[A posting which should have gone up on Tuesday]
There’d been the odd drop in the connection — an odd hour here and there. Irritating, but unusual. Resented, but forgivable. Then the whole Virginmedia shebang shut down: ‘phone, cable, TV feed.
- The Pert Young Piece’s iPhone accessed the Virginmedia status page, which smugly reported no incidents, no problems, no maintenance, nationally or locally. So the fun began. There is, allegedly, a free number on Malcolm’s Virginmedia mobile with which to report faults. The recorded message said merely and tersely that the service was inoperative.
- The 0800 number, accessed at mobile phone rates, amounted to an interminable list of “enter-the-number” options. All led to a lengthy recorded announcement telling granny how to suck eggs. Eventually there came the promise of a real human. Alas, no: Virginmedia’s idea of music. Which went on, and on … Until patience, and the thought of the bill, meant termination.
- The 0845 number? Ditto.
After something like fourteen hours, all services were restored.
Malcolm promptly fired off an email of complaint and enquiry. There is a promise of a reply within 48 hours.
Sure enough, the reply arrived the following day. No help could be offered without full details.
This was odd, because Malcolm had supplied his telephone number and email address (both Virginmedia). However, playing the game to the end, Malcolm replied: this time supplying absolutely every possible jot-and-tittle of address, telephone numbers (both land-line and mobile) account number … the works. It is now nine days, and still counting without any response.
The local newspaper indicated that others were in the same boat: two streets away, the main cable had been incinerated or nuked or whatever.
Fair enough. Such stuff does happen.
Monday morning of this week was Malcolm’s time in the dentist’s chair. Returning, he switched on his mobile to find a voice-mail waiting. The visiting gardener at Redfellow Hovel had taken a spade through the feed. Once again, there was no phone, no net, no cable tv.
Now the feed was laid by Virginmedia’s predecessor but two: then trading (unsuccessfully) as Cable London. The cretin of an installer had laid the feed diagonally across the soil of the front garden, then put it out of sight a couple of inches down. No protection, no armouring, no conduit: a bare cable just below the surface. The mind boggles that it lasted this long (but also tells how assiduously Malcolm gardens).
Can things get worse?
Oh, yes, indeedy.
Virginmedia are unable to send out an engineer for a full week.
As the character in John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath had it (or something very close): every time I hear the word “service”, I wonder who’s getting screwed.
Malcolm is currently exploring alternatives to Virginmedia.
This is also why blogging service may be somewhat haphazard in the near future.