Qwest, 2007-03-17

From Bilbo
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{sigh} Friggen Qwest. I'm going to switch to wireless.

Sun Dot Communications is my ISP. They're small, easy to work with, and they have reduandant upstream providers, autonomous IPs, etc. (SDC also serves wireless for a small area including me.) Qwest provides the copper link between SDC and me.

Qwest says that last weekend a "cable got wet". (I guess that means there's a crack or previous repair in the cable's sheath that let water in, but nobody seems to be able to explain what that really means.) 500 people lost phone service, and Qwest got most phone service back online in a few days. I can understand that some of these repairs are kind of rough, and to their credit I saw a crew working 24 hours on that cable.

Here's where Qwest shows their true color. Some idiot lineman that was testing the phones after fixing the cable said "hey this one doesn't have a dial-tone" and disconnected it. Then the idiot dispatch center *repeatedly* sent out phone repairmen that don't know what DSL is. Every time I called, I left my cell as a callback number, but the idiot linemen simply closed the trouble ticket without calling me back. I don't understand why anyone would close a ticket without attempting to figure out why it was issued. So the problem was the idiot lineman that disconnected it, the idiot local dispatch center that sent the wrong repairmen, and the idiot repairmen that would just close the ticket without doing anything. As you can see, this incompetence involves every part of their system.

In hindsight, I should have called a Qwest DSL repairman on his cell phone days ago. There are two that work at this facility, and I had the cell number of one of them. I have both of them now (because of caller ID). These two people are pretty good to work with. They're smarter than the other linemen and they actually fix problems without a hassle. The trouble is getting the reps at the 800 number to dispatch the right repairman! If there is a next time before I dump Qwest, I might not even bother calling the 800 number. Or if I do call it, I'll tell them which repairman to send out.

The second time I called on Thursday (second time that day not second time that week), the rep mentioned that they'd been sending out phone repairmen, not DSL repairmen. Several times in a row they had sent out someone who wasn't qualified to work on my service! (And by the way, they only repair stuff between 1pm and 5pm. Apparently individual repairs aren't important to Qwest.)

However, now it was snowing (not badly, but the roads were hard to drive on), so the dispatch center refused to send anyone out. It really wasn't that bad in town. I went to work that day and even worked on the roof for an hour or two fixing the cooling unit for our machine room. Repairs can't wait for weather. However, the dispatch center refused to send anyone out because (in their words) it was "blizzarding and flooding". It definitely wasn't flooding. There's absolutely no reasonable way to say it was flooding!

I called the 800 number again but they said 4:30 was too late in the day to send out a repairman. Wow, repairs really aren't important. After twisting the rep's arm a bit and explaining how much they'd run me around, I got her to prioritize the issue so I was second in line Friday morning instead of waiting until the afternoon. (I knew that if it wasn't fixed Friday it wouldn't be fixed before Monday. If they screwed up in the afternoon there was no way they'd have it fixed for the weekend, but if they screwed it up in the morning, I was so mad I probably would have called a repairman's cell number directly that afternoon.) I had to leave town at 10am that day, and the DSL repairman didn't get there until after 11. Fortunately, I had left a key with a friend, so I called him and he met the repairman and got the line fixed.

They didn't even have to go in the house. I got an automatic page that the line was working again before they'd even gone in the house. The repair literally took 5 minutes to reconnect a jumper in the phone box outside, and another 5 minutes to go inside to test that the line quality was good enough.

Spirit of Service indeed.

PS. My DSL was down from Mon 2007-03-12 20:10:00 -0500 to Fri 2007-03-16 11:36:00 -0500. Also it was down earlier on Monday several time for less than 10 minutes each time.