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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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Many of you will remember me complaining recently about my cablevision Internet issues. While my connection now has been behaving for three days without incident, I won’t trust it until I have a few months of stable connection. My contact at the outside line office has proven resourceful and helpful. Keep in mind I first started working with Cablevision about these issues in March. Maybe I shouldn’t complain that it took four months to get three days of reliable service. This is some sort of gift horse, right?

I really suffer long (multi-day) outages where I can’t, say, connect to work, so I ordered another Internet connection and am planning on multihoming myself. Not because I’m hardcore, but because I’m desperate to get a reliable Internet connection.

Along those lines, I ordered DSL from AT&T. My modem showed up on the 6th; my activation date is the 7th. That being yesterday. By 8pm. I called up AT&T at 8pm, since my line was not syncing up. They indicated that it should be up between 8pm and midnight, even though it was supposed to be up by 8. And that the work wasn’t done yet.

I’m getting ahead of myself, as this is a greatly simplified version of the story. It took several phone calls and three different agents to reach this point.

You see, AT&T’s DSL service is heavily tied to the concept of a customer phone number on which the DSL service lives. So, their automated support prompts keep failing to figure out what my account is and where I’m calling from and what my DSL phone number is. You get the point. It takes, at minimum, about ten minutes to navigate the phone menus to get to an agent.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. All of the documentation that came with my modem comes with stickers covering the phone numbers. They replaced the phone numbers with URLs.

Which, of course, don’t work when you don’t have an Internet connection!

If you visit those urls, you are prompted for your AT&T DSL username. Which you don’t have yet. Since your Internet doesn’t work.

But let’s not dwell on that. I got a phone number. I was eventually rejected by the AT&T voice prompt system and given over to an operator. She wanted to know what the phone number of the DSL line on which I was to have service was.

I don’t have such a thing, I told her, I ordered a dry line. She didn’t know what I was talking about, and had to refer me to another operator. This operator said she needed my dry line loop ID. I indicated I had no idea what that was. She indicated that it would have been provided to me when I ordered the service.

I did not get a dry line loop ID when I ordered the service. I have some order confirmation numbers in the emails that I got from AT&T, but I was informed that these most definitely were not the dry line loop ID.

Uh.

So I asked the lovely lady if there was any other way she could pull up my account, and was told that “no, I need your dry line ID, I can’t help you otherwise.”

I said I had my box of crap from AT&T, was there anything in there that could help her find me?

No, she said.

I persisted, after digging through the original emails and finding nothing again, and said that I have the following in my box of stuff:

  • P.O. number
  • Order number
  • DSL number
  • Ship ID
  • WMS order
  • Part number
  • Line number
  • Twelve location IDs
  • Twelve SKUs
  • Fourteen (I counted them) separate strings of numbers that aren’t otherwise identified with any label

The modem itself then also has another half dozen numbers of various types on it.

I literally described every single one of these numbers. She then said that the DSL number should work.

Oh, internets!

So this is when I found out the line should be synced up by midnight.

It wasn’t, of course. I called this morning. I was told to call back during normal business hours. Which start at 8am. Jerks. Only this actually took two calls. Because their teleprompter hung up before telling me the business hours the first time.

So we’ll see. Moving looks to be the more reliable way to get Internet.