BCP Question: Handling trouble reports from non-customers

Mike Tancsa mike at sentex.net
Fri Sep 1 17:15:02 UTC 2006

At 12:26 PM 9/1/2006, Owen DeLong wrote:
>I think my previous post may have touched on a more global issue.
>Given the number of such posts I have seen over time, and, my
>experiences trying to
>report problems to other ISPs in the past, it seems to me that a high
>percentage of
>ISPs, especially the larger ones, simply don't allow for the
>possibility of a non-customer
>needing to report a problem with the ability to reach one of their

I think its more of an issue of being able to get through to the 
right people as opposed to customers or non customers reporting 
problems.  We had an issue with one large ILEC here in Canada 
recently (but similar problems in the past with others) where they 
did some upgrades to their radius servers that busted non PAP 
logins.  Some of our older VPN devices used scripted logins so these 
all broke.  We only were "regular" customers, so we tried our best to 
work through the front line tech support.  Basically we got stuff 
like "we dont support UNIX. You need to call UNIX for help" "we dont 
have terminal servers", "there is nothing wrong with R-A-Y-D-E-E-U-S 
or even the circumference", and other crap that was an obvious 
'jettison customer' leaf in the decision tree.  It was an incredibly 
frustrating situation for 3 days despite asking to escalate 
etc.  Ultimately, we discovered the issue had security issues, so we 
used that as a pretext to use a net-sec contact to pass on the info 
and it was acted on almost right away.

In general, the dilemma seems to be this--  customer calls up saying 
stuff that makes no sense to the front line tech.  Does front line 
tech pass each and every, "the customer is saying our ION-Dilithium 
deflector array is misalligned and needs to be refilled with dark 
neutrino particles" and "You have a bogus next hop route in your 
IGP"... Pass it up the food chain ? Or just dismiss it.  The answer 
seems to be, "if there is a bogus next hop issue, our second line 
will catch it on their own" so dont bother second line if you cant 
figure it out. Whether its a good business decision or not, dont know 
but that seems to be the popular thing to do in my experience.


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