Totally Wired

, , , , , | Working | May 22, 2018

(We have had repeated outages with our Internet that the ISP has never managed to diagnose. They seem to correspond to rainstorms, and tech support constantly says they cannot find any problem and blames it on our house wiring. After yet another outage, I walk outside and unscrew the cable connection from the outside box. I plug it directly into my cable modem and verify that I cannot connect to the Internet. This definitively proves that it cannot be the wiring in my house, so I call up the ISP and have the following exchange.)

Technician #1: “Hello, what can I do to help you today?”

Me: “I have recurring Internet outages, about which I have called repeatedly. They have occurred once again. Before you walk me through your normal steps, yes, I’ve restarted the modem, repeatedly. Also, I am plugged directly into your service drop, so this is not a problem with my house wiring.”

(The tech ignores what I just said and starts following his script:)

Technician #1: “So, you are experiencing a lack of Internet connectivity. Have you restarted the modem?”

Me: “Yes. As I told you, I’ve restarted the modem and am plugged directly into your service drop.”

Technician #1: “Okay, sir. Let me see if I can ping your modem.” *pauses* “I am unable to ping your modem. This most likely indicates a problem with the wiring in your house, as we have no reports of service outages in your area.”

Me: “It is not the wiring in my house. As I told you, I am plugged directly into your service drop. I am bypassing the wiring in my house entirely. It cannot possibly be the wiring in my house.”

Technician #1: “Sir, I understand what you are saying.” *obviously he does not* “But I assure you, it is most likely the wiring in your house. If we have to send out a technician and he finds that it is the wiring in your house, you will be subject to a $150 service fee.”

Me: “I understand that. It is definitely not the wiring in my house, because I am connected to your service drop.”

Technician #1: “Before I send out a technician, I need you to check the connections in your house to be sure that you do not have a wiring problem.”

(At this point, I give up. The technician clearly has his script, and has no capacity or desire to think beyond it. I politely end the call and then call back. This time, I hit the jackpot and get a tech who immediately understands what I tell him:)

Technician #2: “Well, that pretty much proves your house wiring is not at fault. Have you tried logging into the modem…” *gives me instructions* “…to see if it is getting any signal?”

(I do what he says and confirm that it is not.)

Technician #2: “Okay. I’ll set up a service call for you for tomorrow.”

(This tech then told me that he was glad someone called up who actually knew what to check. He chatted with me for a few minutes about how little the general public understands and how he was glad I knew about things like service drops and general troubleshooting. The next day a service technician came out, and my Internet was working, but I explained about the outages and the correlation to rain. He spent a few hours in the neighborhood and finally came back to tell me he had found the problem. Squirrels had chewed their way into an equipment box on a pole and, when it rained, water would get in and short out connections. Had I not done my own testing at the service drop, they wouldn’t have found the problem, because they would have tested my connection when it was working fine and assumed it was my problem.)

1 Thumbs
573