Virgin Media frustrates with nationwide service outage

A few days ago, we reported on the glorious news that Virgin Media, one of the UK’s leading internet service providers, had announced plans to upgrade all of its customers, with most getting double their current broadband speeds at no extra charge.

But it seems that before Virgin begins its £110m speed upgrade program, it has some work to do on establishing a bit more stability for its existing network. This evening, customers across the UK took to Twitter in the thick of a nationwide service outage, which apparently knocked out broadband internet and on-demand television services for cable customers across the country.

Of course, this type of outage affects most ISPs from time to time, although from the tone of comments on Twitter from affected customers, many appeared to imply that this type of patchy service is a regular occurrence:

@rach_shankly: #virginmedia seriously like the second time in a week that everything is going down – sort it out please

@zaraphilbert: Nothing worse than paying month after month for a below average service #VirginMedia #SickOfIt

@matthewparisi: Anyone else’s @virginmedia networks down in Hove or Brighton? Seems to be a common thing around here?! Internet, TV and phone are down.
 

What clearly deepened the sense of frustration further in this situation was that Virgin Media customers were unable for well over an hour to get through to the company’s call centres to request more information or to report the lack of service. Customers calling 150 from their home phones or the 0845 454 1111 customer service line were greeted with busy/engaged tones, or messages stating “The number you have dialled has not been recognized or “You have dialled an incorrect number”. The company eventually acknowledged the outage in a tweet.

At time of writing, some customers have begun to report connections being restored. Time will tell if Virgin can also restore the faith of its irate customers, many of whom tweeted on the folly of the company’s promise to upgrade broadband speeds when, in their opinion, it struggles to maintain a consistent service as it stands.

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43 Comments

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Im getting frustrated with VM. Ive had their service since NTL in 2002 and 2011 saw my slowest connection rates ever. Everything takes time to load.

Most of the sites i visit worked (apart from Lloyds online banking), daughter was peed off that Deviant Art didn't work though.

I lost connection for about 1.5 hours and could not get through to their phone number. I was pee'd off, but I was with BT a long time before I was with Virgin and their service was much worse.. aways losing connection and the speeds were dire. I had Skye for TV and that was bad too - weather affected getting programs, lost stations etc.. All ini all, Virgin are way better than average.. can't wait to get the 100 speed

OK pretty bad that it went down, but, of course calling the call centre won't work if the network is down (which includes Telephones) nor would the call centre be any use for a nationwide outage, as they would already have techs working on it and calling them about it isn't going to make it go quicker.

In general I think Virgin Media are excellent (I'm not in a cable area so I can't use them, however from all feedback I've gathered....), so I don't think people have much to complain about, unless they're a business of course.

my broadband died from 00:00-00:45 this morning, over the past 48hrs many websites haven't worked intermittently, this is still happening now at 23:30

Hope VM manage to fix it soon, its very frustrating

I just read on the virgin media community the outages were caused by a "core routing block" overheating. the override kicked in but ended up being intermittent. things seem ok-ish right now but there's still the odd timeout!

oufc_gav said,
no problems here.
That because they are sorted now but earlier on this evening lots of pages weren't accessible

mine went done this morning at 12:30am but not biggy as i was going to bed and it was working ok this morning when i got up, apart from that one outage i've had no problems at all in the last few years.

As they say all this has happened before...

For me it was VM's DNS servers that went down. Just changed my local DNS to point to google's DNS... Job done!

I've had outages before but nothing to whine about. I live on Sheffield.
But I do get major problems with.
And on the forums. I ain't the only one , is the bloody superhub. It's a pile of ****. It's hot so many bugs it's unreal.
I use my main PC with cable. iPhones are wireless. We have 4 in our house. 2 laptops also wifi. But sometimes the the wireless just stops working. Others I can't load anythin on the PC and have to switch to wireless to do anythin. To fix this I have to pull the power on the bloody thing. It's such a shut peice of equipment. I wish it would get sorted!

No issues here. Been using NTL/Virgin Media for years now, I think I have seen maybe one outage. People need to get out more.

If these were DNS issues they wouldn't affect me since I use Google's DNS servers anyway.

No problems here , 50mb service working at full speed .. even with the wi-fi on a 2nd PC!

To be fair though , I haven't been using it all day ...

only neowin for me, i thought it had something to do with websites blacking out because of sopa, lol.
seriously someone tell virgin to put content on x-box

Never had any problems with Virgin, been with them for broadband over 10 years now, its very very rare they have an outage. Take the Twitter comments with a grain of salt, people moan way too easy these days.

DNS servers were down for an hour or so here at the very most, hardly the end of the world...

No issues for me, I had an outage a few weeks ago and within an hour there was an engineer at the cab in the street, shortly after it was fixed.
Things break, as long as they are fixed promptly and the company communicate with the customers (As they have) I don't see a problem.
If its down for days then fair enough complain.

Mine went down this evening; few hours tops. This is the first time in a very long time it's happened and it isn't a big deal; I think those complaining need to calm down and get themselves a life away from a computer screen.

They need to calm the **** down. My virgin media broadband connection goes down maybe once or twice a year at best, its extremely stable.

Saex_Conroy said,
viring media are bragging about speeds of 11mb/s ... ive had 11mb/s for 2 years already

they are "bragging" about 11MB per sec please get your facts correct 11mb/s is different to 11MB which = eleven megabytes per second 11mb = eleven megabits whic is just over 1 megabyte per second.

Saex_Conroy said,
viring media are bragging about speeds of 11mb/s ... ive had 11mb/s for 2 years already

Haha, man - you seriously dont know the difference between a Mb and a MB (MB = 8 Mb). 11 Mbps = 88Mbps.

But where have they been bragging about this?

xSuRgEx said,

they are "bragging" about 11MB per sec please get your facts correct 11mb/s is different to 11MB which = eleven megabytes per second 11mb = eleven megabits whic is just over 1 megabyte per second.


Time for a pedant to clarify:

MB = Megabyte (1 million bytes)
Mb = Megabit (1 million bits)
mB = Millibyte (1 thousandth of a byte)
mb = Millibit (1 thousandth of a bit)

Case matters in physics.

was affected from 6 till 8 was trying to download the update for GT5 when it craped out.
not the end of the world but fustrateing for some.

I had no issues here in Wales, briefly had one connection time out on one site which normally does lol but other than that, no issues.

seems people these days are very impatient and first sign of trouble start to complain about things and when i say complain i mean complain! if they follow them on facebook then they said on there they was experiencing trouble and their customer service was experience a larger than normal call volume related to the issues....people need to calm down and let them fix the issues instead of having to fend themselves again all the crap they get fired at them.

long time virgin customer who appreciates them and gets excellent service 99.9% of the time.

Reset my cable modem this evening when I couldn't access any web pages and it seems to be working OK now. No dramas.

Same here. Neowin and SkyNews wouldn't load, but other sites would. Bit strange, but whatever. Seems to be OK currently.

metallithrax said,
My connection was affected, but only for certain sites. Couldn't access VM emails, neowin, foxnews, and a few other sites.

Think it due to these doubling speeds, virgin doing some network changes?