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ping -c 1 debian.virginmedia.com &> /dev/null || date --iso-8601=minutes >> /var/log/virgin_outage.log

According to my ping logs from 2008-12-01T19:16+0000 to 2008-12-02T08:49+0000 I endured a Virgin Media cable Internet outage.

At first I called 0800 561 0061. Since I do not have a landline number I need to enter the telephone area code. For my area, I think it is 01483. Then 1 and 1 to choose Internet broadband. This process takes a few minutes and on my T-mobile it costs 00:00:48 £0.09 (40p a minute on T-mobile). I'm fast. :)

The service status number said there are no reports of an outage. Now I need to call customer services on 0845 454 1111. There are roughly 6 menus you need to navigate in order to report a fault. Thankfully they are all 3, so 333333. Once through to an operator, you need to give the account number etc. They then probably put you on hold as if you are cable customer, as you will be transferred to a NTL department. This process last night costs 00:22:12 £3.78 (40p a minute on T-mobile).

After talking to an Indian NTL engineer on a terrible line for some time, we agreed the following:

  • Engineer visit on Wednesday afternoon. He would call me on the Wednesday to setup the time. Of course they expected me to take time off work to receive the engineer...
  • I was to be compensated for the Internet outage on my next bill for Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday. 5GBP.

If I was not around to receive the engineer I would be fined 10GBP. If the Internet is working again, I must call customer services again. Bit confused about this, as surely Virgin Media know if my Internet is working or not? Virgin Media know how to waste your time.

Since the Internet began working again the next morning, I reluctantly called customer services. The operator then says there was an outage last night. I said no one has contacted me to follow up on the case. She asked me if I wanted anything else, I said please cancel the engineer visit then!

Virgin media, the 'state of the art' leading UK Internet supplier with no way to address their service via the Internet. I would of happily notified them of the outage via a Web page from my Android G1 device.

T-mobile rant: I can not use my T-mobile G1 as a bluetooth dialup modem from my Thinkpad X61, like I did with my Nokia E65 with 3 in the past. It's got to get worse before it gets better, right? :(