Due to a technical problem which was beyond my control
I have had to work well into the early hours of the morning
to get this week's issue of Wyenot News on line. My Tiscali
broadband connection went down today and, although thankfully
Wyenot.com and Wyenot News are held on a completely separate
and much more reliable server in London's 'Docklands',
I was unable to access it during the twelve hour downtime.
the situation first arose, I thoroughly checked that the
problem was not at my end. I have several computers and
two broadband modems here, so I was able to be absolutely
certain that the problem was not my own. I also telephoned
other Tiscali users I know to see if they were experiencing
similar problems. They all were but despite this, Tiscali
insisted that the fault was with me and I ended up spending
the whole of Monday attempting to resolve the situation!
connection dropped out at 10 am, so after checking my
own equipment I telephoned Tiscali. I temporarily put
the immediate frustration experienced aside when faced
with the usual, 'press one if you are a new customer,
press two if you are an existing customer or press three
if you would like to listen to piped music for half an
hour whilst waiting for somebody to tell you that you
should have pressed six.'
dialling the next telephone number I was given, and having
pressed 'two' for a second obligatory ten minute wait,
I had already anticipated the monotone voice at the other
end, which would eventually announce, 'Tiscali Technical
Support, Tracey speaking, how can I help you?' My anticipation
was only slightly wrong here as her name wasn't Tracey.
cut a long story short. I explained immediately that I
had checked everything thoroughly and was absolutely certain
the problem was not at my end. There was no getting away
with it though - Technical Support refused to call me
back so I had no option but to waste an hour and a half,
paying National Rate for the telephone call whilst they
insisted that I go through their standard procedure of
uninstalling and reinstalling the modem software and rebooting
my computer three times. When this, predictably did not
work and I had successfully been able to 'ping' the Tiscali
computer several times, proving that both my modem and
the telephone line were working, eventually the penny
began to drop.
'Oh dear, the problem really is at the Tiscali end! I
am sorry but I am going to have to escalate this call
as I don't know the solution,' Tracey / Julie / Sharon
or whatever her name was finally admitted. 'You will be
hearing from us within 24 hours.
immediately began to plan changing my Internet Service
Provider, the moment the problem is fixed. Then I remembered
the problem with doing just that. My son, Matthew had
problems with Tiscali Broadband some months ago and closed
his account out of sheer frustration. To this day they
are still taking money from his bank account and he cannot
yet log on with another provider as Tiscali refuse to
allow direct migration to another ISP and have not yet
freed his telephone line.
advice to prospective Tiscali customers is; if like on
the television advertisement, a man on horseback rides
up and inscribes a 't' on any of
your property with his sword, exclaiming, 'Tiscali Broadband
from only £17.99 per month!' Tell him to bog off
and report him to the police for criminal damage. My broadband
has cost £24.99 per month for the past 14 months
and at the moment, five hours after my expensive one hour
and forty minutes on the phone to Tiscali Technical Support,
it still isn't working!
forgive my cynicism but my personal feeling is, that most
big companies with technical support lines deliberately
employ people who do not know the answer to your question
but are well versed in the art of keeping you on the phone
for long periods of time in order to gain revenue from
the telephone company. Of all the technical support lines
I have ever phoned, I can honestly say that not one of
them has ever been able to answer the question asked.
in the day I telephoned Tiscali again. This time they
blamed British Telecom! 'As little faith as I have in
BT, blaming them in this instance is not the answer,'
I explained. 'Whilst actually speaking to a Tiscali support
person earlier in the day I managed to successfully ping
the Tiscali server - twice. That would not be possible
if the fault was with BT.' I had to rush off at this point
because I was late for the Ross-on-Wye Mayor Making ceremony.
returning from the Mayor Making, at 9:30 pm to find my
broadband still not working, I spoke on the phone to some
other Tiscali users I know in Ross-on-Wye and asked them
all to phone Tiscali technical support. I don't know if
it was due to the sudden barrage of calls from Ross-on-Wye
or whether it was just pure coincidence but miraculously,
within minutes the service was restored.
moral of this story being - if calling a help line of
any description, it is advisable to bear in mind that
you will almost certainly be fobbed off. It also pays
to remember that most 'technical support' employees adopt
the old adage, 'Stercus bovae cerebro mystificum' (Bullshit
baffles brains!) I prefer the other one my dad taught
me however, 'If force doesn't work, use a bigger hammer'
- get as many of your mates as possible to phone in and
report the same problem. It seems that this method actually