Edinburgh Virgin Media users incorrectly told “It’s your computer at fault”

StuartIT News, IT Support32 Comments


Customers of Virgin Media’s cable broadband services in Edinburgh are today up in arms at their 30Mb and 50Mb services crawling at only 1Mb. Instead of receiving “The UK’s fastest broadband”, users of the affected service are coming in at speeds slower than 60% of the UK population.

Our Managing Director, Stuart Gilbertson, is also affected by this service issue and had the pleasure of dealing with Virgin Media’s call centres abroad.

“I phoned them up at about 7pm this evening (18th August) to complain about the fact my Internet connection had deteriorated to a level that just wasn’t acceptable any more. We pay a considerable sum to Virgin Media every month for our Television, Broadband and Phone and we expect a premium service as a result of the premiums we pay.

I was eventually able to guess the correct keypad entries to get through to speak to someone about the problem. I explained quite clearly that all the devices we use at home were affected (two laptops, an iPad, and a couple of mobile phones with WiFi) and the lady set up a remote session to my laptop to try and resolve the issue.”

Stuart goes on to say:

“At first, she seemed to know what she was doing by going into the management console of our Router in the house, but then it quickly became apparent she had absolutely no idea whatsoever. She changed a setting in the Wireless section even though I was quite clear that the fault was happening on devices connected with the ethernet cable too.

She then made changes to other settings and ran SpeedTest.net speed tests a few times in a vain attempt to get to the bottom of the problem. Eventually she came to the conclusion that the problem was my Anti-Virus (ignoring the fact all other devices on the network were experiencing the slow Internet connection too). This just wasn’t the case. I use AVG Free at home on the laptop, which is a free anti-virus solution we recommend for personal users. This Anti-Virus doesn’t require a subscription, so it doesn’t expire.

Eventually I gave up and refused to speak to her any longer. I spoke to a Manager and he decided to send us a new router in the post – even though we’re pretty sure the problem is at VirginMedia’s end, rather than the home user’s.”

Consider IT are very worried that users in the Edinburgh area who may be affected by this will be wrongly told that the fault is with their home desktop computer or laptop. This just simply isn’t the case.

The Virgin Media forums were alive and kicking with numerous posts about the issue and a considerable number of users in Edinburgh showing their concern about their own connection speed issues.  http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Up-to-30Mb-and-50Mb-broadband/Edinburgh-50Mb-real-speeds/td-p/659049

Anyone in the Edinburgh area should if possible, be assertive on the phone to these people in that there’s a much higher chance the problem is at Virgin Media’s end rather than yours. If your Internet drops off at about 4pm and comes back to normal speeds by 2am the next day, then this is almost certainly the case.

Do not be conned into having your computer “fixed”. There is nothing wrong with it! Virgin Media’s telephone technicians are just following a very very badly planned script which potentially could have costly and unnecessary consequences.

Virgin Media have made no official comment on their website. At time of publishing this blog post, their Edinburgh status still showed that Broadband Service was “good”.

[Update 09:23am 19/08/2011] – Virgin Media’s Service Status still says “There are no known problems affecting your Broadband service.”

[Update 11:10 19/08/2011] – Virgin Media have given us an update to this issue:

“This problem is being investigated under fault reference F001708058. A hardware fault in the Manchester backbone has been identified and the defective equipment has been replaced. This will be tested during the day. Even if this is not a complete solution it will improve the situation.

A second, potential, explanation for the problem is also being investigated. This would have an impact on traffic which follows a particular routing path and would not be apparent during periods of low network load – during the day. It would become manifest as load increases – during the evening. As yet we do not know if this is the explanation, nor whether a fix will be in place before this evening.

We will be monitoring progress on this fault during the day and will re-post as and when we have anything further to report.”

Are you in the Edinburgh area and experiencing the same problems with your Virgin Media connection? Leave a comment on this page and we’ll show Virgin Media the problem is widespread!

32 Comments on “Edinburgh Virgin Media users incorrectly told “It’s your computer at fault””

  1. Having this problem too. When I refused to restart my modem for the hundredth time and refused a technician visit, the guy at the “Helpdesk” went silent, no idea what to say.

  2. Yip same issue in EH10 since Sunday 14th Aug. 50Mb speed down to 1-2Mb between 16:00-02:00. Offshore ‘support’ have run a battery of useless tests and a ‘senior’ engineer is coming to today – for what reason I have no idea. Fault is clearly not down to customers’ setup. Multiple devices affected and bypassing the router makes no difference. Also difficult to believe it is a capacity issue as speed tests to non-UK based servers (like Amsterdam) are still working fine. Support on this has been hopeless and there’s still no recognition of any fault on Virgin Media’s status page. Pathetic!

  3. EH12 getting 20M at 8am and 2M at 8pm ? Sucks.. Most disapointed at Virgins lack of interest in the issue.
    Their status page claims everything is fine, and the lack of visibility in the tech forumn is poor (but not unexpected).

  4. We’re EH6 and have been having this problem for the last few days. The time when we’re not in it seems the connection’s fine, as soon as we get in from work and try to use it the connection drops from 30MB to only 1MB.

    We’re paying quiet a lot to Virgin for this broadband service that’s meant to be fast and have had nothing but problems the past few days.

    Called tech support yesterday and they were just useless. Restarted the modem thing five times, told me it was my laptop (even though i dont have one). My iPhone and my iPad are both having same connection issue through wifi, and desktop on cabled connection is same too.

    pathetic virgin media customer support. we wouldnt mind so much if they just told us there was a fault. I am getting a new black box thing sent in the post now too. hopefuly that fixes it.

  5. Speed dropped from 50 Mb/s to 4Mb/s in the evening. Not even going to bother calling Virgin Media support as I had the pleasure of being told to return a “faulty” laptop back to Dell several months ago! Needless to say the laptop was fine, support in India were talking rubbish as usual and the Virgin Media modem was eventually replaced, as I had originally asked for!

    Virgin have accepted there is a fault now and are trying to trace and fix it, but why are they not putting it on the Status page and alerting their call centres?

  6. I’m seeing the same symptoms as this, in fact I think the problem goes for all traffic going through South Gyle, I know of someone in Linlithgow and Glenrothes as well as 6 other people I know in Edinburgh experiencing the same issues.

  7. A friend of mine in EH8 area is finding that at these times his internet is unable to pull even 1.5-2Mbit/s on the 50Mbit/s service.

    It would appear that the fault is only affecting users of the newer DOCSIS 3.0 network however as I’m on DOCSIS 1.1 here at home and for once my net is actually running at the speed it should!

  8. Same problem here in the EH9 area, on 50mb service. Tempted to call and try to ask for a partial refund for the past couple of weeks of service but I really don’t think I can be bothered with the hassle of dealing with their phone support. It really is an exercise in frustration.

  9. Same. EH5. Getting 1.4 of a possible 20Mb.
    That’s 7% of the maximum!
    Hope they sort this soon, as really can’t face the callcentre runaround. May have to though… has anyone managed to get a reduction on their bill for this yet?

  10. Same at EH4 – spent over 2hrs on the peile phone to VM last night while they modified the router. They would not progress without me plugging in an ethernet cable to my router, which I refused to do as we know that the router and laptops have been working fine. Subsequently read the virgin forum which confirmed that the customer service representatives had been wasting my time. Have just sent an email complaining as I can’t face the customer service team again. Speed is fine just now but was under 2MB last night.

  11. yes i agree about the Livingston area EH54 as ther has been a log of latency or high ping rate which has been happening since last week when there where work tickets issued to repair something. My ping rate has doubled since then and by the looks of it the area is now being traffic managed as it shoots up at 5pm till about 1am in the morning. This is very unlikely to get solved by Virgin as their customer service is absolutely terrible.

  12. Just as i thought it was resolved, at about 6 i noticed the degradation. Phoned Customer Services to ask what was going on and theyve said its my computer. I told them to visit this site and thry did…then he said it must be router.
    Im gettin new router in 3 days even though virgin techs know that its a problem at their end.

    Left hand just dont know what right hands doing, and customer services are just a piss take.

  13. @Boabsy: we got a fiver off the bill for the three days we have to wait on the new router… We’ve not had compensation for anything to do with the real fault though.

    The guy in the call centre outside the UK said that this was the most he would be able to do. I’ll be writing for a full month back.

  14. I’ve had similar issues in Marchmont.

    An engineer came round and used the TV cable box to find that the SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) was poor [you can check this in the Virgin router setup page]. After about an hour of going to and fro to the street, he was able to bring me within the acceptable range.

    He left saying that he’d recommend an upgrade/fix to the street equipment.

    More recently our internet would show the same kind of slow downs and drop outs. I noticed that it ran fine for a few hours but would then grind to a halt. If I left the computers off for the weekend (when away) then it was ok on Monday.

    This ran alarm bells and I looked up the Virgin traffic management policy. After a few calls to customer service I was able to confirm that this was the issue. The trick here was not to mention slow speeds as this leads to the router on/off routine, but to ask a very direct question from the beginning.

    Hope this helps somebody. 🙂

  15. This problem is far from limited to Edinburgh. Places all over the UK have similar problems, and Virgin are content to let them drag on for months.

    (Eight months so far where I am, and their latest “fix date” is in October.)

  16. Same issues in Dundee, still ongoing, this internet is just stinking. VM has gotten worse and worse over time, I downgraded from the 50mbit service due to the superhub thinking it was just that, still the same issues on the 20mbit “old” modems, its just VM its utter p*sh. Am now considering switching to sky, fed up paying (this has been going on for months and months now) even though the adsl service isnt as fast, but lets face it, up to 8mbps is 8x quicker than I’m actually geting on VM and its 3 for £20. Sounds like a deal to me.

  17. Same issue EH11 had it for just under a year total mick take, leaving them as soon as contract ends, watchdog anyone?

  18. EH14 I was told I was being “Traffic Managed” despite the fact that Im nowhere near the 5% of folk who apparently “abuse” the service
    and yet … between 8 and 10 in the morning and 3 and 4 in the afternoon I get speeds approaching the 10mb Im paying for
    Does that mean the abusers are not on line between those hours ?

    When I asked why the problem only became apparent after the Service had been taken down for about 7 hours ,two weeks ago for “improvements” to be made … I could hear the sound of waffles being warmed

  19. Wednesday 7th  March.  All of the above foreword is exactly the same as I have been experiencing.  Ipads and iphones used by people who come to my house have problems with slow speeds and eventually the system knocks off the connection meaning you spend time trying to get back on again and lose data.  Seven times I have went through the telephone technicians and been fobbed off by changing a channel on my computer or adjusting wireless adaptors hmmm. My co-axial cable initially installed by telewest is over 20 years old.  Until they update their side during the next 18 months as advertised I do not see the problem being resolved for anyone so I will be leaving Virgin when my mobile broadband contract expires even although I do like the TV service.

  20. Let’s face it, virgin know it’s their fault so do we let’s get ourselves some free routers by complaining 😀

  21. We are in EH15 and we’ve just spent 3 days with no internet connection from Virgin! totally unacceptable and even more unacceptable that we couldn’t get thorough to them on 150 to ask what they were doing about it, call waiting times were 30mins! Poor show Virgin.

  22. i am eh42 and have had this problem for two months. virgin have told me i’ll only be able to seek a refund once the problem is solved. i’m planning on ditching them as soon as

  23. i have been having trouble for two weeks although i had a technician round to so called fix the problem another one is arriving tomorrow to fix the same problem i think its a total joke and virgin media is very expensve and truely thinking of moving back to sky as i never had any problems with them so hope this is resolve soon as my two tvs and two laptops and four phones are all affected by this ts terrible hope they fix it soon or im switching to sky

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