back to article Brace yourselves, Virgin Media prices are going up AGAIN, people

Cable giant Virgin is once again hiking up the price of its broadband and phone bundles in the UK, according to a list of new pricing arrangements seen by The Register. Under the "player TV bundle" new customers can sign up to a package which includes broadband and 13 TV channels at a discount of £5.50 per per month or £32 for …

  1. Microchip

    Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

    Most of my friends in my local area on VM have serious issues with lack of bandwidth every evening, and they're not exactly hammering it, and they continually seem to "review" the issue without fixing it.

    Maybe this is to fund the replacement of all those Puma 6 SuperHub 3 boxes that suffer major latency spikes.

    Looking at moving home shortly, and was seriously tempted by their 300mbit offering, until I read that it dropped to about 2mbit to 8mbit between 3PM and 11PM and is utterly useless for online gaming. Guess it's VDSL again then...

    1. cbars

      Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

      I had virgin as a student, and in a couple of house shares in London. It was always awful in the evenings and weekends - which, shockingly, is when a lot of people want it. Their customer service was terrible, and when I averaged out the speeds vs. what I was paying, it was quite expensive for the market. YMMV

      I use ZEN. They hire the copper/fibre off BT, but I get a fixed IP (same as Virgin), consistent speeds (never seen it drop below 40Mbps of the maximum down (or below 18 up), and the customer service is second to none. Used that in two addresses and have never had an issue. You have to pay a fair wad, but not as much as this guy: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-40745533

      I highly recommend it. I prefer a stable connection over 'up to' promises every time.

      1. Microchip

        Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

        Yeah, I'm currently with a little ISP called Aquiss for the same reasons, costs me more than your mass market providers, but it's pretty solid, and I don't get fobbed off with "turn it off and on again". Mind you, they're also more than happy to tell me when it's my own kit that's the problem, but they're not averse to providing me with all the info I need to fix it myself.

        I think it's just the shiny "oooh, 300mbit" that appeals, but the label doesn't match the service, sadly.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

        For what it's worth, I get the same as you describe with Sky's 80mbps package.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

        I can second the Zen comments.

        Used them since 2002. Had issues with the service but the technical support is excellent. The best bit of their support is when you tell them you use Smoothwall and other stuff, they immediately go off script and treat you like an adult. Top notch service, not cheap, but you pay your money and you take your choice.

        I have 70Mb download and have got 70Mb at times, I normally get high 50's at all times of the day.

      4. CrazyOldCatMan

        Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

        I use ZEN. They hire the copper/fibre off BT, but I get a fixed IP (same as Virgin), consistent speeds (never seen it drop below 40Mbps of the maximum down (or below 18 up), and the customer service is second to none.

        Upvote for Zen. Moved to them from my previous (OK-ish) ISP and was pleased with both the migration and (later) the move to 16 static IP addresses.

        They even gave assistance with using IPv6 and my failure to get it going was solely down to my inability to read and understand documentation (and the fact that IPv6 seems to be designed to be as difficult as possible).

      5. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

        I get a fixed IP (same as Virgin),

        Eh?

        Have I been wasting my time renewing my free no-ip DDNS account every month?

        1. Vince

          Re: Virgin Static IP

          Virgin does not offer a static IP on a residential connection, however they're "sticky" in that unless your modem is offline for quite some time, you will almost certainly get reallocated the same one again on reconnect for many weeks/months or more - but it's subject to change "without notice" because it was never a static IP.

          You also can't do anything like reverse DNS etc.

          1. cbars

            Re: Virgin Static IP

            Aye Vince, that's true. But I never had to reconfigure my dns records so for all intents and purposes it was static for me.

            I love a pedant though so have an upvote :)

        2. cbars

          Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

          @werdsmith

          Nope you're not, I use that for my parents house (designated tech support), but BT does jump about and I'm occasionally forgetful - I do prefer a static address. I'm not running anything commercial so can't justify the expense of a proper DNS set up (and I'm too lazy to do it myself)

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

            Virgin DO offer a static IP, I have one. Then again i have a grandfathered product from a virgin "takeover". It is a broadband only package not a tv bundle.

            1. Steve K Silver badge

              Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

              They certainly offer a Static IP option for Business lines, but this is actually done over a GRE tunnel (i.e. a bit like a VPN)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

      The simple answer is NO.

      The wonky bit of Co-ax that serves my street was laid by NTL decades ago. Almost every man and their dogs in the street are VM subscribers and complain bitterly about the peak time broadband performance.

      I can't get VM because my house was built after NTL laid the original cable. So its it Fibre + Copper for me.

      My neighbour got so fed up with their crap customer service which seems to consist of a scratched record 'turn it off, wait a minute and switch it on again' that they gave it up. Saved them a packet and they get all their TV from sharing my FreeSat dish. For the little amount of internet they use, they piggy back on my Wifi.

      There is no way in hell that I'd pay up to £1440/year for their offering. Sky is just as bad IMHO.

      Posting as a coward as I don't want yet more VM flyers being put through my letterbox promising a service that they clearly have not hope in hell of delivering.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

      Ours seems to go through cycles. It'll gradually get worse and worse at peak times, until clearing up all of a sudden, then after six months or so it starts getting worse again.

      I assume they're adding extra capacity every so often, but then using it all up quite quickly.

      1. Bronek Kozicki

        Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

        ZEN is OK, I used to be their customer until something that could not be delivered (do not remember what that was, it was many years ago). They were definitely a step up from TalkTalk I was with previously. After ZEN I switched to AA ISP and the quality of service there is truly outstanding.

        1. tony72
          Happy

          Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

          They were definitely a step up from TalkTalk I was with previously.

          Okay, let's list who isn't a step up from TalkTalk. Any takers?

          1. CrazyOldCatMan

            Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

            Okay, let's list who isn't a step up from TalkTalk. Any takers?

            Any large US ISP? They seem to share the same contempt for their customers and the desire to milk them for every bit of cash that they can..

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

      In my case they admitted contention ratio issues so I get a discount every month on my bill, I do have to ring in for it but last time I got 3 months in one and marked on my calendar the next date it supposed to be fixed.

      They questioned my huge usage to which I explained that I work from home and the service is useless if we can't watch netflix on the tv and browse the internet on my computer at the same time at night.

      Next fix date is September however I tested it last night and apparently it seems to be fixed, funny that, though to be fair everyone I know on Virgin has now been asking for the discount.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

      No, it's to compensate Liberty Global for the fall in profits because of the exchange rates movements post brexit.

  2. Avatar of They
    WTF?

    Again?

    I think that is 4 times in 2 years, sure it was 3 raises in 2016. May have to seriously consider jumping ship.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Again?

      The prices increase must be to pay for the dozens of extra call centre staff in the customer retentions section as all the angry subscribers call to tell them to stick their TIVO box.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Prices going up, customers going down (by one) ...

    Finally cut out their TV and phone service. I just need the broadband.

    I asked last week, and the lack of answers was in itself an answer.

    Does *anyone* actually buy Virgin for the TV ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prices going up, customers going down (by one) ...

      Are you saying that the don't do a broadband only service?

      If they don't then why not?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Prices going up, customers going down (by one) ...

        They do, but the price difference is not as much as you'd think.

      2. FuzzyWuzzys
        Mushroom

        Re: Prices going up, customers going down (by one) ...

        "Are you saying that the don't do a broadband only service?"

        VM are seriously doing my nut in and I'm getting close to dumping them.

        Signed up with all three ( TV, BB and phone ). After a year of no one in our house having watched any TV for at least 6 months, I had to fight for 10 mins on the phone with VM to have them cut the TV and take their box back. I wanted to drop the landline phone but they won't let you do it, if you want BB, you have to have the phone too. So we have a unused landline doing nothing 99% of the time simply to get BB! Just recently the VM BB service in my area has been turning to crud. A real shame as VM BB service used to be the dog's wotnots but in the last 6 months it's been steadily worse, drop-outs that can last up to 2-3 mins at least 4-5 times a day. Replaced the modem at least twice, cables checked, etc.

        Much as I'd lose the speed from VM, what's the point of having paid for all that speed when you can only use it at 2 am on a Sunday morning for 30 mins! Might as well go back to Sky and their shonky 2mbs dial up crap!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: if you want BB, you have to have the phone too

          Not if you convert it to a business line.

          They did start by telling me it couldn't be done. This was despite it actually being done anyway (I had a domestic line and a business line *without* landline.)

        2. Vince

          Re: VM not letting you have broadband sans the phone line

          The sales/customer service team at virgin are fobbing you off. They both offer broadband without a phone line, and even sell it as a thing to start with, but also have zero technical reason for you to need one to begin with.

        3. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Prices going up, customers going down (by one) ...

          Here's the link... Broadband only deals

          They're fobbing you off, much like NTL did to me when I asked for a phone line only instead of phone and TV (we don't do that, well we do but don't you watch TV? It'll be more expensive, honest, etc... etc...).

          Give them the link, escalate to a manager, threaten to leave, i.e. the usual for telecos.

        4. UKSP

          Re: Prices going up, customers going down (by one) ...

          QUOTE | I wanted to drop the landline phone but they won't let you do it, if you want BB, you have to have the phone too | END QUOTE

          Actually, I had BB only without a phone line for many many years. I recently moved my phone over solely because the BB only service is such a flamin' rip off it worked out cheaper for me to bundle to the two services rather than split them across providers. Of course VM keep price hiking every few months so it will soon come to the point where all the benefit of combining will be lost. I don't think you get many good deals with VM unless you are a new customer.

          After being a cable customer since the cables were put down in our area I am now at the point of risking another service just to get the hell away from VM.

      3. John70

        Re: Prices going up, customers going down (by one) ...

        I've dumped VM's TV and just kept broadband. Never had their phone.

        Anything I want to watch I get from Netflix/Amazon Prime and Freeview...

  4. Rocket
    FAIL

    After being a zombie customer I finally came to my senses and got shut of the TV last year .

    They 'let' me keep the tivo, I guess hoping I'd be back.

    I used to find VM's broadband reasonably solid but it has dropped off a cliff over the last month or so with some websites regularly failing to load altogether.

    "with some websites regularly failing to load" ;)

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "They 'let' me keep the tivo, I guess hoping I'd be back."

      If it's an older model that they can't redeploy to another customer, then the reason they "let you keep" the old kit is so that you can dispose of it for "free" at the council recycling centre instead of them paying to dispose of it via a WEEE regulated agency.

      You could always pull the HDD for an emergency spare since it's now yours.

  5. Wolfclaw

    U.S business practices, hike the prices but provide piss poor product and services and don't ask for OFCOM to do anything, toothless regulator that spends too much time sleeping in the same bed as telco's.

  6. Milton

    Scratch the surface

    There are very few things bearing the glossy Virgin brand that are not either disappointing or outright shyte once you scratch the surface. Even the airline, which is arguably the flagship promoter of the brand, has been getting steadily worse from its nineties/early noughties high point, and since its partnership with Delta it has become simply appalling (don't look to KLM/AF buy-in to bring the slightest improvement: Virgin Atlantic has among the worst IT architectures of any major company anywhere, which managed—astoundingly—to get even *worse* in bed with Delta).

    As to Virgin Media, we ditched everything except the broadband last year, because the TV services compared badly even with Sky's overpriced lousiness: both of them peddling hundreds of channels of vacuous "reality" TV made by and for drooling imbeciles: eurgh.

    Now, our multi-WAN router is our friend, whereby combining VM and Sky connections at least gives us broadband that can be trusted from one day to the next.

    The simple message from the likes of VM and Sky? "Once we think you're hooked, we raise prices and squeeze you till the pips squeak."

    IMHO our message to them should be: "Take your Obese Improverished Let's Gloat American Model Wedding Repo Auction trash and shove it where the sun don't shine."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scratch the surface

      But remember Virgin Megastores? They used to have a Dreamcast you could go and play on.

      Virgin coke was shit though.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Scratch the surface

      "Now, our multi-WAN router is our friend, whereby combining VM and Sky connections at least gives us broadband that can be trusted from one day to the next"

      Alternatively you could pay less for a single "more expensive" provider.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is great news. The TV "packages" are worthless trash, and if Virgin price themselves out of the market it makes decent FTTC (without the bundled crap) look more appealing.

  8. Dan McIntyre

    Unfortunately I'm lumbered with them as it's the only way to get decent internet access in my area, and I support a hospital out-of-hours from home.

    Anything coming through a phone socket in my area gives a maximum of 1mbps, and there are still no plans to put fibre in place.

    Their TV and phone service is dire though. And customer service is appalling.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Same issue...

      The BT termination point is half a mile away, while the Virgin fibre cabinet is at the end of my garden. Previous experience suggests that the Virgin (mostly) works, while the BT basically doesn't.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      " I support a hospital out-of-hours from home."

      I hope they help out with the cost of the connection for you.

  9. Your alien overlord - fear me

    No one blaming it on the poor pound-dollar rate? Considering the US bosses are probably wondering where their investment has gone to.

  10. Paul Stimpson

    When I started with Virgin, I had their 50 Mbps service. It was really good. Until FTTC came to town, relatively recently, the best you could get from ADSL in this area was around 1Mbps so Virgin was really the only choice.

    Over the years, the headline speed, and price, of my Virgin connection has crept up. I was also forced to take one of their Puma-based Superhub 3 modems when they told me the old modem that I had refused to let them replace because it was solid and I'd not heard good things about the Superhub would finally stop working if I didn't change it. Things have gone downhill ever since.

    I'm getting 4 times the "speed" but 20% of the throughput on encrypted traffic now. Looks like the increased traffic management, which the person who forced me to take the new modem promised there wouldn't be any more of, is throttling everything it can't inspect down to 10 Mbps. Another price rise is just adding insult to injury.

    I used to love IDNet when I could have ADSL that worked and I think, now I can have FTTC, I may be rejoining them soon. Their customer service is superb and there is a thriving and happy user community. Virgin just aren't giving me value any more.

    1. Gordon861

      I've been with Virgin for a while now, currently on 200mbs down which I get most of the time.

      I did have a problem with slowdowns and lag after being connected for a while and have solved the problem by fitting a timer plug to the router. Now the router switches off every night at 4am for 5 minutes and it seems to have solved the slowdowns.

      I'm also running in router mode too if that helps.

  11. Kraggy

    Is anyone surprised now that VM's controlled by a US outfit well known for screwing their domestic customers for years?

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      VM's predecessor businesses were financial black holes. Even though a lot of the network investment has been written off it's still not exactly a licence to print money - they made an operating profit of about 10% of revenue last time around. If you have an option, it's always going to be a difficult sell as Sky supply their most-wanted TV channels and FTTC is more than good enough for most people. If they're serious about growing their customer base substantially they'll have to keep their price hikes under control - or finally merge with Vodafone.

  12. Sean o' bhaile na gleann

    From the report: "...and 13 TV channels..." & "...includes 97 channels..."

    Having not owned a TV since 2000, I fine it difficult to understand how anyone can possibly justify 13 channels (and the idea of 97 simply blows my mind!)

    Remember: "The number of available TV channels multiplied by the average quality of programming presented on them, is a constant."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's actually not a lot of channels

      You get dozens of channels freely* broadcast over the air, and even more if you go down the freesat route. 13 or even 97 channels isn't remotely impressive. Using the absolutely number as a marketing tactic just suggests people are mostly ignorant of what they have already.

      The reason most of the content is rubbish is because different people like different things. Everyone thinks that most of the channels are crap, but all of the channels have at least some viewers, or they'd run out of money and shut down. And it's certainly not true that the number of channels multiplied by quality is a constant - BBC and ITV didn't suddenly get worse when C4 came along, nor when 5 came along a few years later. In reality there is more than enough decent content out there to satisfy anyone, the question is how much extra are the subscription-only channels worth to you?

      Personally, I don't find the VM offering very appealing. Their all-but insistence on bundling expensive channels and relying on high headline speeds to claim their connectivity is better than FTTC make their charges far too high to be reasonable. I still watch TV, but a plain old VDSL connection plus netflix subscription are much better value for me. I can only pity those who live in VM-connected areas where the ADSL coverage is poor.

      *Yes, TV license required, but free of actual subscription cost

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Freeview is approx. 70 channels

        Freesat is something like 127 channels, excluding regionals (which you can of course get all of)

        There is a lot of overlap, but there are several Freeview-only (eg Dave, lots of soft porn) and several Freesat-only.

        At least five of each are "+1" channels, which shouldn't count.

        So by the numbers, the no-subscription services are "better" than Virgin.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not often

    ...you get shafted by Virgins.

    If you don't like it then bail out. They'll soon sort themselves out once they see income dropping..

  14. Sykowasp

    I might be moving house soon.

    I've had Virgin service since 2001 (when it was NTL, and 600kbps) in various houses.

    The price rises in recent years (anyone got a graph?) will make me look elsewhere when I move. Certainly unlike the past where access to Virgin Media in a house was a definite plus point, I feel it's just an option now.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Second this. Never had much of an issue with Virgin. Took their TV & BB, but there were no spare phone lines available. Started off at £20 a month 10 years ago for 10Mbps, then about 4 years ago it started going up and up and up, and although I get consistent 70Mbps, I'm paying £80 a month. When I move, they can go whistle.

  15. I Like Heckling

    I'm on the fence with Virgin at the moment. I was with Sky for the last 8yrs but got fed up with the constant price hikes and overpriced content. A few years ago I dropped the TV side of Sky and shared the Sky Go side with my folks, I even contribute a little towards their bill each month... It's only ever used for the F1 anyway.

    But with the 40mb broadband and phone being hiked to £47 a month recently... I jumped ship when they refused to offer me a better deal. Instead I've ended up with Virgin 100mb FTTC which is about 20-30yrds away from my house and I'm getting a consistent 97-98mb from that, it does drop a little in evenings and weekends during peak hours... But that's kinda expected and as there's not many VM customers in my road.. doesn't hit me too hard. But my VPN seems to be throttled. My provider says there's nothing wrong at their end, but for months now since the switch my VPN service cannot get above 14mb when it was able to pretty much max out the 40mb with Sky... I suspect that VM are doing some throttling on data they can't inspect/monitor/censor... And as one machine has to be used with a VPN 100% of the time, it's never being turned off... I just have to put up with it... It's a work machine so not used for anything else, I have a gaming rig that gets full speeds ok, and latency isn't a huge issue as I don't play a lot of multiplayer games that require low pings any more.

    I switched my mobile to them last year and get a decent package for £9 a month (that's just risen to £9.27), plus extra data (3GB) for free, and I've yet to use all of the 3000 minutes or 3GB data in a single month... But I did have to raise a major complaint because they didn't give me the same calls package for my landline as I had with Sky, and didn't even have caller ID included as standard (which makes my call screening phones worthless).. But a complaint over the way I was kinda 'bait & switched' on sign up made them work pretty hard to keep my custom as it was grounds for breach of contract... I got my call package at no extra cost for 12 months and caller ID for free permanently. So I'm still paying £32 for the next 9 months... soon to be £33. But when it rises to £40 (plus whatever rise is added on) I shall seriously consider some alternatives and perhaps start looking into smaller ISP's who may be able to offer broadband only as I'm starting to wonder why I keep a landline, I could drop that, save some money and upgrade my mobile package to compensate... I don't have a phone on contract ever, so sim only deals are quite reasonable these days.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They've split up sky sports now so you can apparently buy a subscription per sport. I don't know the cost breakdown though.

  16. rich2005

    The price hike happens every year.

    Been using VM (was TeleWest) since since about 2005.

    The increases are well above inflation. (this landline + some TV + broadband)

    2008 = £33 2017 = £65 which comes out at 9% pa.

    The alternative, get a new phone line installed, then the other ISP's are equally as bad.

    Personally, I detest VM with a vengeance and that bearded buffoon whose brand name they use.

    I know they say phone retentions and haggle, got a fiver off in 2008.

  17. dmartenstyn

    An utter joke. I (as well as the entire of London W12) have been without Broadband or TV services since last Wednesday. Yes, almost a week outage affecting a whole postcode area. Virgin have only recently been cabled in my area (thus new kit everywhere) so I am a new customer (6 weeks or so). In that period I have had approximately 11 outages lasting more than 6 hours. Glad to know they design the network with resilience in mind.

    An utter farce. If it wasn't for Sky / BT / etc not offering equivalent fibre broadband I would of cancelled the service.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Tell them you want a 4G MyFi and expect them to pay for it. We got one out of them to cover us for a week and ended up keeping it.

      They have VirginMobile who they will claim is totally unrelated to them, until you point out that they give special cheaper rates for VM subscribers.

  18. Baldrickk

    No problems with my Virgin service, but I will be dropping them...

    when I move next year. My new place will have FTTP installed with the option of Gigabit internet should I wish.

    The only things that could be better, as far as I am concerned is a beefier SOC in the Tivo box, and a nicer upload throttling cap, as it makes live-streaming content at peak times impossible.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Used my parents Virgin TV system the other day

    ...what a bag of shit.

    BBC iPlayer takes about 2 minutes to fire up and they complain it hangs

    Netflix is about the same, and lost connection while I was setting it up.

    Apparently their neighbors and my aunt's are the same.

    Yet my Fire TV stick fires these up in seconds.

    The wifi is crap, the peak times are appalling.

    Time to sit down with them and see their options. I bet a FireTv + normal fibre link will do the job and save them a fortune.

    1. rmason

      Re: Used my parents Virgin TV system the other day

      The Tivo boxes are terrible compared to Skys offering aren't they?

      Like many I suspect we get token TV service from virgin because it was actually cheaper at the time than the broadband only package. Everything is dead snappy on the sky boxes, but the Tivo take literally minutes to open things like Netflix and iPlayer.

      Netflix takes SECONDS to load on the xbox, and what seems like an age on the Tivo. I don't even know where the Tivo remote is. We use other devices daily.

      1. Chris 125

        Re: Used my parents Virgin TV system the other day

        "The Tivo boxes are terrible compared to Skys offering aren't they?"

        Yes. I had a TiVo for a year and it was frustrating - random pauses, cryptic errors and the most nonsensical interface I've ever used. It really felt like they'd used old hardware and thrown some flashy pretty interfaces at it.

        So I ditched the TV, Sky had been sending me begging letters to go back to them so I took advantage of 75% off and £30 bill credit - £9.50 a month for Box Sets and nothing to pay for the first three months! Also on a 30 day contract, none of this 18 months crap. The only downside was I had to use my old box - ooops, I eBayed that when I left sky. A trip to Cash Generator found me a box for £9.99, and when I hesitated a bit (I was actually trying to remember which ones had WiFi) the girl behind the desk threw in another identical box for 1p to sweeten the deal.

        And you know what? That 6 year old Sky HD box is so much of a nicer experience than TiVo, and still gets software updates so I've not got the "Press green to watch the next episode" and stuff that's just been introduced.

    2. GruntyMcPugh

      Re: Used my parents Virgin TV system the other day

      Yeah, the Tivo is quite slow, OK, I should perhaps do some more housekeeping and delete some old series, but it shouldn't take as long as it does to index the content when I press the 'My Shows' button.

      iPlayer is painful on the Tivo, I usually use my Roku for that.

    3. Brangdon

      Re: Used my parents Virgin TV system the other day

      Consider upgrading to the V6 TiVo. It is 10-20 times as fast. Netflix loads in a couple of seconds. Going to My Shows takes about half a second instead of 8 seconds. It's much nicer.

      It also has 6 tuners, and the remote control no longer needs line of sight so you can hide the box in a cupboard if you want.

  20. Gordon Pryra

    Same as all ISPs

    OffCom do nothing, they never really have done their job description. Then again, the entire MO of al ISPs is to scam the customer, so OffCom are in a hard place considering ALL the people they are overseeing are scammers.

    Things are Ok while they are Ok, but if you have any problems and your only option is to dump them to go elsewhere.

    That is the Telco business model, they really don't care about complaints, they expect 50% customer attrition

    But they then expect the numbers to be returned from customers leaving their competitors

  21. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    I'm sure there is some correlation...

    ...with the quantity of marketing bumpf with special offers that comes through the door.

    I regularly get stuff through the post from Virgin, BT and TalkTalk. How many people here have received such material from the likes of AAISP or Zen?

    There's nothing to beat personal recommendation, but be careful, the top performing companies can reach a limit to their growth or decide to sell out to some company that doesn't have the same kind of respect for their customers. (I speak from bitter experience).

  22. Number6

    Still cheaper than Comca$t, as a reference point, so while it might be overpriced it's not exorbitantly overpriced yet. Not that VM should take this as a challenge.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hooray! Price Rise!

    That means I can bail out of my contract.

    I've been with VM for 6 years in this house, and although there were a couple of dalliances with BT when I was in non-cabled houses on the whole I've used them since they were NTL:

    For the main, they've been fine. Decent speeds - always getting an average of what I pay for, although their upload hasn't increased at the same rate as the download. However in June I got a letter advising me of a couple of hours of work in the area meaning my Broadband would be off.

    Since then, it was very spotty and then had 12 days of no connection at all which was only resolved when I lied to get a new hub sent out - they kept refusing engineer visits as there was a "local intermittent fault" despite the fact my fault was anything but intermittent. Eventually told them my hub was off and smelled of burning, and they sent a new one which took me back to a spotty connection.

    So now I'm experiencing half a dozen random connectivity failures a day. I've got it in Modem Mode and my Asus router emails me when it goes to 4G Failover - thankfully I was on holiday at the weekend because I had 248 emails between Sat AM and Sun PM (one for fail, one for restore, so 124 issues)

    The big issue is their customer service ranges from useless to deliberately vile and you often know more than them. When I called last (as I do every couple of days to keep the compensation going) I was told my poor connection would now be solved as he'd sent "a special code" to my hub to improve the WiFi channel. Erm - modem mode, and half my stuff is wired anyway. I asked him what the "special code" was and he glossed over it with promises of more compensation.

    Oh, and their support forum they direct you to? Company policy to wait 7 days before answering queries, in the hope that other users will help out.

  24. GruntyMcPugh

    I just junked VM, the lack of choice and being over sold irked me in the end. I don't need 100mb broadband, I don't play online FPS games much anymore, I don't have kids, so no multiple streaming of video at the same time, so a lesser, cheaper package would suffice. But they don't give customers the choice.

  25. Wolfclaw

    VM prices going up, so is the throttling, latency, on the plus side, over-subscription may drop !

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