Christmas TV blackout: Stoke Newington customers demand compensation for Virgin Media fault

Some people were left with no television over the Christmas period. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Some people were left with no television over the Christmas period. Picture: Emma Bartholomew - Credit: Emma Bartholomew

Christmas telly forms the mainstay of many people’s festive break, from episodes of Strictly to Call the Midwife, Watership Down and the Queen’s speech in front of her gold piano.

So folks in Stoke Newington were dispirited when they were left with a six day blackout over the holiday period.

Becky Horsbrugh is one of Virgin Media’s “livid” customers whose wifi and TV network went down the Saturday before Christmas.

“The only way to watch anything on catch-up would have been to use mobile data, so I stayed away,” she told the Gazette.

“People are particularly upset at the lack of customer care and that there was no acknowledgement from Virgin over Christmas what this has meant - no internet to Skype family for example, and no Christmas television at the one time most people are home - and how big an inconvenience it has been.

“We missed out on that collapsing in front of the TV post-eating Christmas dinner, but the biggest pain in reality was no wifi I think for many. “We would talk to customer services and were being told daily it would definitely be fixed and then wasn’t.”

Becky’s cousin, who was also affected, was offered £9.60 compensation by Virgin.

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“When she said that was not enough they said: ‘Okay ten pounds’.

“Her and her kids have had to use the data on their mobiles so the lack of wifi has cost them a fortune,” said Becky.

Virgin would not say how many customers were affected by the outage, which was apparently originally caused by a UK Power Networks power cut which caused a fault with some of Virgin’s power supply cabinets.

The delay in fixing them has been caused by waiting for the required parts to be delivered.

A spokesman for Virgin Media told the Gazette they had been aware of the power issue affecting services to a “small number of customers” and were “working as quickly as possible” to restore services.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused,” they said.

Power was restored on Thursday night.