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Virgin Media 'overwhelmed' by broadband customers fleeing BT

Result? Delays aplenty

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Exclusive Hundreds of people who have recently signed up to Virgin Media UK’s ADSL broadband service face lengthy delays getting their accounts activated.

The company has blamed a sudden spike in demand for its relaunched ADSL package, which is intended for would-be customers who live outside of the operator’s cable coverage and want to bundle their broadband and phone lines together.

At the beginning of August Virgin made lots of noise about its new all-singing-all-dancing ADSL broadband service packages, that boosted faster download speeds of up to 20Mbps and its own telephone line rental.

All of which offered an attractive proposition to customers wanting a simple, BT-free life that involved having a single bill with one telecoms supplier.

But here’s the rub: A spokesman at the cable giant told us it had been inundated with customers fleeing BT and running headlong into Virgin’s increasingly burdened arms.

“Since we relaunched our National service with line rental and our Best Speed Promise, we have been overwhelmed with new orders, resulting in a few delays in getting customers on to our superfast ADSL broadband,” the spokesman told The Register.

He also confessed that the company has been struggling to post out modem kit to its new punters.

“We have now resolved modem stock problems and are working flat out to get customers up and running as soon as possible. We are very sorry for any delays some customers may have faced.”

It’s not clear at this stage if customers who have suffered delays with their ADSL broadband service will have their £30 activation fee cancelled by Virgin. Those affected have been urged to send an email to the firm detailing their complaints.

Virgin Media has been dogged in the past for failing to provide the capacity customers have demanded from its service. The company has clearly upped the ante by invading BT’s heartland with its new bundled broadband and phone line rental offer.

But failing to respond adequately to such a positive uptake from customers leaves the firm open to the same old complaints, no matter how appealing its packages may appear at the outset. ®

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