Just thought I would share this for anyone else who may have been fobbed off or experience the same problem Virgin.
It all started when I moved into my new place, online broadband checkers (via postcode) on both virgin and BT’s site as well as others listed the area as a 4mb broadand area, no cable was available so I would have to go with ADSL. I was a little disappoint (being a web designer) as wanted 20mb or even fibreoptic 50mb (considering the houses are fairly new I expected this) but had to settle with what I could get.
After looking into a number of broadband packages through websites like http://www.broadband-expert.co.uk/ I decided to finally go with Virgin. Also recently reading a few books I learned Richard Bransons original aim with virgin was to make a customer dedicated and aimed business providing good service at the right prices without any bad customer service experience, reading this about his business incentives was also a little edge to choose virgin under the impression I was going to be looked after.
The pre-customer service from Virgin was excellent, I had phone calls, emails and continuous updates as to when this was going to be set up, with prompt delivery on the (rather poor and low spec) netgear router. All ready for the setup day on 11th Feb 2010.
So the net gets set up on that date.. and all appears fine, my router connects and ive got my wireless working. I start browsing the net as normal and begin to realise this is exceptionally slow. I knew it would be a downgrade from work and my old place due to high speed connections I had there, but this resembled my net using days back in 98 from a dial up modem.
So i run a couple of online speed checks (knowing that these aren’t too accurate anyway) and its coming back at around 300kbps. So I download a speed checker program and again im getting from 300 to 400 kbps.
Now whilst waiting for the net to be set up.. I had got to know my neighbours and turns out we knew them through friends and they were kind enough to give me their BT wireless password so I could continue with my web design jobs from home until my Virgin net was set up.
So still having this password I connect to my neighbours BT broadband and run the same speed checks at the same time. Speed checks through their connection are coming back at around 3500 Kbps. So now know something is seriously wrong, baring in mind this is a terraced house, separated by a wall and we have the same route of lines coming in.
I call virgin support line and explain. Initially am told they have ran a test down my line and I can only get 500kbps down that line so that is the max im going to get. I explain my neighbour s getting 3500kbps (which also happens to be in a terraced house to mine) I am then informed a number of things like that my line is probably different to my neighbours so mine can only handle 500kps, that it may go a different route to the exchange, and that it differs house to house.
I inform the technician I have a degree in computing science, i know the line is made from 2 thin bits of copper. The same as my neighbours.. so there is no way a line can be made to ‘fit more down’ . Also that the house was built at the same time, so know the cable is going to the same point outside, the same green mid box and down to the same exchange. They would not have ‘routed my specific wires differently’
The technician then asks me to run speed tests and certain times over the next day and send them to them, as well as checking things like plugging it to the first point that comes in the house (which i had already done) so just to humour their checks I do this and report the next day.
I get another phonecall telling me there is no way they can get more down the line as its restricted to 500kbps, and that my neighbour must be an exception. These phone calls continue for a number of times, with me explaining the entire situation.
Whilst at this point I am calling BT and they are informing me they can definitely provide a 3mb line.
I resort to calling Virgin and telling them to either solve it or I am moving to BT. They inform me ‘THERE IS NO WAY BT COULD FIX THIS OR PROVIDE A BETTER CONNECTION SPEED THAN THEY CAN’ and that ‘BT WILL BE LIEING TO ME JUST TO GET ME TO MOVE TO THEIR SERVICE’
Eventually after a number of further useless phone calls I cancel my Virgin service, to do this I had to ‘prove they were not providing me with a broadband service (less than 500kps)’ which meant they could cancel without any charge. So my Virgin contract is cancelled.
I call BT, they set up my line and sent me a better + N router, as well as an ADSL booster plate.
I run a speed test and am still getting around 400 kbps so I call BT inform them my neighbour is getting high speed service, same as I explained to Virgin.
BT send out an Engineer, who checks my connection to the green box and then outside my house, swaps a wire outside my house.
I now have a 4mb line, same as my neighbour.
So thanks BT!
I must also add this was done by the an ‘Open Reach’ engineer working on behalf of BT, and was not done just because ‘BT own the line’ this could have been sent by Virgin too. As Open Reach are open to work for any broadband company. Im not sure if Virgin have taken them on board.