Monday, 8 February 2016

Oh internet, where art thou?

Dear Reader,

It's said that it's unfair to kick a man when he's down, is the same true of a multi-billion pound earning internet service provider? No, especially when said provider has been failing to deliver consistent internet connectivity to my household since I moved house six months ago. In that situation you make sure your boots have got sharp toes.

Internet outages have become a commonplace occurrence in our household, particularly irritating as we both work from home and have no access to mobile phones signals, so no plan b. It should be noted, we haven't moved to Mars, just nearer to sheep and trees. As a result brushes with the customer service department of BT have become increasingly commonplace.

Communicating with BT is like communicating with the IT Crowd, they really want you to turn it off and turn it back on again.




I am regularly turning it off and turning it on again. The it in my case turns out to be the hub, the little box which connects to the phone line and then distributes the joy of the internet all around the house. 

Every time I call I learn a little more, (and possibly) navigate a step further through the flowchart of solutions available to the representative on the other end of the line. Some examples are required...

BT Person, (having quizzed me as to who I am): What is your problem sir?
Me, (having proved who I am): Internet connectivity is broken again.
BT Person: I am sorry to hear that, that can be very frustrating. Is the telephone line working?
Me: Yes...
BT Person: If you cannot make calls from the phone line...
Me: I CAN MAKE CALLS FROM THE PHONE LINE. THIS CALL IS FROM THE PHONE LINE.
BT Person: Thank you sir, let me just check a couple of things.

At this point I wonder what those checks might be. Does the BT person have to find another piece of paper with some more questions on? Does he also have to check which pieces of paper have been used before? 

BT Person: Have you tried taking the power out of the back of the hub for 10 seconds and then putting it back in again?
Me: Yes.


BT Person: Have you tried taking the power out of the back of the hub for 30 seconds and then putting it back in again?
Me: Erm, no. That will make a difference, will it?
BT Person: Yes, most assuredly, sir.


BT Person: Is it back up? I have been changing some settings in the meantime....
Me: What settings, and why weren't they set properly in the first place?

I am beginning to believe that the internet is in fact like telephone exchanges from the past where you phone an operator

BBC.co.uk? Just putting you though...
BT Person: Is it back up?
Me: Yes, it is back up.

Of course that wasn't the only conversation, there were many more and they were getting progressively more surreal.

BT Person: Have you tried taking the power out of the back of the hub for 10 seconds and then putting it back in again?
Me: Yes.
BT Person: Have you tried taking the power out of the back of the hub for 30 seconds and then putting it back in again?
Me: Yes.
BT Person: Have you tried taking the power out of the back of the hub for precisely 57 seconds whilst putting your finger in your ear and whistling Frere Jacque and then putting the power back in it again?
Me: Yes.
BT Person: Have you got a paperclip?
Me: What?
BT Person: A paperclip, so we can reset the hub.
Me: Of course, a paperclip why didn't I think of that, that must be the solution
BT Person: There is a small hole in the back which if you push a paperclip into for precisely 28 seconds then the hub will reset.
Me: Is that a different kind of reset than the reset that I get if I press the button labelled reset?
BT Person: This is a hard reset.
Me: Yes it is, it took me ages to find a bloody paperclip.

This carries on over the following weeks, I have been turning it off and turning it back on again everyday for the last two weeks and then this happened. We had another outage, only this time it wasn't just me, it was the entire customer base. When I phoned the helpline, bracing for another surreal instruction from customer service, all I got was an engaged tone, again and again and again. Apparently I wasn't the only one.

The reason for all of this, according to BT, was a faulty router. I have a faulty router. Could it be that my router is the cause of all this? Oh and one other thing, if you think the turning it on and off again advice is exaggerated, this tweet from BT Customer Services says it all.



On that note, I'm off. Off to the opposition that is. Bye bye BT, it's been emotional.

More soon Dear Reader.

2 comments:

  1. Virgin Media for the win! It hasn't let us down for over 3 years now. BT is all kinds of dodgy. We had a mate that was moaning to my partner that his internet was extremely slow. Checked internet speed online to find out he was only getting 3 mbps at max when he's paying for 25 meg. Called them up and then said, "Oh, it's UP TO 25. It could be anything in-between and if it's capped in your area". Poor sod have been putting up with dial-up speed for ages. He switched over to Virgin and it's just warp-speed ahead.

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    1. oh if only Virgin was an options for me :(

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