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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