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uzimmermann

join:2007-05-15
Alameda, CA

Speakeasy loosing a customer tomorrow

So I have been with Speakeasy for now over 6 years. And tomorrow they are going to loose me as a customer. Ok, maybe not tomorrow but in the next days as soon I have a replacement in place which I will sign up for tomorrow. My DSL is one of their business accounts and for the last 2+ years I have noticed their service going down. They haven't even bothered to assign a "dedicated" account manager to my account anymore.

But the straw is now that I found my DSL down for 3+ hours today and when I finally got ahold of a human after waiting 15 minutes on hold I was told Covad had blocked the port. The person couldn't explain to me why nor was he willing to escalate a ticket to find out why. Or how about a few days ago when I had 10 seconds round trip times from my DSL to work (Speakeasy bonded T1 service via the same PoP) and filed a ticket via the web and then the line went down hard. And later I found out that they actually answered to my web ticket with:

I'm sorry to hear about the problems that you are having
with your ADSL circuit. Currently I am seeing that the
port is down, and there is no traffic passing. At this
point I strongly encourage you to call our highly
qualified support staff at 1-800-556-5829.

How am I suppose to see that if they line is now down? ...

Really sad, Speakeasy used to be great, now they are on the level of the support I have usual gotten from Best Buy ... oh wait, they are Best Buy now, wonder how fast that got equalized.

CobraPA

join:2001-10-03
Lansdale, PA

I've had a similar response to online trouble tickets. The first line responders seem to have been trained to ask for call in on all line trouble tickets. My last one said they needed to do diagnostics with me on the phone (it was a problem with my DNS setup when they changed DNS servers.) Unless you need a simple change, I'd call them directly for any line trouble. Online tickets get poor response for those kinds of problems, it seems.


Lawrencem

join:2004-09-07
Henderson, NV
reply to uzimmermann

Hello Mr. Zimmerman,

I think a portion of your frustration may be due to a misunderstanding. The agent with whom you spoke did not say "blocked port" (implying that we had blocked a TCP/IP port - something that we do not do)... he said "locked port" (referring to the port that passes traffic to/from you through the DSLAM (aka DSL switch).

A locked port can be the result of work done in the CO(central office) to resolve a wider issue. In the event of a multi-customer outage, or hardware malfunction (such as might happen on a multi-port card or in a chassis) on the device intended to pass traffic for you. It is sometimes necessary to lock a port to allow work/repair to be done for the larger set of clients. Some things cannot be done when other ports are passing traffic. It is possible that our vendor would have had no choice but to lock a port temporarily while working to resolve an issue. It is also possible that someone simply made a mistake on our vendor's side - perhaps inadvertently locking your port. That is a long-shot. I am just being frank, but it is possible.

This would be annoying AT THE LEAST, and I know I would not like it on my own connection, so I do empathize. But regardless of the reason, it would not have been our choice to lock your port, nor would it have been a pleasure to do so. Undermining our own customer's connectivity has never been part of our business model.

If you had thought that we had blocked your TCP/IP ports, you might have spun off into a direction that would have made other misunderstandings more likely, since that alone would raise the ire of many - certainly a savvy Speakeasy customer. But I do believe it was a simple misunderstanding, and for that I apologize.

I wrote to you on the 16th, offering to help out, and to explain things more clearly, but you have not replied. (I used the domain email you have listed with us here, not your Speakeasy addy).

I am sorry you were frustrated by hold time when you called in. We are staffed 24x7x365, Seattle-based, and take support very seriously. We do have peak times, and it sounds like you may have hit one of them. I am sorry about that, but we do the best we can at all times, on all days and nights.

As regards posting to your ticket, and your question about how you would see it if your line was down... WIth due respect, you opened the ticket online, and that's how we got your report. So, responding to the ticket in like manner made sense to us.

It is not uncommon that if a customer calls to report an outage, they are calling from work to report the outage at home. The idea is that the want us to start work on it so that it's fixed by the time they get back from work. This makes complete sense, of course We live in the real world, too, after all. But depending upon the issue reported, troubleshooting is limited if layer one continuity cannot be verified. This usually requires a person to be onsite, and test with us cooperatively. Of course the logic of this is really hard to hang onto when it's *your* circuit that is down, and we understand that.

We are a lucky ISP, in that with our diverse customer base, we have so many technically savvy customers, but also have a huge segment who are not... They can rest assured that they do not NEED to be techno-geeks to enjoy their services. This depth and diversity is part of why we approach our work with enthusiasm and good faith every day.

Sincerely,
Lawrence McBride
Speakeasy, Inc.


fitzy4

join:2007-05-10
Elmhurst, IL

my god.. lawrence lives! I haven't seem him post here since a little after Adam left..



bhan261

join:2001-02-12
New York, NY

Holy crap! Hell has frozen over! Someone from Speakeasy actually responded!


CobraPA

join:2001-10-03
Lansdale, PA

You guys are more than a little cynical!


CobraPA

join:2001-10-03
Lansdale, PA
reply to Lawrencem

Lawrence,

Well, the one thing that should be checked is why first level support was not able to explain why the original posters port was locked, and was claimed to not be willing to escalate the ticket?

I had a similar outage several months ago. It was a week of back and forth to restore service. My main action was to call in at each 4 hour update with covad to continue the process. It seemed like Speakeasy did not follow up on those 4 hour response windows, even though the outage had lasted well over 48hrs.

On the good side, every time I called in, the techs were willing to continue the process. After several of these back and forth sessions, the port was re-provisioned, and then a couple rounds later was fully routing traffic again.

Overall, service has been great with Speakeasy. But an outage is a real patience test.