Virgin Media Review
Virgin Media is one of the UK's most popular telecoms providers.
Since moving into the telecoms sector, Virgin Media has served 13.9 million homes and over 50 thousand businesses.
It’s recognised as offering pretty much the fastest widely available broadband speeds in the UK, and the company has just made a £3bn investment to expand its network.
But recognition and investments aside, does Virgin Media really live up to its name? And will it float your boat?
Read on and find out more.
How good is Virgin Media at resolving complaints?
Customer testimonials on broadband.co.uk suggest Virgin Media is average at resolving complaints.
When it comes to satisfying a customer complaint, the company can take anything up to 28 days; however, their customer advisors are friendly and well-trained.
Online, Virgin Media offers its customers a downloadable PDF which provides all of the information required to go about resolving an issue, including official procedures and telephone numbers.
Although Virgin does offer a complaints email service, the provider prefers to push its customers onto their phone lines to file an issue.
If you need to make a complaint about Virgin Media, use A Spokesman Said’s free tool.
What are the main perks of Virgin Media?
Virgin Media offers a choice of phone and broadband options, as well as entertainment bundles to suit a broad range of consumers – so it’s easy to find a package to suit your needs.
The company’s award-winning superfast fibre optic broadband is available in three different tiers, each one offering unlimited downloads and streaming.
Virgin Media always provides a selection of introductory offers – usually published on their website.
Taking advantage of these can really save you money over the first year or two of service.
The Big Kahuna bundle comes complete with their full TIVO service, including 230 plus channels, as well as a landline and up to 100 Mbps optical fibre broadband.
Solid value for money.
Unlike some of the other major telecoms providers, Virgin Media also offers a lighter entertainment bundle for those looking for something a little less overwhelming and costly.
Virgin Media’s broadband speeds explained
Here is a breakdown of Virgin Media’s three tiers of superfast fibre optic broadband speeds:
* 50mbps: Unlimited downloads and streaming; ideal for using one to four devices at the same time and up to four times faster than regular broadband.
* 100mbps: Unlimited downloads and streaming; ideal for using four to ten devices at the same time and up to eight times faster than regular broadband.
* 200mbps: Unlimited downloads and streaming; ideal for using more than ten devices at the same time and up to 16 times faster than regular broadband.
Usain Bolt - 100m world record holder - features in Virgin Media's adverts
How much does Virgin Media cost?
Like the vast majority of telecoms companies, phone, television and broadband packages can vary ever so slightly depending on timing and location.
That said, Virgin Media is fairly consistent price-wise.
The basic broadband package starts from £12 per month for nine months, then increases to £19 per month.
A Virgin phone line, however, costs an additional £17.99 per month, driving up the overall cost by a pretty sizable amount.
Although it isn’t compulsory to have a phone line included, not opting for one increases the price of a basic standalone broadband package to around £29.99, meaning that, over time, having the phone and broadband together will offer greater value for money.
The company’s Big Kahuna 100 bundle starts at around £50 per month.
Considering Virgin Media's Big Kahuna bundle comes with TIVO's excellent functionality, plus 49 HD channels, four BT Sports channels, ESPN and 12 premier Sky channels, including Sky One and Sky Atlantic, it offers an incredible amount of home entertainment for your money.
The Big Bang entertainment bundle offers all of the same features as the Big Kahuna 100, except it comes with the basic 130 channel TV (including 11 HD channels, BT Sports, Gold and Sky Living) package and starts at £32 per month.
This offers excellent value for money for those with a busy household with multiple devices.
Sky may provide a larger variety of entertainment bundles with a wider selection of channels, but when you take broadband, phone and home entertainment into consideration, Virgin Media seems just about to pip it to the post when you're talking long-term value for money.
To make sure you get the right package for you, be realistic about how much TV you watch, and how much you use the internet.
If you’re not a big browser or TV watcher, a bundle with all the bells and whistles probably isn’t necessary.
Top Tip: Virgin generally charges £20 for installation. If you move into a house which already has Virgin hardware built-in, make sure you call and have an agent remove the charge from your first bill.
Is Virgin’s customer service any good?
On the whole, Virgin Media’s level of customer service is pretty solid.
Official complaints data from the industry regulator Ofcom show that, between July and September 2015, Virgin Media was one of the least complained about broadband providers.
It received 6 complaints per 100,000 customers, well below the industry average of 22.
EE (45 complaints per 100,000 customers) and Plusnet (37) emerged as the worst performing companies.
For the same period, Virgin Media’s Pay TV services received 5 complaints per 100,000 customers – bang on the industry average.
Only Sky did better, with 2 complaints per 100,000 customers.
So Virgin Media must be doing something right!
General telephone waiting times fluctuate between two and seven minutes and the company’s customer service agents are on the whole, friendly and efficient.
The online chat service is incredibly smooth and the most convenient way to talk through any consumer issues.
All in all, a decent customer journey with minimal stress, unless you're dealing with a major complaint perhaps.
A Spokesman Said's verdict
* A great deal of choice
* Amazingly fast broadband
* Good customer service
* Expensive phone line and standalone broadband costs