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Virgin Media...

Can anyone give me any feedback on Virgin Media?

I'm looking at the possibility of taking up their fibre optic broadband service for the new house (plus possibly their TV and phone deals) and was wondeirng if anyone had any experience with them?

I'm not too worried about the TV Channel selection as we're dropping SKY as we only rarely use it and then it's for the news, music or cartoons ( and then only really South Park, Simpsons, Futurama and Family Guy). The occasional documentary also gets watched but we're not using it enough to warrant the extra expense so are dropping it with the move.

We do need a good broadband provider though and it looks like the 20mb Fibre Optic deal is very good (especially as Dave transfers high volume art files).


(Thanks in advance)


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 20th, 2008 09:44 am (UTC)
We had them for a year or so, swiched to Sky because we do prefer the TV packages. you will get faster throughpu from vigin for sure.

You may want to consider BT broadband and their BT Vision tv setup however. Freeview channels and TV on demand,
Feb. 20th, 2008 09:45 am (UTC)
Well, there are many people who are happy with them, and many more who are very unsatisfied. Their network infraetructure is good, but the customer support is totally crap, there have been major issues with them sending the wrong engineer, taking months to sort out a simple connection, etc... I would not consider them if you are not going for the TV package, and for the decent TV channels you can get on Freeview anyway, or not have a TV at all and save on TV License.
So there is one big question, do you have a BT line on the new place? If not you will have to get a contract with BT and on top pay for ADSL, which is roughly 12 + ADSL which you can get a decent one for 15-20 (fast and unlimited). I have been with Bulldog for 3 years and they have been amazingly good, I have tested people's broadband speed and all that say "Up To 8Mb" would actually be between 2 and 4 and fluctuate. Mine runs at 6.8 rock solid. Also most cap your usage even on unlimited services, mine it really unlimited as I download about 15GB per day and never had a problem, most services when you reach 30GB in a month they cap you, I had months running 500GB. I also run a FTP server and a Web Server from home and it has always been up and running and works really well. I know many people had problems with Bulldog, but the as they have their own equipment at the exchange and their own copper (which guarantees the high speed) there is also a worse "postcode lottery" than. I know that our exchange there has very few Bulldog Customers so there is lots of bandwidth and it is not far, will be even closer for you. So for specifically North Finchley I would go for that. Anytime you want just pop by and have a browse on the net to see how stupidly fast it is. P.S. A friend has a nicely working Virgin 20Mb and it is running at a real speed of 4Mb
Feb. 20th, 2008 10:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm with Bulldog at present but they aren't taking on any new accounts since they were sold and are now dealing only with business accounts (apart form the 'legacy' customers like you and me who were with them prior to the sale).

Bulldog has been pretty good and it's a shame they've taken the option not to support new residential accounts anymore :(
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 20th, 2008 11:37 am (UTC)
This has been my findings too - we switched from NTL (automatically) and had no problems with getting things set up in the new flat (£30 for phone/net/tv). There was an initial issue with getting a landline, but the "downtime" was refunded to us without any problems.

Generally, yeah, fine. Only thing i miss is the rugby on Sky Sports - but that would cost a huge amount so ~shrugs~
Feb. 20th, 2008 10:37 am (UTC)
Damn, that is bad. Good thing I decided to stay at the flat, I really need a good reliable broadband connection or I suffer for withdrawal symptoms. Won't they consider transfering your account to the new place? Also Pipex might be taking the orders from Bulldog now that they bought them, not sure how good the customer service is but the equipment is good and the one in Finchley is particularly good. Anyway, if you can't take bulldog I would consider taking a BT line and then going for an ISP with the shortest contracts possible, there are some doing 1 and 3 months, I have a very good review on all ISPs, will find it when I get home and can drop by the shop's door tomorrow morning. There are some really good business level options which are slightly more expensive but miles better...
Feb. 20th, 2008 10:46 am (UTC)
I've got their basic medium-speed broadband-only package, currently 4mb but about to be upgraded to 10mb for no extra charge. Broadband plus phone would actually be cheaper now, for some arcane reason, and over the summer when I will be at home for their engineer to come in and fit the socket I will probably arrange for the change. I've found the broadband to be pretty reliable - 99% of problems have been caused by my network or Windows, not them - but online support isn't good and their helpline is now expensive and I'm told crappy. But I haven't needed to use it in a couple of years.

My sister also has their broadband, again no problems in a couple of years. Should mention that we're in central london where they presumably have pretty good infrastructure.
Feb. 20th, 2008 12:40 pm (UTC)
I'm a Virgin customer. Their phone service is fine. Their internet service is great but has recently become unreliable. I'm not sure what the issue is, but N1 and NW1 have been affected by somethig dodgy and it does just suddenly stop working for about twenty minutes or so. Their TV service is ok, but their Hi Definition TV service is shit. I pay a bloody fortune for 1 hi def channel, a fairly average PVR and the right to pay thorugh the nose for pay per view in hi def. Plus of course Sky and Virgin fell out so no more Lost, 24 or anything else which can be found on Sky 1.

The downside of having a Hi Def TV is that once you have seen HDMI fitting the rather impressive screen perfectly, it is very disappointing going back to standard viewing.

I am considering getting rid of the TV package from them and rigging something up through the internet connection so I have a computer recording and selecting programmes and putting that through the TV. Possibly sometihng along the lines of MythTV. That will save me 60 quid a month and I am fairly sure I won't have to miss out on any of the programs I actually watch. PLuis there is iTunes which has the sky stuff on it. What that wouldn't give me is access to any live events but there are so few of them I don't think I would miss it too much.

Hmmmm I tihnk I should probably stop rambling
Feb. 20th, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC)
I haven't had a single problem with broadband/phone in the year I've been using them. It has all just worked.

The TV has been more problematic - obviously there was the loss of Sky One, which was very annoying until the launch of Virgin One. We seem to be in a bad area for interactive services, which mostly don't work. The interface became less reliable when it got rebranded to Virgin too.
Feb. 20th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC)
if you've got sky, cant you get their broadband? they do up to 16Mb for a tenner if you can get that kinda speed.
Feb. 20th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
I've had a really good run with Virgin since the NTL takeover. The £30 deal has been just fine. I have only had to call customer service once and they were helpful enough and the 'problem' was fixed promptly.
Feb. 20th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
We have had mixed experiences with Virgin. My mobile phone is with them and I am very happy with that. Ashley was happy with his Virgin mobile deal and only changed it because he wanted a sexy phone before Virgin were handing them out (I got the same one, from Virgin, free). Our broadband is with them. We're not in a cabled area (hold onto that thought, please, it does get complicated later) so it's down the BT line. It went a bit wonky (difficulty getting online) a while back but that turned out to be a BT problem which is now fixed.

TV was a different issue. We had (we thought) cable with NTL. It became cable with Virgin. Then we tried to use it. Nothing happened. Virgin very politely informed us that we could not get cable service as, although one was laid, it was total crap and not good enough for digital and Virgin don't do analogue... We had been paying for this non-service for some time without noticing. Not only were we offered no refund for this service we weren't getting but we kept getting letters saying we hadn't paid our bills when we had. The payments would normally turn up three months after the letters. People were usually pretty polite when we phoned them to complain about these issues but I still feel we threw quite a lot of money at absolutely nothing.

We now have Sky (for Ashley's football) and a new TV. And I wish we could get fibreoptic.

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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