spacing hack


solo piano 20110130

There's a reason I procrastinate any time I have to call AT&T: they're flipping morons.

How on Earth does it take 50 minutes to reach the conclusion that, yes, there's a problem with the DSL line, so let's send a technician out? That should've been the conclusion in 10, maybe 20 minutes at most.

Things that I knew going into the call:

  • the modem's max allowed download speed was half of what it should be
  • the max allowed upload speed was a piddly 60 kpbs, when it's supposed to be 768
  • the line attenuation numbers were way above what they normally are
  • the SN margin numbers were way below what they normally are
  • rebooting the modem didn't work
  • a full power cycle didn't work
  • trying another jack in the house didn't work
  • the modem is in the same place it's always been, so it's not like it's suddenly next to something that's causing interference or hanging out on the carpet and getting ready to set itself on fire (it's on a desk)

Pointless things the tech had me try:

  • connecting directly to the modem itself via a cat 5 cable. Um, if the modem itself is reporting low numbers, then there's no way that the wireless router is the bottleneck.
  • rebooting my computer (see above)

Annoying things:

  • we know your name isn't really "Paul"
  • "Paul" had me go to to go to the speed meter test. There is no such link on the page. So I googled "2wire speed meter" and found the link directly. I tried to explain this to Paul, but he kept interrupting me, convinced that I was on the wrong page. Hey Paul, are you even actually looking at the site you sent me to?
  • there were insane delays where Paul would need to check on something, which is probably largely why the call ended up taking 50 minutes. For instance, I didn't time it, but it took somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-10 minutes between the time that Paul told me that they'd need to send a tech out, to the time that he was actually able to get a listing of the available times. What the buck? Unless Paul was writing a novella to the technician about what problems he had seen in the diagnostic, there's no excuse for it taking that long.

And it leads me back to the fact that being technically savvy and having to talk to someone who is supposed to help you but probably knows less than you do is pretty infuriating.

I can appreciate the fact that they need to ensure that they need to go through a checklist and make sure that every step was looked at. Because, I admit, sometimes having knowledge is a bad thing. Sometimes it leads you to immediately believe that your problem must be pretty advanced, when in fact it is something basic, like you haven't even plugged the thing in.

Still, 50 minutes is way too much time to have spent on a problem like this. Especially considering that it's not even fully resolved at this point.

So whether you knock on or touch wood, I sure hope this is the last time I have to deal with AT&T support.