Virgin Media ‘fob off’ Helen Hayes after two-week broadband outages in Dulwich and Herne Hill

Katherine Johnston (05 June, 2019) Politics Misc

'I apologise Helen, but unfortunately we’re unable to provide those details'

26745MP Helen Hayes.

Virgin Media customers across Herne Hill and Dulwich blasted the company after it tried to claim there were no faults in their area and attempted to ‘fob off’ the MP intervening on their behalf – despite being left for weeks without broadband.

Virgin Media customers living in postcodes SE24, SE22 and SE21 have had no internet access for two weeks, the latest breakdown in what they say has been a deteriorating service in the last few years.

Hayes tweeted Virgin Media on May 31, saying residents had been ‘suffering unacceptable outages and intermittent service over several weeks and again today.

“When will the problems be sorted and reliable service restored?”

A representative for Virgin Media replied saying they couldn’t find any issues listed in the area, as her constituents piled onto the conversation sharing details of the ‘shoddy’ service’ and difficulty getting compensation.

David Winterburn, who replied to Hayes’ tweet, thanked her for intervening and said: “Just been on the phone to @virginmedia today who initially tried to claim it was just an issue today.

“I insisted it has been going on for ages. They now accept it has been going on for two weeks and claim compensation will be applied automatically.”

He later said: “I’ve been logging the fault online for weeks. Service keeps dropping out. Repeatedly happening. Doesn’t seem to get fixed or be reflected in our bills.”

Rachel Griffiths also thanked Hayes for stepping in, saying her two children were struggling to revise for their A Levels and GCSEs while the internet was down, while another resident, Aurora Fearnley, said: “Thank you Helen for making their continued signal outage public.

“Virgin on SE22 has been deteriorating year after year, with little sign of a solution and no compensation.”

But with no details about the cause of the problems or when they would be fixed, forthcoming, Hayes described Virgin Media’s efforts thus far as a ‘very poor response’ that had left ‘residents and businesses totally frustrated’.

After asking for the second time when the issue would be resolved, the company replied: “I apologise Helen, but unfortunately we’re unable to provide those details.”

An incredulous constituent, tweeting under the name Brigantian in Exile, replied: “You do know she is our MP? If she is asking a question then it’s serious enough for you to make more of an effort to find the answer.

“Don’t just fob her off.”

Responding to a request from the News, a Virgin Media spokesperson attempted to downplay the issue: “A small number of Virgin Media customers are experiencing some intermittent disruption to their broadband service.

“This has been caused due to a fault in some cabinets in the area.

“We have engineers working to fix the problem as soon as possible and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

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