Wednesday, January 24, 2001

I realize I haven't gone into the horror story about my calls to Qwest when my DSL line went down this weekend. Here are my calls in brief form:

Call #1. "Hi, my DSL isn't connecting and hasn't since yesterday afternoon. I'm not getting an IP address. I've tried running winipcfg, but I can't connect the DHCP server." Yeah, I kinda know what I'm doing. To which the help person says, "Looks like you're locked up in training mode on your port. I know this is going to sound like a line, but turn off your modem for three hours. That should clear ya up." I say something to the effect of "ooookkkkkay...yeah, that should do it...uhhuuuuh." It was early in the morning, and I needed more sleep anyway, sooooo...ZZZZZZZZZz.

Call #2. About four hours later, I call Qwest again. This help guy tells me that the Minneapolis office was making a change to the servers from bridging to PPP and that they made some sort of error and it might take until tonight or tomorrow morning to get it fixed. Great. I ask why the guy earlier didn't tell me that. He said, "I dunno.". He then said, "Try your line when you get home from school tomorrow. It should fer sure be ready by then." Silence. Silence. I think he realized that I probably don't attend school. I didn't want to embarass him further...well, much. He came back with a, "Well, you know, whenever you get home." Of course I'm upset because yahoo number one didn't tell me the line was down because of a change they made and secondly because if it was an upgrade or change, what kind of decent techie doesn't have a "roll back" plan just in case of a boo-boo like this?!? Lame techies, lame!

Call #3. Ashley is helping me this time. I'm calling at 11:30 at night. I just was curious to see if the line was still down. Ashley informs me that the line has been up since about 4pm. Great. I've tried many times to see if I could connect since that time. I tell her this and then I have to re-tell my entire story about the past two calls. Even with case numbers and call numbers given to them, they love to hear customers whine, apparently. She looks at the line through her magic ball and tells me, "Yup, it's still locked in training mode. You should probably unplug the Cisco modem *AND* your computer and keep them off OVERNIGHT. You should be able to connect after that time."
"Ashley, I know a fair amount about networking, could you please explain to me what is locked and how turning off my machine *AND* my modem will help alleviate this problem."
"You're locked in training the port."
I said, "How does turning off my machine and my modem help to clear your port? Can't you run a flush at your end?"
"Well, we can put a call into service, but that can take two to four days."
"Well, let's start that request, shall we?" I pleaded.
She says, "Let's turn off your computer *AND* modem overnight and then see if it works first."
I said, "Ashley, my DSL has been off for over 30 hours...if I wait overnight and then through my work day tomorrow to wait to check it again, we're adding another 20 hours onto that 2-4 days. How about if we start the ball rolling on your end. I'll even turn off my computer overnight on my end even though I know that's not going to do anything other than keep me from calling you back for the next 10 hours."
I added, quite frustrated at this point, "Do you think my line going down has anything to do with the changes being made at the Minneapolis office?"
She quickly says, "Oh, no...that must just be a coincidence."
"Uhhuh. Ok, well, let's start the ball rolling on that request." So, we go through the form that she needs to fill out in order to get the service technicians moving. She silently fills out most of it until she asks, "When is your due date?"
I didn't think I was pregnant. Maybe Ashley is psychic? "Pardon??"
"Your due date...oh, I mean when did you have DSL installed?"
"About two and a half years ago. I don't know specifically."
"Ok. Probably don't need that anyway." "Yeah, probably not."
After asking her a few more times to explain the locking thing, the call ends with Ashley.

As a somewhat technically minded individual, the previous three calls kept humming in the back of my head. Little details that the help desk people drop finally start to make a little bit of sense. During call #2, the guy mentions that they switched from bridging to PPP. During call #3 Ashley mentions that I'm locked in training mode. Hmmm...I quickly open up Hyperterminal to see if I can talk to the cisco modem as I had to do when I set it up. Hyperterm has a built in "memory" feature that allows you to see what was typed in during the last communication session. Sure enough "Bridging Enabled" was in the memory's text. Ahah!

Call #4 Robert. Robert seemed to know what he was doing. He actually read through the call tracking and said that my account was saying "bridging all over the place." YAY! He asked if Ashley had walked me through configuring the modem again. "No!", I said. He said that in her notes she said that she did just that. Bad Ashley! Anyway, he asks if I've got he commucation cable for the modem. "Not handy, but I'll go get it and call back."

Call #5 Robert again, Yay! He walked me through configuring my modem to PPP. Easy squeezy up until the point we get to the password for my account. Password?! I never log in to my DSL nor do I use my Qwest mail box. He give me a new password. Yay! PPP configured. He tells me that now the PPP is enabled, I should have no problem. It will just take about half an hour for the password to propegate throughout their system. thank Robert profusely and wait about an hour. Didn't want to push the half hour piece. It's about 12:45 now. At 1:45 am, I'll give it another whirl.

Call #6. Lyle. For some reason I pictured his name initially as Laisle. Maybe I'm psychic? Nah. 1:45 am. Help! I explain to Lyle all of the problems up until this point. He then asks me if Robert ran the programs at his end that would convert me to PPP. "I have no idea," I say. "Well, it looks like he hasn't run the programs. Hang on a minute." *hang* *hang* Lyle comes back a few minutes later and says, "Well, I've got good news and bad news. Good news is that I've successfully run the PPP update programs. Your account is ready to go. The bad news is this: It's about two in the morning, the servers are getting backed up and some are resetting. My guess is that it will take about two hours for the change to take effect globally." "Fine, I need to sleep anyway. Thanks for your help."

ZZZZZzzzZZZZZZ ZZZZZ I try the computer in the morning. Yahoo would pop up as it usually does when it detects a connection, but it couldn't connect....

Call #7 It must have been early for this guy 'cuz he couldn't get my phone number punched in correctly. I reiterated it about 4 times. "700 Selby?" "No, that's not my address. My phone number is...." "Uh, Ma'am, what is your secret word. It's usually your mother's maiden name or birthplace or.." "Secret word? I have no idea. I signed up for DSL nearly three years ago. Look, I called several times yesterday. Do you want call numbers!?"
"I don't see any calls from yesterday. Is your phone number XXXXXXX?"
"Oh, what is your number?"
So, he finally finds my information. He puts me on hold for about 15 minutes. During this time, I rebooted my computer several times...and voila! a connection. YAY! He comes back and I tell him it's working now.

So, that's my horror story in brief. Good thing I didn't write up the long one, eh? :-)