Broadband Suppliers Should Die!

I’ve made a good schedule now – I write 200+ words on this blog or on a hub, then get cracking with some fiction. It gets me focused on writing – like warming up before exercising.

Anyway, drove out to a building site in Thatcham today. A bit of background; my company uses Checkpoint UTM router/firewalls to create a VPN across the Internet. They can be a bit fiddly, but hugely better than the Cisco 800 + Safe@Office boxes we used to use. As long as all the details are setup on each end of the tunnel, they are an extremely easy and secure way of setting up remote sites.

However, these setups need an Internet connection. Our broadband supplier, Daisy Comms, sent me a Welcome letter to say that the ADSL would go live last Friday, so today I trundled out to the building site to set it up. I did send out a “cobbled-together” 3G card plugged into the back of a Checkpoint, just to give the lads a bit of connectivity before the main connection is enabled – but because we’re on Orange, it’s on GPRS so is hellishly slow. Incidentally, this is why I moved away from Orange for my personal phone; I rarely saw a 3G signal inside of a building, or out at a building site. Total junk.

Got to site – the router is telling me that there is an ADSL signal BUT it cannot connect. I check the username and password – is correct. I change the filter, flylead, ADSL settings and then the router itself – no dice. Finally, I call Daisy who tell me that they can’t find the entry for this site/telephone number, so can’t really do anything other than tell me to check the username and password (copied and pasted out of their letter) and to switch the router off and on again.

After much to-ing and fro-ing, I ran out of options so got the “3G” connection online again, took lots of screenshots of the details reported by the router, and then hit the road about 5pm – 5 hours later than I expected to. On my way home, I get an email to tell me that BT have misreported the “due-on” date of this line, and so will be going live on the 5th Oct instead. I’ve spent an entire day trying to get a site running that wasn’t provisioned, PLUS missed out on 5 or 6 appointments at another branch, PLUS have to go back out in two days time to do it all again!

This isn’t the first time our ADSL provider has been troublesome; I had one ADSL connection that was allocated the same IP address as a wholesaler in Slough; I knew this because if I browsed to the external IP address reported by the router using my personal phone, I got an IP CCTV sign in (admin/password let me straight it) and could watch their trucks and cars deliver! I’ve NEVER seen an ISP duplicate on an external IP.

We pay £120 to get a 48 hour turn-around on these setups, and I’ve never had one that was good to go in 48 hours. Complete waste of money, a waste of my time, of the clients’ time, and to be honest, of the ISP’s time – they will have to refund the £120 expedite fee, plus have had their support guys tied up dealing with this mis-provisioned issue.

Great. Here’s an image that is quite appropriate for today.

Remember – be confident in both your successes and your failures. People will respect you more for it.

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