This morning a Virgin Media “engineer” turned up to fix my broadband, which was broken again. That’s the second time in two weeks. He told me that the signal strength had been set in the box up the road to “low“. That surprised me a little since only nine days ago another Virgin Media “engineer” turned up to fix my broadband and he told me that he had set it to “medium“. He also used the occasion to tell me a blatant lie. I knew it was a lie. Virgin Media subequently admitted that it was a lie too. Of course, they couldn’t do that at first. At first they called it an “assumption“:
Realising that the only way to force Virgin Media to face the facts was to point them to a detailed explanation. Consequently, I published a post entitled “Blatant lie by Virgin Media engineer“. Then, using a shortened link to it, I pointed their twitter feed to it. At last, they confessed that their engineer had not been telling the truth:
The service worked for a few days and then broke again. This morning’s “engineer” asked to use my laptop. I refused. My machines are private. As it happened I was using it for something rather grand and did not wish to interrupt that work. It is also rather difficult to get to physically. The “engineer” didn’t have one of his own. He told me that the company only provided two for “engineers” in my area! The wifi signal did not seem to work on my phone. The “engineer” left and said he would arrange another visit “either this morning or early in the afternoon“. Another engineer turned up at 11:30am. Harry definitely knew what he was talking about. We discussed the technicalities of broadband for some time. He was no bullshitter. Also, he carried a special machine which could measure decibels of signal strength. He said the machine cost £4,500. With that he demonstrated that the incoming cable to my house, which he said was not one of the company’s cables but a TV incoming cable from somewhere else, was the source of the problem. He rejoined the cable and proved that the signal strength had dramatically increased. Thanks Harry!
Musing on the poor service offered by this company and the fact that Virgin Media abuses its monopoly, I decided that I would no longer sit back and allow them to deliver less than a third of the download speed I pay for. I’m well aware that the speed is declared to be a “maximum“. However, I do think that I should occasionally be granted that maximum and often get close to it. I’ve been testing the speed twice a day for several months now. I do not bit torrent. I do watch videos and my wife watches television via BBC’s iplayer and, from time to time, God forbid, ITV. I’m aware of the throttling policies. I doubt very much that I break them. Certainly they haven’t been broken when the internet service has been broken for several days. Yet the results from the speed test are always exactly the same.
Harry made a call on my behalf to discover what speed I was entitled to. He tells me that I am only due to received 10Mbps! Every time I telephone Virgin Media, I am told that I am due to get 30Mbps. Is this not misrepresentation?
Before Harry arrived, I decided that I would contact Virgin Media to ask for my money back. No matter how simply I put the question, “You only deliver one-third of the speed which I pay for. Can I have two-thirds of my money back? Yes or No?” (it’s a simple question), the answer was always the same, “I understand, Mr Roy, and I think you want to… [followed by nothing I had spoken about]“. Eventually, I hung up and decided to contact Virgin Media via its contact form on the internet. After selecting the relevant options, I was invited to click on a button marked “Contact Us“. This button was broken. Nothing happened at all. Repeatedly. This is the Virgin Media Contact Us page and this is what it looked like – the red button in the bottom right-hand corner is the one which doesn’t function properly:
Clearly, this is a company which makes it difficult to contact them. Incidentally, it is also a company which prefers not to update its service status on its own website. Finally, I pay for “Broadband Size L“. That is advertised as being 30Mbps:
This confirms what I have been told repeatedly on the phone. Yet Harry has confirmed that only one-third of 30Mbps is being delivered. There doesn’t seem to be any sensible way of contacting Virgin Media about this misrepresentation. I tried one more time on the telephone. This time I was told that what I was originally told was wrong but it was now correct. What does that mean? It means that I will not be offered a refund. To cut a long story short, I have now been promised 30Mbps within 48 hours. Meanwhile, I have found this form to contact Virgin Media.