Over the last two years or so, I have had numerous dealings with our broadband provider, trying to resolve a problem which pops up every 8 to 10 weeks or so. I have endured the patronising operatives in the Indian call center who seem to be of the opinion that as a mere female, I can not possibly be intelligent enough to understand the complexities of broadband and can, therefore, be fobbed off with any old excuse.
This attitude really riles me but I have become adept at keeping my cool and demonstrating that whilst I may not be the most technically minded person in the world, I am not stupid. Of course the call centre staff have a set script that they need to work through and I was perfectly amenable to this the first time I called but when the problem occurred again, I firmly refused to work through their ‘step by step guide to hood winking the customer‘, told them exactly what the problem was AND what they needed to do to fix it and politely asked them to sort it out properly this time, please.
So far, they have sent out 2 engineers, both of which were friendly but neither of which could sort the problem out because, as they told us:
“The problem is with the exchange love, and we’ve told them this. It’s not just you guys – loads of people in your village have had the same problem!”
Asked why they couldn’t just toddle on off to the exchange and fix the problem:
“Not our section of the business! Have to get the exchange people to sort it and we’ve reported it but nothing has been done.”
Arrrgghhh, so frustrating.
In addition to the engineers we have also received not one but three new hubs: the Hone Hub 2 which was then replaced around 12-15 months later with a Home Hub 3 and then, earlier this year and just 12 months after receiving the Home Hub 3, we were told that that was also at fault and a couple of days later we received yet another HH3. However, by the time this new Hub arrived the problem seemed to have sorted itself out again and so we left the new one in the box and kept the existing one connected and awaited developments.
I think we have now had no less than three Filters sent out despite the fact that our main socket has a filter built in which was replaced by Engineer number two I think but, either way, these filters make not one jot of difference.
I have to say that the alleged failure of so many routers and filters and the almost desperate need the technical team have to keep sending out replacements doesn’t really fill me with that much confidence in the reliability of the equipment supplied. It’s laughable really: we all know that the exchange is at fault because the Broadband engineers keep telling us this and they are as fed up as the rest of us villagers with the situation.
So that brings us nicely up to date.
Last week things went from bad to worse with the download speed dropping to a diabolical 0.10 kbs (yes I really do mean kilobytes per second) and the connection being dropped completely if we made or received a phone call! I haven’t actually been able to access my emails since Saturday because the speed is so slow that the system times out and logging onto any website is a painful business with mixed results in terms of success and failure.
This morning, a third engineer turned up and confirmed what we already knew and that was that the problem was with the exchange. He explained that the exchange was fitted with a DLM (diagnostic line management system) and what this does is monitors the speed a line operates at and assesses if it can cope with the speed profile assigned to it. After about 8-10 weeks (I wonder why that time scale rings a bell) it resets the line to the speed it believes it can operate at, so, as in our case, where there are lots of errors on the line – and by lots I mean thousands rather than one or two – which causes drops in connectivity, it sets it to a stupidly low and unworkable level, hence the re-occurance of the same problem every 8-10 weeks!
Why couldn’t somebody have told us this two years ago?
So as I sit here typing this Blog entry on Word ready to import it should I ever be lucky enough to get a useable speed again, I am awaiting news that additional tests at the junction box and then the exchange have been completed, our service provider has been contacted and that finally, after two very trying years, something is to be done about the problem.
I don’t think I’ll be holding my breath in respect of the service provider though and I suspect I’ll be making that call again ….. in about 8 or 10 weeks and the whole process will start again.
Post script: Unbelievably, the broadband seems to have gained enough speed to run WP and so I am going to attempt to publish this post. So, using an adaptation of a well known phrase uttered by an unfortunate Arctic explorer: I’m going to publish this post – it may take some time.