Virgin mobile coverage

I’ve been with Virgin mobile almost since they started here. Up until 6 months ago, I had no trouble with coverage and I’ve lived in this house for 12 years. However, my home coverage has been rubbish for 6 months, with lots of missed calls that just don’t connect and I often can’t make calls. I’ve patiently waited for upgrade works on local towers and I’ve been chatting with Virgin…even tried new Sim card but to no avail.
If I want to stay with Virgin…and I love my plan, as it’s only $24 month…I have to upgrade my perfectly good phone, to take advantage of their “wifi calling” which I could then use from home. And that entails a lot more money.
Or…change carriers…but I have to break my contract.
So…if you are on a contract and you are not getting the coverage that you once were, is that grounds for cancelling it without penalty? In my case, I’ve signed up for a service that I’m no longer getting when at home.
It’s annoying when you have a perfectly good phone, yet feel you are being forced into a situation of upgrading just because they can’t supply a service.

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It may be worth checking on the Virgin coverage map to see if you are at the edge of good coverage.

Looking at the Virgin website, it appears that it piggybacks on the Optus network…so if you do decide to change providers due to signal issues, I suggest that your look at other providers other than those which use the Optus network.

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I’ve checked that coverage map a few times…and I’m in the middle of suburbia right in the middle of the Gold Coast…supposedly in the middle of excellent 4G reception! That makes it even more frustrating! From my own research, Telstra has very strong reception here, so yes, looks like I’ll have to avoid the Optus network.
Unfortunately…Virgin have told me I will have to pay contract break costs…even though it’s just a BYO phone plan.
Not sure I agree with that…as they are not providing me with the service.

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The maps are almost useless in a specific ‘problem case’. I am on the Optus network and the signal around my house goes from 0 (no service) to 3-4 bars. I am less than 1 km from the tower. My phone will often neither ring nor show a missed call, but I will get an SMS a few minutes on telling me I missed a call, and whether voicemail was left. Sometimes the SMS comes a few hours later. Coverage maps do not reveal such anomalies.

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It may also be worth looking at this video.

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Same here…very frustrating. My signal mostly sits on 0- 1 bar…and the best is 2 (that’s rare!)

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Am familiar but not inclined to spend $$$ on one, and unlike @Suzique whether I miss a mobile call or not or have live wireless data is an irritation rather than a problem. My wifi is always up :slight_smile:

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@Suzique, under the situation you have described, you have the right to cancel your contract without penalty. We’re always interested to hear about our supporter experiences, so please let us know how you go sorting it out.

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What I would do is … phone a friend!

Can you find a friend who uses the Optus network, either directly or via one of the other mobile providers such as:
. Amaysim
. Bendigo Bank Telco,
. Coles Mobile,
. Dodo,
. Exetel,
. iiNet,
. Jeenee Mobile,
. Moose Mobile,
. OVO Mobile,
. SpinTel,
. Vaya,
. Virgin Mobile, or
. Yomojo.

Ask them to come over with their phone and see what coverage they have. Assuming their phone is working properly elsewhere, and they also have poor reception then you can argue that Virgin is not providing the an acceptable product.

If they have a reasonable signal and you don’t then it may be your phone is the problem.

According to the ACCC’s site about the ACL (https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-rights-guarantees/consumer-guarantees):
A service must be “be fit for the purpose or give the results that you and the business had agreed to”. I would suggest that by them entering into a contract to provide a carriage service requires there to be a phone signal strong enough for you to connect your phone to. If the phone signal has deteriorated, then it is no longer fit for purpose.

You can claim a remedy from the supplier if the services do not meet any of the consumer guarantees in relation to services. Remedies include cancelling a service and in some cases compensation for damages and loss.”

So if your friend has a bad signal on their phone, you can approach Virgin and cancel using the ACL, and they cannot hold you to the contract because they are at fault.

If you can not find a friend using one of those carriers, send me a personal message & I will see if I can help.

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Nice offer @meltam, this is what this Community is about the asking for and the giving of support in all it’s myriad forms.

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Enter the cynic - or realist :slight_smile:

Mobile signals can be highly variable depending on locality. At any time of the day one carrier could be providing excellent coverage and the other none, and an hour later it could be the reverse.

The Optus signal in most of my house and on the shelf 1m to my left is always usable although it varies between 2-4 bars. The signal in my right pocket while sitting at the computer comes and goes (mostly goes to no service) but on the counter in front of me or in my left pocket (!!) it goes and comes (mostly comes with 1-3 bars).

A decade ago I had Telstra service and it was not so different. It has been constant over 6 phones (Motos, LG, Samsungs, partner’s Oppo) although some phones were a bit better than others.

It is clearly something in my house that messes with the signal. Lots of electronics here in the ‘computer room’. I am not inclined to do more than know about it and whinge. I once frequented a location where standing at one outside corner of a building service was great, but going around the corner there was none.

The message is that expecting technology to work perfectly in all circumstances is sometimes a big ask.

That advice is golden! In addition to the phone comparison test, if there is a consideration to try another network, get a friend who is on that network to visit and see how it goes at your place, more than once at different times once the phone itself has been ruled out.

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Re signal strength…I have been experimenting with times of day and wandering around the house…the main problem is that my signal strength is never above 2 bars and fluctuates from 0, so I get a lot of missed calls. More frustrating, is those times when you are calling a company to (eg insurance claim) and it takes a few times just to get the call through, then you are on hold for ever and when you finally speak with someone, they tell you they can’t hear you properly and hang up!! It’s just the double frustration of it all.
That’s also my dilemma…I’ve been with Virgin a long time and I’m happy with everything else. I don’t want to jump in with another company and then not be any better off!

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Excellent advice…I’ll keep experimenting for a while. My neighbour opposite is with Virgin so I’ll get her to come over. She said her signal strength isn’t great, though she was with Telstra a while back and said it was bad too!

I’ve been calling my kids via internet /Facebook Messenger …such lovely clear reception…pity I can’t call companies on that!

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You can via a VOIP program such as Skype. To ring phone numbers you have to put money onto the service (for Skype you can buy cards at places like Coles etc) then you dial their number and use your current audio system to talk and listen.

There are a few VOIP programs out there including as mentioned Skype, Engin, Google Voice, Viber and so on.

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For Skype (and probably the others) you can get an unlimited Australia calling plan as well as PAYG, as well as an incoming landline number. All available from their website, no cards needed. Skype is not as good as it was before Microsoft bought it in that Microsoft removed the ability to set personal voicemail messages, and Skype has never supported incoming SMS so is far from a gold standard although reflects traditional landline use + outgoing SMS.

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You are not the only one with these problems. It seems to be across all networks. Have a look at Mobile phone doesn't ring but do get SMS about 'missed call'

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Hi @Suzique. I had the same problem - I used to joke that my house must be sited on an old alien spacecraft or something, as I was unable to get more coverage in only a couple of spots in the house (or back yard), and then only a couple of bars at best. I too am in a major metro area which ostensibly has excellent coverage: which was what I was told when I complained to both Virgin and Optus. In both instances I was told I was “in a black spot” and that this was unfortunate, but there was nothing they could do. There are no mountains, towers or tall buildings anywhere near me, so I fail to see how I could be in a “black spot”.

Every person on the Optus network who came to the house had the same problem, including tradies, so it wasn’t my phone. My partner trialled Telstra and had the same result. In the end I switched to Vodafone which, weirdly (considering their network reputation) provided pretty good coverage.

I know your question was about your rights in such circumstances, and I think others have covered that here. I simply wanted to suggest that when you do get out of your contract, using a cheap pre-paid SIM on other networks may be a way of deciding who you want to connect through in the future. Or, I guess, get some friends on other networks to roam about the house and see whether they have reception :slight_smile:

Good luck! I know exactly how you feel, so have my fingers crossed you get a good outcome.

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I had problems with Virgin when I lived on tje Gold Coast. I am now with Telechoice who use Telstra. Their rates are reasonable. You can always contact tje Telecom Ombudsman

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@FarmerRaq…great idea about trying out cheap pre-paid SIMs on other networks before committing to a new one. I have established that it’s not just my phone, as I had 2 x family members here over the weekend, all with Virgin and all with different phones …and we had exactly the same signal strength…which was 0 - 1. I may have to invite people over, based on their phone carrier, for my experiment to continue :slight_smile:

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If you have spoken to Virgin and they have not been able to fix the problem be aware that virgin use the Optus towers so that could be the problem as they have been upgrading towers to 4G and if you phone wont connect to the 4G properly it could mean you need to upgrade your phone but before you do try calling the Telecommunications Ombudsman and explaining your problem. They might be able to help as Virgin are just a seller of similar products that Optus have. You might get more help that way as calls shouldn’t be dropping out.
Virgin do have some good specials from time to time as I’ve looked and contemplated moving from Optus but haven’t yet I just buy a cheap prepaid phone that is linked to my carrier and transfer the SIMS over as I too am only paying a low amount for my plan.

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