Virgin Mobile's network went down this morning - and they were really slow to tell customers

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Just 24 hours after the phone and internet network of Perth-based iiNet crashed, it appears the Virgin Mobile network also had a major outage for several hours this morning.

But the difference between the two companies is Virgin Mobile barely managed tell anyone until after the outage was fixed.

The problem appears to have begun around midnight last night, but it wasn’t until Australia woke today that most people noticed, with receiving nearly 1000 notifications of the outage by 8am.

Outage notifications from Virgin Mobile customers on

Hundreds of Virgin Mobile customers flooded the company’s noticeboard saying they could only get SOS, but the Optus subsidiary was slow to provide any details, only offering a post on Facebook explaining there was a problem at around 8am, several hours after the outage began.

The company subsequently edited the post around an hour later to say the problem had been fixed, rather than making a new post on Facebook.

Virgin Mobile responded to individuals on Twitter who asked what the problem was, saying they were working on it, but did not post a general warning on Twitter nor on its website.

One thread on the company’s community noticeboard contained more than 50 posts from customers with only SOS service over nearly 10 hours. Virgin Mobile did not respond until after the outage was repaired.

The lack of information further infuriated subscribers.

Here’s how one frustrated customer, Emarsee, detailed the experience of trying to figure out what had gone wrong in the early hours of Thursday morning on the Virgin community noticeboard:

Yup I’ve had nothing here (Southbank, Melbourne) for at least an hour.

Did all of the same, reset phone, removed and replaced SIM card, etc. But nothing.

Found some free wifi to make sure bills have been paid (direct debit set up so shouldn’t have been an issue anyway) and that was fine.

Checked the Virgin Mobile outages/coverage on the webpage but that’s supposedly all fine to. (Bear in mind, given other forum threads here, the stock response here is “our coverage map hasn’t updated yet, have you tried turning it on and off again”, so the coverage maps aren’t worth the data it takes to load them, and you have to ask why the f*** do they even exist in the first place?)

I walked a good 2 kilometers down the road hoping to hit another tower (I mean, this is the heart of Melbourne, surely there is more than one right?), but that didnt help either.

Website help and support is neither helpful or supportive. Nor is there any way for me to rage, quit and cancel my plan.

Virgin Mobile waited until the problem was fixed before saying anything, taking to Twitter to break the news and telling customers to restart their phones.

Customers immediately responded with their annoyance at the lack of information from the company.

Customers respond to Virgin Mobile admitting its network was down. Source: Twitter

As compensation, Virgin Mobile says it will credit people their access fee for the day.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was originally headlined “Virgin Mobile’s network went down this morning – and they forgot to tell customers”. It has since been amended after we were contacted by the company to reflect the (subsequently edited) Facebook post at around 8am today. We’ve asked Virgin Mobile for further clarification on its response times to customers and for details on what actually happened. We’ll update and amend this story when we receive it.

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