Death of the Internet, Film at 11

Emille Blanc emille at
Mon Oct 24 15:11:57 UTC 2016

-----Original Message-----
>From: NANOG [mailto:nanog-bounces at] On Behalf Of Richard Holbo
>Sent: October-23-16 11:23 PM
>To: John Weekes
>Subject: Re: Death of the Internet, Film at 11
>I run/manage the networks for several smallish (in the thousands of
>customers) eyeball ISP's and  I appreciate a nice "hey you've got a bot" or
>"someone is scanning" me notice to my abuse emails.  They are useful in
>identifying crap that's going on, so for those of you who have the
>resources to do that...  I appreciate it, we do read them at my networks
>and try to do something.
>That said... getting end users to actually fix the broken routers etc. etc.
>is NOT easy.    Very often we'll notify customers, they will _take their
>stuff to the local computer repair guy_ ... or office depo.... and they
>will run whatever auto scan they have and say it's all fine.  Customer puts
>it back in, it's still broke, and they call customer support and want us to
>pay for the trip because _their_ expert says it's fine...

+1 a hundred times over.  Educating customers is difficult to do, assuming they even want to take the time to be educated.  I'm not just talking about the residential class here either. "Commercial IT shops" are not much better in most cases -staff tend to all but zone out when you try and explain anything more difficult than un-checking the NetBIOS box on their managed customer device(s), or try and explain why that DMZ checkbox is a bad idea.

This usually plays out one of two ways at $dayjob;
1) If you apply too much force to the "You have broken equipment" statement, the customer becomes frustrated and move their broken equipment to $competing-operator's network, and you wind up with a black customer service mark. 
2) Customer replaces the device at their expense (It's not _our_ CPE, so why would we?), so typically something cheaper and worse than what they replaced, and they still feel burned.  But at least their service gets re-activated.

I can recall at least a half-dozen scenarios where the customer actually takes up the problem with the manufacturer.  In each of those cases, and they're effectively told to push off because the devices are more than 12mo old and outside the warranty period (paraphrasing customer statements and all that), or similar canned response.  Hate to namedrop on a public list, but Linksys, D-Link, Buffalo, Netgear... "There's profit to be had."  Granted, It's been a while, at least ~18 months since I've had any such feedback, so perhaps things are better in the wake of all the media attention such vendors have seen from time to time.
One case with Asus ended positively after about a week of effort with phonecalls, so it's not all bad. But a week? Not a great turn-around assuming the volumes of devices that would potentially need to be patched/updated/whatever.

Only the truly tech-savvy appreciate the advice to repair the problem, but they are probably 1 in 1,000, if that.

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