Virgin Media: Mainly rubbish

This is a big ole rant right here

Virgin Media are pretty rubbish, at least they’ve got rubbish over the last 2 years. I think having a monopoly in certain ways has given them the power to stop being helpful.

They do have some helpful employees, they reserve those ones as the very last line of defense against customers leaving. I’ve spoken to these people quite a lot, and they always reduce my bill and convince me to stay.

Many things have gone wrong with my Virgin Media contract(s) since I moved about 18 months ago. Our bill went up from 26 to 28 pounds, then they proposed more price changes so I said I wanted to leave. They reduced the bill back to 26 pounds.

Then I found out Sky could do that same package for about £20 a month, so I said I wanted to leave, they reduced my bill to about £23, so I stayed to avoid the hassle. I had to sacrifice my TV package for this, but I didn’t use it anyway, seeing as we have a million iPlayer compatible devices in the house.

A month later, I got a bill for about £40, but I’d been on the phone to student finance a lot on 0870 numbers (really a lot of time on the phone to them) so I put the increase down to that. Then I didn’t use the phone for a month, and the bill came in at £35!

I phoned them up ready to leave again, I was actually sick of them and decided I wanted no more of this nonsense. I was told my bill should be £23.90, and they’d simply forgot to apply my £11 a month discount. In the end they credited my account something like £40 and also told me I still have my TV package! I was very confused, but decided as my phone bill SHOULD now be free for 2 months, and I had my cable TV back (and Walking Dead Season 2 is out now/soon) I gave in again and stuck with them.

So, as I’d moved the TV and it couldn’t reach the wall socket, I bought an £8 10M extension from eBay… Virgin Media had told me it would cost £100 to get an engineer to do it for me!

The guy said “Well yes you could buy the cable from a market, but you’d have to nail it to the wall yourself. Our engineer will do it for you and the cable is free!”.

This guy was really selling it to me. I’m 26 years of age, and I live in the 21st century… I don’t use markets, I sit on my lazy arse playing computer games and wait for the postal service to deliver my purchases for me.

And I can quite happily nail a few cable clips in, especially if it saves £100 and a day of work to wait for the engineer to arrive “between either 8 and 12 or 1 and 4”.

Anyway, I plugged in the TV after my extension cable arrived, and the Virgin Media cable box told me “your smart card is invalid”, which is odd, because it hadn’t changed.

So I dialled 150 again to speak to customer services again. I got a message telling me people in Birmingham are gutted, service don’t work, then a man with a very thick scottish accent told me something.

I really don’t know what he said. Maybe he was saying “Virgin is run by squirrels. We use complex maths to convert their erratic nut gathering antics into business models and customer service plans. That’s why we built CERN.” I’m going with that, no evidence against that statement.

After the 2 messages, I got through to a very helpful but very hard to understand lady. The conversation went a bit like this.

  • “You’re through to Virgin Media customer service. dasdghsfdgf speaking, how can I help?”
  • “Err I have a problem
  • “Ok, can I have your name please”
  • Peter Williamson
  • Ok, you’re speaking to desktgajetrhck can I have your account number or phone number
  • It’s the number I’m calling from, don’t you have it on your screen
  • Let me see if I can pull up your account details…can I take your name please
  • Peter Williamson
  • Right you’re speaking to dujkfhskdfskfh, let me just pull up your account details… Is there anything else you need help with today
  • No thanks (thinks: can I have free TV channels because you keep pissing me about?)
  • can I take your name please
  • It’s Peter Williamson (thinking: LIKE I JUST SAID TWICE ALREADY!)
  • Ok, do you have an error message on your screen?
  • Yes, it’s [some number]
  • Right I’ll just send a signal to fix it… ok can you switch the cable box off at the wall for 30 seconds please
  • Yes, I’ll have to put the phone down for a minute (thinks: well actually about 35 – 40 seconds, but no matter)
  • 35 – 40 seconds pass
  • Ok, it’s back on
  • Good, what’s it doing?
  • It’s booting up… ooh there’s a channel number but no picture
  • There’s no picture?
  • No… ooh wait yes there is! Oh it’s working
  • Oh great, is there anythingn else I can do?
  • No that’s fine, thanks a lot, bye!
  • Bye, you’ve been speaking to diyjuyjghjkfhdfl, have a nice day

The point of me writing all that out is to show you this… she pulled up my account details twice. What the hell is pulling up!. They’re not carrots, it’s a database record. Accessing, opening or even just getting would have been fine, and why did she do it twice!

But never mind twice… why did she ask me my name 3 times! All within about 90 seconds… fair enough I forget peoples names when I meet them, unless they’re really hot and/or interesting, but I don’t need to. She was just wasting my time by only have a 30 second short term memory!


I’m fairly sure it started with a “d”, but that’s all I know. She was very chirpy, she got my TV fixed without my having to move more than 2.5 metres and she was very friendly.

But I’m still not impressed by the level of customer service Virgin Provide. They have a few saving graces… but companies strong points shouldn’t BE their saving graces!

This rant has been available thanks to Sparky not having a working JSON API for me to access, me ranting lots about stuff and Virgin Media being the Turkey equivalent of the Phone/TV/Internet supplying world.

Other awful Phone/TV/Internet providers are available, such as BT.

BT once gave me a black credit mark, because they gave me 2 accounts, with 2 different bills. One with the right bill amount but the wrong account no, the other with the correct account number but a £0 balance. It was actually impossible to pay my bill.

Complaining did nothing. Never got a response from them.

Therefore, Virgin and BT suck… no one else supplies a phone line. Good times.

Mobile, is the way forward. Hurry up and get reliable.

One thought on “Virgin Media: Mainly rubbish

  1. Just spoke to British Gas on the phone… my online payment didn’t go through. I phoned them up, very brief hold time, the guy knew who I was and what my balance was when he took me off hold, took my card details and my account is cleared.

    All in less time to get through the Virgin Media phone menu just to speak to Mrs Dasiohfidsdfkl!

    Go British Gas.

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