Gustav Doré’s engravings illustrated the Divine Comedy (1861–1868);
here Hugh is lost in Phase 1 of the BB Support
simply “not there”
I had been experiencing a few issues with my broadband service at home, namely sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t and coming form a technical background, intermittent problems are the hardest to diagnose and fix, simply because some of the time, they’re just not there.
Let’s hold that thought for a minute, not there. It’s something with which I was to become acquainted over the course of the next few days.
On November 16th I phoned Eircom Broadband Support in an attempt to solve my problems. I gave my phone number so my account could be accessed but the support operator couldn’t find a broadband account associated with the phone number. That’s a bit weird, we’ve been paying Eircom for a broadband service pretty much since it became available. It was with regret that the support guy (#1) told me that he couldn’t offer me support because as far as he was concerned, I didn’t exist, I was not there. He told me that I’d have to get onto the Broadband Sales team to get this fixed. Just in case, I thought I’d ask him for a reference number which he duly gave me.
Fair enough I suppose, sometimes databases go a bit awry, so I phoned the Sales Team to be told that indeed I do exist – hooray – and was promptly transferred back to BB Support armed with the certainty that I am, in fact here. This time I got a new support guy (#2), I quoted him my account number, my phone number and my reference number from earlier. Guess what – he couldn’t find any record of my account. I’m simply not there. I reacted as calmly as I could and told this support guy that I’d just been transferred from the Sales team having being told that I do have an account. This confused him somewhat. He is not allowed to offer me support because I don’t have an account. So we get into semantics and hypothetical discussions about what if I did in fact exist as far as he was concerned, how would be proceed to try to fix the problem? Hypothetically of course.
So he suggested removing various other bits and pieces from the system to rule out any possibility of interference and leave the BB modem connected directly to the socket. I did this.
At this stage I had to go out and earn a living, returning some hours later to find that the broadband service was still well dicey.
OK, grasping the bull by the horns, I phoned Eircom Broadband Support again, after serfed a bit at simplyswitch.com looking for the possible solution myself. I connected with another support guy (#3) who, alas, couldn’t find my account despite two reference numbers and the nice chat with the Sales team earlier on. I’m just not there. So I pretty much went over the hypothetical scenario again and asked him to see if he could do anything from his end. He found my account nefariously by going through some non-standard procedure and noted that my line had been rated for an 8mb service; ‘Aha!’ he said, ‘maybe your line won’t support such a speed, I’ll cap it at 7, give it a few days and see how you get on.’ This support guy, guy #3, has given me a little light at the end of the tunnel.
After leaving the modem a few days and watching alternately flashing green and red, or not at all, I decided to contact Eircom Broadband Support to move the issue along as it were. on November 22nd, I connected with a really nice guy, support guy (#4) and gave him my account details, phone number, reference numbers, the whole kit and caboodle. ‘I’m sorry,’ says he, ‘you’re not there in my system.’ I’m beginning to feel inwardly hysterical but manage to maintain a reasonable facade. I explained to him my sorry situation; at this stage I’m searching for any simile, analogy, syllogism or bloody anything to try to communicate with Eircom Broadband Support. I asked him if he’s heard of Dante’s Inferno, the nine circles of hell? He chuckled, I thing I’ve struck a chord. He promised me that he’d email his supervisor immediately and we decided that since the problem hadn’t been solved that an Engineer would have to come to inspect, so we booked an appointment (and a new reference number).
November 24th, the appointed day arrived. But the Engineer didn’t. He’s not there. I feel as though I’m moving on from Dante’s Inferno to a spot of Joe Kakfa; The Castle.
I phoned Eircom Broadband Support and spoke to a new support guy (#5). He apologised profusely and arranged for a new appointment (under threat by me that I’d move my custom elsewhere). I’m antsy at this stage.
November 26th, so the new day arrived, and so did the Engineer. He roots around with the phone lines and equipment and deduces (God knows how) that there is another (vestigial) line coming into the house somewhere else and that this is causing the problem. He calls another guy whose job it is to go up poles and disconnect stuff. He does this with aplomb.
So my broadband service is now working again – I was thinking to change to the Usave already! Bloody great. One slight problem, another phone related service has stopped working as a direct consequence of the Engineer’s visit. I give up. It has taken from November 16th to November 24th and hours on the phone to Eircom Broadband Support to get sorted out. one service fixed, another service broken.
No matter what point of view you take, Eircom’s Broadband Support service is appalling and inefficient. The only thing going for it is that all 5 guys I spoke to plus the Engineer and Pole Guy were courteous and patient with me. That’s the only thing I can say in their favour. The rest of it?
Just not there.