Newest Review: ... follow the steps again anyway! One of the advisors told me to manually input DNS servers into my router. The following tech support member... more
Im an internet Virgin!
Member Name: thedevilinme
Advantages: Faster and stronger
Disadvantages: Writing this review too early
So, after a dreadful year on BT Option 2 broadband & phone, we could take no more and decided to switch to Virgin broadband & phone, going cable mainly because they had just dropped in that fibre optic super fast service in our street and any non cable service is on BT's useless infrastructure and so the same issues. We have known for along time those old BT copper cables were unable to handle the broadband of today and we were lucky to get over 2 MB's speed with BT on our broadband history. Most of the time it was less than 500kbs and not even enough to run youtube, and that's when they weren't throttling our video torrents. They just can't cope with the volume of consumers they have without fibre optic and so the service got worse and worse.
Our real issue with them on Option 2 was you only got 20 GB's per month between the household and most people use at least one GB a night, so we were always getting hit with penalties at £1 per extra GB used per month, which really mounted up. And because you regularly go over you paltry 20 GB's you get throttled 70% of the time for over usage, often weeks on end of this slow service, so most of the time never getting the chance to use your 20 GB's per month! At one point BTs most expensive unlimited internet package was £25.99 a month but we were paying £35 for 20GBs with those fines! It was all but fraud.
Our Virgin experience didn't start quite as well as we hoped, ordering the phone & broadband deal through their website eventually involving many phone calls. The website seemed to suggest the earliest we could get the service put in was May 11th, 6 weeks from the point of order. But our BT yearly contract was nearly up so we had to do it. When we phoned the Virgin call-centre the guy said ignore the websites earliest date on the drop-down box and we can put it in a week from first contact. So we signed up for phone and broadband there and then, the first two months of the unlimited internet free the sweetener. The online order went though but we soon got the first of three cancellations calls and emails on the various installation dates that followed between April 21st and May 11th. My tip here is BELIEVE the date given on the website as the earliest day the engineer can come out for your postcode and ignore the call-centre spiel, they just wanting to individually sign you up just to get the commission and will tell you what you want to hear to do that. The engineers would finally arrive on Saturday May 11th. That aside the good news was BT were gone from our lives forever on that date and so all very exciting to see what virgin could do for us.
The savings are huge to go from BT Options 1, 2, 3, to Virgin unlimited
It was 12 x £11.99 line rental with BT for a years contract, Virgin just £11 per month, but BT unlimited broadband at a costly 12 x £25.99 to Virgins 10 x £12.50 broadband unlimited, and with no penalties and those two free months, saving us nearly £200 a year! You can also go Virgin broadband only for 3 x £15 per month and then £20 per month there after but the Virgin phone signal comes down the same fibre optic cable so a no brainier not to have both to make the dual switch savings deal. Not everyone has Virgin fibre optic cable though so if you don't then prices may vary although savings still to be made. That older service is called Virgin National Broadband, run off their off old Telewest cables. That's also £12.50 per month.
With the engineers at the house the lads were in a hurry, this one of five they had to do that day, so you need to lean on them if you have any anxieties over insulation. Although we are computer savvy they don't actually fully install the link to your PC's and laptops and only basic instructions are given to do that, the rest up to you. If you are older or a dipsy female then you may get confused and panicky and end up ringing them up to come back to get you on line. PAY ATTENTION AND MAKE NOTES!
There are two modems when they wire it all up, one for wireless and one for cable phone and the TV package option, if you chose to have that. As we all go digital next year it may be worth considering. Now is the time to consider taking basic cable TV with a package, which would make your TV digital ready. Virgin do broadband, phone and basic Freeview TV for just £18, plus the £11 line rental. That's a very good deal. I didn't check out the Sky deal as my brother is a snob and refuses to have a dish on the house. We decided last year to get a digital aerial installed on the roof instead and so not have to be locked into monthly TV subscriptions for basic cable. We have the Freeview decoder so we can get about 60 free channels, including the likes of BBC, ITV 1- 4 and Channel 5 and Sky News. The pictures are really clear and so now is the time to do those switch overs. Older TVs with no scart sockets in them tend not to like decoders though.
So the lads fitted it and left; a bit of messing around and fiddling with the modem and loading disc and the system was up and running in our household soon after. The actual internet service was quick but not excitingly quick, I suppose a little bit of hype on the adverts always lifting your hopes. But it worked and still today after nearly a months use we haven't been cut off or throttled. Every video plays through and the service doesn't drop out much. The lady at the call-centre said we could easily use 50GB's a month without being throttled and that has proved the case. Unlike BT, Virgin admits they throttle at busy times for heavy users and list the times on their website in BIG print. All we ask from a big corporation us tell us straight and don't hide the negatives. Fat Chance!
The first bill has come and there were no extra costs, just one month's line rental and the £35 installation fee you have to pay for the duel phone and internet package. If you have their cable TV too they wave that installation fee. One thing that we didn't catch at the install is the cable comes out of the ground in that little black square with Cable TV written on it out in the street and then goes into our wall half way up and then into the house, but at least 9 inches exposed on the public street, so maybe damaged by some drunk one Saturday night. Other houses have the same issue but have had no problems so we haven't yet moaned. The lads were so busy they clearly didn't have time to dig up the pavement to go under our wall so the said cable wasn't exposed.
The negatives from moving from one huge corporation to another are they don't like it when you leave and will try to block or delay you. A couple of years ago we wanted to dump BT internet only and go with O2 broadband, but BT refused to send us the Mac code that you need to switch providers on BT copper cables. They use all the tricks to make it difficult. As expected when we went to Virgin, BT has levied us with a disconnection fee of £25. They are very good at disconnecting you when you least expect it. They also, as expected, forgot to actually cancel our direct-debit payment, even though we had told them on numerous times online and in phone calls we were off. I called the guy yesterday and he says he has now cancelled it. I will believe it when I see it. It's not the guys fault, of course, but the way the big corporation bullies its workers and customers. I have been given a billing number to recover any over charges but you just know it will be an Indian call-centre and I will never see that over payment...
Phone only £11 per months
Phone & Internet is three at £5 and then £12.50 from there on (plus £11 for the phone line)
Phone, Internet and TV is £18 plus £11.
I wouldn't recommend paying extra for faster speed as the basic unlimited does the job. You can also tie in mobile broadband and better TV packages, plus the new HD service, although only certain new TVs play HD. Don't be tricked.
Summary: Anything is better than BT