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Phone/Broadband, poss TV - BT or Virgin? Opinions sought pls!

(13 Posts)
glasjam Fri 19-Dec-08 14:58:41

Couldn't think of where else to put this. Am currently on a BT broadband and Phone package at existing rented property. Moving in Jan to a new rented property that does not have a BT connection to the exchange but does have an NTL/Virgin Media cable thing installed. BT said they could connect us to the exchange for £122 and we can take our exisiting phone and broadband packages with us. However, if we decide to ditch them, we have 7 months remaining on a 12 month contract with them and will therefore have to honour that and pay the equivalent of £260 just to say Goodbye!

Spoke with Virgin Media and they say we could be up and running with them and buy into a phone, 10 meg broadband connection and TV bundle for £27 per month (inc, a free wireless router) Sounds very good.

I've done some sums and over the year it evens out to about the same amount taking into account cancellation charges versus reconnecting etc.

Am tempted by Virgin because their monthly cost for all 3 services is still way cheaper than what we are paying BT just for phone and broadband. BUT am a little wary because I have seen some really bad press about Virgin's customer service. Checked out and there are people seething on there about Virgin and the diabolical service they've had, the problems with their broadband connection/TV connection etc...

Anyone on here care to enlighten me with their own experiences of the two?

nuttygirl Fri 19-Dec-08 15:03:11

Well we've had good service from Virgin though we've never needed to use their customer services.

Never had a problem with BT (phone only) but our BT lines are so bad that the only way we could get a decent broadband set up was to use Virgin, which the previous owner had so we didn't have to pay anything to connect iyswim.

I don;t think there's a huge difference between the two really but the virgin tv package is pretty good (though we have the XL one)

retiredgoth2 Fri 19-Dec-08 15:06:21

....I have been with Virgin (formerly Telewest) since 2001. Initially didn't take the tv service, but have had it for 5 years.

I have only had to ring the customer service people on a couple of occasions. Certainly it isn't great, but as I rarely have to use it I don't see this as much of an issue.

...I certainly seem to have fewer problems than friends who use BT, certainly with the broadband service.

It's not perfect, but I think the better option of the two....

BoyMeetsWorld Fri 19-Dec-08 16:49:47

i'm with Virgin on the "everything included" bundle...Tv/phone/net....

Got nothing but praise for them...have phoned the free customer services (if you have a virgin phoneline) countless times as I'm just USELESS with this kinda stuff, & really dont understand why people don't say they're great??? I've never been on hold for more than a few minutes, have only once spoken to somebody who didn't speak perfect English, & got the answers to my questions every time...that's for tv and phoneline issues

HelloBeastie Fri 19-Dec-08 17:48:39

I've been with Virgin for 10 years (well, it was ntl back then) and moved house twice in that time. They are definitely much better than they used to be...

I have the TV(L), M broadband and M phone - have never had any problems with any of these.

What I have found is that once they have f*cked up, they are woefully incapable of fixing it.
But you have a fairly good chance of them getting it right first time. A very nice engineer chap came out on time etc when we moved, and obligingly ran new cables all over my house to where I wanted them.

Also, the service has improved markedly since I moved from an ex-ntl area to an ex-Telewest area, might be worth asking any local cable customers what they think.

mypandasgotcrabs Fri 19-Dec-08 18:04:30

I'm obviously one of the unlucky ones with Virgin. I'm paying way more than they said I would be (£10 a month more than BT, alhtough I signed up for £6 less), but can't find my contract to prove it.

My wireless has never worked in the 2 months I've had it. I am now on my 4th wireless router.

Whenever I call htem I have problems getting through, about half the time they are havign a problem with their computers & last time they had a fire practice when I was on hte phone. (OK out of their control I know, but when you've had enough of a crap, expensive service, even that annoys you).

On the plus side, their customer service is excellent, and it is a lot faster than BT, so I can watch the football streaming properly instead of it buffering for 75 minutes grin.

I was with ntl years back & swore I'dnever go back as the service (both cs, and the tv service) was so poor, but I had had enough of BT, and them not fulfilling their promises, returning calls or sending out engineers as promised.

mypandasgotcrabs Fri 19-Dec-08 18:06:36

Oh an after thought...if I had a pc rather than a laptop the only complaint would be the cost, whoch I would probably have sorted by now, but I'm too preoccupied with having to trail cables all over my house when I wantto move rooms.

glasjam Sat 20-Dec-08 12:59:09

Thanks everyone. Am still deliberating over this one. Seems that if the system is set up properly in the first place, then it works well. I might go for a compromise at first and bear the cost of getting a BT line connected at the new property so that we can ride out our existing contract till August THEN possibly swap totally over to Virgin without giving BT a big bunch of cash for sweet FA! However, it doesn't look like there is an aerial at the new property so the TV must have come through the cable so I might have to try and get a TV-only package from Virgin till August whilst dangling the carrot of buying into more services then.

However, I know that all the cheap TV deals they advertise at the moment are dependent on you taking a phone line from them for about £11. What are the chances of you NOT being able to take TV only or for it to be disproportionately expensive? I am also mindful of getting out of kilter with the contract periods.

I'll report back!

mypandasgotcrabs Sat 20-Dec-08 14:28:21

For tv, I'd go for sky everytime. More reliable, easier to use & far better choice of channels & interactive services. (imo)

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Sat 20-Dec-08 14:29:57

Sky if you can afford it. Virgin are crap at customer service and BT are just plain rubbish.

Sidge Sat 20-Dec-08 21:03:28

We have had our phone with Virgin (was ntl) for 15 years now (between 3 houses) and now also have broadband and mobile with them. We have a 3 for £30 bundle which I think is good value.

No problems with customer services and our billing has always been accurate.

We used to have cable TV but switched to Sky when we moved house as they offered us a really good deal.

kyrasmummy Mon 22-Dec-08 19:39:41

I'm with Virgin for tv/broadband/phone/mobile.

Have been with them for almost 5 years, never had no bog problems and have always had great customer services, and they were quick to replace my box when it died and the kids were having withdrawels from playhouse disney ;)

glasjam Tue 30-Dec-08 01:41:30

Bit of an update here. Oh how those b**ds like their money for nothing!! So we've decided to pay £122.33 to get a new BT line in at our new address with the view to riding out our existing contract on broadband and phone till August and then possibly switching wholesale to Virgin including TV. BUT I have been told by BT that as we are changing address we have to start a brand new contract for phone line rental (we've been with the b*ds for years). So if we decide to cancel in August and switch to Virgin we'll have to pay the remaining time on our 12 month line rental contract which will be approximately £60 - again for sweet FA.

I phoned Virgin to check out how much their TV only packages were and they were obviously ridiculous - £28 approx for TV only when you can get phone/tv AND broadband bundles for £21 all in.

The guy at Virgin wanted to know why we just weren't changing to Virgin and I explained that I would be hit with £260 worth of charges - he was outraged (and I thought "Yeah, like Virgin would never behave like that would they??") He seemed to think that we had a case for objecting to paying for the remainder of our broadband and Mobile saver contract. However, I am weary of it all already and wonder whether I can be bothered.

Don't know why I am relating all this at this time of the morning... am delirious from packing boxes

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