It’s Not Just The LED That Is Dim

, , , | Right | June 22, 2018

(As a second-level line technician at this ISP, I get a call from the first level about a customer who can’t get online; after that, the customer, a nice older lady, is transferred to me, as well. The troubleshooting begins…)

Caller: “You know, this morning I could still talk on the phone with my nephew. He called me at 9:30! And about 20 minutes after that, I tried to call him back and I couldn’t, and then I saw that the Internet is down, too.”

(This customer has upgraded to VoIP, which must be installed everywhere in Germany by 2017, so her phone conversations use the Internet.)

Me: “All right, ma’am, let’s see what caused this. Can you tell me the model of your router, and which LED lights are on?”

Caller: “Yes, it’s a [Company Brand] router. Only the power light is on, but the link light is on-and-off, and when it’s on it’s very dim!”

(This is the first time someone has told me their light is “dim.” After almost an hour of troubleshooting and establishing that there is nothing wrong with their connection or signal:)

Me: “It seems it’s a problem with the device itself. Hold on, and I’ll transfer you to a device technician to take a look at it.”

(This ISP has call centers all around Germany, so it’s the norm to get coworkers from other ends of the country when transferring someone. This time, however, I happen to get a coworker in the same office as me, who sits a pair of rows away.)

Me: “Oh, [Coworker], so glad I got you on the phone; I know you’re up to this. See, this old lady can’t go online anymore. Her line is all right, but her device behaves weirdly. Somehow the whole home network is down. Can you please take a look? Thank you.”

(I then go on about my business and forget about the entire thing. About 40 minutes later, my coworker stops me as I walk by.)

Coworker: “I’m so mad at you for that call! Do you know what happened?”

Me: “Um, no?”

Coworker: “Turns out the old lady’s husband tried the ‘reset’ button on the router because he thought that would update his device!”

Me: “I… I need to sit down.”

Coworker: “Yes… and I’m going for a smoke, because I need it.”

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