.

          For businesses relying on a working internet connection the answer is simple - have an independent backup. For all other uses, crumbs, no internet or TV for a couple of hours is not the end of the world. Annoying perhaps, especially if it's for much longer than that and you miss your favourite serial, but you can always catch up later, and in the meantime, don't you have any books in the house? Any DIY that needs doing? Have a long relaxing bath? Walk the dog? An "old fashioned" radio to listen to? A family to play Monopoly with?

          Or - and here's a thought - the TV that you are using to watch cable via a box is pretty much guaranteed to have an aerial socket on the back*. If TV is such an important part of your life, pay an aerial fitter a few pounds to have an "old fashioned" aerial installed and take advantage of normal broadcast TV forever after, for free. Many TVs will even operate as simple PVRs if you plug in a USB drive, though usually without the ability to record one thing while watching another.

          And when the dust has settled there is usually some kind of compensation available, if you want to chase it down.

          M.

          *yeah, my old Trinitron has a socket but is analogue only, but let's face it, just about everyone will have a digital-capable TV these days

          1. illiad

            Re: Backup

            " pay an aerial fitter a few pounds" ???? NO!!! :( :( I asked them about that ( to changer my ancient one fro a new one, (around 50 quid for the aerial), they said 100 or more just to get on my roof on my small 2 up 2 down... :(

            1. PTW

              Re: Backup @illiad

              About 4 to 6 weeks Sky subscription then for the average prole...

            2. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Re: Backup

              around 50 quid for the aerial), they said 100 or more just to get on my roof

              Bearing in mind these are "Joe Public" prices, and an installer can undoubtedly find cheaper elsewhere; bog standard TV aerial about £11 or a really nice one able to pull in over quite long distances about £42. Very nice aerial cable, about 54p/m when bought on a reel.

              Climbing on the roof is a dangerous task, particularly for older houses with steep roofs and maybe slates instead of concrete tiles, but unless there are real reasons to do so, it is often safer and easier to screw an aerial onto the wall of a house, rather than strapping it to a chimney. Wall bracket about £20 or a chimney mounting kit (you are not allowed to screw into a chimney), under £5 plus a mast of some description.

              I've done a few DIY aerial installs in my time, but there are some roofs I will not climb on to - an aerial installer will have roof ladders; I don't. Our current house, with a low-pitch concrete-tiled roof is very easy and relatively safe :-)

              And the point made earlier about monthly Sky or Virgin subscriptions is extremely relevant.

              M.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Backup

            For businesses relying on a working internet connection the answer is simple - have an independent backup.

            Even simpler - use a business internet connection, not a domestic one. The nose you pay through buys you not only a proper failover, but adequate financial compensation.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Backup

        "I can't remember in the old Post office days having outages, phones just kept on working, or is that silver lining."

        That's just silver lining, plus the fact that you would only notice if you were making a phone call at the time of the outage.

        The chances of you noticing the outage were proportional to the number of teenage(*) kids you had.

        (* 'teenage' back then meant 13 to 17, not 8 to 35 like it does now.)

    3. andy 103
      Coat

      Re: Backup

      is that silver lining.

      No, it's the copper cabling.

    4. EddieD

      Re: Backup

      What do you count as a reliable service? I have VirginMedia (and no, I don't work for them or anything else) and in the last decade you can count the number of noticeable outages I've had in the last decade on the fingers of one hand - I'd call that pretty damn reliable.

      Chris Addison on Mock the Week summed it up (this is a slight paraphrase) "We have the total knowledge of the Universe at our fingertips which is utterly amazing, but let it go down for five minutes and we're all 'AM I LIVING IN A THIRD WOLD COUNTRY THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS OH MY GOD THE HUMANITY'"

      He has a point. We should all know that things can happen to IT systems that you can't plan against - what is most important - and here I will accept the criticism of VM - is communicating with the customers. Having a recorded message on your helpline that tells you to consult a webpage when your internet is out is pretty awful.

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "my internet service has gone down, plus landline & tv is intermittent."

    Eggs...basket.

  13. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Sounds like a power issue alright..... in their regional routing place

    I keep losing connection to game servers as my packets go AWOL.

    I'd call their helpline....... but since my vermin media phone seems to only work for 5 days after an engineer has tried fixing it again..... I cant be bothered

    Just wish there was an alternative beyond crappy open retch 'fibre broadband' around here

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And that's the problem. Unlike openreach, which is open to providers, VM have a monopoly and they can raise their prices when they feel like it.

      1. illiad

        so tell me where else you can get 300Mbps or more around greater london ???

        PLEASE, NO PROMISES, just *actually* active!!! :)

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          I've only got VM's 200mb service. (Some discussions around the dinner table so maybe She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed will agree to the upgrade). But since I get every drop of my 200 I'd assume I'll be able to get the 360mb too, in due course -. Maybe a few bunches of flowers. For She, not for VM.

  14. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Business opportunity..

    Website with a title such as titsup-again showing current TITSUP sites and list the last time(s) they had an outage. Sell links to their competitors alongside.

  15. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    I miss working at NTL back in 2000

    Nobody knew what they were doing, and nothing worked properly. But it was so exciting.

    1. Down not across

      Re: I miss working at NTL back in 2000

      I have to disagree with you on that. Back in those days NTL's early Cable Modem service in Cambs was rock solid. I don't recall a single outage all the time I lived there.

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: I miss working at NTL back in 2000

        You don't remember the "transparent proxies" that used to fail all the time? Manually specifying the proxy servers used to get around it. This was Cambridge in about 2004, are we talking about the same time period?.

        1. Down not across

          Re: I miss working at NTL back in 2000

          You don't remember the "transparent proxies" that used to fail all the time?

          Isn't old age is wonderful! It allows you to forget things. I'd completely forgotten about those.

          Yes, the proxies were bad, but affected only small amount of what I was doing online. And as you said were easy to work around.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I miss working at NTL back in 2000

      The jerks at NTL who went around buying up all the local cable companies - and then failing to provide cable connections to the areas they used to cover - seemed to know exactly what they were doing.

  16. Oh Homer Silver badge
    Trollface

    "I’m cut off from important things I need!"

    Ah, the battle cry of warriors bravely fighting First World Problems®.

    Dammit, Janette, I wonder how you would've survived in the 70s. You know, pre-Internet. Pre-everything, really.

    We used to have to walk 200 miles to work each day, and it were uphill both ways, etc.

    But seriously, I fully sympathise with people paying for stuff that doesn't work, and strongly endorse the implementation of service level agreements to compensate you when it breaks, but unfortunately the plastic modern world in which we live would simply collapse entirely if legislators mandated that everything had to work perfectly all the time - or else.

    So rather than whining about teh internets being brokeh again, as it (and everything else) is on an alarmingly regular basis, why not just chill out, drink a beer and read a good book?

    1. Sonic531

      Re: "I’m cut off from important things I need!"

      Pretty sure there's already legislation in place in the UK such that if your service breaks then You're recompensed for the days it was down automatically.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "I’m cut off from important things I need!"

        Pretty sure there's already legislation in place in the UK such that if your service breaks then You're recompensed for the days it was down automatically.

        I don't know why this is getting downvotes. It's absolutely correct.

        The recompense as defined by law is pro rata per day on the retail cost of your service.

        So, if you're paying £30 a month, and (for example) it's April, you will be refunded a whole £1 per day of the outage.

        If your business turns over less than £365 per year, then, that's really good news!

    2. GetMeOuttaHere

      Re: "I’m cut off from important things I need!"

      It is rather amusing when punters rage when something breaks and they don't know how to deal with it other than to jump on social media via their phones and more or less declare their lives are over because they can't access the internet from their computers!

      And it's not just ISPs, but major websites in general- if Twitter, Facebook, Instagram; or online banking like Nationwide, Barclays, NatWest etc - if they go offline for more than 15 minutes, people will post where they can declaring that said websites are fucking useless, terrible services, have lost business, need money boo fucking hoo!

      They then declare "I'm leaving this useless bank" or "I need to post on Facebook urgently so people know how I am coping!" But they never leave the bank, they never leave Facebook because they know it's too important to toss aside

      First World problems indeed - we have become too reliant on so many things but never consider a Plan B for those random Tits Up moments.

      Shit happens: end of.

  17. Nick Kew Silver badge

    No signal at all since February

    ... and many months before that it was a sick joke, with frequent timeouts on web and mail, and 'phone unusable.

    The difference between Virgin and BT is that when BT went titsup they delivered a next-day fix. For Virgin, a next-year fix is clearly too much to expect. Good thing I've got that 4G backup connection from a real provider.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No signal at all since February

      Do you have any details for the BT that fixes things next day?

      I’m familiar with the services of British Telecom, but they typically are only in the early stages of being surprised that something isn’t working (particularly if the service has built in redundancy over diverse paths - or at least that’s what the customer is paying for...). Typically account and service managers “urgently looking into the issue” lasts two to three days before the the excuse bus comes rolling into town. “Urgently sourcing replacement hardware”, “vendor is addressing a major system fault” and finally “we really don’t understand how we missed the thing you have been telling us is the issue for the last week”. They aren’t too bad if you have existing services and have no faults with them and never have the pain of ordering new services or believing their delivery times...

    2. illiad

      Re: No signal at all since February

      sure would be nice if peeps said WHERE in the whole of UK they were!!!

      I have also see posts from peeps in spain saying how good the net is....:P

  18. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    FAIL

    1. Single point of failure, `nuff said.

    2. How long does it take to replace a "faulty power supply"?

    Cost-cutting to the point that redundancy and spare parts are no longer being considered? Interesting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Power corrupts. Anyone got a Dranetz (or similar) going cheep?

      "1. Single point of failure, `nuff said.

      2. How long does it take to replace a "faulty power supply"?"

      I'm not sure I know, given that nothing important I've worked with ever had a single point of failure ;) but British corporate management seem to have plenty of expertise on the subject.

      To name but one widely and implausibly reported example:

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/06/02/british_airways_data_centre_configuration/

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm still waiting

    for one of their contractors to turn up and fill the holes they made in my front garden when they installed the cable. It's only been about 4 months now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm still waiting

      How else is the cable going to get to your house?

      1. Ian Moffatt 1

        Re: I'm still waiting

        They are supposed to fill them in though. Not just leave them there as an additional free of charge 'lawn feature'.

        Or were you implying an /s?

    2. illiad

      Re: I'm still waiting

      4 months and you still don't know how to use a spade???

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Outage?

    If there was a problem I never noticed it. Everything working just fine here.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Outage?

      Since it was an issue that didn't occur everywhere - which is quite clear - saying that you don't have the issue without locating where that is has to be either stupidity or trolling. Same thing really.

  21. Ian Tunnacliffe

    Still down this morning

    Been working on 4G since yesterday afternoon.

    1. wyatt

      Re: Still down this morning

      That reminds me I need a new internet bundle for my sim card!

  22. Anne-Lise Pasch

    Losing broadband is really annoying...

    ... I get that. But tweets from people raging that they 'lost 3 clients' etc, also really annoy me. Especially in London. If your business relies on stable internet... ensure you have at least one failover. Even if its a mobile phone dongle. Although why it takes ISPs so long to route around problems is beyond me, especially when this is what routers were literally designed for.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Losing broadband is really annoying...

      or even just wander down to somewhere with free wifi which is working.

  23. jms222 Bronze badge

    Cambridge

    Thank you Reg !

    Business service been down here since yesterday (Monday) morning the the cunts don’t even acknowledge an issue.

    I thought it was due to rain as a small amount of that such as we get in East Anglia does seem to upset their flaky wiring.

    Just got a call from them and visit imminent, Might just be my cable.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Huh?

    In southeast, but not in an orange zone., somewhat southwest of peterborough.

    Virgin actually better than usual yesterday, watched youttube lastnight, and no sound stuttering at all (usually, a fair amount of the time, it can't even reliably play an SD video without sounding like it's going through a tome zone like in White Hole

  25. Alex Walsh

    Some of the tweets show disgruntled business owners claiming they've lost clients - any business should have a 4G mobile WiFi hotspot as an emergency back up. Won't anybody think of the children?!

  26. Anonymal coward

    The first thing that Liberty Global did when they took over VM was to lose as many of the service vans/people that they could manage to get away with; the core infrastructure was lean enough (read 'under-manned'), but the vans weren't anything but a cost...

  27. Cuddles Silver badge

    Analogue Twitter

    I can't be the only one amused by seeing people complaining on the internet about not having access to the internet.

  28. Joe Montana

    Reliable internet

    If you depend on the internet, especially for your business then you should have backups... I work from home, and i have 2 lines (cable through virgin and a separate adsl over bt infrastructure), i also have 4g tethering available if necessary. I also have battery powered devices (laptop, phone) which can continue service for a while in the event of a power outage.

    Home internet connections are designed to be affordable and for casual use, where it's only a minor inconvenience if it goes down.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reliable internet

      Looking at the guys business, it appears to be a one man business providing home energy certifications for property sales at £50/property.

      While a backup would be nice, I suspect it may take a significant bite out of the profits. Moaning on Twitter is almost free...

      1. Alien8n Silver badge

        Re: Reliable internet

        I was looking at that and thinking "who doesn't have a smart phone for business?"

        While it's entirely possible he's unable to connect his PC to the internet via tethering (your business means going to homes and you don't have a laptop?) it's almost unthinkable that he wouldn't have access to email. Even for the most basic of businesses there should be multiple ways to access emails. He certainly seemed able to get onto Twitter at least.

        This to me just strikes me as someone who hasn't thought about any contingency planning and is trying to do everything with the bare minimum. Hopefully this will persuade him to actually consider how he runs his business.

        (Edit - just looked at his Twitter feed and it would appear that he's a serial complainer with a huge sense of entitlement. Also, why are people still using gmail for their business emails?)

  29. Wolfclaw Silver badge
    FAIL

    Think it's about time that regulations are brought in to force ISP's to refund customers automatically for every 4 hour or part period of time service is down or impeeded, similar to to airline delays, but without so many dodgy get of jail clauses written in to stop them paying up. Then the network may improve, if it hurts their bottom line profits !

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      As good as that sounds the likely result is no better service just a reduced guaranteed service level so less chance of them having to pay anything.

      And why should anyone who suffered no inconvenience be compensated?

      I wish I had a pound for every tree which fell without a sound in the forest.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Refunds

      The majority of ISP faults are down to third parties damaging cables. To address that, ISPs generally have some form or SLA around restoring service. At Virgin, this varies between 12 and 48 hours depending on the package (https://www.virginmediabusiness.co.uk/connectivity/internet-access/business-broadband/?ds_rl=1255746&CMP=sbr_bb-mar-0001761_perisco-4377&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI45LtiPGL3gIVw7XtCh0c0gbvEAAYASAAEgLhnPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CLWIwo3xi94CFYytewodn4kMbQ)

      Assuming the top package and service being restored 24 hours outside SLA, you’re probably entitled to a couple of quid as a refund... Lucky you paid for redundancy to avoid any impact to your business huh?

  30. bobjimwhit

    I have been with Virgin since it was Telewest, BlueYonnder and Yorkshire Cable

    All told about twenty years

    It fails maybe once or twice a year and then only for a couple of hours.

    Most failures are caused by Mains Power failures because I live in a village on the edge of town and the local SubStation keeps failing

    340 down, 26 up, v6, tivo, phone. £50.00 beat that anyone?

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Me too. I'd forgotten they went through Blue Yonder. Weren't they NTL at one point?

      1. illiad

        J.G.Harston

        yes, they bought up NTHell, and all the other bad ones, took them a while to get them going properly...

        They were going pretty well up to a few years ago, then liberty global bought them...

        https://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/02/05/liberty-global-in-talks-to-buy-virgin-media/

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21347814

        when a MAJOR cable was cut by the local building site nearby my office, at least a low speed line was still maintained (BT would have calmly said 'no internet for a month', why my boss hates BT... )

        a few months after that, though, we were exposed to the utterly clueless liberty global support staff.... :O

    2. Killfalcon Bronze badge

      I've been with Virgin since about 2002, and almost no problems until the current place. After I had five multi-day outages in a few months, I switched to one of the BT resellers (not plugging them 'till I know they're actually good).

      Sometimes, you get wired through a bad cabinet (in my case, mucked up by years of landlords turning houses into 4-7 bed flats for students until the cabinet is 60% splitters by volume) and it'll just keep failing. Not much you can do, since they're not willing to put the effort in to actually fix it properly - they just unplug someone else and hope it's not in active use. Most of the customers on the box will move out next summer anyway.

  31. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Coat

    So Virgin's internet service is TITSUP?

    Total

    Inability

    To

    See

    Usual

    Porn

    ?

    (Mine's the leather catsuit with ball ga......Well, never mind which one is mine.)

  32. spudmasterflex

    Boils my piss

    You can guarantee the Twitter moaners are on a residential service but are using it for business, expect tier one SLA’s but on the cheap service.

    Typical with this kind of event, somebody has no internet, lost three clients but magically happens to have “enough internet” to rant on twitter. Wankers.

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