WHEN superfast broadband was extended to his village, a popular local broadcaster wasted no time in signing up.

Award winning BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Somerset presenter, Richard Lewis, was delighted to hear Virgin Media would be installing new broadband in Wickwar. 

But the presenter of the BBC’s “Clueless” treasure-hunt programme branded Virgin Media clueless after he discovered that a cable to his house had been laid across his neighbour’s garden without permission. 

“I specifically told the crew not to lay the cable across land that was not mine. I spent an hour talking to Virgin as soon we discovered what they had done but they didn’t want to fix things because by this point I had cancelled my subscription.” 

Mr Lewis went on to say that Virgin Media told him they could not do anything about it unless he renewed his contract. 

“I couldn’t believe my ears,” he said. 

“It’s true, I cancelled my subscription, but I was still a Virgin Media customer until the end of the month. They had illegally laid a cable over someone else’s property and if I wanted it moved I would have to re-join Virgin. It is tantamount to blackmail.”

A spokesman for Virgin apologised for the misunderstanding and explained that in order to book a technician to come out to Mr Lewis via their computer system, he needed to have a live account.

This could then be reversed as soon as the work was completed.

“I was keen to take up cable subscription when Virgin moved into the village,” Mr Lewis said. 

“Superfast broadband is the future and, as much of my work is carried out at home, I signed up.” 

However, following the bungled installation and other teething problems, he changed his mind and went back to BT.

“Life is too short. It drove me mad. When they finally fixed the problem I received a letter telling me my subscription was going up. I’d only been with them six weeks. That was it, I bailed.”

Six weeks after initially laying the cable across Mr Lewis’ neighbour’s garden, technicians rerouted the cable.

A Virgin Media spokesman said: “We apologise to Mr Lewis for any inconvenience caused. The cable has now been moved to an appropriate location and we are pleased to have resolved the matter.”

“I’m firing up the Sky dish and running back to BT,” said Mr Lewis.