I think I broke the Internet

Our DSL wasn’t working this morning, its first extended outage since the line was installed in August. After trying, without success, to diagnose and repair it myself, I decided to call SBC. Not having the number handy, I called 611, which has connected me to the repair department of every other phone service I’ve used. Apparently not SBC Missouri. “We’re sorry, your call did not go through. Will you please hang up and try your call again.” I just hope 911 works better.

I dug out the paperwork that came with my DSL line, and called SBC Internet Services. After a “quick” trip through the voice menu, I arrived at tech support. I spoke with a friendly-sounded fellow who spent an hour having me triple-check my computer configuration, and had me restart both my computer and cable modem no less than two times, with (of course) no positive result. Finally, he put me on hold and did a line test. Of course, it failed, and he opened a trouble ticket.

A few hours later, the DSL started working again. A few hours after that, I received a call from SBC informing me that there had been an outage in my area, and it was now fixed.

Now, I can certainly understand the process that decides that, barring any contraindications, any given DSL fault probably lies with the customer rather than the line. But is tech support time really so cheap that not only is it worth less to have him spend an hour sitting and waiting for my computer to reboot than to check my line, but that it’s cheaper to have him spend an hour with me than to check to see if there are any outages in my area? That seems like the sort of thing that should have come up in big red flashing lights when he entered my phone number. How little are they paying these folks?

2 thoughts on “I think I broke the Internet

  1. Tech support guys don’t get paid much it’s true, but speaking from behind the lines of tech support I can tell you that the tools we techies NEED to diagnose your problems on the spot simply don’t exist.

    Half of the time, we don’t know there is an outage until you do, or we get 300 people from the same area complaining. It’s a horrible job, but someone has to do it. I just wish the giants would hand us the tools that are needed to get you off the phone in 5 seconds like we should.

  2. Tech Guy: I guess that’s the idea–if they had to pay you real money, they’d have some kind of incentive to give you what you need to do the job. Whereas if it costs them next to nothing to waste an hour of your time, then they might as well do that instead of going to any trouble to help you be more efficient.

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