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Should I quit Virginmedia?



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 29th 07, 06:54 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband,uk.tech.digital-tv
Lobster
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 56
Default Should I quit Virginmedia?

I've been with VM for years now; currently we take TV (XL package)
/phone (talk evening/weekends package alongside several 3rd party
companies via a dialer box)/broadband (L package; 4 Mb) from them at a
total cost of 49.45 GBP/month.

I'm now thinking of changing this, driven by (a) a feeling that I'm
paying too much overall and (b) family pressure to get access to Sky
1(!) which we lost after the Sky-VM spat earlier this year.

I'm wondering about changing back to BT, swapping to Sky TV, and then
adding in broadband probably via Sky but if not via another operator (my
current hardware setup means I'm stuck with a VM monopoly for all
services of course).

However my major concern is that currently I'm very happy what VM
delivers, notably our broadband has hardly ever gone down and works
extremely efficiently. I've hardly ever had to get involved with the
notorious Customer Service, just because I have no need of them.

Therefore I'm wondering if I'm just setting myself up for a fall by
switching away from VM, apparently without knowing how good the
competitive service will be until it's up and running? I live about a
mile from the nearest BT exchange, which sounds OK I think? And
bt.com's postcode speed checker claims 5.5Mb max.

OTOH, I might just try and get through to VM retentions and try and blag
a price reduction on my current service, and to hell with Sky 1!

The other issue is that I want to add in a hard-disk recorder (ie V+ or
Sky+ as appropriate) so as that will involve a one-off outlay, I don't
want to make that decision until the choice of TV supplier is finalised).

Any thoughts to help my make up my mind?!

Thanks




























  #2  
Old December 29th 07, 07:45 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband,uk.tech.digital-tv
Mark McIntyre
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,835
Default Should I quit Virginmedia?

On Sat, 29 Dec 2007 18:54:19 +0000, Lobster wrote:

I've been with VM for years now; currently we take TV (XL package)
/phone (talk evening/weekends package alongside several 3rd party
companies via a dialer box)/broadband (L package; 4 Mb) from them at a
total cost of 49.45 GBP/month.


(OP is considering swapping)

However my major concern is that currently I'm very happy what VM
delivers, notably our broadband has hardly ever gone down and works
extremely efficiently. I've hardly ever had to get involved with the
notorious Customer Service, just because I have no need of them.


Why not ditch the TV and phone, and speak to Retentions to get a deal on
the broadband.

Note that there's a hefty reconnection fee for getting a BT line back in.

Therefore I'm wondering if I'm just setting myself up for a fall by
switching away from VM, apparently without knowing how good the
competitive service will be until it's up and running?


Yes, its tricky. Any neighbours with non-cable broadband you can speak
to?

bt.com's postcode speed checker claims 5.5Mb max.


Expect somewhat less than that, then!

OTOH, I might just try and get through to VM retentions and try and blag
a price reduction on my current service, and to hell with Sky 1!


Yup - eventually it'll come back, Sky want the customers.

The other issue is that I want to add in a hard-disk recorder (ie V+ or
Sky+ as appropriate) so as that will involve a one-off outlay, I don't
want to make that decision until the choice of TV supplier is
finalised).


Get a normal DVD/PVR unit and you can plug either service in. I bought a
sony RDR-HXD870 which is great - freeview, series recording, one-touch,
timeslip, HD upscaling, all the crap that sky and VM claim to do with
their "plus" boxes, but without the hassle of paying either of them money
to badly deliver 100+ channels of tripe in a sporadic manner.

And tell the family if they want Sky1, to pony up the ante... :-)

  #3  
Old December 29th 07, 07:55 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband, uk.tech.digital-tv
naza
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 185
Default Should I quit Virginmedia?

On 29 Dec, 18:54, Lobster wrote:
I've been with VM for years now; currently we take TV (XL package)
/phone (talk evening/weekends package alongside several 3rd party
companies via a dialer box)/broadband (L package; 4 Mb) from them at a
total cost of 49.45 GBP/month.

I'm now thinking of changing this, driven by (a) a feeling that I'm
paying too much overall and (b) family pressure to get access to Sky
1(!) which we lost after the Sky-VM spat earlier this year.

I'm wondering about changing back to BT, swapping to Sky TV, and then
adding in broadband probably via Sky but if not via another operator (my
current hardware setup means I'm stuck with a VM monopoly for all
services of course).

However my major concern is that currently I'm very happy what VM
delivers, notably our broadband has hardly ever gone down and works
extremely efficiently. I've hardly ever had to get involved with the
notorious Customer Service, just because I have no need of them.

Therefore I'm wondering if I'm just setting myself up for a fall by
switching away from VM, apparently without knowing how good the
competitive service will be until it's up and running? I live about a
mile from the nearest BT exchange, which sounds OK I think? And
bt.com's postcode speed checker claims 5.5Mb max.

OTOH, I might just try and get through to VM retentions and try and blag
a price reduction on my current service, and to hell with Sky 1!

The other issue is that I want to add in a hard-disk recorder (ie V+ or
Sky+ as appropriate) so as that will involve a one-off outlay, I don't
want to make that decision until the choice of TV supplier is finalised).

Any thoughts to help my make up my mind?!

Thanks


Well you would save some cash if you went for sky's offer of 3 for 26
thats phone, TV & broadband, but if you went just broadband and TV it
would cost the same. You would pay 30 line rental to BT, and for
every quarter you would pay 108 compared to 150 with VM. Pretty much
the same service.
However If you have a good experience with VM you are very lucky, but
worth a try to haggle with the price a bit, if that dont work then
tell them your leaving, they will then offer you a reduced price or
you are free to go elsewhere. either way you win.
Sky is probally as bad as VM for customer service, for thier broadband
but I have never had any problems with thier TV service and i think
sky has a few extra channels, and a few more radio stations.
As for your broadband there is no way of really knowing what speed you
will get until there service comes on, which at the start Sky had
major problems handling all the orders and many people waited months
before the service was switched on, if it ever was.

But if you really dont want the hassle which it will be if you do
decide to leave VM, because BT are likley to take a few days to
reconnect you phone line if it has been disconnected at the exchange,
then Sky will take 10 days to activate the broadband on the new line,
and I assume you will be getting a dish installed from sky, which you
will have to arrange and then be in for them to install it all. I
think your lucky to have had not problems with VM, so stay with them,
they probally will increase you broadband speed or something in the
next year or sometime anyway and just ask for a better deal and they
should give you some improvement.
  #4  
Old December 29th 07, 08:00 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband,uk.tech.digital-tv
Woody
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 48
Default Should I quit Virginmedia?


"Mark McIntyre" wrote in message
...
On Sat, 29 Dec 2007 18:54:19 +0000, Lobster wrote:

I've been with VM for years now; currently we take TV (XL package)
/phone (talk evening/weekends package alongside several 3rd party
companies via a dialer box)/broadband (L package; 4 Mb) from them at
a
total cost of 49.45 GBP/month.


(OP is considering swapping)

However my major concern is that currently I'm very happy what VM
delivers, notably our broadband has hardly ever gone down and works
extremely efficiently. I've hardly ever had to get involved with the
notorious Customer Service, just because I have no need of them.


Why not ditch the TV and phone, and speak to Retentions to get a deal
on
the broadband.

Note that there's a hefty reconnection fee for getting a BT line back
in.

Therefore I'm wondering if I'm just setting myself up for a fall by
switching away from VM, apparently without knowing how good the
competitive service will be until it's up and running?


Yes, its tricky. Any neighbours with non-cable broadband you can
speak
to?

bt.com's postcode speed checker claims 5.5Mb max.


Expect somewhat less than that, then!

OTOH, I might just try and get through to VM retentions and try and
blag
a price reduction on my current service, and to hell with Sky 1!


Yup - eventually it'll come back, Sky want the customers.

The other issue is that I want to add in a hard-disk recorder (ie V+
or
Sky+ as appropriate) so as that will involve a one-off outlay, I
don't
want to make that decision until the choice of TV supplier is
finalised).


Get a normal DVD/PVR unit and you can plug either service in. I bought
a
sony RDR-HXD870 which is great - freeview, series recording,
one-touch,
timeslip, HD upscaling, all the crap that sky and VM claim to do with
their "plus" boxes, but without the hassle of paying either of them
money
to badly deliver 100+ channels of tripe in a sporadic manner.

And tell the family if they want Sky1, to pony up the ante... :-)



Entirely agree. You will be surprised what you can get out of
Retentions.

The TV feed is as good picture-wise or better than Sky and it doesn't
pixelate in the rain or snow.

The phone service is expensive but unless you still have a BT line to
your house you should look carefully at the cost of reverting - and then
see what you can blag out of an automaton at BT if you do have a line.
The other possibility is to go for a VOIP line on your broadband (I have
one as a second line and it is brilliant) and just use VM for incoming
and limited outgoing.

The VM broadband feed - no matter others may say - is probably the best
and most reliable on the market. It certainly meets or is very close to
quoted speed at almost all times - which it is guaranteed you will not
get with ADSL. (To confirm that try www.speedtest.net at different times
of day - you'll be within 100K or so of 4Mb every time.) It does depend
where you live, but if the feed is solid (as mine is - two outages of
more than 10 mins in five years) then stay with it. VM are proposing to
update most customers to at least 10Mb within the next year or so.


--
Woody

harrogate three at ntlworld dot com


  #5  
Old December 29th 07, 11:16 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband,uk.tech.digital-tv
stephen
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 381
Default Should I quit Virginmedia?

"Lobster" wrote in message
...
I've been with VM for years now; currently we take TV (XL package)
/phone (talk evening/weekends package alongside several 3rd party
companies via a dialer box)/broadband (L package; 4 Mb) from them at a
total cost of 49.45 GBP/month.

I'm now thinking of changing this, driven by (a) a feeling that I'm
paying too much overall and (b) family pressure to get access to Sky
1(!) which we lost after the Sky-VM spat earlier this year.

I'm wondering about changing back to BT, swapping to Sky TV, and then
adding in broadband probably via Sky but if not via another operator (my
current hardware setup means I'm stuck with a VM monopoly for all
services of course).

Sky have a "try cheap" offer on (or did around 3 weeks ago).

i picked up a voucher in W H Smiths - 75 for a dish, decoder, card, fitting
and a 4 months free on some of the packages.

Sky were very good - installed in 4 days, so pretty easy and quick.

you have to decide in the 3rd month if you keep the subscription - if not
you scrub it and just get the "FreeSat" + foreign channels on the satellite.

i will make my mind up if we keep this and ditch VM tv in a couple of
months - but so far satelite seems to give a better picture on a modern box
than i get from the VM Samsung, and the EPG is much more stable & complete.

Shame that over 50% of the "200 free channels" seem to be in Arabic...

However my major concern is that currently I'm very happy what VM
delivers, notably our broadband has hardly ever gone down and works
extremely efficiently. I've hardly ever had to get involved with the
notorious Customer Service, just because I have no need of them.

Therefore I'm wondering if I'm just setting myself up for a fall by
switching away from VM, apparently without knowing how good the
competitive service will be until it's up and running? I live about a
mile from the nearest BT exchange, which sounds OK I think? And
bt.com's postcode speed checker claims 5.5Mb max.

OTOH, I might just try and get through to VM retentions and try and blag
a price reduction on my current service, and to hell with Sky 1!

The other issue is that I want to add in a hard-disk recorder (ie V+ or
Sky+ as appropriate) so as that will involve a one-off outlay, I don't
want to make that decision until the choice of TV supplier is finalised).


Sky was much better than the fiasco 2 months earlier on a similar deal i
tried 1st from Currys.
Currys managed to lose the kit, denied it was a problem until i insisted,
and never rang back despite promises on 3 different sets of calls.
Then they admit it is a problem, tell me the kit is out of stock and can the
order (although it took a while to get the refund).
It cost me 10 to 15 calls, 3 hours of 0870 phone calls over 8 weeks before
they agreed to refund the money.
And then they had the cheek to headline the letter "sorry you dont want the
equipment you ordered".

and there was me thinking that ordering on the web would be cheaper, easier
and less trouble.....


Any thoughts to help my make up my mind?!

Thanks

--
Regards

- replace xyz with ntl


  #6  
Old December 29th 07, 11:46 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband,uk.tech.digital-tv
Lobster
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 56
Default Should I quit Virginmedia?

Mark McIntyre wrote:
On Sat, 29 Dec 2007 18:54:19 +0000, Lobster wrote:

I've been with VM for years now; currently we take TV (XL package)
/phone (talk evening/weekends package alongside several 3rd party
companies via a dialer box)/broadband (L package; 4 Mb) from them at a
total cost of 49.45 GBP/month.


(OP is considering swapping)

However my major concern is that currently I'm very happy what VM
delivers, notably our broadband has hardly ever gone down and works
extremely efficiently. I've hardly ever had to get involved with the
notorious Customer Service, just because I have no need of them.


Why not ditch the TV and phone, and speak to Retentions to get a deal on
the broadband.


Reckon they're likely to do that if I ditch the other stuff at the same
time?

I'd be interested to know what 'target' deal I could expect for what I'm
paying for my current service??

Therefore I'm wondering if I'm just setting myself up for a fall by
switching away from VM, apparently without knowing how good the
competitive service will be until it's up and running?


Yes, its tricky. Any neighbours with non-cable broadband you can speak
to?


Unfortunately none that I know of.

OTOH, I might just try and get through to VM retentions and try and blag
a price reduction on my current service, and to hell with Sky 1!


Yup - eventually it'll come back, Sky want the customers.


Presumably there's no other way of getting Sky 1 other than subscribing
to Sky?

The other issue is that I want to add in a hard-disk recorder (ie V+ or
Sky+ as appropriate) so as that will involve a one-off outlay, I don't
want to make that decision until the choice of TV supplier is
finalised).


Get a normal DVD/PVR unit and you can plug either service in. I bought a
sony RDR-HXD870 which is great - freeview, series recording, one-touch,
timeslip, HD upscaling, all the crap that sky and VM claim to do with
their "plus" boxes, but without the hassle of paying either of them money
to badly deliver 100+ channels of tripe in a sporadic manner.


I'd considered but kind of written off that route, on the basis that to
make use of the non-Freeview channels provided by VM/Sky, you have to
have the VM/Sky box to do it? Is that not right?

David
  #7  
Old December 30th 07, 12:01 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband,uk.tech.digital-tv
Mark McIntyre
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,835
Default Should I quit Virginmedia?

On Sat, 29 Dec 2007 20:00:22 +0000, Woody wrote:

The other possibility is to go for a VOIP line on your broadband (I have
one as a second line and it is brilliant) and just use VM for incoming
and limited outgoing.


I do exactly this, but with a cheapo evenings/weekends package from
onetel chucked in. So I'm paying VM 11.00 for the copper, Sipgate for
daytime calls, and onetel for evening calls.


  #8  
Old December 30th 07, 12:04 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband,uk.tech.digital-tv
Mark McIntyre
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,835
Default Should I quit Virginmedia?

On Sat, 29 Dec 2007 23:46:15 +0000, Lobster wrote:

Mark McIntyre wrote:
On Sat, 29 Dec 2007 18:54:19 +0000, Lobster wrote:

I've been with VM for years now; currently we take TV (XL package)
/phone (talk evening/weekends package alongside several 3rd party
companies via a dialer box)/broadband (L package; 4 Mb) from them at a
total cost of 49.45 GBP/month.


(OP is considering swapping)

However my major concern is that currently I'm very happy what VM
delivers, notably our broadband has hardly ever gone down and works
extremely efficiently. I've hardly ever had to get involved with the
notorious Customer Service, just because I have no need of them.


Why not ditch the TV and phone, and speak to Retentions to get a deal
on the broadband.


Reckon they're likely to do that if I ditch the other stuff at the same
time?


Yup. Their reasoning: as long as you still have a live cable into the
house they can hope to persuade you into taking back other services some
other time.

I'd be interested to know what 'target' deal I could expect for what I'm
paying for my current service??


Sorry, can't help you there.

Yup - eventually it'll come back, Sky want the customers.


Presumably there's no other way of getting Sky 1 other than subscribing
to Sky?


None that I'm aware of that is legal :-)

I'd considered but kind of written off that route, on the basis that to
make use of the non-Freeview channels provided by VM/Sky, you have to
have the VM/Sky box to do it? Is that not right?


Depends. If you have SCART output on your digibox, and don't mind
recording in non-HD, as far as I know you can do it. However I don't
actually have either VM or Sky TV (*no* interest in a zillion channels of
football etc).

David


  #9  
Old December 30th 07, 02:21 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband,uk.tech.digital-tv
{{{{{Welcome}}}}}
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 149
Default Should I quit Virginmedia?

Woody wrote:
"Mark McIntyre" wrote in message
...
On Sat, 29 Dec 2007 18:54:19 +0000, Lobster wrote:

I've been with VM for years now; currently we take TV (XL package)
/phone (talk evening/weekends package alongside several 3rd party
companies via a dialer box)/broadband (L package; 4 Mb) from them at
a
total cost of 49.45 GBP/month.


(OP is considering swapping)

However my major concern is that currently I'm very happy what VM
delivers, notably our broadband has hardly ever gone down and works
extremely efficiently. I've hardly ever had to get involved with
the notorious Customer Service, just because I have no need of them.


Why not ditch the TV and phone, and speak to Retentions to get a deal
on
the broadband.

Note that there's a hefty reconnection fee for getting a BT line back
in.

Therefore I'm wondering if I'm just setting myself up for a fall by
switching away from VM, apparently without knowing how good the
competitive service will be until it's up and running?


Yes, its tricky. Any neighbours with non-cable broadband you can
speak
to?

bt.com's postcode speed checker claims 5.5Mb max.


Expect somewhat less than that, then!

OTOH, I might just try and get through to VM retentions and try and
blag
a price reduction on my current service, and to hell with Sky 1!


Yup - eventually it'll come back, Sky want the customers.

The other issue is that I want to add in a hard-disk recorder (ie V+
or
Sky+ as appropriate) so as that will involve a one-off outlay, I
don't
want to make that decision until the choice of TV supplier is
finalised).


Get a normal DVD/PVR unit and you can plug either service in. I
bought a
sony RDR-HXD870 which is great - freeview, series recording,
one-touch,
timeslip, HD upscaling, all the crap that sky and VM claim to do with
their "plus" boxes, but without the hassle of paying either of them
money
to badly deliver 100+ channels of tripe in a sporadic manner.

And tell the family if they want Sky1, to pony up the ante... :-)



Entirely agree. You will be surprised what you can get out of
Retentions.

The TV feed is as good picture-wise or better than Sky and it doesn't
pixelate in the rain or snow.


Strange that, I've had satellite since the late 1980s and have lost picture
only a couple of times and that was in extremely heavy rain, not had any
problems with pixalation any other time. The picture quality I find more
channels on satellite to be better, plus you get more channels and decent
interactive and the boxes aren't as slow as cable boxes and the standard
boxes also have a full EPG and not just the Sky+ / Sky HD boxes.

Now I've only had cable TV for a couple of years or so, and that suffers
pixalation without the need of rain or snow, sound drops, channels down for
some time, all channels down for some time etc etc. Cable TV is unreliable
compared to satellite (though you need to make sure your dish is aligned
correctly and isn't too small for the job). I have cable TV simply due to
being given it free for 2 years and a recently upgraded on a loyalty
discount package, if I had to pay the full amount for it - I wouldn't pay
it - not worth the full asking price.

Before I was given the phone line for free and evening and weekend calls
package and caller display for free with Virgin Media I was VoIP only for 2
years. I use a PAP2 ATA and had Sipgate and VoIPStunt (with local number)
that 2 years cost me 6 in total, due to using completely free credit on my
mobile to top up my VoIPStunt account. I now use the VM line for the
inclusive and 0800 calls and VoIP for other calls (now with VoIPStunt
sending out my VM number as CLID). I used to have cable line before but
switched to BT 6 years back when cable became dearer than BT, but dropped BT
when I got cable broadband installed at new address after spending almost 18
months trying to get it connected up as they kept saying I wasn't in a
digital area even though I was, still they paid compensation.

Broadband from VM I have been mostly happy with, wouldn't really want to go
elsewhere for that.


--
Worried about debt?
http://www.cccs.co.uk

  #10  
Old December 30th 07, 06:56 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband,uk.tech.digital-tv
Eeyore
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,222
Default Should I quit Virginmedia?



Mark McIntyre wrote:

Lobster wrote:

I've been with VM for years now; currently we take TV (XL package)
/phone (talk evening/weekends package alongside several 3rd party
companies via a dialer box)/broadband (L package; 4 Mb) from them at a
total cost of 49.45 GBP/month.


(OP is considering swapping)

However my major concern is that currently I'm very happy what VM
delivers, notably our broadband has hardly ever gone down and works
extremely efficiently. I've hardly ever had to get involved with the
notorious Customer Service, just because I have no need of them.


Why not ditch the TV and phone, and speak to Retentions to get a deal on
the broadband.


What ? Retain the WORST service they provide !

Only YOU could suggest that.

Graham

 




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