December 3rd, 2003, 12:49 PM
Old and Cranky
Virgin.net blocks new broadband punters
Virgin.net has stopped accepting new broadband customers because its service is being strangled by ongoing problems.
The decision to halt sign-ups until the middle of the month is just one of a number of "precautionary" decisions the ISP has taken to resolve what it admits is a "deterioration in service".
As well as halting the sign-up of new punters, Virgin.net is also clamping down on heavy users of its ADSL service and restricting them to 5GB of traffic a week. Some 700 Vigin.net customers have been identified as "heavy users" and the ISP has written to them asking for their co-operation.
Said the ISP in a service statement: "A small minority of customers are constantly uploading/downloading large files and thus clogging up the network. We have contacted these customers requesting everyone to reduce their levels of uploading/downloading activity to 1GB per day up to a maximum of 5GB per week so that everyone can enjoy the service in full."
And in a bid to clear a backlog of calls from hacked off punters Virgin.net has drafted in an extra support staff to handle customer calls and emails.
The list of measures being taken by Virgin.net shows just how bad things have become at the ISP.
Last month, it replaced a batch of dud routers in a bid to sort out what it described as a "performance-related issue" affecting its broadband customers.
At the time, it was thought this would solve the problems that given some punters such a miserable service. However, it now seems that replacing the "under-performing equipment" was only a short-term fix.
Virgin.net is now embarking on replacing caching technology which it says should help make its service "more efficient".
Virgin.net's MD, Alex Dale, admitted that the ISP had been experiencing problems but claimed that the service had "already started to improve".
He told The Register: "I'm pretty confident we've solved them [the problems that have plagued the service] now."
December 3rd, 2003, 23:39 PM
Instead of deploying more Dslams, adding more lines, running more fiber to existing nodes, they propose to fix it through caching???
Good to see this ISP taking customer service more seriously.. that is the biggest letdown in my opinion.. when you call up to a tech support or customer service line, and they keep you waiting for hours because they are understaffed.. and then when you get on the line you have to deal with incompetence....
I think broadband should have no limits... I think these farking ISPs need to just expand their service.. think about those 700 heavy users... they each pay between 39 and 69 bucks depending on their plan.
700X40=$28,000 PER MONTH. Now lets take that to a yearly level, 28,000 X 12 = $336,000
Those heavy users combined pay well over a quarter of a million dollars...
That is just figuring using the lowest 39.99.... with 69, it nearly doubles to $600,000 or so... not including modem rentals, splitter rentals, service installation, etc...
Now I know it costs money to run the lines, pay the customer service reps, install the service and so on... but after a few years, these ISPs have no excuse... they've already broke even, yet they still keep these caps on the lines... when they are making profits.. if they weren't making profits they wouldn't be in business...
a $10,000 to $25,000 investment in the necessary DSLAM can be repaid with fewer than 100 subscribers...
So, the more users they have on the network the better off they are.
I think heavy users should be charged a higher price to offset the cost of the new equipment. I think capping the line just will piss off the heavy users, and the low users will not notice a major difference because they seldom use the service.
December 4th, 2003, 00:03 AM
Old and Cranky
Agreed...to a point. I don't really want to have "pay per view" for lack of a better term. Naturally everybody wants to make money but I really wish that more of these companies would put more money back into the company to build a more loyal user base, have better offerings, and maybe put out a little cash to train their employees instead of SMSing them to death (to ensure quality of course) and how about paying them a little more to build loyal employees...?? HUH?? IS THAT TO FRIGGIN MUCH TO ASK????
Oh Man...I'm sorry...and out of breath.
December 4th, 2003, 00:31 AM
Gone are the days of loyalty basd employment. If they were smart they would hire and pay employees that would do exactly as you state.
Some of these ISPs run a basic monopoly. They are the only service available, and they charge extreme prices and offer crap support because there is no competition..