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How Virgin Media’s Service Status checker misleads customers

Virgin Media service status checker

In case other Virgin Media broadband customers find this useful, here’s a tip I learned the hard way.

Virgin’s online service status checker looks slick and impressive. A big problem, however, is that not all the faults which Virgin knows about about loaded into the system the checker uses.

So you can login to the Virgin Media site, go to Service Status, pick the ‘run test’ option and be told “Good news, we didn’t find any network issues”, even when Virgin actually does know about network issues.

To make matters worse that good news message is followed by, “However, the problem may be with your in-home connection.┬áTo help fix the issue, we’d recommend you…”, followed by instructions on things you should try at home to fix matters.

So if, like me, you are suffering from a fault that Virgin knows about but which the service status checker keeps secret, you then get pointed at wasting your time trying out a whole load of irrelevant steps.┬áThere’s not even any small print anywhere warning that the cheery message about no problems might be wrong.

Then to round off the experience, if you instead go to the Contact option and pick the option to get in touch about broadband problems… you are redirected in a loop back to the service status checker. The only way to break the loop is to give up on the website support section completely and instead find their phone number from elsewhere (0345 454 1111) or get in touch via social media.

I’ve no idea why some faults are not covered by the service checker. There may, perhaps, be a good reason for that. But there’s certainly no good reason for the absence of any caveats on screen, the mis-direction without warning into making the customer try out pointless things or the failure to make it easy to get in touch.

The design of this part of Virgin’s customer service is fundamentally broken. It’s based on the assumption that the service checker is always going to be right, and that when it says there’s no problem, it’s never going to be the case that the customer is going to need to get in touch directly with a person at Virgin. Both are faulty assumptions.