Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Broad, part II

Well, after 90 minutes on the phone with four different support reps on Sunday night, Earthlink today says my problem is "fixed". Interesting, because I've lost the connection at least three times in the last half hour, and they closed the helpdesk ticket without confirming with me first. Now, I get to call them back, learn what they "fixed", and remind them that they didn't actually fix anything at all.

Baby bro of Elegantly Wasted fame also does DSL setup work out in Hollyrock, USA. He's patiently tried to touch base with me for the last two days to help me do some self-diagnosis. Guess who I'm calling next?

And then AT&T right afterwards.

Then Earthlink. If I care by that time.

***Update, 22:05, August 22

I called baby bro, received new info, and decided to call earthlink next. While doing so, I finally got a connection during which I could download my e-mail. Here is an e-mail that earthlink sent to me this afternoon:

Dear "Quipper",

You contacted us recently concerning your EarthLink High Speed Internet access.
We have taken the necessary steps to resolve your issue and your service should
be fully restored. Your ticket will now be closed, however, if you are
continuing to experience an issue with the service, please contact us toll-free
at 1-866-794-4371 and reference Trouble Ticket # [xxxxxx]. We will be able to reopen your ticket within 2 weeks of the closing date.


Ticketing Response Operations Network

This matches the voice mail I received from earthlink, probably around the same time.

20:15-21:00 Phone conversation with earthlink. Here is the crux of the conversation:

EL: So, the phone company says there is a problem.
Me: What problem, you closed the ticket.
EL: We closed it because you didn't call us back in two days.
Me: I received a message telling me to call your 800 line, so I could get an update on my ticket. I called, and the message said "we are still working with the phone company". I called twice over a 24 hour period. I received a second message telling me the ticket was closed. Why?
EL: Because you didn't call back after 3-4 attempts to reach you.
Me: I counted three - one for status, and two to tell me the ticket was closed.
EL: Oh. Well, we keep the ticket open for two weeks, and reopen it if you still have problems.
Me: Well, I still have problems. (I rant about the inadequacy of their helpdesk practices - both manual and system processes - and he proceeds to argue with me about how good they are. I remind him of the dialog we just had.)
EL: That's why you needed to call back. We needed you to tell us whether you still had the problem. (Translation: we were too lazy to check for ourselves before we closed the ticket. It costs too much money to confirm everyone's problem has been solved.)
Me: Then why did your messages say the problem was solved? Fix your helpdesk system.
EL: I will make a note of it. (He said this a lot.)
I find out that I am in range for viable DSL service, and that the "phone company" deemed there was a problem with the line. They couldn't say that on the e-mail or voice message, though.
EL: Okay, I've got the phone company on the line. They can send someone out tomorrow.
Me: Make it after 5:30pm, so I can be home and watch what the tech does, ask him questions, and make sure he gives me intelligent, detailed responses.
EL: Okay, let me confirm with the phone company...okay, they can't guarantee they can do that.
Me: Fine, they need to deliver me a full report - IN ENGLISH, NOT TECH-SPEAK, so I can review it.
EL: Okay, so you will have someone at home tomorrow when the tech arrives, right?
Me: (fuming) So you won't accommodate my schedule, but I have to accommodate yours? I don't think so. And if I don't understand the report, I'm calling them back at a time that is convenient for me. Did you happen to read the part of the ticket that says this is my last-ditch effort to remain with earthlink?
EL: That's not in the ticket.
Me: I only told that to four people on Sunday night. None of them put it in the ticket?
EL: No
Me: Well, I am stopping service by the end of this week if this isn't resolved to my satisfaction.
EL: Okay, we will have the tech response tomorrow. Call us so we can give you the answer.
Me: (double fuming) No. You will call me when you have a response. You will not make it my responsibility to follow up with you.

I'm not trying to manufacture traffic to my blog, but people who are considering earthlink as their broadband carrier should think twice. Feel free to route people to my post on the problem, or copy/paste the events and distribute as you'd like. Their service was spotless for over a year - not one call to their customer service department. In the last eight months, it's been increasingly worse.

&#*$^# !


Barb the Evil Genius said...

Your experience is similar to ours with CenturyTel, which is why we don't have internet service with them or even a land line anymore. Frustratingly, not only has DH worked with all that "tech stuff," he's also worked in the telecom industry so he has some experience with the phone part of it as well.

I think you should tape your next conversation with them (after checking the legalities; I am not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV.) You could be the next "Trying to Cancel AOL" guy!

Marie N. said...

Hi Hon,

An SBC truck was in front of the house shortly after I got home. They did something up on the phone pole and at the box on the side of the house. They drove away without contacting me or leaving a message on the door.

This was After I listened to the answering machine msg. from AT&T saying the problem with our phone line was fixed.

What problem with the phone line? Did we have a problem with the phone line?

Quipper said...

Yeah, since SBC got here, we've had no more problems. I am playing it cautiously. Neither SBC nor earthlink have told me what they fixed, so I'm still suspicious.