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Are Virgin Media the Best Choice for Broadband in 2020?

Virgin Media are very much a household name when it comes to TV or broadband - but what can you expect from the provider? Selectra explores everything there is to know about the provider, including Virgin Media broadband, landlines, TV, reviews, share price and so much more. Read on.


We have heaps of information on Virgin Media products across a series of dedicated pages which you’ll find links to throughout, but here’s a basic rundown of what the provider has on offer:

Virgin Media Bundles & Packages

Virgin Media bundles compile TV, fibre broadband (Virgin only offer fibre broadband) and home phone services to cover all your needs - be they basic or high maintenance - under one bill. Even their most basic package (the ‘Big Bundle’, currently on special offer) still comes with 108Mbps broadband, but go with any of the other three and you’ll get a free Xbox One S!

At the other end of the spectrum, they also offer a deal with seemingly everything you could ever want from Virgin included. Apart from comprehensive TV and calls packages, Oomph customers get exclusive access to Virgin’s new M500 (516 Mbps) fibre broadband and an unlimited mobile SIM included. As you will have guessed, though, the Ultimate Oomph bundle will not be the easiest on your wallet - this said, getting all these features elsewhere is unlikely to come in much cheaper.

Big Bundle Bigger Bundle Bigger Bundle + Sports Ultimate Oomph Bundle
Mixit TV (110+ channels) M100 Fibre Broadband Talk Weekends Maxit TV (230+ channels) Virgin TV V6 Box M100 Fibre Broadband Talk Weekends Xbox One S Maxit TV + Sky Sports & BT Sport HD Virgin TV V6 Box M100 Fibre broadband Talk Weekends Xbox One S Maxit TV + all extras* Virgin TV V6 Box New M500 Fibre Broadband Talk More Anytime Truly Unlimited SIM** Xbox One S
*Sky Sports HD, BT Sport HD, Sky Cinema HD, Kids Pick + extra V6 Box **Unlimited data, minutes & texts

Aside from these four, Virgin also allow you to build your own bundle using their ‘Big Bundle’ as a base. To this you can upgrade your TV package, your fibre speeds, SIM or calls package as you like. For more info on Virgin bundles, see our full guide to them on Virgin’s bundles page.

Virgin Broadband

If what’s most important to you is setting up broadband for your home, Virgin have a range of options available to you. Those looking for a broadband deal can choose from one of the following four options below:

M50 M100 M200 M500
Avg. download speed of 54 Mbps Avg. download speed of 108 Mbps Avg. download speed of 213 Mbps Avg. download speed of 516 Mbps
Avg. upload speed of 5 Mbps Avg. upload speed of 10 Mbps Avg. upload speed of 20 Mbps Avg. upload speed of 36 Mbps
For small households (1-4 devices) For busier households (5-9 devices) For busy households (10+ devices) When only the fastest will do!

When you compare these speeds with those of other major providers, the fact is it’s not much of a competition. As the list below shows, Virgin is streets ahead in terms of fastest average speeds. Even discounting the M500 package other Virgin broadband speeds are incredibly competitive in the market.

  • Virgin Media DOCSIS 3 Cable = 516Mbps
  • BT Fibre Optic = 67Mbps
  • Sky Fibre Optic = 67Mbps
  • Talk Talk Fibre Optic = 67Mbps

How you get your internet ticking at any of these speeds is up to you. If you don’t want a big bundle, you can just opt for a broadband and phone deal. If you don’t even want home phone, they’re also available as broadband only deals. If you don’t want to be tied down to a year-long deal, you can get a 30-day rolling contract and see how you like it.

The freedom to go as you like in this sense is great - how it affects pricing is another matter which we’ll discuss a bit later.

If it’s business broadband you’re interested in, note that these speeds and packages are entirely different! You’ll find details on Virgin for Business on our dedicated page.

Get cheaper Broadband in minutes.Compare online or chat with our experts to get set up with a low cost Broadband. 020 3966 4709 or get a free callback now.

Virgin Media TV packages and bundles

Television

If getting Virgin broadband is as simple and flexible as you want it to be, getting a Virgin TV package is the other side of the coin. Virgin TV is only available through their bundles, meaning that if you want a TV deal you’re going to have to subscribe to one of their cable broadband and talk packages as well. You do have some flexibility in that you can build up a customised TV package using the ‘Big Bundle’ as a base. For full details on the channels and features available across each of their packages see Virgin’s packages page.

The V6 BoxWe recommmend that those opting for a Virgin Media TV package learn more about the V6 box - a nifty set top box that comes with Virgin Media packages.

As we’ve said, one drawback to Virgin TV is that you can only get it for your home if you also commit to one of their main bundles. These come with broadband and calls packages included, and can be personalised more or less as you like but the base packages are priced as follows:

Big Bundle Bigger Bundle Bigger Bundle + Sports Ultimate Oomph Bundle
£33/m £56/m after 12 months £35 setup (18 month contract) £45/m £82/m after 12 months £35 setup (18 month contract) £65/m £120/m after 12 months £35 setup (18 month contract) £89/m £139/m after 12 months £35 setup (18 month contract)

Set up fees are temporarily waved!It's worth noting that the usual £35 setup fee does not apply at the time of writing, however this is subject to change.

Home phone

Virgin Home Phone plans can come as part of a broadband package or a full bundle. The basic calls package, Talk Weekends, is included in all phone bundles. From this, which gives you free calls to UK landlines and Virgin Mobile numbers at weekends, you can upgrade to whichever package suits you:

  • Talk Weekends: Weekend calls to UK landlines, Virgin Mobile numbers + 0870 numbers
  • Talk More Weekends: Weekend calls to UK landlines, Virgin Mobile numbers, 0870 + 0845 numbers
  • Talk More Evening & Weekends: Evening + weekend calls to UK landlines, UK mobiles, 0870 + 0845 numbers
  • Talk More Anytime: Anytime calls to UK landlines, UK mobiles, 0870 + 0845 numbers.
  • Talk More International Anytime: Anytime calls to UK landlines, UK mobiles, 0870 + 0845 numbers, & 50+ countries.

For more details on Virgin’s calls packages and the features you can get with them, you can check them out in their packages page. If you’re after phone deals for your business, see Virgin’s business services page.

Prices

OK, so it's safe to say that Virgin Media have a lot of products, and your preferred package will really depend on your individual household needs. Follow on as we walk you through the different Virgin price points below.

Broadband packages

If what you want is Virgin’s superfast cable broadband for the cheapest possible price, your best bet is to subscribe to one of their broadband and phone packages. These, despite the addition of a phone line and their base calls package (Talk Weekends), works out cheaper than a broadband only deal:

  M50 M100 M200 M500
Broadband & phone £28 £45 after 12 months (£25 upfront) £34 £51 after 12 months (£25 upfront) £40 £57 after 12 months (£25 upfront) £52 £69 after 12 months (£25 upfront)
Broadband & phone (30 day rolling) £45 (£80 upfront) £51 (£80 upfront) £57 (£80 upfront) £63 (£80 upfront & called the M350)
Broadband only £28 £44 after 12 months £34 £50 after 12 months £40 £56 after 12 months £46 £62 after 12 months
Broadband only (30 day rolling) £38 (£80 upfront) £44 (£80 upfront) £50 (£80 upfront) £56 (£80 upfront & called the M350)

An important thing to consider before committing to a Virgin broadband and phone package is the considerable price rise that happens automatically after 12 months. It would seem that while they are keen to get you signed up, they’re not so worried about keeping you once the first year is up.

If you're interested their business broadband or packages then we recommend discovering more at our Virgin Media business broadband page.

Calls packages

Virgin’s calls packages, as we’ve mentioned, can be added as you like to any broadband package or a bigger bundle. You start with the free Talk Weekends package and can update from there - here’s how much you’re looking at for each deal:

  • Talk Weekends: Free
  • Talk More Weekends: £1 extra per month
  • Talk More Evening Weekends: £5 extra per month
  • Talk More Anytime: £8 extra per month
  • Talk More International Anytime: £15 extra per month

If you’re looking for prices on Virgin for Business calls packages, you’ll find them all listed with more details and features on their business page.

Virgin Media Mobile

Virgin Media have a range of different Pay As You Go and pay monthly mobile options on offer. If you're interested in a one stop shop for all of your communication needs, or of you want to learn more about Virgin's mobile offerings and deals then head to our Virgin Media Mobile page.

How do Virgin Media compare with the market average on pricing?

Giving a fair comparison of Virgin’s broadband prices is a tricky business, because their range of speeds is so different to those of their competitors. M50, Virgin’s slowest, cheapest package, is somewhere between most providers’ middle and fastest packages in terms of speed.

M500, their fastest package, is so far ahead of the rest that a pure price comparison with other providers’ “superfast” packages would do no justice.

Even with their slower speed packages there’s no doubt that in terms of Mbps for your buck Virgin takes the cake, coming in cheaper in both categories while offering faster speeds. Not only this, if you’re willing to fork out more Virgin have considerably faster speeds available to you.

How to contact Virgin Media

If you're concerned about long wait times, or you would like to compare Virgin Media with other competitive broadband providers, like Origin or Pop Telecom, then give us a call on 02039 664709.

If you’re already sold on Virgin, you can get through to their sales team on the number below. They’ll set you up with a deal. If you're hoping to get in touch with the provider we recommend checking out our Virgin Media contact page for more information as there are a range of different ways in which you can get in touch with the provider.

Virgin Media Sales Contact Number
Please check with your provider if you don't know how much a call will cost.
0800 052 2525
Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm; Saturday: 8am-6pm; Sunday: closed.

Support for existing customers

Virgin Media has a large customer service team, who are on call to assist you will any issues you might be having. If you're curious about their customer care then take a look at out Virgin Media customer service page here for more information.

My Virgin Media appYou might be able to deal with things yourself through the My Virgin Media app. You can do things like check and pay your bills there - you can also flick through their Community page to see if your issue has been dealt with before on one of their forums.

Moving home

If what you need is information on keeping your Virgin package or bundle when you move house, go direct to their moving page. There you’ll find all the info you’ll need and the steps you have to take to keep your deal going at your new place.

Check your service statusHow can can Virgin Media customers check for outages or service interruptions? The answer is simple: You can check your service status via the My Virgin Media app. Just jump on the app and run status checks quickly and easily. Alternatively, you can also check your status on the Virgin Media website.

Virgin Media reviews

We mentioned earlier that, according to Ofcom, Virgin Media is the only major provider with above-average customer satisfaction for broadband speeds. In this case, and given the speeds they guarantee their subscribers, you’d expect Virgin to receive shining reviews across the board. Not so, apparently.

A quick look at their rating on the review site Trustpilot tells an ugly story. 82% of reviewers gave Virgin Media the very worst score of ‘Bad’, and a further 8% gave them the second worst rating of ‘Poor’ - meaning 90% of customers report a negative experience. The result is a frankly shameful Trustpilot rating of 0.5/10. What is it, then, that customers hated so much? Repeated faults? Poor customer service? You can get the full rundown on our Virgin Media customer service and reviews page.

Pros and cons

Like most TV-Broadband and Mobile providers, Virgin Media aren't the perfect choice for everyone, and have their respective pros and cons. That being said, many of Virgin's products and deals discussed above are pretty competitive on the UK market, especially when it comes to broadband speeds.

If you're still unsure if Virgin Media are the right provider for you, you can always give our Selectra TV, Broadband and Mobile experts on 02039 664709 for more information.

So, all things considered, what are the main pros and cons to opting for Virgin Media as a provider? Take a look at Selectra's main pros and cons below:

  • Fastest widely available speeds on the market.
  • Price-speed ratio better than any other major provider.
  • Flexible access to broadband and calls packages.
  • Extremely poor customer reviews on Trustpilot.
  • Limited ability to get a TV package without a bundle with broadband and calls.
  • Significant price rises after first year of contract.

Sort out your Broadband today!Compare online or call us for decent Broadband plans for your home. 020 3966 4709 or get a free callback now.

Virgin Media Technology & History

Virgin Media is one of the best known TV, broadband and home phone providers in the UK, and unsurprisingly make up one of the top three in terms of subscribers. Its range of cable services - having the only major cable network in the country - is a key differentiator between Virgin and its competitors.

Coaxial cables have allowed the company to reach significantly faster speeds than other major players, or indeed any provider offering FTTC (Fibre to the cabinet) broadband. In fact, according to an Ofcom survey, Virgin is the only major provider with above-average customer satisfaction for broadband speeds.

Beyond this, Virgin is also a major player in mobile services, which it provides to over three million UK customers.

But, particularly compared to its biggest rivals, Virgin Media is quite new to telecommunications. We’ve all long been familiar with the Virgin brand, but a little more than ten years ago would in no way associate it with TV or internet. Even for a company with an eye on space travel, its rise has been astronomical - let’s take a quick look at its trajectory.

The Virgin brand began in 1970 as Virgin Mail Order, with founder Richard Branson selling cut-price records by post. A year later he opened a music store in Oxford Street, London, and the year after that an accompanying recording studio. The store went on to be the first branch of the global Virgin Megastore brand, which is now closed in many parts of the world but is still active in countries across the Middle East.

Virgin Mobile

Virgin shifted from the music industry to transatlantic travel later in the 70s, but it wasn’t until 1999 with the birth of Virgin Mobile that Branson and co. ventured into the world of telecommunications. In just the same way that Virgin’s airline venture led to expansion within travel (with Virgin Trains and even Virgin Orbit, which aims to commercialise space travel), Virgin Mobile was only the beginning here.

Virgin Media Broadband

Ethernet cable

While Virgin was breaking into the mobile market, two companies - NTL and Telewest - were emerging as the UK’s leading cable companies. Telewest introduced the UK’s first cable broadband service in 2000 (a whopping 512 Kb of broadband for £50/m) and had NTL to compete with until 2006, when the two companies merged to form a network which passed over half of UK homes. Later that year NTL-Telewest also purchased Virgin Mobile, creating the UK’s first ‘quad play’ provider - operating in TV, internet, phone and mobile services. In 2007, NTL-Telewest became Virgin Media.

From here a summary of Virgin’s contribution to advances in the industry need to be a bit more concise - we could be here all day:

Timeline

  • 2006 - NTL and Telewest merge. NTL-Telewest purchase Virgin Mobile.
  • 2007 - NTL-Telewest rebrand as Virgin Media.
  • 2009 - DOCSIS 3 introduced, 50 Mb broadband reached.
  • 2010 - VHD TV box. 100 Mb broadband service. TiVo service launched. First company to launch 3D content.
  • 2011 - Virgin reach 1bn video on demand views in a year.
  • 2012 - New 120 Mb speed helps UK raise average broadband speed. Brings WiFi to the underground (used by 1m). Virgin TV Anywhere launched.
  • 2013 - Super Hub launched (UK’s fastest wireless hub). Reaches 3.1m mobile customers, 4.9m cable customers, 1.5m TiVo customers, and is used by 48,000 businesses. Liberty Global buys Virgin Media.

Present Day

Nowadays, as we’ve mentioned, Virgin Media is one of the best-known providers of TV, broadband, home phone and mobile services in the UK. Their network of coaxial cables is the only major challenger to Openreach’s network, and by now passes almost 15 million UK homes.

Nearly six million broadband, TV and home phone customers subscribe to one of their series of cable packages. This places them in the top three providers in terms of subscribers. They also boast over three million customers in mobile, and over 45,000 businesses rely on Virgin for Business for their IT infrastructure.

Share Price

Virgin Media traded independently until 2013, when it was bought out by Liberty Global Plc, which trades on both the London and New York stock exchanges. In London, the group’s share prices have fluctuated considerably in the last 18 months, dropping from a high of £36.70 in February of last year to a low of £23.02 by the end of 2018. Its value has been steadily on the up since, however, and currently trades at £26.81.

Careers

You can find all sorts of information about Virgin Media jobs in their careers portal. Apart from finding all the latest vacancies within the company - which at the time of writing include everything from customer support representatives to a national executive account manager - you can learn about their values and the benefits that ‘Virgin Media People’ enjoy. Among these benefits is having your birthday off every year and free TV Go to enjoy Virgin TV content even if you don’t live in a cabled area.

Virgin Media in the News

  • 3-6-2019 - VM price cut as changes announced for TV and broadband customers: The Express reports that customers will save £100 on Virgin’s new broadband deals.

  • 5-6-2019 - VM launch service promise in broadband rebrand: Choose reports that customers will be given unlimited 4G data in the event of their broadband service failing or experiencing problems.

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