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Broadband customer slams Virgin Media's 'filthy web of lies'

Thursday, July 2nd 2015 by Ellen Branagh

An angry customer spent months trying to get his Virgin Media broadband to work, only to be told it should never have been sold to him in the first place.

Rob Tucker suffered months of stress, contacting them more than 50 times via email, phone, Twitter and online complaint forms before he finally got to the bottom of the issue and could cancel his service.

Eventually, an engineer told Mr Tucker (pictured) that Virgin’s network simply can’t cope with the demand in his area.

Speaking to Cable.co.uk, he said slammed what he called Virgin’s “filthy web of lies and poor service” and said it should be illegal for providers to sell services they know they cannot provide.

Mr Tucker, who runs a software company that deals with video over the internet, upgraded his Virgin fibre connection from 50Mbps to the 100Mbps service on 14 March.

“We had 50Mbps and it was awful, so I thought, ‘well, if I double whatever I’m getting that’s going help'.”

After receiving 62Mbps shortly after his new service went live, it began to deteriorate until he could only get speeds of 0.3-2Mbps.

'Hugely frustrating'

He submitted a series of online error forms and was given a volley of reasons for his problems including a phone error and fluctuating power levels.

Mr Tucker said engineers were booked to go to his address in Crouch End, north London on several occasions, but either they did not show up, or he received a text message saying they had been cancelled.

He spent more than 10 hours on the phone trying to sort the problems out, only to be disconnected several times, he said.

To add insult to injury, while he was desperately trying to get a working service, he received several emails from Virgin advertising broadband packages.

“The internet remained disconnected for extended periods of time, and when we did have it, it was around a hundredth of the speed they sold me," he said.

“It’s impossible to actually speak with anyone – I spent over 10 hours trying to speak to them and sort their problem.

“My time is my most valuable asset so to spend this amount of time trying to sort this out is hugely frustrating.”

At one point a discount was applied, but Mr Tucker said he would have rather had a usable broadband service.

'It should be illegal'

It was not until 7 May that Virgin acknowledged there was a ‘network fault’ and when an engineer finally visited on 17 June, he was told that he should never have been sold the service because his area suffers from ‘over-utilisation’ issues.

He has now cancelled his service, and was told again by someone from the customer services team that the area suffers from a high utilisation issue and they should not have taken him on in the first place.

“That’s the thing that fundamentally annoys me,” Mr Tucker said.

“Fundamentally it should be illegal for them to sell a service that they can’t provide.”

“Their whole tone is, ‘customer service comes first, we just care about you’, and in actual fact they are just trying to squeeze every last drop of money out of you that they can.

“I’m totally appalled by Virgin in general, and if I can help to not let others fall into the same filthy web of lies and poor service, it will be a moral victory.”

Virgin Media spokesman Joe Thomas said: "We pride ourselves on delivering the speeds we promise to our customers.

"As we were unable to consistently deliver expected speeds, ‎Mr Tucker was able to leave his contract early.

"As recently proven by Which? Virgin Media delivers its advertised speeds to 98% of customers - miles ahead of ISPs using BT's network."

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