ISP questions

Chad Perrin perrin at
Mon Jun 8 02:47:32 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jun 05, 2009 at 06:23:56PM +0200, Wojciech Puchar wrote:
> >
> >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 think there are people doing this that can work for years. just a matter 
> of personal character, they could completely don't care :)

In my experience, the people who remain in such positions for more than a
couple years and don't quit or get moved/promoted somewhere else tend to
turn into BOFH-types who have a sense of entitlement, enjoy making
others' lives difficult, and epitomize the very worst qualities of common
tech support personnel.  They basically turn into (or were, from the
beginning) people that should just get an ass-kicking about daily.

There are exceptions, of course, but they're few and far between, from
what I've seen.

> Some still insist that it's our fault, they we have to go to them, run 
> some DVD-bootable linux distro with web browser and show that all is fine 

God, I *wish* I could find ISP tech support people who were knowledgeable
enough to do something like that -- then maybe when I have a connectivity
problem we'd actually be able to sort the problem out in one call,
instead of the tech support people I talk to being hampered by both lack
of knowledge and bureaucratic shackles so that nothing's going to get
fixed for at least three hours.

My at one point ISP actually had (I don't know if this is still the case)
a special telephone number to call for some stupid automated connectivity
test to be run, and when I called once to try to get troubleshooting for
my connection I was told to hang up, call that number, follow directions,
then call back with the case number it gave me if there was actually a
connectivity problem.  Seriously, this is what it has come to -- nobody
knows how to use ping or traceroute any longer, apparently.  This is
especially problematic when the problem I was having wasn't a complete
outage, but *intermittent* service failure, so the damned thing didn't
even detect a connection problem because there wasn't one at that exact

Anyway . . . my point is that I'd love to deal with tech support that
knows what a Linux distribution LiveCD is, rather than tech support that
doesn't know what ping and traceroute are.  I get the feeling modern
public corporation ISPs actually *want* their tech support personnel to
be ignorant morons so they can avoid having to fix problems, simply
snowing users in with stupidity long enough to see if the problem "goes
away" (even if only by the customer going away in annoyance).  Clearly,
individual customers aren't important to ISP management these days.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]
Quoth Martin Golding: "Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining
your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live."
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