Tech help melt

I’m lucky to be here on my blog this evening. In fact, I’m lucky to be anywhere on the Internet this evening after the last day or two that I’ve had with Telcos, Internet Service Providers and an Indian call centre technical help person.

I don’t doubt that ESL (English second language) technical help people know a little bit about technical help, provided you can understand what they are saying and the information that you are giving them is not misinterpreted but what I do doubt is that the problem that I had was anything close to what technical help I was provided with. Are you with me so far?

I’d like to add here that my problem started out in the usual fashion. My Internet died. As I have ADSL and not cable and my telephone was still working I concluded that the problem was with my ISP (Internet Service Provider). Using aforementioned communication device I rang my ISP and was instantly transferred to one of those infuriating recorded voices and got palmed off to billing. I had to ring again to make it back into the technical help queue and waited for about half an hour before I was greeted by a cheerful ESL operator who wanted to know how my day was going.

I told him that my day wasn’t as good as I would have liked it to be based on my experience with my ISP so far and that my Internet was down. He told me that it wasn’t, as I appeared to be hooked up at his end. There must be a problem with my modem, he concluded. I told him that my modem was fine up until approximately 50 minutes ago and it was the lack of an ISP service that was giving me the trouble.

He refused to budge. It was definitely my modem that was the problem – he said, and he could help me fix it.

I went along with it. Any help is better than nothing, right?

So we got into my modem’s nifty little user program and commenced changing the settings. I rebooted the modem and waited. Nothing happened. Now there were no lights on my modem. It wasn’t even giving out a wireless signal to my laptops. Fantastic.

I told him what was going on and that now the problem seemed to be a bigger problem than what it started out to be. He told me that he had fixed my modem as best as he could and that he could not help me any further. I told him that considering that I still didn’t have the Internet I didn’t think he had helped me very much at all. He told me that I would have to ring the company that I bought the modem from.  Gee, I wonder why I didn’t think of that before. Probably because it wasn’t a modem problem, it was an ISP problem. Now it was a modem problem.

I rang the modem company and they were very helpful. They ended up helping me reconfigure my modem settings because the settings were all wrong. I wonder how that happened? I also had to set up my wireless again and my laptops because the key had been changed in the developing drama and I’d forgotten what was in my laptops when I’d first set them up. It’s funny how my mind goes blank when I’ve spent 4.5 hours in telecommunication hell.

I rebooted my modem router and after 5-10 minutes all the lights were blazing and I was once again reconnected to the other half of my life. It’s quite sad really. I need to get out more.

I found out the next day that it was indeed the ISP that was down. It was even in the news it was that big a deal. By the time I’d run the gauntlet with the ESL technical help person and the modem technical help person, the Telco’s outage was fixed and it was back up and running again. If I had just sat on my hands and not panicked and reached for the phone I could have been up and running again in 2.5 hours and had time for a couple of nice, relaxing herbal teas.

I’m a bit concerned by the fact that every media outlet in the country was reporting on the major outage of a major Telco provider and one of their ESL employees hadn’t even been informed. In fact, I believe that nobody in his building in his overseas call centre knew about it, or somebody would have told him.

I don’t really need to point out the irony here, but I will. The abovementioned ISP is one of the biggest communication companies in Australia and they can’t even send a memo.


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