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Virgin Media takes itself in hand after punter-package tickle whoopsie

Apologises for 'gremlins', promises doubles all round

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Updated An email that arrived in the inboxes of an unspecified number of Virgin Media customers on Friday that promised "faster broadband, for less" was embarrassingly pulled by the telco just hours later.

The company had initially sent a message boasting about Virgin Media "tickles", which apparently the ISP gives to "people we know and like – our customers". The overly generous memo pledged to boost connection speeds from 100Mbps to 120Mbps even though it was sent to customers on packages below 100Mbit/s.

The email kicked off by saying:

You're already getting the UK's fastest widely available broadband, and starting this summer we'll be starting the roll-out to boost your speeds from up to 100Mb to up to 120Mb. We'll also be lowering the price of your broadband package in April to match the price of our 50Mb Broadband XXL packages.

VM said it would be doubling many of its customers' broadband speeds with the promised upgrade this summer. It said punters wouldn't have to "lift a finger" to take advantage of the upgrade of up to 120Mbit/s that would apparently come with a discount.

The company signed off by proclaiming:

We'll be in touch in a few weeks with more details about your price reduction, so there's no need to call us, or do a thing – except keep enjoying what is already the UK's fastest broadband.

But hours later it was a very different story.

Hello there,

Oops! That last email, 100Mbit/s Broadband Announcement, was sent in error.

Please ignore this, and rest assured current Virgin Media Cable Broadband customers will be receiving some good news about their broadband in the next two weeks. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The Virgin Media team

Virgin Media also posted an explanation about what had gone wrong on its customer support forum, blaming "gremlins in our email system" for the hiccup.

Contacted by the Register for comment, Virgin Media initially said: "The email was correct, just that it was accidentally sent to more than just 100Mbit/s customers when only they should have received it." ®

Updated to Add

Subsequently, Virgin Media representatives have been back in touch to clarify matters, saying:

"Following our announcement last week that we are doubling the broadband speeds our cable customers receive, we’ve started to write to let them know how it will work and what to expect. Our first email, intended for our 100Mb customers, was accidentally sent to some customers on other tiers which may have led to some confusion.

We’re sorry for any misunderstanding and will be writing to customers again soon to clarify how the upgrade will affect them. In the meantime, as part of our double speed programme we are delighted to confirm that 50Mb customers will actually be upgraded to 120Mb, meaning even more Virgin Media customers will be able to take advantage of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK."

Some 50Mb/s customers will see an initial rise to 100Mb/s before moving up to the full whack 120Mb/s, the telco spokespersons added.

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