DSL problems

The last 3 weekends, on Saturday, my Internet connection has been down, for hours (usually until Monday morning) and yesterday, it happened again. At around 4 PM, all connections started to drop, and after checking what the problem was, I called the support service at Telefónica. Usually, the people answering the phone, even though asking the same questions over and over, are nice enough to not get you upset, but yesterday, things were different:

  • Me: so, the line is having problems again
  • Support girl: ok, just reboot the computer and try again
  • Me: reboot the computer, what for?
  • SG: to reconfigure the router
  • Me: But the router is not connected to the computer, it is connected to a hub, as is the computer. Rebooting it won’t touch anything at all in the router. And the router is correctly configured
  • SG: what windows are you using?
  • Me: no windows here, just linux
  • SG: linux is not supported I’m afraid
  • Me: ok, right, but this has nothing to do with linux/windows. I tell you the router is configured correctly but gets no outside traffic
  • SG: no, your router has lost the configuration
  • Me: I am seeing, via telnet, the router configuration, and nothing has changed, it’s configured correctly, the problem is in the line, as it was the last 3 weekends. Also, pinging from the router to an external IP gives ‘unreachable’ errors.
  • SG: ok, run an ipconfig on the computer
  • Me: the computer has a local address (192.168.x.x)
  • SG: the router has lost its configuration then
  • Me: what?
  • SG: look, you’re gonna need to create a partition for windows so that we can send someone to reconfigure the router
  • Me: but I can configure the router myself via telnet/HTTP, no need for windows
  • SG: I SAY YOU NEED A WINDOWS PARTITION, OR PAY SOMEONE TO CONFIGURE IT ON LINUX
  • Me: but the router is configured (sigh)
  • SG: no, it’s not
  • Me: look, I work on computers, I know what I’m talking about, and the problem is on the line
  • SG: heh, if you knew computers, you’d know you need windows to configure the router
  • Me: Ok, thanks for not helping me, bye

The conversation was much longer than what I wrote here, and the girl was much more unpolite than what you can see from this. So, just went out for a walk, came back, and called again, this time to talk with a much more polite person, who gave me a support incidence number. As I was telling the first girl, the problem was on the line, and this morning my DSL line was back, without the need for a fucking Windows partition.

So, lesson learned. When you call and they tell you to reboot the computer, just say “ok”, wait a couple of minutes without doing and saying anything, and then say “ok, computer rebooted, what’s next?”. Also, when they ask about which windows version you use, just answer with “98”, “XP” or whatever (supported) version you prefer. And when they tell you to run Windows programs, just try to find the Linux equivalent, if there is. That way, they’ll treat you much better than if you try to be clever.

14 Responses to “DSL problems”

  1. Elroy Coltof says:

    Reminds me of a situation I had once.

    My uncle has a cable internet connection from Chello. Their cable modem continually lost connection.

    Whenever we’s call they’d run us tohrough the same procedure. We could shorten this, by statin what we’d already done, but in the end they’d claim the problem was in the computer, they could reach the modem from their end and it reported it was just fine.

    Not put off by this, we physically disconnected the modem from the cable and called again. Again the same claim: “We can reach the modem, the problem is your computer” Imagine their surprise when the answer was: “You can see the modem when it’s powered down and disconnected from the cable?”

    We were immediately connected to an infinitely more knowledgable tech, who found out within a minute their administration was incorrect and he was actually looking at someone elses modem, which indirectly caused the problem BTW.

    Contrast this to my call to my ADSL provider (xs4all) the one time in the last 5 years it didn’t connect.

    I had already done a trace and knew the problem was in the first router after the DSLAM, which I told the tech guy.

    He asked me for the IP adresses and quickly agreed that the problem was indeed there. He had not had a report from anyone yet and it was not in their system, but he’d look in to it. 2 minutes later he reported the router had failed and it was being worked on. That’s why I have contract with this provider even though it’s the most expensive ADSL provider for consumers wher I live.

    If there’s no line for the support calls they even help you set up an IPv6 tunnel over your internet connection. (But only uunder those conditions) and they more or less support Linux.

  2. Ilya says:

    Very familiar to the experience you’d get here in Israel, though the telco and the ISPs are sometimes aware of this Linux beast.

    Reminds me of this one time when I knew there’s a problem with my cable modem at home and I’ve requested a technician visit while at work (so he’ll be there by the time I get home). Basically, I let the support person lead me through the regular troubleshooting flowchart (reboot the computer, disconnect the modem etc.), inserting obligatory delays every time I “did” what he instructed me to do. It felt really silly but eventually, after some 10 minutes, we’ve finished the standard procedures and I’ve been scheduled a technician, who arrived that very evening and replaced the modem.

  3. GrumZ says:

    That’s a common situation for any Linux user in the world I think. In France, I’ve always had this kind of problem.

    The golden rule : Never say you are running Linux to any “joe user” related hotline… The algorithm is always :

    anwser (“We don’t support Linux”);
    exit ();

    Very annoying indeed !

  4. Jon Dowland says:

    It is sadly common for mention of Linux to immediately end any chance of getting help. What is remarkable about your conversation is how rude the girl was – specifically calling you a liar towards the end of the conversation is disgusting. I hope you lodged a complaint.

  5. michel says:

    with hotline, I lie, simply. :) and go straight to the real problem.

    lie
    fast
    answer !

  6. Aloriel says:

    Your story sounds very familiar to me.
    I called many times to retecal/ono to complain about the service, the upload stream and the conection.
    I also called many times to wanadoo when I was using a modem because i lost many times the dns servers.
    And I always obtained the same answers/questions, «my problem» and «linux is not supported».

    The last time I spoke with a support departament (from jazztel) the guy finally told me that he recommends Linux instead of windows because of security and virus.

  7. SchAmane says:

    Yes, calls to ISP is allways like Advature Game. They give you questions, and you need to pick a right answer to arive next level :)

  8. fct says:

    “SG: heh, if you knew computers, you’d know you need windows to configure the router”

    Man, that’s where I’d go on a rampage over the phone.

    I agree with the previous poster, lodge a complaint because of her ignorance and misconduct towards clients. They have all their call times and clients recorded and she won’t be hard to find. I for one don’t want such a bitch answering my tech support requests.

  9. Jason Q says:

    All of the staff at the Telefonica help desks are morons. ALL OF THEM!!!

    This problem (and rudeness, especially since I’m just a dumb guiri) is dragging Spain into the Third World bit by bit. Customer service doesn’t exist in the Third World where there are no services. We are the customers, therefore we are slowly, but surely, slipping into the Third World.

    I am now sitting in my office in Madrid (The centre of the country’s capital fucking city!!!) without phones for the third time in two weeks. Each time lasting over 72 hours. Of course, our clients are not too happy and don’t get past the fact that it’s Telefonica making it difficult to contact us.

    Our customers understand customer support because we are one of the few companies that offer it. We believe it’s a customer’s right, not the provider’s right, to have good service. It’s our mission to slowly drag Spain away from the Third World.

    I just wish I didn’t feel like I was fighting a losing battle against ignorance and apathy.

  10. Eric Butler says:

    Back when @Home fell apart and AT&T took over our cable connection stopped working exactly when they said they were cutting things over. I was on the phone with support for a very long time and the guy insisted the same thing (my computer’s fault) and had me do all sorts of things.

    I at my Linux computer playing Quake 3 and told him that I was “clearing my cache” and whatever else he wanted until he finally transfered me to level 2 support (or whatever) who determined that (big suprise) my account wasn’t configured on their end.

    That said, all my recent inquires with Comcast have been very positive, it seemed as if they restructured their entire support department a few yearas ago for the better.

  11. Ryan Collier says:

    I got something similar once.

    Support Tech: What operating system do you use?

    Me: Linux

    Support Tech: No sir, what _OPERATING_ system do you use? It the program that runs other programs, is it Windows or Mac?

    Me: Linux … it _is_ an operating system.

    Support Tech: Please hold. (about 5 minutes of hold music)

    Support Tech: I’m sorry, I guess there _is_ an operating system called _Linux_, but we don’t support it. If we come to your home and find out it’s an issue with your computer, and you are running Linux there will be a charge for comming to your home.

    Me: My modem isn’t training. It has nothing to do with my computer. Send a tech to test my line please …

    Seriously, why do technical companies hire people that know nothing about technology?

  12. Uncle Rabbit says:

    EEEEE, guys,,,. How do You, not understand that?
    Girls got on easy job, not for hard working, but for comfortable fucking.
    For that needs long legs and short mind as posible.
    Sweet story of Kapitalizm.
    Only corekt metod in these DSL politics are to make them ( girls ) unsure with questions like; what gender(sex) your modem gots – male or female or is it very bad if router finishes in windows without proper preservation, more, you should do this in sweet voice as psible, to be, Yours question reasked to Boss, who sits not far and is same linuxsist as You are.
    I just wonder, because among Yours are some Israilized Russians.

  13. ghoti says:

    I did have Windows Xp that time, but it doesn’t matter atm.
    Story was simple – I had DSL line with one IP. Ethernet was plugged into the laptop. Person with laptop left, without releasing IP. When I connected back my laptop (even with restarting DSL modem), I couldnt get an IP address. So I called tech.supp. After long, long conversation (I tried to convince them to reset that IP/MAC SID on their DHCP as I knew they are able to, coz they’ve done that for me before) that tech.supp. guy said to me: “Well, we cannot do anything from that, what You are asking. But please wait for couple of hours, IP address should go til Your computer then.”; so I with kind a irony asked him: “So why she cnanot come now?” Then he gave me an answer: “Sometimes it happens, that it stucks into the cable!”. I asked: “Where? In the ethernet cable? Phyisically?”. He confirmed: “Yes, it can be so!”. I didn’t know what to say, I just hanged up and stupidly staired to my ethernet cable for a couple of minutes…

  14. posse says:

    Maybe the girl had a hard night before ???:)you know – she met some friends , had a cople of drinks, and ****** some guy !:)
    it’s hard after that kind of party to be polite in next morning :)