Thursday, August 27, 2009

DSL and Tribulations

A while ago I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade from dial up internet, as it was getting slower and slower and not working well. You would think that since the number of people using dial-up is decreasing and the number of land lines is also decreasing, that dial up internet would be getting faster as there would be less demand on the phone lines. Does that make sense to anyone except me?

Well, I procured. The box came, I hooked everything up. Could not connect. Contacted Squirm. He fixed. Next problem came a couple of days later, lost internet/dsl lights on black box. Called company tech support. They said to stick a paper clip in the back and reset the box. Did that, worked. Internet worked for a while and then went kerflooey. Somedays there were lights and somedays there were not. Light status would also change from minute to minute. Emailed (at time internet working) company tech support.

Reply (1 week later)
I am sorry for your trouble connecting and I would be glad to assist you with this issue. I see some line issues that are causing interference that will slow down your connection and possibly even make it unstable. Please make sure that there is a filter on every device that is connected to your phone line except for the modem. That would include things like fax machines, cable TV boxes, and satellite receivers. Also, make sure that the phone cord that runs from the modem to the wall jack is no more than 10 feet long and goes directly to that jack and not through a splitter, filter, or surge protector. If all that checks out, power off the modem, plug in another telephone cord, and power the modem back on.

OK. Even I know that the phone cord length is a bunch of you-know-what. But I switched cords. The lights did not magically reappear. Then, I had a period of about 1 week when I had all four lights every time I looked at the machine. Then it went off again.

During this time, I also discovered that the DSL was making the phone go kerflooey as well. If the 4 lights were stable, the phone was fine. If the lights were not stable the phone was not fine. It did not always have a dial tone and if someone called it would ring and ring on their end, but not on mine. If I called out, it would ring and ring on my end, but not on the recipients end.

So, I had 4 lights on Tuesday, so I went on the company's website and pushed the link to chat with a service rep. I explained the problem and he asked a couple of questions and then told me that he couldn't fix the problem, I'd have to call. So I called. Not wanting to sit there with my cell phone clutched to my head, I put it on speaker. This fascinated the fiends.

Spoke to person who asked me questions, some duplicates. This person also pushed buttons to see if there was a problem with the line. Apparently there was not. I was then informed that my problem could not be solved at her level and she was passing me up to the next level of service. I finally got another person, who asked me some of the same questions and apparently did the same tests that the first person did. I don't know why they have to repeat the tests. Do they think the outcomes will change?

He couldn't solve it either. His solution was to send a tech out to dedicate the jack that the computer uses to just dsl and the other jacks to phone. Ok. When? Well, the person could come either Wednesday between 3 & 5 or Thursday between 9 & 11. I asked if there was anything later? No, 9-5 are the hours. So, I said Wednesday. I asked for a 45 minute notice. When asked for a contact number, I gave my cell. I also swung by Squirm's on the way home from my meeting and left him a note asking if he would be available to let the tech in. This happened to help with a request from the parents. Note -- if you want me to call people, give me the phone numbers!

Squirm was available, which turned out to be good as they called my home phone instead of my cell. Also, the tech was not told what he was to do. This is not good. I was also asked where my phone lines came into the house. I don't know. I told him that the TV connectors came into the attic. Apparently the phone line does as well. It is also apparently hot in the attic.

As of last night and this morning, I had four lights that appeared to be stable.

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