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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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A funny thing happened this morning. AT&T called me back about my issue.

Actually, it played out more like this. In a robotic voice, the war dialer greets me and tells me that it’s following up on my repair call. It’s , and that after running some diagnostics, I’m going to need to talk to a technician. I’m then put on hold, and informed my wait time will be approximately more than 20 minutes.

Worst.

Callback.

Ever.

Still. It’s the first time I was actually called back, despite numerous promises of the same previously. We’re making progress.

So, chat with the tech after being on hold; he’s more competent than the last two, since he doesn’t ask me to reboot my computer or power cycle my modem. After describing the symptoms. Again. He’s convinced they’re going to have to send out a technician. They can see the modem, but it’s not synchronizing.

I again go through the speech about how I have a solid link to the central office, and the issue is not in my premises. He’s convinced there’s something wrong, maybe an alarm on the line (no), some noise (no), a buzzer to get into the building (no), and so forth. It’s not really complicated. If I have a solid link to the central office, at high bandwidth (relatively speaking to my current situation, anyway, screw DSL), and with no noise, there’s uh … nothing wrong with my line. Or anything on the premises.

So I repeat myself a few times. I have a link to the CO. I can’t achieve a PPPoE response or an ATM link from inside the CO. The problem’s not on my end. We go back and forth, and I’m about to go ballistic, but somehow by telling him the DSL light is on, he finally believes me. “Oh, I’m so glad you told me that, that means your connection is good, just a second!” That’s the magic signal, apparently. Talking in real terms about actual DSL infrastructure apparently doesn’t, but that magic green light on the modem is more authoritative than an irate customer. Words. Can’t. Describe.

Can’t blame him, I guess. The customer’s always wrong.

He checks some things in his systems for all of 3 seconds and then exclaims “oh, I see what the problem is, I’m going to have to refer this to so and so, they should be able to fix this in the next 45 minutes or so, and then we’ll test the line again.”

Whatever it is he checked in those 3 seconds… could have been checked before. Without assuming the customer is an idiot. This bothers me. How many technicians get sent out pointlessly like this? Well, I know the answer to this, since Cablevision did it half a dozen times for me before I got referred to the outside line division.

I’m strangely optimistic that things will be working soon.

Pro tip: 888-720-1275 option 2 is AT&T’s broadband support line, and avoids going through the auto prompter that doesn’t know what a dry line number is. Yes, it’s one of seven phone numbers I’ve now used to contact AT&T over the course of this story arc.