British Telecom rules! (not)

People don’t really know what they have till they loose it. And I’m not talking about the cliché of romantic interests. Ever thought what your life would be without cell phones? Or maybe go a bit more basic, and more terrifying, than that, what about life without electricity?

Well I had such an experience, and in fact am still having it. I have no Internet connection.

While that would be false in a strictly technical term, practically I don’t. You see my internet connection keeps shutting down and is only available for 1 or 2 minutes at random intervals that can last as much as 3 hours. Those intervals of brief activity cannot possible constitute a working internet connection to any logical being, however BT (British Telecom) cannot troubleshoot my problem, even after a week.

That’s right, it’s been a week since I have been without internet. To the more technical savvy, the ATM circuit is open and available end to end, but there is no packet traffic. Every time the problem begins there is a netMakeChannDial: err=-3001 rn_p=80487140 error code and the MPOA link goes down. Also, quite weirdly, BT will give me a class D IP address although for the past six months it was giving me a class A IP (I’m on a dynamic IP packet). This is just weird that it happened just when the problem starting happening…

Well, BT cannot seem to be able to find what the problem is. First of all, all the operators insist on telling me to reboot the router and do all kinds of basic troubleshooting that while I did for the first two days, it now gets old to be told to do them again after a week of calling them, yet they still tell me the same things… First they would not provide me with any kind of troubleshooting before I got in touch with the vendor of my router. That is a total waste of time of course, one router is the same as the other, it is just a normal layer 3 computer, learn one and you know the rest. But of course that would require that people BT hires for the broadband support telephone lines know what they are talking about and do not simply undergo a two week seminar on how to follow already set guidelines and procedures set to resolve 90% of the problems caused by blond women that think the Internet IS the World Wide Web.

So in order to get some support (it was after office hours so I would have to wait 10 more hours to contact my router vendor) I installed BT’s own router (which has a very bad reputation on the internet) and the problem was exactly the same. So I called them once again and during the troubleshooting the router broke!!! The operator wouldn’t believe it of course so we spent an hour trying to revive it, until he admitted defeat and ordered a replacement.

Next morning I got the OK from my original router vendor that it was working fine and was setup properly. So back to the BT support line that once again told me to go over their normal troubleshooting steps that I did previously and after an hour I was instructed to plug the router to the main socket and wait for a day…

After a day of course nothing changed, so back to the support line, where once more they told me to run the tests… Nothing worked of course, so they were forced to submit the fault to the engineers.

Weird note; no one ever asked me about error messages, weird change in the IP or any other check of settings.

That was Friday and I waited… and waited… nothing. Monday I call them back and request an update on the status of my fault, upon which I was informed that the problem had been fixed!!! WHEN??? I was still having the same problem!!!

At this point I would usually explode, but what was the point of yelling to this person on the line? No point really… so I requested to be connected to the fault line again, since the problem was not fixed, but instead I was asked to run the diagnostic steps… again… took an hour… again… and when I was connected to the faults department they told me that they would fix it. I just had to ask, “What is wrong with the line” to which I got no answer though… it was like I was talking to yet another trained peon with a book of possible question-answer lines. Nor was I asked about any error messages or anything I could offer to them, even when I volunteered them they were dismissed, if you can believe that, with the comment “Yes sir, we are going to fix the fault”… At least I got a promise that when the engineers “fix” the line they will notify me.

The saga continues…

P.S. to give you an idea, this post was authored at 08:57. Time of post is when I got a brief window of connection…

3 thoughts on “British Telecom rules! (not)”

  1. my phone has been connected to what sound like a call centre i contacted bt 3 times on my mobile but was told to close everything down for half an hour this didnt work i was still conected to this unknown source and was without home phone for 4 hours BTs
    answer close everything down again for another half an hour

  2. I feel sorry for you. All I can say is to keep pestering them and to request to be connected to the fault department. My error was that I waited too long before I asked to talk to the fault department, so don’t you wait as long as I did.

  3. I am having the annoying disconnects the main poster had,been in contact with the maker of my router and they tell me the mpoa link down is down to BT,I know I am going to have a fight on my hands getting them to accept this.I have rung numerous times and all they tell me each time is to power cycle the router,and that will solve the problem,well it doesnt.In fairness I have been with BT for 9 years up unto getting a new PC with Vista I used a modem,and in all that time never once had to call them with a problem.

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