Virgin Media admits it 'fell short' in broadband speeds ahead of lashing from BBC's Watchdog

And staff on chopping block unhappy with internal comms


Virgin Media has admitted it "fell short" in delivering broadband speeds ahead of a BBC Watchdog report due to air tonight which found customers in some areas receive 3 per cent of the 200Mbps speed they were originally sold.

A letter from executive sales director Neil Bartholomew, seen by The Register, said: "Customers trust Virgin Media and it is our job to live up to that hard won reputation; balancing how we talk and work with customers with the facts a customer needs to know.

"BBC Watchdog has highlighted some cases where we have not lived up to this responsibility."

He said that the report highlights two main issues. Firstly, instances where customers are experiencing slower speeds at peak times. Secondly, examples of where staff have given incorrect statements about speeds to customers in areas with "a high-level utilisation" and not always reading the required "Broadband Honesty Statement" to new customers explaining how a customer's speed could vary at peak times.

"With the cases Watchdog shared with us, we fell short of the usual high standards we set for ourselves in the clarity of the information and quality of service we provide to our customers," he said.

The announcement comes as Virgin Media prepares to make 226 staff redundant. Insiders have claimed the redundancies were due to the UK ISP exaggerating the number of its superfast broadband Lightning connections.

However, feedback from employees on the company's intranet forum, seen by The Register, suggested staff are less than happy with the company's internal communications effort.

One said: "How come this wasn't briefed out to us all sooner rather than hearing it from the media over the weekend? Not good at all!"

Another said there was still confusion as to whether the 30 stores due to close are being shut because of the shortfall in Project Lightning numbers. "We have received over 10 calls already asking if we're still open. Surely, no one shouldn't really expect us to sell whilst people think we're shut already."

A third said: "It's now 14:57 on a Monday afternoon, I'm currently dealing with the 10th customer issue I've dealt with today... whilst we may be numbers, where are all these people supposed to go once we are gone?"

Tom Mockridge, Virgin Media CEO, said that he was disappointed that the company "fell short of the high standards we set for ourselves and which our customers rightly expect of us.

"We apologise for the inconvenience to these customers and have resolved the issues they raised. All our sales agents have been re-briefed on the Company's sales policy and we are providing additional training to ensure everyone complies with it."

He noted that Virgin Media invests more than £1bn a year in its ultrafast network and is plunging £200m into upgrading network capacity where it's needed to meet the growing demand for faster broadband across the UK. ®

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Monero-mining botnet targets Windows, Linux web servers
    Sysrv-K malware infects unpatched tin, Microsoft warns

    The latest variant of the Sysrv botnet malware is menacing Windows and Linux systems with an expanded list of vulnerabilities to exploit, according to Microsoft.

    The strain, which Microsoft's Security Intelligence team calls Sysrv-K, scans the internet for web servers that have security holes, such as path traversal, remote file disclosure, and arbitrary file download bugs, that can be exploited to infect the machines.

    The vulnerabilities, all of which have patches available, include flaws in WordPress plugins such as the recently uncovered remote code execution hole in the Spring Cloud Gateway software tracked as CVE-2022-22947 that Uncle Sam's CISA warned of this week.

    Continue reading
  • Red Hat Kubernetes security report finds people are the problem
    Puny human brains baffled by K8s complexity, leading to blunder fears

    Kubernetes, despite being widely regarded as an important technology by IT leaders, continues to pose problems for those deploying it. And the problem, apparently, is us.

    The open source container orchestration software, being used or evaluated by 96 per cent of organizations surveyed [PDF] last year by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, has a reputation for complexity.

    Witness the sarcasm: "Kubernetes is so easy to use that a company devoted solely to troubleshooting issues with it has raised $67 million," quipped Corey Quinn, chief cloud economist at IT consultancy The Duckbill Group, in a Twitter post on Monday referencing investment in a startup called Komodor. And the consequences of the software's complication can be seen in the difficulties reported by those using it.

    Continue reading
  • Infosys skips government meeting – and collecting government taxes
    Tax portal wobbles, again

    Services giant Infosys has had a difficult week, with one of its flagship projects wobbling and India's government continuing to pressure it over labor practices.

    The wobbly projext is India's portal for filing Goods and Services Tax returns. According to India's Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the IT services giant reported a "technical glitch" that meant auto-populated forms weren't ready for taxpayers. The company was directed to fix it and CBIC was faced with extending due dates for tax payments.

    Continue reading
  • Google keeps legacy G Suite alive and free for personal use
    Phew!

    Google has quietly dropped its demand that users of its free G Suite legacy edition cough up to continue enjoying custom email domains and cloudy productivity tools.

    This story starts in 2006 with the launch of “Google Apps for Your Domain”, a bundle of services that included email, a calendar, Google Talk, and a website building tool. Beta users were offered the service at no cost, complete with the ability to use a custom domain if users let Google handle their MX record.

    The service evolved over the years and added more services, and in 2020 Google rebranded its online productivity offering as “Workspace”. Beta users got most of the updated offerings at no cost.

    Continue reading
  • GNU Compiler Collection adds support for China's LoongArch CPU family
    MIPS...ish is on the march in the Middle Kingdom

    Version 12.1 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) was released this month, and among its many changes is support for China's LoongArch processor architecture.

    The announcement of the release is here; the LoongArch port was accepted as recently as March.

    China's Academy of Sciences developed a family of MIPS-compatible microprocessors in the early 2000s. In 2010 the tech was spun out into a company callled Loongson Technology which today markets silicon under the brand "Godson". The company bills itself as working to develop technology that secures China and underpins its ability to innovate, a reflection of Beijing's believe that home-grown CPU architectures are critical to the nation's future.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022