Having decided to switch broadband from copper to cable – the only choice was Virgin Media, so I signed up on-line for their 30Mb service which provided me with a Virgin Media Super Hub (whoopee!! – but I wanted a Modem as a hub would not allow me to use my own router to link up my home to my office via a Gateway to Gateway VPN).
So – the appointment was scheduled for the 5th July 2011 between 8:00am and 1:00pm. So I sit at home and wait for them to turn up.
Come 1:05pm – I call them up and ask them when the engineer might appear and provide me with my broadband. After being put on hold for a while, they come back to me and advise me that the engineer was being a bit delayed but would be with me in about 40 minutes to an hour.
At 3:00pm and no sign of their engineer – I call them again and get put on hold yet again. Magically as I am on the phone, having held on for about 10 minutes, a Virgin Media van appears outside and I then end the call to their telephone support.
About 15 minutes after the 1st engineer arrives – two more appear and the three of them then work until about 4:20pm until my service is up and running. So far so good, but for an 8:00am to 1:00pm appointment – it is now 4:20pm and my whole day is wasted.
The 1st engineer advised me that he didn’t even have the job to get me installed that day and the others advised that an engineer was off sick and everyone had to re-arrange their days and rally round to get the work done – I feel so lucky to have such diligent engineers!!
Having then spent the evening trying to get the Virgin Media Super Hub to play with my own Router and establish the IPSEC VPN between the office and home, I give up, knowing that it wouldn’t work in the first place, but felt that it was rude not to give it a try.
The following day I borrow a Virgin Media Cable Modem from a customer who no longer is going to use the service and plug the modem in at home and try to get it working. Lo and behold – it doesn’t – so I call Virgin and ask then if they can make it work. Short answer is no because it is still registered to another customer and also because it won’t work on a 30mb service – I need to downgrade to a 20Mb service – so I downgrade and they promise to send me a new modem in a couple of days.
2 days later – as promised – the modem arrives and I plug it in – call them up – activate it and all works happily.
So that evening I again try to get my own Router to work on their connection and establish a VPN connection – which turns out to be impossible, although it should work.
On the Sunday I call them up and check to see if they are blocking any ports or restricting the service in any way and they advise me that they are not, but check the connection and advise me that it was a bit noisy and might be the cause of the inability to get the VPN working, so they schedule an Engineer to pay me a visit today between 12:00pm and 4:00pm (can you tell where this is heading yet?).
So, I get home today at 12:00pm and sit at home working remotely and doing what I can awaiting the engineer. I finally get a call from Virgin Media at about 3:30pm advising that their engineer isn’t able to make it today – some sickness again apparently and can I make another appointment. I advised them that I had already wasted 3½ hours of my day and that their offer of £10 compensation wasn’t going to cover the time I have wasted so they advised me to contact customer services – to which I replied – you can call them because I have better things to do with my time and whilst calling them, please cancel the contract as clearly this isn’t going to be a long and happy relationship if their engineers can only book a 4-hour slot and then fail to arrive 100% of the time within the agreed time-slot.
Be warned – if you decide to opt for a Virgin Media Service – make sure you have plenty of spare time on your hands as you will need it.
Sadly the alternative of Copper broadband involves BT at some point in the loop – who are equally as bad at turning up when they are meant to – so if you want broadband – make sure you have plenty of tea / coffee handy and something to occupy your time – you will need it.