A year with Virgin Media

Right, I’m coming up to having Virgin Media TV, net and phone for a year, and this is how I’ve found it.

Firstly the phone. I’ve not used it that much partly as I have 300 landline and mobile minutes a month on my mobile, partly as I don’t know off hand when the inclusive periods are. I think it’s the weekend but it isn’t that obvious.

The net has been fine. It’s fibre optic so we actually get nearly 10meg most of the time unlike ADSL which gets slow unless you’re next to the exchange. Peak times are fairly predictable and the service is reliable. The only problem we’ve had is at the start. We came from using a Sky router and a crucial setting was different which meant wireless devices wouldn’t connect. The support call centre tried to convince me firstly that the router was faulty and then all our devices’ wireless cards had developed faults in the intermediate period. Luckily a university friend fixed the problem remotely but it was concerning that they weren’t aware of this problem, especially as I can’t be the only one migrating from Sky.

Lastly the TV service, which has been fine, poor and confusing in equal measure. It’s fine; you get a wide range of channels on the middle package, a couple of Eurosport channels and even some high definition channels thrown in with the price, but you do get some odd combinations – Watch but not Watch+1 and Comedy Central but not +1 or Extra to name a few. You get the catch up services – Iplayer, ITV player, 4OD and Demand 5, but annoyingly I can’t watch some of my favourites on it like the Formula 1 due to rights issues restricting it to the computer. The most annoying thing by far is the completely stupid controls. I have been meaning to write a post devoted to it (it will take a whole post to go through everything) but to start with, it’s impossible to distinguish between buttons on the control with your thumb, meaning you have to check you’re pressing the right button every time you want to do something.

Overall the service is fine, probably the same mix of positive and negative as any other multi-service provider, and as a bonus you get a three digit freephone number to customer services should anything get too annoying.


About Jack
A small-time traveller in a big-time world

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