What do you do when your Home ISP is down?

Paul paul at paulgraydon.co.uk
Thu Aug 18 13:26:22 CDT 2011

On 08/18/2011 07:21 AM, Mark Keymer wrote:
> I am wondering what some of you guys do when your home ISP is down. At
> least those of you that don't give yourself internet.
> I myself have a cable provider at home that I use. And I find it quite
> frustrating to call and report issues in there network, because the
> people in the call center have you do the same things every time and are
> not very technical.
> Just the other week I could see fairly clearly that I was getting routed
> through there network and then started to have issues in a town about 3
> hours away. I tried to explain this to the rep but they thought we
> needed to reboot my modem. Surprise that didn't work. I mostly called
> just to put in a FYI having issues here, please have the smart people
> look into it. It is my understanding that they need to get X amount of
> calls before things get escalated. Granted I am sure they monitor there
> network too. But I called about 10 mins after the routing issues started
> to happen and there was no notifications that there was any issues. Even
> after being on the phone with them for 20? mins. Still they showed all
> is good and that it must just be me.
> I know we have a wide range of people here some of which work for my
> Home ISP. and would love some feedback.
> Sincerely,
> Mark Keymer
I used to use Virgin Media in London for cable services, TV, phone & 
Internet.  TV and phone were fine, never had a problem.  Internet was 
routinely a hassle.  About every 3 months we'd have problems during peak 
hours with the PoP we were connected to or something nearby.  Others 
friends near us but on a different POP were fine, and our 20Mb 
connection would drop down to 1Mb with soaring latency in the 500ms+ 
region and ~70% packet loss.  Latency was high enough that I switched to 
using my cell phones GPRS connection for SSH for on-call.

Phoning their tech support was always a hassle.  Sitting there through 
the script, translating stuff from Windows instructions to Linux on the 
fly (The first time I called I dared to suggest to them I was running 
Linux and got told they didn't support 'hacker' operating systems, tech 
support person didn't appreciate it when I told him it was what their 
servers ran, which I knew from having colleagues who'd worked there).  
It was the same routine every time, waste 30 minutes speaking to first 
line support people, bounced from one to another then up to the 
supervisor, before finally being passed to someone with a technical clue 
who would spot the problem within about 30 seconds and schedule an 
engineer to go out and do whatever it is needed done.
If the main phone line hadn't been disconnected long before we moved in 
there and had such a steep re-connection fee I'd have got DSL as soon as 
it was clear it was going to be a regular problem :-/


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