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Virgin on the Ridiculous

When you experience bad customer service or false promises by a company, I usually call them out, in an attempt to stop friends and family going through what I did.

For eighteen months now I've been battling with Virgin to sort out why my internet at home has been running so slowly. We have a broadband only package - Vivid 350, which even today was promising an average download speed of 362 mbps - fast than the packaged offered - which should in itself have been a warning sign.

The green cabinet housing the fibre on our street for Virgin's 'Ultra Fast' network is around the side of our house. I remember well the guy who installed it saying - you are so close to the box, you won't ever get any speed issues - he left and that's when the problems started.

So for the last 18 months, I've been in a circular argument with Virgin simply because we cannot even watch a streaming TV programme without the screen freezing, the download saying it's buffering etc. At £50 a month, I expect more than this.

Of course I've phoned them up, regularly used the app, to have confirmed to me that I'm getting between 1 to 5 mbps - 12 on a very good day. That is around 95% LESS than I have been promised.

Every time I've phoned, they do a test, asking me to switch off the router and on again, then come back with 'Everything is fine on your line'. One time, I dared to suggest that if It was fine, I wouldn't have run, only to be told, there is nothing we can do for you.

After about 10 attempts, they agreed to send out an engineer at my cost. I took the day off, waited patiently - he never showed, and I got an email saying there was no one in - I hadn't moved from the front of the house all day - I even skipped lunch.

So I've been patiently waiting for the time my 1 year contract came to an end, in order to move - to BT who are now guaranteeing 68 mbps or they will credit my account.

On leaving I had the delight of another 40 minute call to Virgin to try and persuade them I indeed want to leave and they were not the wonderful company they promote. The girl spoke over me for 20 minutes, and had the cheek to say, they were now working with ofCom (The regulator) to provide customers with a realistic expectation of the speed they should get when signing upto a package.

I still had to pay next months cost, even though I was seven days away from it's renewal. The customer service being so good, I had to give a months notice from the beginning of the next month - ridiculous.

I didn't complain to ofCom, I could have - I have wasted days of my life trying to get service from this company. If you think about it, the Richard Branson brand I used to admire, is a shadow of what it used to be, trains are incredibly expensive, airline also high prices. I decided to walk with my feet, I guess if enough of their disappointed clients do this, they might get the message and improve things.

It will be some time before I engage with brand 'Virgin' anything.


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