delirium happy

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BT suck: part n+1
delirium pissed off
rho
BT suck.

No, really. I'm sure you're all shocked and amazed by this reveation, but it's true.

Last night, my internet connection started being about as reliable as an extremely unreliable thing. You know the sort. Random connection drops every hour or so. This is an annoyance, but I grin and bear it; random connection faults are prett much bound to occur from time to time, and generally they sort themselves out without me having to do anything. This one, however, did not. Looking at backscroll int trillian windows that were left open, it had been going on all through the night, and all through the day.

So, earlier today I phoned up tech support at Nildram (my ISP) to ask what's going on. The guy I spoke to asked me to do a few troubleshooting steps. This is fine. So I go off, find a spare microfilter to use. I unscrew the face of the master phone socket, and plug the router (via sare microfilter) directly into the test socket. I unplug all other telephony equipment in the fat (two telephones). I move things about so I can see how the router's sync light behaves when I get disconnected. I mess about with my network so I just have a single piece of cat5 going directly from router to computer.

And in half an hour or so of this setup, I get two random disconnects.

So, I phone tech support again. I hate tech support conversations like this one, because I know full well that whatever is wrong, it's extremly unlikely to be in any way the fault of the person I'm speaking to. But I also know that if you aren't at least persistent and firm, then you stand absolutely no chance of getting anywhere.

I ended up on the phone for about half an hour, during which time I was getting more and more frustrated with the situation, and I'm sure that the guy I was speaking to must have been getting more and more frustrated with me. Anyway, the basic gist of the conversation is this:
  • Next step would typically be to try to troubleshoot the router by trying a different modem/router, or trying the router at a different location
    • But I can't do that because I have no other router or location
    • But it's unlikely that that's the problem anyway
    • But if I really wanted he could escalate the call to someone to see if they could send me a router to test that, but they probably wouldn't do, so don't bother
  • That there was nothing wrong at Nildram's end
  • that their line test said that there was nothing wrong with the line
  • That it was probably BT's fault anyway
  • But that BT weren't likely to do something, because they don't consider hourly disconnects to be a problem
  • And that if I tried escalating to BT and they determined that there was nothing wrong (which they probably would do) then they'd charge me a hefty chunk of cash
  • There was no way that I could be given any sort of contact information for BT so I could tell them exactly what I think of their stupid policies
Needless to say, this is frustrating. In the end, the guy I was speaking to suggested that I should try having the router plugged into the test socket for longer than about half an hour, to make sure that it really didn't work when it was like that. Given that it disconnected twice in half an hour, I think it's fair to say that it doens't work like that. What i suspect he meant was "Go and do something that sounds vaguely plausible which probably won't do anything but will take you a day or two. With a bit of luck it might have fixed itself by then, and if it doesn't then most probably some other poor bugger will have to deal with you when you get back to us." I suspect this, because I know that that's exactly what I'd have done in his situation, and what I have done in the past.

So, I was thinking I'd wait a couple of days to see if it cleared up at all, then try his token suggestion just to be certain it didn't help, and so I could report back that I'd done it, and then if I was still having problems, call back and try to get the situation escalated, preferably to someone who can tell me how to bitch at BT.

However, in the past hour or so, I've been lucky to get more tha 10 minutes online without a disconnect, so I think I'm going to ring them back, to check if their line check is showing anything up now, or to see if they have any other bright ideas.

Mainly for my own records, times that I've been disconnected (these are mostly taken from AOL system message teling me that I've connected from a new IP when I auto-reconnect to AIM, so it's probably a slight under-estimate, since I occasionally get the same IP by chance):

07:37, 08:09, 11:31, 11:39, 12:00, 13:03, 14:13, 15:05, 16:10, 17:25, 17:37, 18:03, 18:08, 18:23, 18:45 (break, while I was troubleshooting, which involved disconnecting router) 21:12, 21:31, 21:34, 21:44, 21:48, 21:54, 22:13, 22:18

(and that's only since I started recording)

And needless to say, BT's claims that hourly disconnects aren't a problem is complete and utter crap. 2 minutes waiting about every hour is about 7%. I'd like to see what BT executives would say if someone gave them a 7% pay cut and told them that that didn't matter. And that's not even including how it breaks up conversations, makes online games next to impossible, and takes another couple of minutes to reopen eveything like putty which dies when the connection drops.

Bad, bad BT.

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It's the same story that I've had between BT and the ISP for the last five years. The same story that ended with them offering the "shut up and go away" gesture of £25. This is the reason I'm still waiting for broadband.

It looks like it'll not get any better then.

*smites BT*

Yes! I thought of you throughout all of this. Remember, we need one of us to smite, and one of us to provide an alibi.

"The trick is to commit crimes so unusual that the police feel too stupid to even write a crime report on them" Either that or bury the bodies over four counties.

This could be possible you know; kidnap the chairman solve the problems and get some cash into the bargain. We just have to work out some way of making it unusual enough not to get reported.

Out of interest, what are your line stats like? If they're shiter than they may be normally, you may be able to get BT faults to poke it. You never know, BT may find a badger pissed on the line somewhere.

I haven't the foggiest. How would I go about finding out?

Do you know how to get to the settings page on your router? There'll possibly be a status page giving you the stats in there. SNR margin is a good indicator of buggery - if it's under 10, summat is probably up, over 15 and you're probably fine.

Otherwise, what's you're router make/model? You can probably find instructions and/or software for finding out line stats.

'Tis a Netgear DG834. I'm fairly sure that I've been to its settings/stats type page before, but I can't for the life of me remember how. I'll likely look it up later. For now, though, I shall go to ring Nildram again. I rang them about an hour ago, and they said they'd do another line test with the increasingly pants performance, and the phone me back in about ten minutes. Which they haven't done yet.

From http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/frogstats.htm

From the web interface http://192.168.0.1
* Router Status
* "Show Statistics" Button
Default username = admin, password = password

Or whatever you set them as.

And having phoned them back, got onto a different person, and had to briefly re-explain the situation to him. Turns out that the person I spoke to in the third call I made did run the line test, but didn't feel like ringing me back. Apparently, the line test came back as inconclusive again, and he escalated the problem to the senior technicians, who will be in tomorrow morning, and they will most probably escalate it to BT. Apparently, my connection is now sucking enough that BT might actually consider it a problem. This is both a blessing and a curse.

This is why I'm glad the line was so crap we had a severe crackle when this happened to us - I avoided the ISP and just went straight to BT faults. It's like a big game of passing the buck. VERY annoying.

Has it been unusually wet recently, sometimes these problems develop cos of water in the line somewhere.

What speed ADSL do you have? You may be able to persuade Nildram to drop the ADSL speed back to 1mbit or 512kbit or something if BT absolutely refuse to do stuff.

Do you know anyone with a spare ADSL modem you could borrow, that sometimes can make the difference between stable and unstable...

I'll point kim at this post, she knows about things telephonic.

As requested, the insight of my telephonic wisdom:

BT suck

Next step in the tech support game probably does involve acquiring another modem, unless you've got any exciting SNR stats to throw at them.

I assume the line's okay for voice? If there's a crackle or something, your best bet is to complain about unacceptibly noisy voice calls and get BT on the case that way. Usual discalimer about BT charging for faults they can't be arsed to find applies.

Yup, that's what we did. Wet line, crackly voice calls, complained about the crackle directly to BT, mentioned shit router stats and disconnections in passing.

Of course, it helped that the line was so bad the BT bods couldn't deny there was a problem because we could barely hear each other...

selfish BT

(Anonymous)
I AM AN EX BT EMPLOYEE AND I CAN HONESTLY SAY BT JUST CARE ABOUT THE TARGETS( STATS) THEY DONT GAVE A FUK ABOUT THE CUSTOMER!!!!! ONCE I HAD A CUSTOMER ON THE LINE AND HE ASKED FOR A MANAGER, ASKED THE LINE MANAGER TO TAKE THE CALL SHE SAYS JUST HUNG UP ON HIM HE WOULD CALL BACK LATER AND GET THROUGH TO SOME ONE ELSE !!!! AND IF YOU SPEND ABIT LONGER ON THE CALL TO A CUSTOMER THE MANAGERS AND THE SENIOR MANAGERS BE ON UR BACK ! SO THE BEST THING THEY HAD TOLD US TO DO WAS NOT LISTEN TO THE CUSTOMERS NEEDS JUST CONCENTRATE ON THE TARGETS !!!! THEY HAVE ABOUT 250 PEOPLE IN THE QUE EVERY TIME TO GET THROUGH TO THEM NO WONDER EACH AND EVEYR CUST HAD A COMPLAINT !!!!!!!!!!

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