Reporting Bugs to Virgin Media (30th August 2007)

For some years I was an NTL digital TV customer. When that changed to Virgin Media, my service was changed automatically. In general the GUI has become much more responsive and has added some neat usability gains. But it has also lost some features and has a few interaction bugs.

I got their contact details from their Contact Us page. They have a FAQ about Virgin TV as part of an impressive Help section. But it seems any item of information is available in several places on their site, with each place stating something slightly different.

In the following message, I asked Virgin Media if they would accept bug reports and take them seriously. It was sent on 21st July 2007 using their general equiries form:

I was using ntl’s digital TV service, which has now become Virgin Media. If I report bugs and suggest feature enhancements to your digital TV service, will these be taken seriously and perhaps acted upon?

Ben Millard, website developer.

They replied on 31st July 2007. Their messages are confidential, so I cannot reproduce it. It basically said they welcome feedback and act on queries as quickly as they can.

So I just sent my first bug report to Virgin Media, using the same method:

This is a bug report for the digital TV service. I used to be an NTL Digital customer and am now a Virgin Media customer.

The 4 arrow buttons on the remote control do not display Mini Guide if the Mini Guide displays for setting is set to 0 seconds. These buttons successfully display the Mini Guide if the setting is any other value.

The same is true for the Select button on both the remote control and on the digital TV box.

The Services button on the digital TV box is not affected.

The TV button displays the Mini Guide for any value of Mini Guide displays for. I would like the arrow buttons and both Select buttons to work like this. The fact that they do not work the same when the setting as set to 0 seconds seems to be an error.

To find the Mini Guide displays for setting:

  1. Press the Guide button.
  2. Select the 8 Settings item.
  3. Select the 4 Change Display & Audio Settings item.
  4. The Mini Guide displays for setting is the 7th out of 9.

Please let me know the following:

I am maintaining a list of issues as I experience them. I would like to help improve your service by sending bug reports for them, free of charge.

In general, I am very satisfied with the Virgin Media service. Fixing these bugs would increase that even further.

Sending detailed feedback, reporting it in blog entry and following it up is inspired from Joe Clark’s blog. I reformatted the messages to use HTML instead of plain text simply because plain text sucks.

I am keeping a list of bugs to send to them after this if they respond. I will blog their response, summarising what they say if they decide their actual message is still confidential. Fingers crossed, this will be time well spent.