Virgin Media to issue firmware update after Superhub slows to crawl
Fancy new kit FAIL
Exclusive Virgin Media cable customers who recently upgraded to the company's Superhub router/modem combo boxes to access its 30Mbit/s and above service are complaining about stability issues and slow connections with the new kit.
Reg reader Adam told us that Virgin Media is offering only Netgear hardware, which provides what he described as an "inferior service".
Similarly, customers have been grumbling about the kit upgrades on VM forums.
"The rock-steady 20Mbit/s I had before I upgraded to 30Mbit/s is gone," wrote a customer with the handle fatedsnowfox, who played around with the Superhub box's configuration to improve its connection rate.
"It swings wildly from 9-15Mbit/s-ish, more so at peak times. At about 0200-0300 it'll /burst/ to 30Mbit/s. Up speeds vary from 1.05Mbit/s to 'Can't actually upload anything because the test **bleep**s out'."
Fatedsnowfox went on to complain about Netgear's equipment – which VM described as an "exclusive" and custom-made piece of hardware intended "to provide you with killer performance and wonderful ease of use" – and said Virgin Media's tech support was yet to get in touch with a definitive fix.
"I think that cupidity has bitten me here. The 30Mbit/s offer was too good to be true," said fatedsnowfox.
At the start of February, Virgin Media began urging existing customers on its 20Mbit/s broadband service to splurge a one-off payment of £30 to upgrade to its 30Mbit/s offering.
The company has stopped offering would-be punters the 20Mbit/s package, but existing customers do not have to upgrade to the new service as Virgin Media is keeping both bases running. Despite this, some customers unsurprisingly opted to upgrade their kit.
Worse still, Virgin Media claimed that its 'XL' 20Mbit/s broadband offering had been "boosted by 50 per cent" in additional bandwidth without requiring extra fees.
But complaints suggest that some cable customers aren't seeing the performance improvement, and instead are hit by a dip in speed – especially at peak times.
A Virgin Media spokesman told The Register that the company had no beef with the hardware, but admitted there was a "data throughput" issue hampering some customers who are using its Superhub modem/router.
"Whilst the vast majority of customers are unaffected, we are actively investigating reports of reduced performance under some configurations," he said. "Testing is under way, and we expect to resolve the issue by a firmware update which will be automatically pushed out to SuperHub users as soon as a fix has been confirmed."
Virgin Media didn't say when the glitch would be fixed, but it's understood that the firmware update would be pushed out soon. ®
VirginMedia =/= Customer Service
As a longstanding VM (Telewest, Blueyonder) customer none of this is any surprise. The 1st line call centre staff now seem trained to deny any problem their end or with their kit unless something has already been placed on their service staus pages (a rarity in itself). However if you are technically literate *AND* persistent they relent, give you the details of the problem and, if you're grumpy enough, offer a rebate.
It seems to me the only reason for this is to prevent large numbers of lay users from receiving legitimate rebates. This fits in entirely with VM's service model of "spend as little as possible on infrastructure, support and service to enhance marketing and milk existing/new customers as cheaply as possible".
All they have in their favour is that by and large it's a pretty reliable service. When it goes wrong: epic fail.
lies, damn lies, VM press releases.....
I admit I was a mug who went for the 50MB upgrade as my previously rock solid 20MB had been pretty poor since December. Result is a shiny box that runs between 0.5 and 3mb from 10am till 1am the next day with anywhere from 16-35% packet loss. According to the VM advised speedtest it does run at 200MB every morning when I've tested it between 5am and 7am but this isn't much use for VOD, radio 6 and online gaming for the rest of the time.
Superhub is also terrible for wireless my range has gone down almost nothing @ 10m ( from a strong 20) assuming there isnt more than 1 wall and window in the way so I can't even get wireless in the garden without a door open.
There are loads of people in my neck of the woods with massive issues on 50MB and below, and VM are doing jack**** about it.
50meg and happy..
I moved up to the 50Meg in the middle of last year. Can't remember off the top of my head what they had then as the cable modem replacement, but it's been rock solid.
Not detracting from those that seem to have shoddier stuff put in, but just putting it on the record that there are contented voices with working kit too..