For the fourth time in the past year my Virgin Media “super fast”… “Super reliable”… 20 Mb broadband cable connection proved not so reliable. For someone running a business based in IT, and web design and using a broadband phone this was akin to the sea drying up for a trawler man.
This time was the worst of its cycle of let downs, letting me down on the 1st February and only getting fixed today on the 23rd February.
When it was discovered that their website had no feedback form dedicated to support enquiries, I accordingly used the dedicated complaints feedback form to report the issue giving them my mobile number to contact me on so they could send around another engineer with the 4th cable modem in a year.
Not that there was anything wrong with the previous 3 cable modems as the fault always seemed to be along the lines of their computer dropping me (and apparently many other customers) from the system for no reason that they could fathom.
Well I submitted said feedback via the complaints form and waited and waited. After 2 weeks I had done enough waiting and began using the social networks to broadcast my dissatisfaction to the world in general and making sure I copied @virginmedia twitter account in on it also.
I took a look at the BT Broadband website and started pondering getting ADSL. Fair enough it was slower but my sister in London had BT Broadband for years and she never had issues with it like I had on my Virgin “super reliable” service. Hers really was super reliable. I even checked to see if BT had a feedback form for support and found that in fact had a dedicated broadband support feedback form to report faults and issues. I was very impressed.
To say large companies are very sensitive to anything negative going round about them on the social networks is in this connected day and age an understatement. Those large companies that are aware of the pervasiveness of social media are much switched onto how to use it and often have a dedicated response team to resolve anything negative that starts to appear before it mushrooms and begins to trend.
The days in which large companies and treat the little guy shoddily with impunity, safe in the knowledge that their customer relations misdeeds won’t become widely known across their customer base and more importantly their prospective customer base are long gone.
So it, when a dedicated customer complaint feedback response failed to get a response a few tweets here and there lambasting the situation seemed to concentrate minds wonderfully and it was not long before an engineer appointment was set up and he was here with the fourth new cable modem to come into my life in less than 12 months.
And so it was that, with brand new cable modem fitted and fully working, he announced that the problem was not resolved but that it was at their end after all and he would need to “stage” the issue to technical review at their end which would take a further 12 to 24 hours.
“Well my virgin broadband connection has been down for three weeks now, whets another 24hrs in the grand scheme of things” I said. The engineer “Glyn even left me his mobile number to call if it was not back on in 24hrs” Well after 16 hrs on Saturday afternoon it was not on so I sent him a text to tell him so. No response or acknowledgement.
Saturday evening it was still not working, I gave them a call to be told that their technicians to whom it was staged “do not work weekends” and that what was meant, was 12 to 24 working hrs.
Well Monday 22nd February 2010 it was not back on and so on Tuesday mid day I called virgin media yet again. During this call the £32 worth credits on my mobile phone expired partway through the support call. So not only was Virgin preventing me from earning money by being able to do my job but they were now determined to cut off my last line of communication with the outside world in entirety.
Finally on Tuesday they fixed my service without explanation as to what had gone wrong and worse still, no reassurance that their systems had been rectified and that it would not happen to me or any virgin media broadband “super reliable” customers again.
And so now I am back, and the first thing I have chosen to do is to publish an account of the whole matter in my blog. After all, big companies should not be able to get away with treating customers shoddily with impunity. Those days are long gone!