Adventures in Consuming: BellSouth DSL

This past week my DSL service degraded to the point that it felt like dialup. This happens from time to time, but never this bad, and it usually fixes itself. But this time it didn't.

So I called tech support. This led to a nasty two hours during which I had conversations with three clueless people, and one with a bit of a clue who still couldn't help me. The first guy seemed to be in an Indian call center, and read from scripts. While he purportedly ran various tests I spent a total of about an hour on hold, although never more than 10 minutes at a time (and even those were interrupted every 3 minutes by reassurances that they were working on it — ie. no way to concentrate on anything else). Over the course of this delightful interlude I was told at least three things that were patently false (including the suggestion that the reason my download speeds were measurably rotten must be due to my using “unsupported software” ie Firefox!).

The call center guy eventually got rid of me by transferring me to sales — maybe I should order faster service? The sales droid said my account was locked and they couldn't alter it, let me transfer you to customer service.

Customer service said that my records showed I had “Lite” service even though I was paying for “Ultra” (i.e. regular). For a minute I thought we had identified the problem, but no, after further investigation it seems Bell South believed it was delivering the “Ultra” service I was paying for … although the download speed was below what they advertise for “Lite”. And no, there's no way to guarantee that if I paid the Danegeld to upgrade to “Xtreme” it would solve my problem.

So it was back to tech support. This time I got a friendly and sensible fellow named Brent based in Shreveport. Brent also had his scripts, but had the sense to know which steps to skip in light of what I'd told him. So we spent 30 minutes trying things and nothing worked. But he was real nice about it.

Bottom line: after the ordeal, all I had to show for it was an appointment to talk with Level 2 tech support this morning.

The level 2 guy fixed it in ten minutes by resetting a port.

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2 Responses to Adventures in Consuming: BellSouth DSL

  1. Chris says:

    Be consoled.

    If customer service there was like with our government, BellSouth would’ve first assigned you to a sociopath CSR, then accused you of being a liberal (or troublemaker), investigated how many porn sites you’ve visited since you started service with them, and finally told you that their service was in fact good and getting better (e.g., “We’ve got the fastest download times” or “We value your call”). Meantime, your problem never got solved.

    Doesn’t this make you feel better–customer service CAN get worse!

  2. john says:

    welcome to the telecommunications duopoly!

    I have comcast internet and their tech support is just like that. Isn’t this “competition” in broadband services great?

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