If you look around you you will see adverts about Virgin Media both online and offline. In this article we will be looking at them to determine if they are worth the hype or not.
Pros and cons of using fibre optic broadband from Virgin Media
Usually, you will be tempted to go with the opinions written by users of reviews, but you must keep in mind that 90% of reviews are written by customers who have had negative experiences. It is natural for customers to leave negative reviews, especially after experiencing a short term outage, but the review definitely does not show what the overall experience of the average individual has been all this while. In this article however, we will focus on providing you with details that will help you make up your own mind instead of swallowing what you read in reviews. Before we delve into the topic fully, here are the top three pros and cons of using Virgin Media broadband.
You have three different speed levels to choose from
They have an unlimited download allowance as standard
They provide many options for those seeking to bundle TV, home phone and mobile phone into their plans.
Long 18 month contracts
Traffic management in operation for most of the day
Early termination fees can be extremely high
The positives of using Virgin Media fibre optic broadband connection explained
Virgin Media claims to be the fastest provider of fibre optic broadband. This is not a lie though as it has been confirmed time and again by Ofcom that they are indeed the fastest providers of fibre optic connections in the UK. The 120mb/s speed as advertised on their Broadband XL package is the fastest advertised service. In terms of average speeds as recorded by Ofcom, Virgin has been the highest for some years running, quite an achievement on their part.
There is no limit as to how many web pages you can visit in a month or how many songs and videos you can stream or download, high definition or not. This is because they operate an unlimited download policy. Their packages are not entirely without restrictions though as users who download very high data during peak times will find themselves left with slower speeds than everyone else.
On Virgin Media, you will get a good range of added extras and this includes three TV packages, three calls packages and the added option of adding Sky Sports or any other premium channels. Again, Virgin is the only providers that would let you subscribe without having a phone line. Definitely not extra but something most people would be happy to leave out.
Most customers are happy
Going by data from Ofcom, Virgin Media is the provider with the least broadband customer complaints and the conditions hasnt changed much. Since the end of 2010 to date, Virgin Media has only received 0.16 complaints per 1,000 customers
The negatives of using Virgin Media fibre optic broadband connection explained
Traffic throttling & fair usage policy
Virgin provides packages that are unlimited but they are not 100% unlimited. Each of the packages comes with a fair usage limit that must not be exceeded during peak hours. If uploads and downloads exceeds the figure at any given time, your download speed would be reduced for as much as 5 hours. Peak period on Virgin Mobile is 10am-3pm and 4pm-9PM. Do not fret however as the fair usage limits are normally set high. Therefore if you are on the 60mb/s XL package your speed will be reduced only after you have gone over 5GB during any peak period.
They lag behind in Limited broadband
Most of the biggest UK providers like BT and Sky add in free public Wi-Fi in most of their packages but Virgin Media is well-behind in this regard. Presently, you can only use Virgin Media wi-fi in few Underground Stations in London and also on certain Virgin Media trains. Widespread Wi-Fi is an area where they are significantly behind.
A typical Virgin Media contract is an 18 month one. This means as soon as you buy into the contract, it will be tied to your account for the next one year and six months. When that expires, you still have to notify them of your intention to leave the contract 30 days before the time. They are not the only ones that tie customers to 18 month contracts but its good you know where you stand before hand.
Expensive early disconnection fees
If you want to leave your 18 month Virgin contract before the time is up you will have to pay huge disconnection fees. The fees increase in line with the monthly subscription fee so if you are paying to terminate a 100mb/s contract you will pay more money than someone looking to terminate a 30mb/s service. For example on a 30mb/s plan, you will have to pay Â£9 per month on each month left on the contract. Therefore if you are cancelling the contract with 6 months remaining, you will have to pay Â£54. On a 100mb/s connection however, the early termination fee is Â£15 per month, so you have to pay Â£135 if you leave with 6 months remaining.
Things get a lot more complicated if you are subscribed to a combination of packages. If you subscribed to a 100mb/s package added to a top TV package with calls at any time of the day, you will have to pay as much as Â£234 to leave the contract with 6 months left to run.
So there you have it, you can now make your choice regarding going with Virgin Media or sticking with you old provider.
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