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Virgin Media 'fails to deliver' on advertised broadband speeds

BBC investigation reveals Virgin Media falls short of promises

Ethernet plug with fiber optic wire

Watchdog has revealed Virgin Media is failing to deliver the services it has promised customers, with some achieving a tiny proportion of the speeds they were promised by the broadband provider.

The BBC programme explained its staff posed as new customers wanting to sign up to a broadband package in areas around the UK and were repeatedly promised speeds of 200Mbps. However, when it came to the service being switched on, they could only browse the internet at a measly 6Mbps.

This is despite Virgin Media's boss Tom Mockridge releasing a statement in May saying 100Mbps would be the company's new lowest standard. He has also publicly denounced rival broadband providers that don't deliver on promises, saying "customers should know what they're paying for and not be hoodwinked".

Watchdog also investigated Virgin Media's customer services' reaction when disgruntled customers phoned up to complain about lacklustre broadband speeds. Many of those appearing on the programme reported they were told the slow broadband speeds were due to "over-utilisation issues," meaning too many people are trying to use the service at the same time.

"I, along with everybody at Virgin Media, am disappointed that, in these cases, we fell short of the high standards we set for ourselves and which our customers rightly expect of us," Mockridge said in a statement to Watchdog.

"We apologise for the inconvenience to these customers and have resolved the issues they raised. All our sales agents have been re-briefed on the company's sales policy and we are providing additional training to ensure everyone complies with it."

The company added that it invests more than 1 billion a year in its ultrafast network and said it's also adding another 200 million to the pot this year to upgrade network capacity in the hope that'll be enough to boost broadband speeds and capacity across the UK.

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