Virgin Media Broadband Buyers Guide

Ultrafast high speed cable broadband available to around 60% of UK households

  • Fastest widely available broadband speed - with average download speeds of 516Mb on their fastest packages
  • 99.88% network uptime as of December 2020, based on 12 month average
  • Large range of TV and phone broadband bundles available, as well as broadband-only packages
  • Line rental cheaper than BT, also available with no phone line or line rental required
  • Technical support and repairs are free of charge
  • Free Hub 3 router with advanced 802.11ac wireless technology with all deals
  • Free wi-fi on the London Underground

0800 083 8870   Go to site

Virgin Media M100 plus Phone
£28.00 for 18 months
£51.00 thereafter

£35.00 upfront cost

  • 18 months reduced price!
  • 108Mb average download speed!
  • 10Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • WiFi on the Tube
  • Free Super Hub with 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Add a mobile SIM for just £5 extra
  • Use home phone minutes on mobile
  • Weekend UK landline calls
  • 18 month contract

0800 083 8870   Buy now

Virgin Media Bigger Volt Bundle + Movies
£74.00 for 18 months
£106.00 thereafter

£35.00 upfront cost

  • Ending £150 bill credit online!
  • 362Mb average download speed!
  • 36Mb average upload speed!
  • O2 SIM
  • Offer 18 months reduced price!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • 220+ TV channels including 60+ HD
  • Virgin TV Box record multiple shows at the same time
  • WiFi on the Tube
  • All the Sky Cinema channels in HD
  • Free Super Hub with 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Weekend UK landline calls
  • 18 month contract
 

0800 083 8870   Buy now

Virgin Media Ultimate Volt Bundle
£99.00 for 18 months
£136.00 thereafter

£35.00 upfront cost

  • Ending £150 bill credit online!
  • 18 months reduced price!
  • 630Mb average download speed!
  • 41Mb average upload speed!
  • O2 SIM
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • 245+ TV channels including 80+ HD
  • Two Virgin TV Boxes record multiple shows at the same time + stream between boxes
  • WiFi on the Tube
  • Free Super Hub with 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Sky Sports HD & BT Sport Ultra HD
  • Sky Cinema HD, Nat Geo Wild HD & Disney Channels
  • 230+ channels
  • Anytime UK landline calls
  • 18 month contract
 
 

0800 083 8870   Buy now

Details last checked on 2022-01-25

Reasons to choose Virgin Media

  • No need for line rental if you opt for a broadband-only deal - cable to the property allows for broadband-only packages
  • Fastest widely available provider in the UK, averaging 516Mb download speed, more than 7 times that of BT fibre, which is currently averaging 67Mb on its fastest speed
  • 99.88% network uptime as of December 2020, based on 12 month average
  • Consistently the fastest of the big national providers in our monthly speed test report
  • Hub 3 router standard on all deals offers 802.11ac advanced wireless technology with faster speeds at a distance
  • Equipment is 'rented', meaning Virgin provides free repairs and replacements (provided that the customer hasn't abused the equipment)
  • No switching hassle - different technology, can run concurrently with ADSL while one or the other is set up
  • TV services provided by underground high speed cables so not affected by storms or heavy usage of your broadband service
  • Family Plan - existing broadband and TV customers on a Virgin Pay Monthly SIM can bundle up to 5 SIMs on one account to get discounts and additional parental controls
  • Rated highest for reliability out of all TV with broadband providers by Broadband.co.uk vistors

Possible downsides

  • Only available to around 60% of the UK, ruling out the vast majority of rural areas, but their footprint is growing
  • Installation can be more complex if your home hasn't been connected to Virgin Media before

Features at a glance

  • Top speeds average 516Mb download speeds and 36Mb upload speeds

  • 18 month or 30 day contracts

  • Truly unlimited usage on all packages

  • £35 upfront cost as standard

  • Free technical support by phone or online - 8am-9pm Weekdays, 8am-8pm Saturdays, 8am-6pm Sundays

  • Free anti-malware protection, firewall and parental controls for up to 5 devices

  • Free advanced Hub 3 802.11ac wireless router with all deals

  • Full range of premium Pay TV channels available, including Sky Sports and Sky Cinema

  • Phone bundles available

  • Free wi-fi at over 3.5 million hotspots, including in the London Underground and Glasgow Subway

  • Phone line optional for broadband only deals

  • Virgin Media have published a Traffic Management Policy

3 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 4236 customer ratings since 2021-01-27. See more Virgin Media customer ratings and reviews.

Customer Reviews

Sometimes the best way to get a feel for a broadband provider is to read what those who are already customers think of the service they're receiving. Below are all the reviews we've received for Virgin Media.

Customer Ratings Summary

  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    2.8 stars
  • Speed
    3.2 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars

Based on 4236 customer ratings since 2021-01-27

Show all time ratings

Add your own review of Virgin Media

Ratings are left by users of our speed test as well as by reviewers. Recent star ratings summarise the last 12 months of ratings or the last 100 placed, whichever is largest.

Reviewer Location Reviewing Date Ratings
Virgin broadband give a truly terrible service from slow speeds to going down a lot sometimes for weeks! And do everything they can to not pay compensation; certainly will not pay a penny unless I made a stink. Then when I eventually get round to cancelling, which is by no means an easy task, I was hounded to stay & even told I would only receive compensation if I stayed! Their customer service is a joke.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
Holland Park Virgin Media  
Never keept whats agreed, overcharged me big time, not easy to end up contract. This company its a scam! The way the customer service is created to operate is to cheat people. Avoid!!+
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
London Virgin Media  
Constant broadband outages everyday and significant reduction of speed throughout the day causing severe disruption to working from home. Having to use personal mobile data as a susbstitute. Virgin have refused to provide me a dongle to access the internet and insist on a 30 day notice period to leave all the while they are unable to provide me a workable broadband service I am paying for. Poor.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
London Virgin Media  
I thought of joining Virgin as my contract with other provider was about to run out. Big mistake. They set up date of installation, then I received text that there is an earlier slot, I replied back agreeing to it and on the said day no one arrived. Called them to find out that they know nothing about changed date and didn.t care that I could send them screenshots as evidence. They insisted on their date. I was off sick so I thought, whatever, I can wait. On the day engineer arrived at the very last minute of agreed time and said he wont be able to install the line as he knows that there is no one around to give him access to cupboard with thee internet lines and that he explained it to the head office before to set different time slot. Next day I received text + email informing me that the next available date will be in 2 weeks!!! I decided to call them and that's where hell broke loose. Apparently I supposed to have "phone password" to be able to identify myself. I told them that I cant remember setting one. I got internet account, set security question but couldn't remember setting anything for a phone. They were using secondary verification until I had enough and declared that I changed my mind and want to cancel installation/contract. They said I have to call different number which when I called was out of use. Called them again on normal line and they disconnected me 4 times after learning that I want to cancel and don't know my phone password. Called once more and asked how can I reset this password. They replied that its not possible as there is no option for it, not online nor over the phone... I asked then that this mean that I have been put in the limbo and have no way to leave them or even complain as I have no means to contact them, btw, if you try to inform them about leaving online you will end up on error 404 website... They declared that I can request a letter with reminder of my password which I agreed to... 2 weeks ago! My guess is it comes on a donkey from India as that's where their call centres are located. Cherry on the cake was a phone call from them after I replied to text informing me that next day will be my installation day, and declining to it. The guy was trying to set another date after I told him that I do not want it and I'm trying to cancel the whole thing! He couldn't understand what I am saying to him and it really started to feel like I am on the line with one of these scam call centres. I told him to go and find my letter and finished the call. Now I lost access to my online account as well so not sure if I'm still with them or not. Please do your self a favour and stay away from Virgin, they are not cheapest on the market anymore as well so don't let them to trick you in the trap similar to mine.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Erith Virgin Media  
Doesn't deserve even one star!!!!!!!

I have been with Virgin media for 17 years and have recently moved to my new house in December 2021. The move obviously is always stressful but what has made this worst for me is my decision to move my services with me. It’s been 6 weeks now and having spent countless hours over phone and having had several visits to property by technicians/surveyors and having spoken to countless people/agents and having paid more money and several cancelled/rescheduled appointments, I am still without Internet and media services till date with no solution in sight!!!!!

Not only are there long waits to speak to an agent and frequent call drops but they are also not trained and lack knowledge and there is absolutely no coordination between various teams. Some agents have been insulting and rude. Their lack of knowledge has resulted in me getting false and misleading information and has caused me extreme anxiety and inconvenience.

Each agent I have spoken to has given me different information which contradicted the information from previous agent and each one of them say that the previous agent has given wrong information. Majority of the times I was just being transferred from one team to other and would go through security checks 10 times and keep repeating myself every time when transferred to a new agent in a call. This is extremely frustrating and i firmly believe that no customer should go through such an experience!

I thought I may have been an exception but reading other reviews posted clearly highlights that the company does not care about customers anymore and wouldn't pay any attention to issues/complaints.

I strongly suggest not to consider Virgin media if you do not want to go through torture and harassment.

Sharing few of my life experiences (or rather absolute harassment)!!!!

There have been several days when I have made 10 calls or more, waited and spent more than 8/9 hours in a day, spoken to more than 15 agents in a day!

Logged an official complaint for hassling customers, miscoordination (Internal installation & external installation team/ Movers & Preinstallation team), mis informing customers and appalling customer services 2 weeks ago but have not heard anything back from anyone, not even an acknowledgement!

Installation was initially scheduled for 17th Dec but couldn't be carried out as the cable has been pulled up by Construction Unit to a wrong place.

Since then, trying to rectify the simple issue as above has been more difficult than reaching Mars!

One of the calls to report this issue- the Agent promptly cancelled the order and hung the phone without any proper discussions

The installation was moved to 12th Jan (earliest) which meant no services in our new home for 3 weeks specially during holidays!

One of the agents said that mobile dongle would be provided free to ensure we have internet during Xmas and asked me to speak to Mobile team which was an absolute nightmare as all agents subsequently refuted each other and told me to buy it!

Another agent when followed up in December (20-24th Dec) said that the external team has gone again and fixed the issue that morning, but this was untrue as the issue was still unresolved. Not sure why these agents are forced to lie perhaps to placate or get rid of the call soon!?

To summarise, there is an issue with how External installation team has left the cable and all the calls I have made and countless hours I have spent since then is to get this corrected because the internal installation team would not be able to do anything until this is fixed and I will keep experiencing this pain until then and would not have any services too!!!
ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE!!!!

Hope someone, somewhere in the system takes a note of how far the customer services have deteriorated and how much pain it is causing the customers but, in the interim, would strongly suggest everyone to consider Virgin Media only if you are not left with any other option!!!!!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
Virgin Media  
Worst appointments ever. They scheduled my appointment for installation 3 times until now. I am still waiting. 3 months until now and they didn't install my internet connection until now
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
Liverpool Virgin Media  
Absolutely the worst customer service I have ever had the displeasure of enduring. Contact information is not on the website, when you do find it you have to call twice since the first time is a bot and restarts the router and hangs up.
When you eventually get through to an agent, they're poorly trained and often don't know how to resolve any issues past restarting the router (again) and will often offer to transfer your call before disconnecting you.
Complaints about service level are often met with them trying to sell you a business package if you want actual customer service.
All in all I am hugely dissatisfied with virgin media and will be running very far, very fast the second my contact is up.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars
Grimsby Virgin Media  
I took out virgin media as there was a refer a friend reward of £60 each person . The one taking new connection and whoever refers you . After one month I got text message. Says my £60 reward cancelled . Called virgin media , they said they don’t know why . Called their partner who deals the reward , they said if it’s virgin media who declined your reward then they have to give answer . End of the day I did not get any reward money , I took out expensive broadband connection , now I cannot cancel my contract until end of 2 years
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
Romford Virgin Media  
worst customer service ever . just about impossible to get through by phone or live chat , then get passed from one agent to the next non of whom seem to care or have any intention of helping with your enquiry . i suffer mental health issues and following a recent house move on medical grounds to an area not covered by virgin was still charged £130+ cancellation fee . now i am now being harassed for £40 for their equipment despite them sending me an email saying they have arranged collection . at one point i asked one agent if i could speak to a manager and was told i would be wasting their time . without doubt the worst customer service ever
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    2 stars
basingstoke Virgin Media  
Judge for Yourself… Full Chat transcripts kept as evidence

I was a VM Customer and joined O2 and was given an upgrade from 500MB to 1GB broadband. I was informed that I needed an upgraded router which was sent out via Yodel. Tracking said out for delivery on Friday. Delivery never attempted, tracking said “Please arrange to collect your parcel from our depot by using the Manage your parcel feature above”. I sat in ALL weekend as Yodel promised each day that it was going to be delivered. Didn’t happen.
Monday 22nd Nov 2021VM Online Chat (took 2hrs) and informed them I was at work. Asked for router to be put to a shop for pickup. Not possible finally got them to cancel first router and send out another for pickup from a shop near my work.
Tuesday 23rd Nov 2021 VM Online Chat (5 hours 11 minutes) contacted again as no sign of old router being cancelled or new one dispatched.
14:20, Nov 22 Alistair : Broadband TV or Phone
16:33, Nov 23 Ayat: Apologies for the experience, I will go ahead and raise a new order for you, Alistair. Is it a new Hub4 you are looking forward to upgrade to with 1 Gigabytes?
17:50, Nov 23 Ayat: Appolgies for the experience, Alistair. I just tried raised an Order for the new Hub4 but due to somereasons it is not happening, You please need to cotanct us after 24 hours, As the system will be refreahed and we will be able to send you a new Hub.
18:01, Nov 23 Alistair : can you not just do this i have already spent hours over the last 2 days on this chat trying to get this sorted?
18:13, Nov 23 Ayat: I can completely understand this, I am unable to place the order, Alistair.
18:15, Nov 23 Alistair : this is not acceptable. VM is taking up too much of my time and I'm going round in cirlces
18:16, Nov 23 Alistair : you give me a service that i cannot use and spendin hours on this thing. I want to cancel my broadband
Alistair : this chat was intiated @14:20 hrs GMT it is not 18:54 hrs!
18:57, Nov 23 Reliza: Excellent! We’ll need to go through a few security questions. I’m going to send you a secure web form for you to answer. Please put the 7th, 10th and 13th characters of your password in the secure link. This is the password you use when you call in, and not your online account password. Please keep in mind that the form will expire in 30 minutes once we have sent it to you.
19:05, Nov 23 Reliza: Great. Thanks for that! May I know the reason for contacting us?
19:06, Nov 23 Alistair : How many times do i have to repeat myself, 1 min until i copy and paste
19:14, Nov 23 Reliza: I do apologize for that, Alistair. Just to confirm, do you want to have the Hub 4, right?
19:15, Nov 23 Alistair : i would but i cannot afford ANYMORE time dealing with this myself, too much time spent on this already
19:15, Nov 23 Alistair : i am risk my employment, I am supposed to be working not on this 19:18, Nov 23 Reliza: I'm very sorry about your frustrations today, Alistair. Let's work together and try to sort this thing out, okay?
19:18, Nov 23 Alistair : ok 19:19, Nov 23 Alistair : its not just today though this is the second day on this
19:22, Nov 23 Reliza: I'm so sorry about that, Alistair. However, if you really want to have the Hub 4 you can coordinate with our faults team regarding this because in this department we only handle the customers who are in need of new contract.
19:25, Nov 23 Alistair : I DON'T HAVE ANY MORE TIME JUST CLOSE MY ACCOUNT
Wednesday 24th Nov 2021 VM Online Chat (33 minutes)
16:57, Nov 24 Dixit: Hi Alistair I am so sorry to hear that you have not receive a response on your complaint not to worry I will quickly check the details and help you with a resolution
17:06, Nov 24Dixit: Alistair I am so sorry to see that the hub was not delivered and you have applied to disconnect the account. May I know how can I help you today?
17:07, Nov 24 You: well i am getting no repsonse on the forums so am looking for a conclusion one way or another
17:08, Nov 24 You: have you read the forum posts?
17:08, Nov 24 Dixit: Alistair I am so sorry I am unable to read the forum as we are restricted from accessing any link.
17:09, Nov 24 You: do you want acopy and paste of the transcripts for monday and tuesday then?
17:09, Nov 24 You: if you don't have them there?
17:10, Nov 24 Dixit: Alistair No I have the details on the account notes. May I know what resolution you are looking for so I can get it Immediately.
17:12, Nov 24 You: well what I have wanted all along a hub that will let me use 1gig as promised but if this can't befinalised today, I am on a 10 minute break just now at work. Then you close my account
17:16, Nov 24 Dixit: Alistair I am so sorry but to order the hub 4 we will need to cancel the disconnection request. So Would you like to go ahead and cancel it?
17:16, Nov 24 You: if it can be done now yes
17:20, Nov 24 Dixit: Alistair Okay so I will now connect you to the Customer relations team and they will cancel the disconnection request and then get you connected to the care team who will order the Hub 4 for you.
17:20, Nov 24 You: please don't use YODEL
17:21, Nov 24 You: sorry ,my break is up I need to go back to work now
17:22, Nov 24 You: see this is what I mean I spent 5 hrs on this chat yesterday and it looks like I am getting the same thing again today.
17:22, Nov 24 Dixit: Alistair Not to worry I will leave a clear note on the account and then give a direct calling number to use so we will be able to do it once our free. will this be okay?
17:23, Nov 24 You: someone needs to phone me not the other way round
17:23, Nov 24 You: I will be at home tomorrow until 12:00 hrs

Thursday 25th Nov 2021 VM Online Chat (46 minutes)
Alistair Skakles Unsure + Account Holder: Hi Arbiya
8:05, Nov 25 Alistair Skakles Unsure + Account Holder: Can you please look at the notes from my chat yesterday please?
8:05, Nov 25 Arbiya: Hi Alistair! I am really sorry for the wait time you have experienced. I do see that you havecontacted in order to report that you are looking for cancellation. Not to worry, you have reached the rightteam. I can surely help you today. Absolutely, let me have a check on your account notes.
8:06, Nov 25 Alistair Skakles Unsure + Account Holder: thanks
8:06, Nov 25 Alistair Skakles Unsure + Account Holder: from the transcript
8:06, Nov 25 Alistair Skakles Unsure + Account Holder: 17:20, Nov 24 Dixit: Alistair Okay so I will now connect you to the Customer relations team and they will cancel the disconnection request and then get you connected to the care team who will order the Hub 4 for you.
8:07, Nov 25 Alistair Skakles Unsure + Account Holder: this is what we need to do. If this isn't possible then I will leave cancellation in place and start my ordert with another provider
8:09, Nov 25 Arbiya: I am really sorry for the inconvenience Alistair. Please do not worry. I do see the retentions team online now. I can connect you right away if you agree, they can surely help you getting hub 4. May I connectyou?
8:09, Nov 25 Alistair Skakles Unsure + Account Holder: yes please
8:09, Nov 25 Arbiya: We can transfer you through our Messaging service to our Customer Relations team to help you further.
8:24, Nov 25 Lisa: I can see that and I will feed that back to Yodel but I can not order a new one.

Received a final bill with a demand for £240 for termination of my contract early:
Thurs 6th Jan 2021 VM Online Chat (2 hours 15 minutes)
17:07, Jan 6 Meena: Thank you for your patience, I have looked into your account and I see you have cancelled services within the contract period and hence you have been charged early termination fee as per the terms and conditions Alistair.
17:10, Jan 6 You: you ugprded me to 1GIG and sent out a router which was never delivered by yodel. I even requested another router which was refused. So unable to use the service as you didn't supply hardware I spent HOURS and I have proof trying to sort this mess out with you
17:11, Jan 6 You: I couldn't use a service without the hardware so why would I stay with a provider that cannot provide?
17:29, Jan 6 You: here I am again over 90 mins repeating myself and getting nowhere
17:29, Jan 6 Meena: I am sorry to know about the hassle which you have come across Alistair, I feel really bad after going through all these and you have been so patient so far. Dont worry I will see what best can be done for you. But we could have definitely cancelled the order and placed a new one before cancelling Alistair.
17:30, Jan 6 You: but you didn't and as per the transcripts refused to send out another until you got the one that Yodel lost Back
17:31, Jan 6 You: yuou will see that the transcripts over the days contradict themselves
17:44, Jan 6 Meena: Alistair, I understand what you are telling but this is completely the issue with yodel and it was supposed to be dealt by them else we could have cancelled and replaced the order. I have tried my best Alistair, but unfortunately we cannot waive off the charges as you have been able to use the services and itcould have been resolved alternatively. But as you have cancelled it between contract, you was been charged with disconnection fee Alistair.
17:46, Jan 6 You: Did you not read the information i poasted??
17:52, Jan 6 Meena: Okay where you not informed that you will be charged termination fee if you are cancelling the contract Alistair?
18:00, Jan 6 Meena: Alistair, we booked for the second time and you never waited for the delivery to be sent, you immediately put a request for disconnection Alistair. Please understand this charges cannot be removed as itsvalid from our end.
18:03, Jan 6 You: no, i made contact with VM as you had not even bothetred to disptach the second one. Eve though yousaid you had. Enough, I will now seek compensation for the time and stress your company has continued toput me through over these months

I have now raised a complaint through offcom and seeking an apology for time, stress, lies and incompetence and now compensation too.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Scotland Virgin Media  

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The reviews published on this page are those of the individual authors who have warrantied that they abide by our review guidelines. Reviews are not the opinion of Broadband.co.uk.

Frustrated woman with a laptop

Virgin Media outed by Ofcom as the most complained-about broadband provider

Posted by Andy Betts on in NewsBTSkyPlusnetTalkTalkVirgin MediaEEVodafone

Ofcom's latest figures on broadband complaints are out - and it's bad news for Virgin Media. The company has rocketed to the top of the list as the major broadband supplier that gets the highest rate of complaints.

The report covers January to March this year, and counted the number of complaints made to Ofcom about providers with a market share of 1.5% or more.

It shows that Virgin Media generated 33 complaints per 100,000 customers, an increase of 20 in just a year. That puts them a long way ahead - or should that be behind - the next two worst performers, with Vodafone and TalkTalk both getting 24 complaints. Vodafone had been the worst ranking provider in six of the last seven quarters. Plusnet also generated complaint levels above the industry average.

And that's not the end of the bad news for Virgin Media. They also racked up the highest complaint levels for their landline service (19 per 100,000) and their pay TV service (17 per 100,000), and were second worst for mobile (5 per 100,000) behind Three.

The biggest reason why customers complained to Ofcom about Virgin Media was failings in the broadband provider's own complaints handling system - amounting to 39% in total. A third complained about faults and issues with the service, and a further 13% about billing problems.

Industry-wide, faults, service and provisioning issues accounted for 42% of reports, followed by complaints handling and billing.

Sky and EE were the least complained-about providers, generating just seven apiece. They've been in the top two positions for the last two years. The only other provider to beat the industry average was BT, with 15.

In good news for the industry overall, the average number of complaints has more than halved over the last decade, from 40 per 100,000 in the first quarter of 2011, to 19 now. The numbers are up from a record low of 10 in Q2 of last year, perhaps in part a consequence of pandemic disruption and the increasing importance of internet access for work, school and entertainment.

Broadband complaints per 100,000 customers

  • EE: 7
  • Sky: 7
  • BT: 15
  • Industry average: 19
  • Plusnet: 21
  • Vodafone: 24
  • TalkTalk: 24
  • Virgin Media: 33

In pay TV, Virgin Media generated 17 complaints against an industry average of 6. Sky performed best with just two. For landlines, Virgin had 19 complaints, eight more than the average, and EE and Sky tied as best performers with five each.

Mobile complaints were largely flat, and at much lower levels. Three performed worst with six complaints, while Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and EE had just one each.

Service reliability, billing, and complaint handling are important factors you should consider when choosing a new broadband provider. Our site contains thousands of customer ratings and reviews that can give you a true feel for how each provider performs. Currently, Zen top our list for customer satisfaction.

If you aren't happy with the service you're getting from your supplier, and you're coming to the end of your contract, it's easy to switch. Use our postcode checker to find the best broadband deal available in your area today.

Comments

Hands typing on a laptop

7 myths about UK broadband busted

Posted by Andy Betts on in FeaturesCuckooVirgin MediaNOW BroadbandBTSkyVodafoneTalkTalk

There are so many well established ideas about broadband and switching broadband providers that get repeated again and again.

The trouble is, many of them are wrong - and they're costing you money.

Switching suppliers can easily save you a hundred pounds or more every year, and if you're stuck on a slow internet package when you need something much faster, it doesn't have to cost you a fortune to upgrade.

So here are some of the biggest myths about broadband, and the truth that you need to know.

"Fibre is fibre - all fibre broadband is the same"

While fibre broadband is used as a catch-all term, it encompasses very different things.

Most of us are using something called fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband. This is where the ultrafast fibre cables carry your broadband signal as far as your nearest street cabinet - that green box down the end of your road. The connection from the cabinet to you house is over the old copper telephone cables. These are a lot slower, and the signal degrades the further it has to travel, which is why a house on one of the street can get very different performance levels to one at the other end.

There's now a big push to roll out "full fibre" broadband, which is also known as fibre-to-the-home. Here, the fibre cables run right up to your house. The result is that the speeds are much, much faster and the service is more reliable.

"There's no benefit to upgrading to ultrafast broadband"

A recent survey found that one of the main things that stopped people from upgrading to ultrafast or full fibre broadband was the belief that it didn't really offer any benefits. But there are many.

The main one, obviously, is that you get much faster download speeds. Our internet use is skyrocketing - Ofcom's recent Communications Market Report shows that the average household now burns through 429GB of data each month, an increase of 36% on the previous year. Even if you think you don't need faster speeds right now, you will do soon.

On top of that, you get vastly quicker upload speeds, which will be essential if the working from home revolution continues. The service should be more reliable, too, as you won't have to deal with line faults on the old telephone cables.

And it's also better value for money: currently, you pay the same price for your broadband as your neighbour down the street, yet you could be receiving a much slower service. That's far less of an issue with full fibre.

"It's too much hassle to switch providers"

By now it's well established that those of us who are willing to switch providers will get a better and cheaper deal than those who stick with the same provider for a long time.

Why don't more people switch? Because it's seen as too much hassle. But it really isn't.

If you move between two providers on the Openreach network - which includes almost all the main providers, including BT, TalkTalk, Sky, Vodafone, Plusnet and so on - then the one you are moving to will handle the entire switchover process for you. You won't have to do anything, and the whole process should be done within a couple of weeks.

Granted, it is a little more complicated to switch to or from a provider that uses a different infrastructure, like Virgin Media, as you may need an engineer to come and install it. But these companies are now set up to make even this part as easy as possible.

"You'll lose internet access when you switch"

Another reason people are reluctant to switch is that they assume they'll be left without internet access while it happens. This is another myth.

Generally speaking, your old service gets turned off as your new service gets switched on and you might be disconnected for a few minutes in between, but nothing more dramatic than that. If you're switching to or from Virgin Media, you can even arrange an overlap where your new service is connected before your old one is turned off.

"You always have to sign a long contract"

Something that puts off a lot of people when they're looking at broadband deals is the prospect of having to commit to a long contract.

In fact, you don't have to. NOW Broadband, Virgin Media, and newcomer Cuckoo are among the providers that offer no-contract deals. You have to pay a little more on the activation fee up front, but this might be worth it for the flexibility of being able to cancel at any time. These deals can be especially worth it for students or anyone who's planning to move house in the near future.

Most suppliers offer 12 month contract options as well. And keep in mind that if your reluctance to sign a long deal is through the worry that you'll be stuck with something you aren't happy with, then there are ways you can quit a contract without charge. If your broadband speed constantly underperforms, for example, and your supplier cannot fix it, or if they put your prices up by more than the amount in agreed in your contract.

"It's too complicated to find a better deal"

There are a lot broadband suppliers in the UK, and they offer a lot of deals between them. Trying to figure out the differences can be tricky, especially if you aren't that tech savvy.

But it needn't be that complicated. We make it easy for you to compare all the latest broadband deals, and you can filter them based on whatever you want most. So, you can see the cheapest deals, or the fastest deals, or just the fibre packages, or those that offer broadband without a contract.

And if you then sort them further by speed or first year cost, you'll very quickly narrow your list of options down to just a few packages.

"Faster broadband always costs more"

While it's natural to assume that upgrading to faster broadband will cost you more, it isn't necessarily so.

If you're in a coverage area, you can get full fibre from Hyperoptic (at the slower 30Mb speed) at a rate normally reserved for the old, standard broadband deals; you can upgrade to a faster 67Mb plan from OneStream for just £22.50 a month; or you can burst through the 100Mb barrier with Vodafone for just £26 a month. These are some pretty keen prices, that make faster broadband more accessible than you might have expected.

So, now you know the truth about broadband and how to upgrade, are you ready to start shopping? Use our postcode checker to discover the best broadband deals available where you live.

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Virgin Media Broadband Buyers Guide - Is Virgin Media right for you?

Can I get Virgin Media?

Virgin Media ultrafast broadband is only available through the company's own fibre optic cable network, meaning you need to live in a Virgin Media cable area to be able to get it.

The network currently comprises about 60% of UK homes, although Virgin Media are looking at expanding their coverage by the end of 2020. Ultrafast speeds (in excess of 100Mb) are available in all cable areas, and the full upgrade from M200 to M350 rolled out across 2018. M500 rolled out across 2019, and M600 is due to roll out as part of the Ultimate Oomph package, but expect that to extend to other packages later on.

You can use our broadband checker to see if you live in an area with cable.

What packages are available?

Virgin Media provide 5 different broadband packages, each providing a different speed of broadband service:

  • M50, averages 54Mb download speed, 5Mb upload speed
  • M100, averages 108Mb download speed, 10Mb upload speed
  • M200, averages 213Mb download speed, 20Mb upload speed
  • M350, averages 362Mb download speed, 36Mb upload speed
  • M500, averages 516Mb download speed, 36Mb upload speed

All packages except M500 can be taken as standalone broadband deals, or with the option of line rental and a Weekend or Anytime calls package. Broadband is fully unlimited, with no restrictions on downloads or uploads. You can get Virgin Media broadband on both 18-month and 30-day rolling deals. The short term deal offers greater flexibility, but comes with a much higher upfront installation cost, typically £80, compared to £35 on the long. They're also more expensive per month if you choose a package with calls. You also have the option boost your speeds to the next package and get a 2GB data SIM bundled in.

Virgin Media is a "quad play" provider. This means that you can add a full range of pay TV services, plus a mobile deal, to your broadband and phone package. All TV deals require an 18 month contract.

Fibre optic broadband like that provided by Virgin Media does not vary in speed depending on how far you are from a telephone exchange, unlike their competitors who use copper phone lines.

Which package should I choose?

All Virgin Media broadband packages are truly unlimited, and offer 'superfast' and 'ultrafast' speeds over 24Mb and 350Mb respectively. When deciding which package is best for you, you should consider how heavily you use the internet, how many people will be using your connection, and your budget - you don't need to pay more than necessary.

Virgin Media claims an average 5 second download time for an album, and 2.4 minutes for a movie on M100, and even faster on M200 with less than a 4 second average download for an album and 1.45 minutes for a movie, and even faster still on M350. These speeds are more suited to people who download a lot, or who regularly play online games, especially if there is more than one person doing this.

As most internet users do not need the higher broadband speeds, the size of your household should be a primary consideration when selecting which package you wish to go for. Virgin Media claim the M100 package is ideal for families, and the M200 and 350 packages are the 'ultimate experience' easily adequate for 5 or more people. This assumes that everyone will be using the internet a lot - which may be the case for some larger families or student households, in which case going for a faster package will enable you to avoid slowdown when everyone is online at the same time.

However, there is no point in paying for more than you need.

Points to consider before you choose

  • How many people will be using your broadband connection?
  • Are you a heavy downloader, or do you regularly play online games?
  • Would the expense of the faster speed be worth it for you?

Compare all Virgin Media deals

What TV deals do Virgin Media offer?

As well as their very fast broadband speeds, another big attraction of Virgin Media is the range of premium Pay TV services they offer.

Virgin Media TV is delivered via Virgin's cable infrastructure, so you need to live in an area where this has been installed. You watch via the Ultra HD-ready Virgin TV V6 box, which allows you to record six shows while watching a seventh. You also get on-demand viewing and support for Netflix and YouTube. In addition, the Virgin TV Go app lets you watch on a phone or tablet. These services come on a 12 month contract.

Virgin Media TV offers four bundles with an increasing number of channels:

  • Big Bundle: over 120 channels, most of which are available through Freeview. You can add Sky Cinema or Sky Sports as add-ons without contract. The standard Player TV bundle comes with Virgin's M50 fibre broadband.
  • Big Bundle + Entertainment Picks: more than 150 channels, including the above plus premium entertainment channels like Sky One, Sky Witness and Fox. Sky Atlantic is not available on Virgin. Boost your TV options by adding Entertainment Picks, with a choice between Drama, Documentaries, Lifestyle and Sport Lite
  • Bigger Bundle: over 240 channels including HD and +1 versions of many of the Mix TV channels, plus BT Sport in Ultra HD and the Virgin TV Ultra HD channel. You can add Sky Cinema or Sky Sports as add-ons without contract. Bundled with M100 fibre broadband.
  • Ultimate Oomph Bundle: the full package of over 280 channels, including Sky Sports HD, Sky Cinema HD and BT Sport UHD, plus the Virgin TV Ultra HD channel. Bundled with the ultrafast M500 fibre broadband, Anytime calls and a mobile SIM with truly unlimited data, minutes and texts.

Virgin offers certain bundles that match TV packages with specfic broadband deals, but you can mix and match, too, to ensure you get exactly what you need. All TV packages come with an option to boost your speed to the next tier, aside from Ultimate Oomph which already offers the fastest speeds available.

How do I switch/sign-up?

Customers switching to Virgin Media will have an engineer come over to their house to install the cables and help you get set up with fibre broadband, including the Hub 3 router.

If you are switching to a Virgin Media package that includes phone services, you will need to switch your phone line. Virgin Media should do everything for you, including letting you keep your pre-existing phone number. If you do this, then your previous provider will automatically cancel your phone line and any broadband services that are associated with it.

If you're not switching phone services, you will need to give your current broadband provider 30 days notice of cancellation. If you're worried about downtime, you can always arrange for your current broadband to end a few days after your Virgin start date.

Find out more at our guide on switching broadband providers.

What do I get when I sign-up?

It's always good to know upfront what you'll get when signing up with an ISP so you know what you can enjoy for free, or to budget for any extras you may want.

  • Wireless router - All customers signing up to Virgin Media fibre broadband will get a free Virgin Media Hub 3 wireless router with the very latest 802.11ac wireless technology offering the fastest speeds and greatest range. The routers will be set up by a Virgin Media engineer on installation day.
  • Online security - F-Secure SAFE, an anti-virus tool worth £79.99 a year, is included free for all Virgin Media broadband customers. You can install this on up to five devices for 12 months, including PCs and Macs, and Android tablets and phones. You also get Virgin Media's Web Safe parental controls tools.
  • Inclusive phone calls - Virgin Media provide the option of getting phone services along with your broadband packages. The phone inclusive packages are less per month than the broadband-only packages. These phone packages offer Talk Weekends, which means unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin Mobile numbers, and you can extend this to evenings and weekdays, or add international or mobile calls as optional extras for an extra cost. 087x and 084x numbers are subject to extra service and access charges.
  • Option of TV - You can also get broadband, phone and TV altogether as a combination package. These packages come in various sizes ranging from basic collections for lighter users to the VIP collection for those who want it all. These packages offer a wide range of cable and HD channels, with over 200 channels including most Sky channels with the larger collections. You also get a 1TB Virgin TV V6 box, which enables you to record up to 500 hours of TV.
  • Free tech support - If you experience any problems you can support over the phone between 8am and 10pm, seven days a week. Online chat is also avalable Monday to Saturday between 8am and 8pm.

What are the benefits of Virgin Media?

The benefits offered by an ISP may be what seals the deal in your decision to buy a package from them.

  • Fastest widely available broadband speeds - Virgin Media currently offer the fastest affordable consumer broadband speeds in the UK (excluding some full fibre services in limited localities) with ultrafast (above 100Mb) broadband available in all cable areas. Full speeds averaging 362Mb are in the process of being rolled out with many areas already upgraded and all areas can achieve average speeds of 213Mb.
  • Free hardware support - All Virgin Media broadband customers are entitled to free servicing and repairs on your broadband connection and Virgin Media Hub 3 router, and round-the-clock technical support for when things go wrong. However, because the equipment remains property of Virgin Media, and customers technically only rent it for free, any perceived misuse or mistreatment will not be covered by the free servicing and repairs.
  • Free London Underground wi-fi - Virgin Media customers are able to use wi-fi connections free of charge at over 250 London Underground stations, plus everywhere on the Galsgow subway.
  • All deals get the premium router - Virgin Media offer their very best router with the latest 802.11ac wireless on even their cheapest products. Equally, all TV customers get the same high-end V6 box regardless of how many channels they choose to take.

What are the drawbacks of Virgin Media?

Let's face it, not everything can be perfect, and even the best deals may have a downside.

  • Installation is more complex - If your house has never had Virgin Media before, then the installation will more complex. An engineer will need to run cabling from the connection point on your pavement to an outside socket installed on your outside wall, to a wall socket inside your house. Virgin says it normally takes around two hours, although could be longer in some cases. However, if your home is already set up for Virgin, a self install option might be available.
  • No fixed IP addresses - Virgin Media do not offer fixed IP addresses as part of their regular packages. However this is only likely to be an issue if you wish to set up a local web server, otherwise you are unlikely to notice the difference.
  • Slower upload speeds than most FTTC - Although Virgin Media's download speeds tend to outstrip fibre to the cabinet alternatives, their upload speeds don't tend to keep up. Many other fibre services offer upload speeds averaging around 19Mb while Virgin Media's M100 service offers only 6Mb average upload speeds, although their most expensive M350 service now offers 21Mb average upload speeds, and the new M500 service will offer 35Mb upload speeds.
  • High customer complaints - According to an Ofcom report, Virgin Media are the third most complained about of the major broadband suppliers.

 

Broadband.co.uk