Exeposé News Issue 637, Page 5 (16 March 2015) and Exeposé News online (17 March 2015)
Students were left frustrated after five days of disruption to their Virgin Media service last week. However, with the broadband provider only reimbursing those who experienced full loss of service, only a few students are likely to receive compensation.
The fault, which affected residents on Springfield Road, Culverland Road and Victoria Road, was reported on Friday 6 March. However, service was not fully restored until the following Wednesday – leaving students with severe disruptions for almost five days.
“Virgin Media has let Exeter residents down,” said one Springfield Road resident on Monday. “Not only have they not provided the service that they promise – working Wi-Fi – but they stated specifically that the issue would be resolved at 4.05pm on the dot today, which is not the case.
“Not only does this cause those affected problems socially, but it also hinders those who need the Internet while they are working and who want to do so in the comfort of their own home. Trekking to campus to check emails is not okay. Virgin Media, don’t make promises you can’t keep.”
On Monday, Virgin Media’s online ‘Service Status’ estimated the issues would be resolved by 4:05pm that evening. However, problems persisted for another two days, with the ‘Estimated Fix Time’ repeatedly being pushed backwards.
Exeposé contacted Virgin Media on Tuesday 10 March, who stated: “only a couple of streets have been affected by slow speeds and our engineers are installing new equipment at the local cabinet to return speeds back to what they should be.”
However, by the following afternoon the problem had not been resolved. “The internet issues are incredibly frustrating,” said one student living on Culverland Road. “We’ve had no internet for extended periods across the last three days and it very nearly led to a missed essay deadline.”
“It’s even worse to hear that it’s affecting other people and that Virgin are aware of the matter and simply not taking action,” he added.
According to a statement from Virgin Media, service was restored by 3pm on Wednesday. “Customers who suffered a loss of service due to a network fault can be eligible for compensation for the loss of service between the time they notified us of the issue and it being resolved,” they continued – adding, however, that customers are usually only eligible for compensation if they experience full loss of service.
Virgin Media later released a formal statement, claiming: “there are many factors that can affect broadband performance so we always investigate when a concern is raised over slow speeds. After we were first told of slow speeds on Friday evening our engineers identified the need to replace hardware in the local street cabinet and install new equipment further afield at our network exchange. Full service was restored by Wednesday afternoon. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”