Virgin Media suffered a nationwide outage on Monday that left tens of thousands of people without access to their fibre broadband for a short time before the service came back online. The intermittent glitch occurred multiple times throughout the evening – interrupting everything from Netflix binge-watching, Google searches, FaceTime and Zoom video calls, and more. The issues appear to have started from 5.20pm yesterday.
At its peak, more than 43,000 Virgin Media customers were left stranded without access to their fibre broadband, leaving smartphones, tablets, smart speakers, computers and Smart TVs unable to connect to home Wi-Fi.
Thankfully, there is a fix now in place for Virgin Media customers across the UK that should patch the problem and restore your home internet to its usual stable performance. However, those who were hoping the disruptive issue that impacted tens of thousands of customers would result in a partial refund will be severely disappointed.
One Virgin Media customer asked exactly that to the official account for the Internet Service Provider (ISP) on social network Twitter. And unfortunately, the answer isn’t quite what you might want to hear from the company.
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“Not gonna lie, It’s just not good enough, one time ok fair enough but multiple times for hours? It’s a joke and your customers deserve some compensation!” one customer moaned in a tweet to the company.
A spokesperson for the company responded that since the outage wasn’t continuous, the problems do not meet the requirements set by the company to qualify for a full refund in the form of credit on customers’ accounts. In its full statement on Twitter it stated: “The outage was intermittent, as it wasn’t a complete loss of service lasting over 48 hours we would provide a loss of service credit in this instance Jake. Again, we apologise for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your understanding.”
So, if you’re a Virgin Media customers hoping for to see your account credited for the nationwide outages yesterday – we counted at least six separate instanced that Virgin Media connections went offline – don’t hold your breath.
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Express.co.uk approached Virgin Media to find out whether the company has anything planned to compensate customers working at home or staying inside to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic who were left without access to the internet multiple times.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the company told us: “An intermittent broadband issue that started yesterday evening was fixed in the early hours of this morning. This was not caused by increased usage or a lack of capacity. We know how frustrating this was for customers and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Although Ofcom changed the rules in April last year to allow customers to be automatically compensated by their broadband and landline providers for patchy connections or bad service, this no-quibble compensation scheme was paused this month due to the ongoing public health crisis. However, the Virgin Media outage would not qualify as it wasn’t offline for a continuous 48-hour period – the requirement to qualify for the automatic refund.
If there was a constant loss of service for thousands of customers, things might be different.
However, Virgin Media maintains that the few minutes that connectivity was down – even though these flared up multiple times – were not enough to qualify.
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