Saturday, 22 November 2014

I don't believe it!*

Well our cable TV and broadband connections are back up and running again now ... but to how we got back to normal was – to say the least – somewhat frustrating.

When the cable TV connection broke, the first thing that we did was to contact our supplier – Virgin Media – and checked their online fault reports. This indicated that there were no service faults in our area. We then did all the checks that their automated system told us to do, but this was to no avail. Eventually we spoke to someone in their call centre, who identified the problem as being our set-top box, as a result of which we booked an appointment for a technician to come to replace the box.

Less than an hour later, the broadband connection stopped working. We did exactly what we had done when the cable TV connection had broken down (our broadband service is also provided by Virgin Media) and this time the fault was identified as being the modem. This was added to the list of things that the technician would fix when he arrived on Saturday afternoon.

Early on Friday evening the cable TV and broadband connections were suddenly and unexpectedly re-established (we had not realised that it had been until Sue's iPad suddenly began to receive emails), but we decided that this might just be down to the fact that both the set-top box and modem had been switched off whilst we had been out.

During the evening we received an automated telephone call that informed us that the 'area fault' – that we knew nothing about – had been sorted out and our cable TV and broadband connections were now operating as normal. By the time we went to bed, the connections had not broken again, although the broadband seemed to be somewhat slower than normal.

At about 9.00am this morning we received an automated telephone call that reminded us that the technician would be arriving to replace the set-top box and modem between midday and 4.00pm. As a result Sue and I rushed around this morning doing things like the weekend shopping to make sure that we were both available from midday onwards ... and then we sat and waited for the technician to arrive.

We waited ... and waited ... and waited. By the time it was 4.00pm, there was no sign of the technician so I phoned Virgin Media to ask what was happening. After a short conversation with someone at the Service Centre, I was put on 'hold' for nearly twenty minutes. Eventually I spoke to someone in the technical support team ... who informed me that the appointment had been cancelled by Virgin Media on Friday evening after the area fault had been repaired. I explained about the telephone call that we had received reminding us about the forthcoming appointment ... and received a profuse apology as the wrong message had been sent to us. (We should have received an automated message to the effect that the appointment had been cancelled.) The chap from the technical support team then explained that the problem we were having with our broadband connection was not due to the modem (he tested it for us whilst we were talking) and that it was most likely due to someone in our area installing a wireless network that was using the same frequency as ours. He explained how we could overcome this problem, and subsequently I have managed to change the frequency to one that is not being used by another nearby wireless network.

Service has now been resumed as near to normal as it ever is ... and hopefully the problem will not reoccur.

* Please excuse the use of this catchphrase but I really was having a Victor Meldrew of a day today.


  1. As Flanders and Swann put it "It all makes work for the working man to do."

  2. Stephen Briddon,

    Or in this case, it made work for the working man NOT to do!

    All the best,


  3. Jim Duncan,

    I can't fault the staff of Virgin Media who dealt with me ... but their systems leave much to be desired.

    All the best,


  4. Ah Virgin. The Tivo box is fantastic. Everything else...

    WE were lucky for a time as one of my daughter's friends at school's father was CEO of Virgin Media and we just had to mention his name to get stuff sorted in hours! Unfortunately he has now retired so its back to waiting on the call centre!

  5. Legatus Hedlius,

    Our set-top box is so old that it pre-dates TiVo ... and probably needs to be replaced due to its age. No doubt it will be changed when it finally gives up the ghost.

    It must be nice to have friends in high places. I don't ... so have to wait in line with everyone else.

    All the best,



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