back to article Virgin Media frustrates customers with 'intermittent' routing blues

Virgin Media is asking its broadband customers to be patient while the company attempts to fix what it has described as an "intermittent routing issue" on its network. The telco has had problems with its service since yesterday, according to various readers who have contacted The Register. However, Virgin Media has not been …


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  1. Fuzzysteve

    Not just broadband customer

    It's been affecting our managed internet service for the last 26 hours or so.

  2. Daniel 43

    More than one issue......

    ....i had an engineer out recently as my BB was intermitent in its sync. He said they have changed the frequency for a lot of users, but VM will not admit that over the phone, or anywhere else

    10 minute job and he sorted it. But the problem in this article is now also affecting my service

    Just another day in the life of a VM customer i guess

  3. Mark 110

    No problem here

    Though I am on work VPN so taking a different route. I would have cursed if I had to go in today and miss all this lovely sunshine.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Normal for Virgin

    I just thought I was experiencing Virgin's normal crap level of service.

    Their service becomes painful about once every few weeks for a couple of days - not that their service status webpage will ever admit anything other than "Good service".

  5. StooMonster
    Thumb Up

    Fixed for me

    Was a bit weird late last night and when I last used the internet at about 1am -- but all fine this morning.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just recently either

    Their network is so congested that it is sometimes unusable.

    Trying to update wow or wot or eve etc and I am getting hald dial up speeds.

    Only solution unplug your modem over night and get a new ip on a less congested circuit.

    1. Juillen 1

      And I was thinking..

      That this was their 'acceptable use' limit kicking in. I get to download a few gig at full pace, then it throttles back for the long haul (I seem to remember reading way back that they did that instead of charging you shed loads for "extra bandwidth usage").

  7. Miek

    Happened a while back

    This happened to me a while back; it was local to my area but the reason they gave was "it is a complex routing issue". They eventually made some small refunds for loss of service which lasted for two months.

  8. Frostbite


    Amazing that their network status page is all in the green.

  9. Daveycoder

    They're also asking us to be patient while they try and fix the StupidHub

    Half the time I'm not lucky enough to get onto the internet to experience these problems, because the innacuratly named SuperHub still hasn't been fixed...this debacle has been going on for months now, and there's no end in sight.

    It's all well and good boasting about having the fastest network, but it means nothing if you can't get on to it, and when you can it doesn't work. Coupled with possibly one of the worst "Customer Services" departments I have ever come across, all this has convinced me to leave the minute my contract ends.

    1. Lynxus

      tell me about it ( dont )

      Your not wrong there about their customer service.

      I've NEVER!!! EVER!! had such bad customer service from any business like virgins.

      Maybe its just because I get annoyed with the normal level of their tech support..

      maybe when you call them, You should be allowed to take a quick multiple choice test to see how techy you really are.

      Then get put through to someone with the relevant skills ( If they even employ them? )

      1. Rob

        Goes with the name...

        ... you should try Virgin Holidays CS they are just as bad if not worse. I think all Virgin branded Customer Services departments compete with each other to see who can piss of the most customers.

      2. Muscleguy


        My experience is completely other than yours, so my anecdote trumps yours. For eg last year when our gum tree blew down and broke the cable connection I had to put the engineer off till the afternoon so we had time to get the tree out of the way, I was offered an almost instantaneous slot. I don't call that bad service.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Just wait for the summer

    Just wait for the summer nights to start to get warm and watch your network connections start to drop. Yes.. VM is that flaky.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Not just Superhub

    Their proposed: "performing work, to bring you even faster broadband" Killed all non-standard outgoings connections, on the exchange. Xbox Live, Steam, pretty much any multiple player. One week and counting, wheres my wet fish, its slapping Dance‬‏ time.

  12. Contorta

    Most appauling service. Ever. Fact.

    Had a problem since Wednesday 1st June at 6.30pm. Haven't been able to access Paypal, online banking, remote to my work PC, WoW.

    Every time I have rang, I've been given different answers, hung up on, told it's my fault that it's not working, that it's Blizz's fault, multiple fault reference numbers, threatened by staff on the phone, lied to...

    All they can offer in compensation is a max of £5, and that's all they are prepared to offer for the length of this issue.

    The list is endless.

    1. Chris Collins

      Write a letter

      It took me a few letters but I got more than a fiver out of them the last time I had a problem with them. They never fix things on the first go. Then they try and say it's something else - yesterday they said it was my router firmware. They could do with improving the script they give the Indians.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Not congestion

    The problems started for me about 6pm on Wednesday. It is certainly NOT a congestion problem as it is only specific websites (mostly .com addresses). I would guess that they have a failing router somewhere as websites stall on loading so it's not DNS either.

    As a temporary fix, using the proxy webcache.virginmedia,com does allow something close to normal operation but obviously that's not an ideal solution

  14. Sir Barry

    It must be luck

    I have the superhub, wireless connection is around 20 meg, but pop a cable in and I'm hitting 40 meg.

    I'm not experiencing any problems getting on the web and my overall experience with Virgins customer service has been fine.

    Oh, no, I don't work for Virgin...

    A pint for Friday

    1. Mike 68

      Me too...

      You and me must be the only happy VM customers. My connection is always rock-solid, I can count on one hand the number of times it's failed in the last 5 years. As for the customer support, my advice is unless you hear a Liverpool or Glasgow accent, hang up.

  15. Juillen 1

    Could it be...

    The packet inspection stuff going in for legislation?

  16. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Virgin Customer Service

    My limited experience of them is that once you get to someone who does not sit in a sweatshop somwhere in South Asia they are pretty good.

    If you want bad customer service just try Talk Talk. That bunch on numnums wouldn't accept a fault report because I couldn't give them the mobile phone for my mother. This was their land-line that was down. She's in her late 80s and does not have (or need) a mobile phone so the ****** on the other end of the phone couldn't complete filling in the fault report on his computer.

    Luckily the BT engineer was in the cabinet outside her house and he fixed her problem out of the kindness of his heart. She switched back to BT the next day.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ex VM Employee Here

    So I worked for VM for a few years. I see comments relating to the frequency change that they will not admit over the phone. We don't get told about such things. That's all down to networks, and they won't speak to your average CSR or CSM.

    Depending on your area in general dictates the service you receive on a daily basis.

    If you're Ex-TW then North West is best as right near the national head end.

    If you are in Birmingham, don't bother the equipment is crap and no one can fix it.

    I left around the time of Ex-NTL coming on board into ICOMS, so I never really dealt with them.

    The stories I can tell from the VM days clearly show why I am not a customer.

    Anonymous, because HR there are scary still.

    1. Daniel 43

      Point proven

      If VM dotn tell their staff on the phone about frequency changes, then it porves that the CS is awful!

      most of the time its not the person on the phone were talking to that were p!ssed off with (although they take the blame and abuse, because, well, somebody has to)

      If VM made their staff aware of situations such as these, then the world would be a better place. Staff could explain the situation, rather than fobbing people off with excuses such as, its your fault, no faults i can see this end!

      Bottom line, VM suck big hairy sweaty balls! And if it were down to me, they would be MY big, hairy, sweaty balls :)

    2. penguin slapper

      Oh Really?

      I live in Birmingham - the service has been, for the last 10 years, more or less 99.99999% perfect.

      I've logged on to the VM Forum and seen complaints from all over the UK - dropped packets, lost connections, no connection at all and all through that it's been rock solid here in Birmingham.

      1. alepot

        We must be lucky...

        Like penguin slapper, I'm in Birmingham, and have had the cable service since it was first available here. It's been borked on only a very few occasions, and I must admit to feeling somewhat smug, occasionally. Usually, it "just works", as sold; I now have their 20Mb service, and that's what I get.

        However, since they dropped newsgroup support, their "technical support" is useless, unless you win the lottery and get one of their UK-based staff.

  18. Karl Lattimer

    Going on a while

    Since they upgraded the upload speeds of users this seems to have been going on. That makes it a week or two. Having issues from time to time myself

  19. Andy Scott

    nice to know

    Its nice to know it's not just me. I thought they'd cut me off again by mistake. I never bothered giving them a call as the last time I did I was called a liar by one of their call centre monkeys.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Not affected, but I'm gonna moan anyway...

    YouTube always runs really, really slowly on my 50mbit VM connection. Everything else is ok, especially my usenet downloads of er... Ubuntu distros, yeah that's right - Ubuntu. But YouTube is slow as hell unless I stick to the crappy 240kbps or whatever it is.

  21. s. pam Silver badge

    This crap has been going on for weeks

    Try streaming BBC radio through to your machine will illustrate the almost continuous fucked up routing / routing problems when it looses connections.

    In the AM's it happens less than the PM's so it is load related, like an IGRP issue, coupled with their 2 crappy DNS servers not answering queries almost all the time. You can fix that by logging into thei BlooperFlub device and adding external DNS sites.

  22. phlashbios

    Betcha a tenner....

    ...that it's Telia again. Virgin lease their backbone(s) from Telia and Telia consistently make routing changes on ther network without telling anyone and then parts of the internet start disappearing. Unfortunately, Telia are so big as a comms supplier that they seem to answer to nobody. Certainly they don't answer to UK customers anyway, from their frozen Scandinavian palaces.

    Ask Blizzard about it. They have thousands of disgruntled WoW customers periodically blaming them for routing and network failures that actually turn out to be Virgin Media customers experiencing Telia's unnotified network changes.

  23. Bristol Dave

    Dropped out last night, fixed in an hour or so.

    I seem to be one of the lucky ones going by complaints on here, I get a rock-solid service and I love it. It dropped out last night (modem lost connection and couldn't resync) so I left to get some shopping, Virgin engineer was at the CAB box when I arrived back, and internet was back up.

    After reading online and talking to people it seems it's aaaallll about the contention. Because I live in a relatively pikey area (BS10) most people have gone with Sky for the sports and don't bother with Virgin just for internet/phone etc so therefore not many users. I'm just on the basic 10mbit package and I consistently get between 9.5 and 10mbit no matter what time of day it is.

    However, talk to people in BS6, where there's loads of student houses, and they can barely watch iPlayer in the evenings. Seems Virgin need to (but aren't willing to) spend money beefing up kit in certain areas of cities.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Virgin Media frustrates customers

    "Virgin Media frustrates customers" should be the title for this (and any further) article, and it should be stickied indefinitely as a headline.

    I recall they used to be useless. Phone up because you couldnt connect to the 'net, they ask you to turn the cable modem off and on again. Then check your windows settings. "But I noticed it on the xbox, the mobile wont connect to the outside world on the wifi, and I've tried tracerouting and checking routes on my Linux box".

    "Oh sorry sir, we only support Windows <click> .......... "

    However, BT haven't been without their faults. My last house move was a stream of disasters.

    From cutting us off early because the new tenants gave the wrong move date, then sending out a letter regarding that cutoff date but giving a date for my response to stop the cutoff as being the day before the letter was actually *sent*. (That letter got a cheeky reply that they don't offer time travel on my line). Then, after the move (which took a fortnight to get an engineer out to switch on a line), the old line was still active and the new tenants were making phone calls and the landlord was on my case, meanwhile BT fed all excuses, and at times gave out blatant lies / fake VOL order numbers!

    Eventually got sorted though, and for broadband Plusnet have been exemplary (if the line speed is little slow, but then I do live on what was until 15 years ago a farm).

  25. Witty username

    Still got issues

    VM/Telia failing as usual.

    Weirdly enough, Spotify still works. so thats a bonus.

    for now.

  26. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge


    These routing problems have been going on for ages.

    I lost connection to steam and most of the US a couple of weeks ago while the 'customer service' person (sadly a charming Indian lady) had to put up with the abuse us upset customers had

    Still suppose I should be grateful.... at least the service came back after 40 mins when it blinked out the other day... but then it was back fairly quick since all the cable TV channels went out as well and the chavs are far ruder than us geeks when they cant watch their favourite TV shows

    1. Homard


      This has been going on for 2 weeks for us.

      Most of the time VM is ok for us, but last 2 weeks has been dreadful.

      Tried calling customer services tonight but couldn't get through - engaged ! Cable TV is still working but some sites are inaccessible. Pretty crap, but maybe a wave of complaints ?

      I just hope that this really is a fault. Seems to me this might be something else when 'internet banking' issues are listed. How many routers have been compromised ?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Losing business. This is serious

    Our own company website is among those that won't load due to this VM failure. No idea why. That means anyone else on VM trying to access the site, can't.

    That means lost business.

    It's not just about people being unable to play games or login to their email. VM are not taking this seriously enough.

  28. Mark 110

    Mail the Cheif Execs office

    For all those with ongoing issues that aren't getting fixed mail the Cheif Execs office to complain and you will start to get proper service. Why they can't supply decent technical support/service by the advertised route I have no clue but the Cheif Execs office will sort you out.

  29. Beanie
    Thumb Up

    The issue has been resolved

    The issue seems to of been resolved about 1:30 am this morning. During the issue there was a work around:

    Changing the DNS Server address to another provider such as Google DNS which is:

    Unfortunately Network issues do happen and they can take a while to resolve.

    I am still happy with Virgin Media and will continue to use there services.


  30. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Never an issue here

    South London, been using them for two years and has been rock solid.

    Ahh, no I remember it going down for about 10 minutes once, about six months ago. But I'm happy enough with that.

    1. Ste ve

      Never an issue in South London?

      In this case, changing the router mac detected new CPE, assigned a new IP and thus hadn't cached any routing. Worked around for a while.

      But as for no issues in South London?

      How many times in the croydon/tooting/streatham area has it failed 'intermittently' for days on end? Many!

      How many times have I tried to explain to the phone handling fool at the other end that it isn't my modem, as neighbours are having exactly the same problem, only to have it suggested that their modems have obviously failed too. Also many!

      Most nasty, though, was when in 2009 the blocked a whole server at the planet (hosting many, many websites, including my business sites and business sites of my clients) by IP address, because *1* URL (v1rgin dot com) was hosted there. Their excuse for the 2 week+ block (and associated lack of business? "We have to protect our branding, and it's up to the other server owner to contact us when we block them". That was from their UK head of internet security, and if that's the level of incompetence that high up, then you can see why this has failed so badly again!

      Not A/C, because Virgin *really* f'd up on that one and if they want to whine at me making it even more public, let them.

  31. PeterM42
    Thumb Down

    Not just Virgin Media

    Sky had the same problem this morning (Monday) and (possibly) last night.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a dns problem

    Lynxus wrote "I've NEVER!!! EVER!! had such bad customer service from any business like virgins." I suggest you switch to BT and find out what real bad service is like.

    Anway, this recent problem: from my office on Friday PM there were two specific hosts we couldn't connect to (i.e. more than one domain on the same host server, same nameservers). Tried the same from home, no problem - but at home I use OpenDNS, office is on VM dns service. I was going to swap that today but looks like VM fixed the problem over the weekend. Both connections are usually stable but recently I've had quite a few spells of home going offline for an hour.

    My guess is that they're trying to do something "clever" like throttling access to dodgy domains but any legit domains with the same nameserver IP get clobbered too.

    BTW, I have found that tech support for the business b/band seems to be real people who have a clue (but I pay a lot for the business connection) whereas from home it's a very different story.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Virgin mucking around with DNS, I'd guess

    OK, I'm experiencing delays when accessing "new sites", acccess to these are delayed typically by between 3 and 10 seconds.

    This looks like some sort of DNS "checking" - possibly like Open DNS looking for dodgy sites, and then allowing access.

    Once a route has been established, then speed is normal. The problem is these BIG delays in getting through in the first place...

    'Fess up Virgin, don't be a dirty slut with your network!

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