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@rex avatar
UTC

Rock Star
Moto Guzzi V7 Classic
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Rock Star
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UTC quote
I know, NSR, but I really don't have anywhere else to turn to and we have good UK friends here online.

Virgin Media Nightmares! My friend in London signed up for Broadband XL (with phone and broadband internet) on Nov 4th. On Nov 11th, a technician arrived at his house and installed some cables on the wall in the wrong place (his roommate let the technician in). When my friend arrived, he said it was supposed to be installed in his room upstairs. Discouraged by it all, the technician left his house along with the modem and router. It's been weeks since and my friend hasn't been able to get online...why, because he does not have the modem and router that was promised to him. He and I have called their offices. They said somebody will call him in 72 hours. Never happened. We sent emails. Ignored.

UK friends, is Virgin Media a reputable company? Any other alternatives? All my friend wants is to get online at home! Help.
@jimc avatar
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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UTC quote
Oh dear.

Has he got a telephone landline? For broadband he'd be far better off with one of the smaller ADSL (rather than cable) ISPs that answer the phone with a sensible human being rather than a menu and get things done...

Recommendations:
Newnet http://www.newnet.co.uk/
IDnet http://www.idnet.net/
Zen http://www.zen.co.uk/

I guess he's not a techie himself otherwise he'd have already signed up with AAISP:
http://www.aaisp.net.uk/ or http://sod.ms ...

Virgin are good for connectivity (if you can get connected!) but little else. Customer support is useless, and that applies to all the big ISPs that advertise. They tend to have off-shore support droids that have to go through a script *every* time you phone, etc.

If he has any sort of 'net access, get him to take a look at (and maybe ask any questions) on newsgroup uk.telecom.broadband
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Gobshite Shiva
Kymco Downtown 300i the 'Dolphin Noise'
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Gobshite Shiva
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UTC quote
yes, they are perfectly reputable. weeks of waiting and technological incompetence in the interim is par for the course here, i'm afraid.

i've got mates that have waited months for their internet and/or phone line hookup. that's why, although i've got a deeply scary phone number left over from the previous tenant (it's got an embedded number of the beast, and is frequently mistaken for the number of an employment agency in essex) i elected to keep the old number rather than switching over to a less evil one.
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I can say that AAISP will get a line installed if necessary and BB enabled within 5 days. They also seem to be the only ISP that BT themselves use for monitoring faults on the BT network! Each customer gets a ping per second - faults are usually fixed before the customer knows it.

(For those in the US - BT (British Telecom) own the 'last mile' of copper from the exchange to the premises, and most of the large data links.)
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Gobshite Shiva
Kymco Downtown 300i the 'Dolphin Noise'
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Gobshite Shiva
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i've been with BT (land line and broadband) for about 8 years and have been very pleased with them. i had a fault in my line a couple of weeks ago and it was fixed within about 3 hours of me reporting it. the hookups still take a donkey's age, but once you're on board they're pretty reliable.
OP
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Rock Star
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UTC quote
Genie, yikes! I remember you told me that it could take weeks, or months just trying to get connected. I warned him that. You weren't kidding!!!

Jim, thank you so much. Yes, unfortunately my friend isn't very tech savvy. He knows just the basics, like wall to modem, modem to router, router to PC via ethernet. Virgin seems to be a great company however, their customer service is poor.

"How can I help you?"

"I don't have internet access because your installer took the modem and router when he left."

"OK, let me send a signal to your line to see if your internet is working"

"Um...go head but it won't reach anything because there's nothing there."

"According to our records, you signed up for the XL package so you should have a modem and router that we sent you."

"Um...yes, however your installer took it with him."

"OK, it says your account is active."

"Yes it is. I'm a new user, however I haven't been able to get online because I have no modem or router."

"OK, let me transfer your call to technical support. They should be able to help you setup your modem."

"DUDE, I HAVE NO MODEM!!!"
@jimc avatar
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That sounds absolutely typical - they just don't listen - and anything out of the ordinary just isn't understood.

Tell him to contact OFCOM, they have a site to complain about ISPs.
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/complain/
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Rock Star
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UTC quote
jimc wrote:
That sounds absolutely typical - they just don't listen - and anything out of the ordinary just isn't understood.

Tell him to contact OFCOM, they have a site to complain about ISPs.
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/complain/
Jim, thanks. I really appreciate all the help.

BTW, I will be on your side of the (cold) pond in December. I'd like to meet with the UK crew!
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UTC quote
Let us know where and when you'll be here, and we will definitely meet up.
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Ossessionato
2x '06 GT200 ~ '78 P200 ~ '73 Vespa 90
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Ossessionato
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UTC quote
OMG - the most famous Bastard in all of scooter-dom is going to leave the country. YOU BETTER RETURN HIM.

Rex, I'm excited for your trip. Miss warm, sunny San Diego while you are gone, k? (that should be no huge feat)
@jimc avatar
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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[clandestine whisper]
We'll be holding him to ransom. [raises voice again]
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Molto Verboso
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
I am a virgin media customer and i have had my fair share of problems with them regarding BB, luckily its all been sorted for a while now (about 6 years) but when things go bad they can go bad good style. Their customer service can be woeful but you just need to perceiver... my advice is to get them on the phone and demand to speak to a manager, dont let them fob you off with some half arsed excuse, make sure you tell them that you aint going anywhere unless you speak to a manager. They will give you fob offs like 'sorry all our managers are busy at the moment, i'll get one to call you back'... yeah right! if this happens demand to speak to their manager's manager, tell them that you only want to speak to a manager and stick to your guns.

Try to phone them during office hours cos any other time you'll be put through to an off shore customer service department and things can start to get really frustrating as things can get lost in translation.

Once you get to speak to a manager make sure you explain exactly what happened a demand that they send you a replacement modem by next day postal delivery and confirm a date that suits you for an engineer to call round to install the equipment, otherwise they can forget about your custom and you'll go elsewhere. If they are a manager they should try their best to make sure this happens, if you still have trouble, demand to speak to their manager. Dont get arsey with them cos it rubs them up the wrong way, keep calm, explain your predicament and be forceful when you need to be.

Make sure you take the all persons names and location before you start your conversations as people have been know to cut people off when things get rough and you'll have to go back to square one when it happens. Also ask them if the calls are recorded (they all should be) and if you dont get anywhere with any of the people you talk to, make sure you ask them for transcripts of the conversations you've just had and any transcripts from previous calls or notes placed on your account (they are legally obliged to supply this when requested under the data protection act, BTW you do not have to request this in writing as a verbal request will be noted on your account and this is sufficient IFIACR they have 28 days to comply) asking for these transcripts can shit them up a bit and you may find that someone who was unhelpful previously suddenly becomes very helpful indeed. If not then you can use it to write a formal written complaint against the persons who were unhelpful.

jim mentioned OFCOM, who will not help you one iota in this sort of situation. they do not deal with individual cases, they will log your complaint but store them until they have enough complaints to justify some form of action against the ISP.

I've had to deal with my fair share of complaints in my time on both sides of the phone (i was a customer service manager for various companies in my previous life ) and have had to endure mountains of deplorable customer service at the hands of large UK companies. Most of the customer service drones are under paid, pissed off and dont really give a shit about the company they work for but you do get a few good ones who occasionally understand the frustration and suffering this kind if thing causes... probably cos they've had to go through it themselves

Good luck, eat before you call them and book half a day off work to do it as it can take some time Crying or Very sad emoticon
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