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OT RANT: Idiot tech support

From: John Aldrich 
------------------------------------------------------
I spent probably a good 45 minutes or more in chat with Dish Network tech 
support trying to find out why I couldn't connect the A/V output jacks on my 
new DVD/VCR to my Dish DVR. At the end the lady on the other end tried to 
send out a service tech ($50 charge) but I beat her to the punch by using 
Google to search for the manual on my DVR. Come to find out the A/V jacks on 
the back of the DVR are output-only. :-(

*sigh* Why the heck didn't Tech Support know this before I did? Also, 
there's no way to give them feedback, as best I can find. I tried to fill out 
a feedback form on their website, but it came back as undeliverable! :-(

STUPID people... if I were their boss, I'd make sure they had full detailed 
specs for all the Dish Network equipment they had to deal with, from 
standard receivers to the new HD DVRs (mine is a standard-def DVR.) As a 
professional who has to do this sort of thing every day, I make it my job 
to have that information at my fingertips, or if not, I find it and get back 
with the user! To me, that lack of knowledge is unbelievable. I don't know 
if I'd fire the tech support person or their supervisor or whatever... 

=============================================================== From: wes ------------------------------------------------------ if you were their manager, you would be given a corporate directive to cut costs in your department by 30%. that means cutting staff, starting with trainers, and implementing policies focusing on strict adherence to statistics, spending 100% of time on the phone with customers, keeping hold times under a certain arbitrary threshold, and not asking questions. And when you failed to meet your budget limitations by giving the techs time to learn things, you would be fired. Customers don't pay for quality. If you want tech support that knows how their hardware works, switch to comcast. -wes

=============================================================== From: Aaron Welch ------------------------------------------------------ You had me all the way to Comcast. They suck. Period. -AW costs in your department by 30%. that means cutting staff, starting with tr= ainers, and implementing policies focusing on strict adherence to statistics= , spending 100% of time on the phone with customers, keeping hold times unde= r a certain arbitrary threshold, and not asking questions. me to learn things, you would be fired. heir hardware works, switch to comcast. y n ut d ck

=============================================================== From: wes ------------------------------------------------------ EPB then. Whatever doesn't suck in your area. Point being, vote with your dollars. Actually, I forgot that Comcast works as geographically distinct sub-companies. Comcast for me has no relation whatsoever to Comcast for you, at least as far as the facets you can see. You get different tech support, different hardware, different channel selection, everything. I have usually had a satisfying experience when dealing with my local comcast. -wes

=============================================================== From: Dave Brockman ------------------------------------------------------ -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 It's not even April 1st yet..... good one! Regards, dtb -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.10 (MingW32) Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org/ iEYEARECAAYFAk2POrgACgkQABP1RO+tr2RawACgttspchIxfcy8JFL7a6XaRLtB drsAoLRjUGAb8WvgurBi6234G2yGq/+P =hpaa -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

=============================================================== From: Dave Brockman ------------------------------------------------------ -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 Strike two. First tier phone support is not any better there either. Neither one know what "ping", "arp" or "traceroute" are. Same response out of either one unless you know the magic pass-phrase to get to the next level. Let me reboot your CPE, and I can see it on our management IP address, it should be passing all your traffic, right? Regards, dtb -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.10 (MingW32) Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org/ iEYEARECAAYFAk2PO80ACgkQABP1RO+tr2SN/QCfZJzAWXaAbNHoeGH1pWDEBnX6 i48An1c1WJQ4Br1BT47MXyNZySg0sYfj =HkzF -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

=============================================================== From: Bret McHone ------------------------------------------------------ I'll second that one. -B

=============================================================== From: Mike Harrison ------------------------------------------------------ I'm still on Comcast at home. Where I am at least, it's been rock solid and the couple of times I've had issues thay have been dealt with well by cluefull people. One time resulting in the guy re-coaxing from the pole all the way through the house to get the signal where it should be. And my basic Comcast package meets my needs well for less than EPB's basic service. What I want to know is why they still charge (and pay the city) for a franchise fee, when the city built their competitor. I see lots of people dis-ing them, and while I am sure they have reasons, none here. Disclaimer: I use my own DNS and mail servers.. so I have no experience with those types of issues.

=============================================================== From: Eric Wolf ------------------------------------------------------ Ya know, shit breaks. When things are complicated shit breaks more often and takes more skill to fix. But no one wants to really pay for the skills. You all want 1TB/sec transfer with no bandwidth caps for $9.99/month. And if something is wrong, they better send a guy with a PhD from MIT out to fix it even if, for 99% of the customers, fixing it merely entails plugging the router back in after Grandma pumped it with the vacuum. When you are paying for a commodity, expect commodity support. Sometimes AT&T does a little better than Comcast, sometimes not. Sometimes DSL is better than Cable, sometimes not. But they are both commodities, so expect to deal with commodity support. It's not even an Emacs vs. Vi kind of religious discussion. Although it does smack of Seagate vs. Western Digital. Almost all technology is in a commodity market. That means for every clueful geek who buys the stuff, there are 100 grannies who need the first five levels of customer support. And those grannies call customer support more often! I remember Mike saying once that the cost of a single customer support call into COL ate up all of the years' profit from a dialup customer. It didn't matter if it took John 30 seconds or 10 minutes to get the person squared away. Just taking the call ate up the profits. That's why Raj from Mumbai answers the phone when you call customer support. Raj only eats up half a year's profits and manages to fix the problem 95% of the time for 95% of the users. The problem is, no matter how reliable the ISP makes their end work, the ISP can't stop Granny from calling when she bumps the power cord. And the profits from Granny's internet service are what keep your prices low. So enjoy your commodity prices. Stop bitching about commodity customer service. Heck, at these prices, just buy two and throw one out. Seriously. Why not have both DSL and Cable? I mean if you were requisitioning bandwidth for a data center, would you not consider buying two pipes from difference vendors, preferably with different physical egress? I can get basic service from Qwest and Comcast, shelling out about $100/month without special pricing deals. That's freaking amazing! I used to pay $3.99/hour plus long distance to Atlanta to get 9600bps from CompuServe. Now I can get multi-homed 5-10Mbps, 24x7 service for less money. -Eric -=--=---=----=----=---=--=-=--=---=----=---=--=-=- Eric B. Wolf 720-334-7734

=============================================================== From: John Aldrich ------------------------------------------------------ I *wish* I could get Comcast. Unfortunately, the only option besides Dish in my area is Charter...

=============================================================== From: wes ------------------------------------------------------ If this solves 80% of their customer calls, there's nothing wrong with this. Question is, what do they do if that doesn't work? Some will blame the customer and refuse to help. Some will pass you on to tier 2. These are the ones we need to find and reward with dollars. -wes

=============================================================== From: wes ------------------------------------------------------ There are multiple satellite providers. I don't have experience with any of them, but if it's that bad, it may be worth your time to check around. -wes

=============================================================== From: Dave Brockman ------------------------------------------------------ -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 +1 I probably should have clarified when I jumped into this conversation, but I'm not talking about the commodity Grandma @Home service, I'm discussing business class services that cost quite a bit more than $9.99/month. I don't expect a PHD to do anything (he probably lacks the real-world networking experience to fix it anyway), I don't even expect access to the NOC engineers, but for my extra effort and $$$ spent, I expect a little bit in return. Clue would be most appreciated. Not having to deal with script-readers would be top on that list. Regards, dtb -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.10 (MingW32) Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org/ iEYEARECAAYFAk2PpSIACgkQABP1RO+tr2RLPgCgnyWWp67pg5amoomOdpm5/VDd QdkAmgPGFeIy428GxoY8Gsx2JQq3/291 =ptCZ -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

=============================================================== From: John Aldrich ------------------------------------------------------ For the most part, Dish just works. I just wish the tech support people had known that the DVR they gave me doesn't have any *input* jacks. :-/ That's the sort of thing I think tech support for a company like that ought to know.

=============================================================== From: Dave Brockman ------------------------------------------------------ -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 You did say you found it in the user/owner manual, right? Regards, dtb -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.10 (MingW32) Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org/ iEYEARECAAYFAk2Pr2cACgkQABP1RO+tr2QenACfZVsCUAGNY1Zv2gIsfOJw5ShJ ZZEAoLPlhCgHljM8b0DvASW8u+hjQIkH =LCZL -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

=============================================================== From: Mike Harrison ------------------------------------------------------ It was at least a months margin...I was ranting if I said a year. Chattanooga Online did better as an consumer ISP than everyone else in the region: it broke even. It actually made some money on the higher end customers and special projects. Dave's right about the commercial level support though, Comcast has been interesting and clueless about taking care of small business customers. They have a lot of them... and in theory do a decent job. The problem is "product-izing" a very complex thing with lots of options using non-technical (cheap) people. Even EPB has such issues. Linux has the same problem, squared or cubed. How do you provide support for such a fragmented customizable operating system that supports such a wide array of hardware and functionality? At any cost (RedHat, Suse, Canonical.. ) your first tier is "script reader" because that solves a large percentage of the problems for the least amount of money. What is an hour of

=============================================================== From: John Aldrich ------------------------------------------------------ Not exactly. I was searching online for the owner's manual and found a webpage describing the features of the DVR explaining that the RCA jacks are output-only.

=============================================================== From: James Nylen ------------------------------------------------------ No, that's the sort of thing *YOU* should know if/when you are trying to re-wire things back there. In every device I have ever seen like that, the jacks are labeled.

=============================================================== From: John Aldrich ------------------------------------------------------ Not on this one.

=============================================================== From: Rod-Lists ------------------------------------------------------ I haven't had toreset my router once since switching to epb.=20 Comcast, I had power down & up the linksys every month & a half or so.=20 Oh yeah hitting off shore repos no longer a problem.=20 ----- Original Message -----=20 From: "Aaron Welch" =20 To: "CHUGALUG" =20 Sent: Sunday, March 27, 2011 1:12:34 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern=20 Subject: Re: [Chugalug] OT RANT: Idiot tech support=20 You had me all the way to Comcast. =C2=A0They suck. =C2=A0Period.=20 -AW=20 if you were their manager, you would be given a corporate directive to cut = costs in your department by 30%. that means cutting staff, starting with tr= ainers, and implementing policies focusing on strict adherence to statistic= s, spending 100% of time on the phone with customers, keeping hold times un= der a certain arbitrary threshold, and not asking questions.=20 And when you failed to meet your budget limitations by giving the techs tim= e to learn things, you would be fired.=20 Customers don't pay for quality. If you want tech support that knows how th= eir hardware works, switch to comcast.=20 -wes=20 On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 9:25 AM, John Aldrich < jmaldrich@yahoo.com > wrote= :=20 I spent probably a good 45 minutes or more in chat with Dish Network tech= =20 support trying to find out why I couldn't connect the A/V output jacks on m= y=20 new DVD/VCR to my Dish DVR. At the end the lady on the other end tried to= =20 send out a service tech ($50 charge) but I beat her to the punch by using= =20 Google to search for the manual on my DVR. Come to find out the A/V jacks o= n=20 the back of the DVR are output-only. :-(=20 *sigh* Why the heck didn't Tech Support know this before I did? Also,=20 there's no way to give them feedback, as best I can find. I tried to fill o= ut=20 a feedback form on their website, but it came back as undeliverable! :-(=20 STUPID people... if I were their boss, I'd make sure they had full detailed= =20 specs for all the Dish Network equipment they had to deal with, from=20 standard receivers to the new HD DVRs (mine is a standard-def DVR.) As a=20 professional who has to do this sort of thing every day, I make it my job= =20 to have that information at my fingertips, or if not, I find it and get bac= k=20 with the user! To me, that lack of knowledge is unbelievable. I don't know= =20 if I'd fire the tech support person or their supervisor or whatever...=20

=============================================================== From: Rod-Lists ------------------------------------------------------ he is right about that.=20 Even their ips are assigned regionally.=20 ----- Original Message -----=20 From: "wes" =20 To: "CHUGALUG" =20 Sent: Sunday, March 27, 2011 7:08:37 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern=20 Subject: Re: [Chugalug] OT RANT: Idiot tech support=20 EPB then. Whatever doesn't suck in your area. Point being, vote with your d= ollars.=20 Actually, I forgot that Comcast works as geographically distinct sub-compan= ies. Comcast for me has no relation whatsoever to Comcast for you, at least= as far as the facets you can see. You get different tech support, differen= t hardware, different channel selection, everything. I have usually had a s= atisfying experience when dealing with my local comcast.=20 -wes=20 On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 10:12 PM, Aaron Welch < n2nightfall@gmail.com > wro= te:=20 You had me all the way to Comcast. =C2=A0They suck. =C2=A0Period.=20 -AW=20 if you were their manager, you would be given a corporate directive to cut = costs in your department by 30%. that means cutting staff, starting with tr= ainers, and implementing policies focusing on strict adherence to statistic= s, spending 100% of time on the phone with customers, keeping hold times un= der a certain arbitrary threshold, and not asking questions.=20 And when you failed to meet your budget limitations by giving the techs tim= e to learn things, you would be fired.=20 Customers don't pay for quality. If you want tech support that knows how th= eir hardware works, switch to comcast.=20 -wes=20 On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 9:25 AM, John Aldrich < jmaldrich@yahoo.com > wrote= :=20 I spent probably a good 45 minutes or more in chat with Dish Network tech= =20 support trying to find out why I couldn't connect the A/V output jacks on m= y=20 new DVD/VCR to my Dish DVR. At the end the lady on the other end tried to= =20 send out a service tech ($50 charge) but I beat her to the punch by using= =20 Google to search for the manual on my DVR. Come to find out the A/V jacks o= n=20 the back of the DVR are output-only. :-(=20 *sigh* Why the heck didn't Tech Support know this before I did? Also,=20 there's no way to give them feedback, as best I can find. I tried to fill o= ut=20 a feedback form on their website, but it came back as undeliverable! :-(=20 STUPID people... if I were their boss, I'd make sure they had full detailed= =20 specs for all the Dish Network equipment they had to deal with, from=20 standard receivers to the new HD DVRs (mine is a standard-def DVR.) As a=20 professional who has to do this sort of thing every day, I make it my job= =20 to have that information at my fingertips, or if not, I find it and get bac= k=20 with the user! To me, that lack of knowledge is unbelievable. I don't know= =20 if I'd fire the tech support person or their supervisor or whatever...=20

=============================================================== From: Rod-Lists ------------------------------------------------------ Well you know my old arguement (goes back the early 90's). Communities should build fiber qand sell access to all competitors. Charter & Comcast. ATT & Sprint or MCI or whatever. ----- Original Message ----- From: "Mike Harrison" To: "CHUGALUG" Sent: Sunday, March 27, 2011 10:46:51 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern Subject: Re: [Chugalug] OT RANT: Idiot tech support I'm still on Comcast at home. Where I am at least, it's been rock solid and the couple of times I've had issues thay have been dealt with well by cluefull people. One time resulting in the guy re-coaxing from the pole all the way through the house to get the signal where it should be. And my basic Comcast package meets my needs well for less than EPB's basic service. What I want to know is why they still charge (and pay the city) for a franchise fee, when the city built their competitor. I see lots of people dis-ing them, and while I am sure they have reasons, none here. Disclaimer: I use my own DNS and mail servers.. so I have no experience with those types of issues.

=============================================================== From: Mike Harrison ------------------------------------------------------ That was how EPB started, in theory. In reality it was very different. Several municipalities have built ducts/pipe/access tunnels and forbid privately owned ducts. It's saved them lots of money in road work/re-work and allows multiple competitors easy cheaper access to locations. It keeps the government at "common right of way" levels, which is a natural place for governments.

=============================================================== From: Dave Brockman ------------------------------------------------------ -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 I didn't hear about the Layer 0, 1 or maybe even layer 2 utility access open to all competitors with equal access to the eyeballs/masses. I heard about utility access to their gear.... I agree.... Local Muni should handle the last mile infrastructure the same as gas, electric or water. Either they handle, or regulate the natural monopoly. There is already available better and more advanced break-outs than the ONTs the EPB use, basically fiber in, 5-6 Ethers, Coax, RJ-11, all split out and back to a central switching location. Anyone who cares to build to that location has equal access to any customer who says sign me up. The TV is already IP on the back-end, and TDM really is going away (Sorry SBC/ATT). Other countries are taking this approach.... But if the private ducts are forbidden, there should also be some provision allowing private fibers or interconnects for purchase/rental at a reasonable rate. They maintain the physical plant but don't go beyond Layer 1 of the OSI..... Regards, dtb /sigh... -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.10 (MingW32) Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org/ iEYEARECAAYFAk2RNesACgkQABP1RO+tr2RgVACgiU6uwK142Oe7/5neoNqqOEFV 0xAAoJL2WNvKjVx++BKQ6GVDJI1MdgGt =M9sQ -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

=============================================================== From: Mike Harrison ------------------------------------------------------ I'll keep my mouth shut.. I'd get enough details wrong due to my perspective and memories to land in a lawsuit. I would have sued them if I had had a few hundred thou to blow on lawyers knowing I would lose anyway. Some fights are won by not fighting them. It was a great ride, Life is good. Layers? I really don't understand this abstraction.. (and don't explain it to me, I look it up when I need to). Laughing.. The best models in my opinion stop at providing physical ductwork for the fibers to be laid into. The model works likes roads. The duct is the road, the fiber is the semi truck owned by the private carrier, whome pays to access the road. There are practical limits to duct size/availability. It keeps the truck / fiber optics / network in private hands, and the road / duct available to anyone that can pay the fees. Problem with the city owning the fiber is they regulate the traffic/routing/etc... and you may get stuck with gear you really don't want to deal with and restrictions about what you do. Of course, such plans don't typically include running your own fiber to your moms house 2 blocks away. At this point, bandwidth is a cheap cheap cheap commodity. Stupidist thing in the world would be an attempt to play against people with deep pockets in a saturated market. Luckily, smart people are still worth something. ;)

=============================================================== From: Dave Brockman ------------------------------------------------------ -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 Fair enough :) Some things are better kept best remembered quietly while chasing alcohol :) You're funny :) Take it one step further... Gas company brings gas in a pipe, water company brings water in a pipe, fiber company brings fiber in a tube. Do it right, minimum of 4 1GB strands per address. Layer 1/2 means the muni owns the fiber. They don't route it, they light up a 1 GB port and [cross-]connect me to my chosen carrier who came to play. No funky gear, you give me a standard Optical transceiver that fits into a SFP, or give me the copper hand-off for that service. The problem with the networks remaining private is they remain expensive and locked into the monopoly with-out choice or competition. Even our paltry 180K eyeballs must be worth a couple of those ISP's actually dropping off a switch, with all the fiber running *through* this town.... :) You can expand that for the rest of the Triple Play, myself I think the sooner we all just simplify things and get those separations out of the way, the better off we'll all be. Oh I agree, it's too late for Chatt... :) But I think it could/would work for other places. Go refresh yourself on those layers, they are important for this discussion :) Regards, dtb -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.10 (MingW32) Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org/ iEYEARECAAYFAk2RRX4ACgkQABP1RO+tr2R6bgCdFavGdK/XZQuIvIe3LowHGej+ MPAAnAjr/kVxNUT5u6YNE70g+soEZ2QI =ZEus -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

=============================================================== From: Dave Brockman ------------------------------------------------------ -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 And I realize it's a pipe dream... it's just sad that it's a pipe dream that actually works in other places... Regards, dtb -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.10 (MingW32) Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org/ iEYEARECAAYFAk2RRlsACgkQABP1RO+tr2R6vACfYA/KtsEK3W/gwAxFgZ6+LKXb fQ8An3AU5IVbcsNH/9fBd7RCoA2q1kfk =BNcY -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

=============================================================== From: Dan Lyke ------------------------------------------------------ On Mon, 28 Mar 2011 21:47:48 -0400 (EDT) Mike Harrison wrote: So does anyone have specific examples of cities which have implemented Common Utility Ducts? Which agency within the city owns the ducts? What are the construction details? And then the hard bit, because a lot of this depends on state laws, how about in California? In new construction here, where we've got underground utilities, we've got the water trenches in the middle of the street and Joint Trenches, with PG&E, Comcast and AT&T under the sidewalks. It would be a *great thing* for the city to own Common Utility Ducts, but nobody in Public Works wants to take on that responsibility the water folks don't want fiber running anywhere that they have to be wary of using a backhoe near it, and I want to find a path forward. Dan

=============================================================== From: Aaron Welch ------------------------------------------------------ +10 on that one. -AW ou, =20

=============================================================== From: Kenneth Ratliff ------------------------------------------------------ Never gonna happen, not unless it's legislated. There's no financial incentive for providers to do it the right way, so unless you get someone with a whole lot of money and a whole lot of sense of civic responsibility, or buy off the right lawmakers, the status quo will maintain. Doesn't matter how much you complain about crappy service if you keep shelling out the cash for it.

=============================================================== From: Kenneth Ratliff ------------------------------------------------------ Was gonna say... I know you're not an optimist, so I was left wondering just how drunk you were!

=============================================================== From: Rod-Lists ------------------------------------------------------ Dissedents & thought criminals=C2=A0of several flavors I know keep talking = about taking over a depopulated town in Montana or South Dakota.=20 This has always been on my todo list if we ever do something like that.=20 Along with living machine infrastructer and a solar stirling.=20 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living

=============================================================== From: Mike Harrison ------------------------------------------------------ I used to. Will dig. Empires must crumble so that new empires can be built.