Virgin Media Banking on a Stupid Public

This is a discussion on Virgin Media Banking on a Stupid Public within the The Foyer forums, part of the Off the Grid category; I got a letter from Virgin Media informing me that my phone charges will be changing. The phone package price ...

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Old Mar 22, 2007, 3:26pm   #1
 
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Virgin Media Banking on a Stupid Public

I got a letter from Virgin Media informing me that my phone charges will be changing. The phone package price is dropping, but the way my call charging will be calculated is changing. Here is the catch: Phonecalls will be rounded UP to the nearest minute. This is the example privided which is aimed at duping the public into thinking it's only minor.

Quote:
"So, for example, a call that lasts 4 minutes 50 seconds will be rounded up to 5 minutes"
That's only 10 seconds you think? I wonder how many customers fail to realise that a phone call lasting 4 minutes and 1 second will also be rounded up to 5 minutes?
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Old Mar 22, 2007, 3:42pm   #2
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They're nothing but corporate criminals!

Theres absolutely no excuse for it either, in this digital age.

Virgin (broadband) are crap, and they make it very difficult to contact them, and very difficult to complain.
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Old Mar 22, 2007, 4:25pm   #3
 
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Originally Posted by JTrader
They're nothing but corporate criminals!

Theres absolutely no excuse for it either, in this digital age.

Virgin (broadband) are crap, and they make it very difficult to contact them, and very difficult to complain.
I agree. Everything they are doing compels me to cancel and move to BT. I checked my account yesterday and noticed they withdrew $25 for my broadband service when it was £24.99 under NTL. I called to complain (on principle) and they informed me that they are "Rounding up" the prices of services. I told them it was dishonest to do it without informing me and even though it's only 1p, it adds up if they are doing it to millions of unwary customers. As a result they have credited the 1p for this month.

It reminds me of a joke.

A man calls his brother overseas and asks him to send over a racehorse that they both owned because he plans to make money with it. His brother agrees but the following day the horse dies. He doesn't know how to break the news so he sends the horse over anyway hoping his brother would think it died during the journey. A few weeks later he calls to find out how things went. His brother answers "Fantastic, I made £1 million from the horse". Puzzled by how he could do this he confesses that the horse died before he sent it and asks "How did you make money out of it", his brother replies, "I held a raffle and the horse was 1st prize. I sold a million tickets at £1 each". His brother is now more confused, and asks, "Didn't the person who won complain?" His brother answers "Yes, so I gave him his £1 back".
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Old Mar 22, 2007, 4:49pm   #4
 
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Virgin Media (ex-NTL) are useless and irritating.
When they took over and failed to reach agreement with Sky over Sky News and 24 & LOST, I tried to ring them to cancel the agreement - recorded message saying the delays were 45 mins ++
That was on a Friday - I eventually got them on the following Wednesday after keeping the phone on my shoulder whilst I did other things for 50 minutes.
On that same Friday I rang Sky, got through within a minute and had a dish and digibox fitted on the Tuesday - before I could even get through to Virgin !
I took great pleasure in telling them the "news" that they could get "LOST" within "24" hours.
The Sky service and product is far superior.
I also had another problem with Virgin mega stores when I couldn't get hold of them by phone or email about an order they'd cocked up.
Their train service is also pretty awful according to one of my daughters.
Having said that, I've flown to NYC and San Fran many times with Virgin Atlantic - no problems and a damn sight better than those appalling tu**s at British Airways.
Richard
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Last edited by Mr. Charts; Mar 22, 2007 at 5:20pm.
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Old Mar 22, 2007, 6:48pm   #5
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Originally Posted by Mr. Charts
That was on a Friday - I eventually got them on the following Wednesday after keeping the phone on my shoulder whilst I did other things for 50 minutes.
Charts - These days with all the noncy call centres everyone should have one of those phones where you can dial and listen with the headset still in the cradle. You can pick them up starting at £20.
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Old Mar 22, 2007, 8:25pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by anley
Charts - These days with all the noncy call centres everyone should have one of those phones where you can dial and listen with the headset still in the cradle. You can pick them up starting at £20.
Virgin Media - I think the "Times" business section had a para. stating that Virgin Media are going to sponsor "Big Brother." Crap goes to crap I suppose.
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 1:36pm   #7
 
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new_trader started this thread I have been having problems with Virgin Media broadband so an Engineer was booked for a home visit between 08:00 - 13:00 today. I was told I would be charged £10 if I am not home when the Engineer arrives. At 13:20 I call to complain about the Engineer being late and I was told that he isn't late. According to them it's only 12:20!! They are working to GMT and not BST. So I must wait until 14:00 or I will be charged £10.

VIRGIN MEDIA IS A HOPELESS JOKE
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 4:53pm   #8
 
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VIRGIN MEDIA IS A HOPELESS JOKE

Absolutely. I still get junk mail from them almost every day.
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 5:37pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Charts
Virgin Media (ex-NTL) are useless and irritating.

Having said that, I've flown to NYC and San Fran many times with Virgin Atlantic - no problems and a damn sight better than those appalling tu**s at British Airways.
Richard
Sorry Mr Charts have to disagree with you about Virgin Alantic. I paid for round the world Premium Economy tickets for me and my family and unfortunately the Virgin Alantic legs of the trip were the "worst" I have ever experienced.

Paid double the price of an economy ticket for the Premium Economy seat. Legroom was just the same as economy and couldn't view any of the in board entrtainment as when the seat in front of me reclined the screen dropped below my level of vision. When the seat in front of me fully reclined it dropped almost into my lap.

Air New Zealand on the other hand was the complete opposite of Virgin.

Cheers

T

p.s I can't work out your swear word
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 6:26pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by timaru69

p.s I can't work out your swear word
I think the missing letters are "r" and "d"
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 9:00pm   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Charts
Virgin Media (ex-NTL) are useless and irritating.
When they took over and failed to reach agreement with Sky over Sky News and 24 & LOST, I tried to ring them to cancel the agreement - recorded message saying the delays were 45 mins ++
That was on a Friday - I eventually got them on the following Wednesday after keeping the phone on my shoulder whilst I did other things for 50 minutes.
On that same Friday I rang Sky, got through within a minute and had a dish and digibox fitted on the Tuesday - before I could even get through to Virgin !
I took great pleasure in telling them the "news" that they could get "LOST" within "24" hours.
The Sky service and product is far superior.

Richard
Gah!

Let's see now ... jump into bed with Rupert or Beardie?

Both are <expletive here>s

Virgin at least tries to charm its customer base - sure whatever Virgin product it is, it is normally merely a Virgin sticker that has been stuck onto a pile of crap (and that sticker costs a pretty penny for whomever wants to use it too).

And then we have Sky... or News Corp... or Murdoch Inc... whom just dispense with the charm and treat the public wth a degree of contempt.

Murdoch Inc... producers of quality unbiased news like Fox... the first News Agency to jump into bed with China (and we all know how open the news is there)... the organisation that vomits out stuff like the Sun and News of the World daily (with the Intelligent middle class catered for by The Times).

I could go on a tirade about the influence they have on people's opinions, etc but that is a different debate entirely.

Back to brand, what they stand for and what they actually are...

I have used them all...
Telewest - which was actually pretty good, and cheap too and had really fast Internet which took ADSL an age to catch up to
SKY with a BT line
Have heard homechoice is actually quite good (2 sources)
Straight BT-wholesale broadband, a Freeview box and a paid up TV license.

The last is my current and the one I am happiest with The extra channels both cable and Sky have are crap, you have to pay to watch anything current, and go for deluxe packages to get decent sports coverage; and if sports is the only reason you have either then you are subscribing or condoning the fact that only Sky gets the rights to important sports events. If people turned off Sky sports, then good sports events would be broadcast for free; otherwise you are paying for utter crap; the half decent stuff barring sport and movies is generally on freeview anyway.

So there are your choices... you can either have Lost and 24 hours and subscribe to an overly influential, megolamaniac (read fascism) or you can subscribe to a polished turd (virgin branded NTL service (and a lucky few may live in what was once a Telewest area)); or you could take what is free, and support Internet businesses that actually shape the development of the Internet anyway (BT and countless other ISPs).

My approach at least supports Britsh businesses rather than a single potential monopoly run by two rather unsavoury characters.

Last edited by Arbiter; Mar 27, 2007 at 9:06pm.
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 9:01pm   #12
 
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Hello timaru,
Then I've just been plain lucky or maybe the virgin mega store and virgin media diseases have infected the rest of the Branson empire. Perhaps they have all become incrementally excremental.
Take care,
Richard

PS I remember a Virgin flight from Tobago a couple of years ago when the rather camp steward announcing the safety measures in case of ditching said, " ...and in case you wonder what the whistle is for, it's to attract the attention of passing sailors. " Imagine a John Inman/Eddie Izzard type character saying that - very funny.
Come to think of it, it's the only time Virgin has ever made me smile..........
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Old Mar 28, 2007, 8:07am   #13
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I upgraded from 1MB virgin BB to 8MB over 2 weeks ago. They said 8 days ago it may take 10 days until i receive the top speeds and they will do further tests during this period. My typical speed shown in the system tray is 3.5-4.0 MBPS.

When i run a speed test its usually around 3.2 for downloads.

The actual performance is very slow at times, and comparable to dial-up.
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Old Mar 28, 2007, 10:00am   #14
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Contending contention

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTrader
I upgraded from 1MB virgin BB to 8MB over 2 weeks ago. They said 8 days ago it may take 10 days until i receive the top speeds and they will do further tests during this period. My typical speed shown in the system tray is 3.5-4.0 MBPS.

When i run a speed test its usually around 3.2 for downloads.

The actual performance is very slow at times, and comparable to dial-up.
I guess that is Virgin BB ADSL not cable?

The problem with any ADSL line, regardless of who supplies it (BT, SKY, Carphone Whorehouse, etc) is contention and distance.

The distance thing means that only those who live less than a mile form the Exchange have any hope of getting the claimed 8Mb/s. In reality for the vast majority of people the speed will be something like 2 or 4 or 6 Mb/s. When upgrading to these speeds BT (yes BT) has a bedding in period where they will tweak the line for maximum performance before too much attenuation takes place... hence you bedding in period. Even those who live close enough to the Exchnage may have noisy lines because BT have basically laid spaghetti underneath the street. With cable none of this is a problem, the signal is fibre optic to the street corner and then becomes copper... hence why Telewest had very good service ratings (being the Broadband not the customer service). If the service is poor and is cable... well then I would surmise that you are on the NTL network and NTL/Virgin Media are doing a shoddy job of managing the traffic.

The other huge problem is contention... A lot of people do not realise that that they are sharing their bandwidth of 1,2,4,6,8 Mb/s with 39 other people... (or less if the class of service is better).

So now your bandwidth of say 8Mb/s is shared with that many people, and if they are all hammering the line at the same time (itunes downloads and whatnot), guess what?? Your speed will be shocking. This is not really a slight on Virgin, this exists for all ADSL customers. The speed actually becomes quite meaningless when this happens. If you are lucky then the other 39 lines you share with may not be busy when you typically use the internet, or you are in an area where there are not that many subscribers... but as broadband becomes cheaper and more sign-up, the speeds will and do slow down. Enter the big ISPs like Virgin, AOL, SKY, who then restrict the traffic or the type of internet services you can use, and who also put a cap on how much traffic you can generate (another nice place to put a meter) - all to 'manage' the traffic they have created by offering ultra cheap, often crap, internet service.

So how do you get around this? Well you get a low-contention line... normally classified as business broadband/ADSL. I have one such line. It is an 8Mb/s line for about £32 a month, and no that does not include line rental, pay TV or phone calls. Some call me mad, but boy-oh-boy is my line fast!

I use Eclipse internet for this, who by the way have been rated as best business provider for several years running because of their speeds (they manage traffic correctly) and their customer service. Sure it costs, but you get what you pay for...
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Old Mar 31, 2007, 1:19pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTrader
I upgraded from 1MB virgin BB to 8MB over 2 weeks ago. They said 8 days ago it may take 10 days until i receive the top speeds and they will do further tests during this period. My typical speed shown in the system tray is 3.5-4.0 MBPS.

When i run a speed test its usually around 3.2 for downloads.

The actual performance is very slow at times, and comparable to dial-up.
11 days on, my virgin 8mb broadband now seems slower than when i upgraded it from 1mb.
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