Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Classic Jeff: DSL Rant

Fri Nov 9 08:30:02 2001
--- Paul Victor Novarese <novarese@novarese.net> wrote:
> The only time I ever noticed the netgear box is when AT&T decided
> to blame it for my inability to get a signal from their crappy
> cable modem. It was quite possibly the worst customer service
> experience *ever* in the recorded history of mankind. "Fucking
> morons" is way too nice for these mouth-breathers. They never did
> fix the problem.

>From the way I understand it, cable modem and consumer-level DSL just doesn't
make enough money for the ISPs to care enough to train and keep competent
people at the help desk.

When Veronica worked for BellSouth.net, they promoted her up to only serving
business customers the instant she showed any signs of familiarity with the

I suspect it is the same everywhere.

For my part, I recently learned the hard way that:

a) Some of the DSL devices that Earthlink sends out to its customers are
actually capable of doing PPPOE, DHCP, and basic firewalling.

b) Earthlink does not "support" the use of these features. They still want
you to use PPPOE on computer instead.

c) The employees are actually *forbidden* from attempting to help you
configure the firmware settings of the modem, primarily because they're
afraid they might mess something up but also probably because they're
afraid that they might turn on the verboten networking capabilities.

d) As a result of (c), few people at the helpdesk are willing or able to
discuss possible technical issues such as the VCI/VPI settings in the
modem not agreeing with what has been set up by the phone company.
If they suspect that this is the problem, they would rather change it at
their end (which takes DAYS) than attempt to walk you through changing it
on the modem.

e) Any attempt by the customer to mess with the aforementioned settings will
violate some kind of agreement and result in Earthlink no longer being
obligated to provide you with a modem.

f) If any of this ever stops working, you may as well cancel the service
because the helpdesk will never figure it out.