SBC Screws Up

Come home to find DSL offline. Speakeasy has been incredibly reliable for us over the past couple of years, so I find it suspicious that it should go offline five days before activation date for the switch to SBC. Call Speakeasy, they can’t bring up the line. Dude suspects someone has “pulled the crossover,” whatever that means. Call SBC, who tell me that DSL takes five days to activate, so this is normal. “Normal?,” I ask. I was very specific with the salesperson that this was a “switch” order from another provider, and that cancellation of Speakeasy and activation of SBC would happen on the same day. Big downtime was not an option for me. On this particular I could not have been more clear.

“We have no record of any technician starting the conversion, sir.”

“But you also just told me that conversion normally starts five days before activation, right? And it’s exactly five days before scheduled activation. Doesn’t it kind of seem obvious that an SBC tech knocked my existing service offline prematurely?”




“Sigh. You say you have no record of work being done, but you also say that you “normally” take people offline five days before activation. While the salesperson guaranteed that cancellation and activation would happen the same day.”

“Sir, you’ll need to talk to our maintenance department. But they’re closed.”

God, dialup sucks. And gets really ornery when the connection type gets changed out from under it, which sticks me with webmail (saving my litany of complaints about for another day).

So, “Beispeil #22” that you get what you pay for. Low-cost service means corporate armies of uninformed, low-tech employees reading from scripts while customer sits in limbo. Will take on the drones tomorrow. Worth it? We’ll see.

Your sound I understand the languages.

I don’t understand the languages.

I hear only your sound.

The sun is shining slowly

The birds are flying so low.
Honey you’re my one and only,

So pay my what you owe me.
Beispiel Nummer zweiundzwanzig.

- Laurie Anderson, (Example #22.)

4 Replies to “SBC Screws Up”

  1. Geez. I’m sorry your switchover pain, that sucks almost as much as my cutover, where Covad declared my DSL line unusable and turned it off.

    Now you know why I’m moving everything important (email, DNS, etc) to instead of keeping it at home.


  2. Gah. Let me try that again. (First post of the day, brain isn’t with it yet.) I’m sorry to hear about your switchover pain. Your cutover sucks almost as much as the one I had to do in June, when the Qwest monkeys pulled the plug on my DSL line to Covad and Covad refused to do anything about it. (and all this without notifying me).

    I switched to cable modem then, but it took them another two weeks to get me a single static IP address. It seems the guy who assigned addresses was sick, ignoring his email, backlogged, whatever, and nobody knew any other way than internal email to get ahold of him.

    Consumer broadband support is dismal, especially if you’re used to professional support from telecoms and the like, where you talk to a knowledgeable person on the other end who *gasp* knows something about their network and its present status. And, *gasp* can fix it.

    As my wife said when I read her your post: “Welcome to my world.” This is why we’re hosting all our important stuff on Birdhouse now, where we have a pro (Scot) on the other end to help us work out the kinks of our own cutover. Cutovers are always rocky. Good technical support in them is a godsend. Yes, the above is a plug for Birdhouse hosting, by the by.


  3. Hey Jim, thanks for the great plug!

    Update: Talked to maintenance this morning and was able to get activation pushed forward. Service will allegedly be enabled when I get home tonight. We’ll see. Now just crossing fingers that I can get it to work without using their infernal “Installer CD.” In theory, the modem should be able to train on the line all by itself, and I should be able to config the router to use a simple PPPoE connection. In practice, I’ve done installs for clients before where the modem wouldn’t even train if it wasn’t connected to a computer running the SBC (or other provider) software. Gah. Keep it simple.

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