Thursday, April 05, 2007

Virgin Media gets my vote!!

After spending hours, no, actually days trying to get my neighbours Broadband connection set up on her new Dell computer with Tiscali Broadband I was slightly fearful of changing my Broadband package with NTL Freedom over to Virgin Media. However I decided it had to be done - I was paying far too much money each month for a service that could be equalled if not bettered elsewhere for almost half the price. So I gave the techies at Virgin Media - the now parent company of NTL - and arranged for switch over to Virgin Broadband. All this took was a simple phone call and a few redirects to get to the right place to register.

They advised me that I could get up to 8MB broadband speed for a mere £19.99 per month. Well, I couldn't possibly pass up on this offer could I, and as Virgin have merged (well, I say taken over!) NTL it seemed the logical step to take.

Going back to the previous debacle with my neighbours broadband set up using Tiscali, I had recurring nightmares over the next few weeks as I waited for my new ADSL modem and CD to arrive, fearing that I might suffer similar problems that she encountered. Her new PC had Windows Vista pre-installed and it was because of this that so many problems arose when setting up her broadband, although you would think that an ISP such as Tiscali would alert you to any minor problems that you may encounter using Vista. Anyway I tried setting up her broadband with her previous modem but to no avail. We couldn't even get past the initial driver set up. Vista just plainly wasn't having any of it. After many calls to Tiscali's support centre and about 2 hours later, they determined that this problem was to do with her modem not being compatible with Vista - and said they would send a new one out.
"Just plug the new one in and you will be able to connect straight away", were the words of the Tiscali representative as we finished the conversation - words which simply prove false as it later transpired.
When the new router arrived with its CD (a speedtouch 330) we follow the simple instructions to the letter to install it on her PC. Nope, still no connection, so a couple more calls to Support later and we finally get a connection. For about 20 minutes! Then it all messes up again. Whatever they guy had done at his end - it failed to hold out. So back to square one, I call their support again and I am told that the new broadband modem needs new drivers to make it compatible with Vista!! They sent me out a new broadband modem which was still not compatible with Vista, and then they proceeded to tell me I would need to order the Driver CD online. Oh great! - now I have to wait another few days for this to arrive. What a pallava - all this messing about just to be back at square one after over 1 week of communications with Tiscali. Anyway to cut a long story short - we finally managed to get her PC up and running with everything installed, firewalled, connected to the Internet etc etc after about 10 days of trying.
So as you may think I was somewhat cautious when my Virgin Broadband package arrived in the post the other day - running a business from home and not having internet access is a web designers worst nightmare.

So with caution, I proceeded to set up my new Virgin Broadband and guess how long it took me to get my Internet connection back online with Virgin Broadband.......YES, thats right....4 minutes 26 seconds!!!! Must be a world record. My only gripe with Virgin Broadband was the lack of communication initially to tell me that my card details needed to be punched in again at their end before I could become activated. This had put me back about half a day in downtime. But I phoned them up and on the second or third call my problem was resolved and all i needed to do was give them my Card details again so they could take payment and get me activated. About 20 minutes later their representative called me and said I was ready to rock and roll!. Well Mr Branson, you certainly do ROCK!. I now have a much faster broadband connection than i ever had for half the price i was paying before.

Well done Virgin Media - I take my hat off to you!