the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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Back in DSL Hell

I am learning to hate my phone company all over again.

We haven't had voice service for two weeks. Sometimes calls in would ring forever, sometimes the line would show as permanently busy. Outgoing calls, forget it. Liz has been going back and forth with them trying to get it fixed. AT&T; keeps promising to take care of it. Nothing happened.

Eventually, I decided it was time to start getting involved, which was apparently a good thing because the tech they sent out went to the wrong address, said "no access," and closed the repair ticket.

Tuesday night: AT&T; says they'll have a tech out between eight AM and noon Wednesday, with instructions to call Liz's mobile on approach to receive proper directions.

Wednesday: No tech. I call AT&T;, AT&T; says, "oh, we meant to say Thursday," and promises a tech for the same bat-time, same bat-instructions as before.

Thursday: No tech, but a van was spotted down the street. Late in the afternoon, we suddenly have voice service again, but with a terrible buzzing sound on the line. Oh, yeah, and my DSL won't sync up any more.

I call AT&T;'s repair line and wade through the automated bullshit again. I very politely explain the situation to the tech, who apologizes and refers me to AT&T;'s DSL service line, which he assures me can help out with some line tests even though I don't have my DSL through AT&T; (because AT&T; refuses to consider offering it to me without first discontinuing my existing service).

I call AT&T;'s DSL service line, get some chick named "Lily" who is obviously not in my hemisphere (or, based on her ability to rub a few brain cells together and have a conversation, not from my planet), and spend a frustrating amount of time explaining the situation repeatedly, all while still trying to be polite. Five minutes on hold. Ten. Fifteen. Finally, she comes back, apologizes for the delay, and says that they can't do a line test on me because I don't have an account with them. Refers me to my ISP.

Luckily, I have some very old email with Speakeasy's support number on it, or else I'd be really fucked at this point (since I can't exactly hop online and find the number at the moment). I call Speakeasy, and can barely hear the tech because of the noise on my line. Explain the situation. He reports that he can see my DSL modem trying desperately to sync up, but failing. He runs a line test... And just like that, my solid 10000-foot loop that's had rock-solid 3M/768k service for the past six years has suddenly become a 24800-foot loop and any DSL whatsoever is technically impossible.


Speakeasy opens a ticket, but advises me that all AT&T; will do when they speak corporation-e-corporation is laugh at Speakeasy and say it's not possible. That my only hope is to dive back into the hell of AT&T;'s repair line and open a new complaint with them and hopefully get myself escalated to a manager or foreman or whatever the slightly-higher service line life-form is called over there.

So I call AT&T; repair. Wade through the automated bullshit. Deftly avoid getting all the menus in Spanish. Then I hold for a few minutes... Explain the situation all over again. Suggest that since I've been here before and know what I'm talking about that it's probably most expedient for him to just escalate me to a foreman or a supervisor or a what-have-you. Tech says no, he has to evaluate it first, even if that ends up being what happens. Fine. So I wait on hold a while longer. AT&T; dude says he is going to have to escalate it (no shit, Sherlock!) and asks for a number that I can be called at tomorrow, because apparently they might have phone monkeys on staff all night long, but at this hour of the night, the supervisors have gone and the inmates are running the asylum. By this point, I have just about given in, so I can only manage brief resistance to the idea of having to wait until "sometime" tomorrow to get a call back before I give up my callback numbers.

And that's when the phone monkey tells me that I can log on to AT&T;'s website to check the status of my ticket.


And with that, I think I am officially giving up all hope for the future of humanity.


Update: someone must have done something overnight, because my DSL modem seems a lot happier now and is able to sync up. Am cautiously optimistic that a fix for my internet addiction is now possible.

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