ISP questions

Steve Bertrand steve at
Fri Jun 5 13:43:04 UTC 2009

Modulok wrote:

> While it sounds pretty bad, I think my ISP takes the cake:
> - Regardless of the problem, their solution is to unplug the cable
> modem, wait 30 seconds and plug it back in and hope for the best.

Well, I don't know about cable, but this is the way DSL works. 90%+ of
the issues with DSL are due to the modem losing connectivity overnight,
so a reboot is the quickest and easiest method of troubleshooting.

We've got nearly all of our DSL subs trained to reboot their CPE before
they call us.

If that solution weeds out 50% of support calls, then our staff can
focus on bigger and better things.

> Despite frustrations try to remember, it's not the tech support
> people's fault. They're just there 8-5 trying to make rent and pay for
> their kids dental. If you want to blame somebody, blame management.

The tech support people do what they are told to do. If you've ever had
a job in which every single incoming call is someone who is frustrated,
angry and is going to take it out on *you*, it might be understandable
why the tech support call centre business is like an employee revolving
door, and they can't keep anyone longer than a few months.

I've been in the industry quite a while, and I would hazard a guess that
about 85% of tech support calls incoming would be user error.

Unless it's a relatively small ISP, you can't expect the tech support
people to be able to answer questions relating to the engineering of
their network (how many hops to the core), what software they run on
their servers etc.

Perhaps if people were to call into their tech support helpdesk every
once in a while when they *aren't* having any issues just to tell them
that their doing a heck of a job, and to have a nice day, you might find
the staff willing to stay around a bit longer and become a little more
knowledgeable for the next time one calls.


Disclaimer: I work as a network engineer at a small ISP. From time to
time, I still have to answer the phone every once in a while

I do not like dealing directly with users. Most of them complain, bitch
and snivel and have no respect. It's not my fault you can't connect if
your dog ate your keyboard, why are you bothering me?

I thoroughly enjoy a good conversation with a user if they can ask a
decent and sincere question, and I can tell they are willing to learn.
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