A customer (new to Brisbane), rang, wanting to be connected to the internet… a PC plus a laptop (via wireless 802.11).
Mandy took the call, and knew to ask if the Broadband internet had been connected by telstra, and to make sure that she had the modem, and all the relevant documentation (like email address and password).
So it looks like all systems go for a quick visit.
I get there, and the modem is still in the telstra box.
Customer also has a linksys wireless router, and 2 dial-up modems… but no power packs.
OK, I let her search for the power packs (she is not sure what they look like, so I show her one).
In the mean time, I setup the telstra speedtouch (luckily it has a power adapter, thanks to it all being sealed in the box).
I plugin all the cables, fire up the modem, but the DSL light just blinks every minute or two. Hmmm, no ADSL signal on the line.
I tell the customer what I see happening, and she repeats (for the Nth time), that it should be working, as a telstra technician was there that morning, but he wouldn’t setup the internet, saying “you need to get a third party to run the cables”. She also says she doesn’t know anything about computers… and she has been without the internet for over 3 weeks now, and she needs it to communicate with London, as she has dealings with art auctions.
OK, this has happened before: usually a mixup with Telstra or the customer, and the ADSL line is not ready when it was supposed to.
We call Telstra, and an interesting story emerges:
Telstra cannot find any request to have ADSL setup on the customers phone line. There are no other phone lines in the house.
The tech asks where the box with the modem came from. The customer eventually admits that they got the modem while they were living in Paddington, Sydney… but they never got around to installing the modem, and a few months later, they moved to Brisbane.
The tech asks for the Paddington phone number. Yep, they got broadband in Sydney, it got automatically activated after 21 days (even though the modem didn’t get connected… apparently, its standard policy).
Since ADSL connections will not magically follow you around the country, Telstra charge $55 to move the adsl line from place to place… and you must wait 3 working days.
Customer looks like she is close to tears… or a nervous breakdown…
I also ask the tech to arrange a temporary dialup connection, so at least she can do something.
While waiting for the tech, I find that she uses an business email address (eg something like firstname.lastname@example.org), but she has no idea how she got it, what the password is, and believes it must be a telstra thing.
Once the tech sets up the dialup, I ask him about the extra domain, so he says I’ll need to put you through to the business division.
While on hold, I hand the phone to the customer, go grab a dialup PCI modem from the car, install it, then fire up the PC.
At this point I need a password to get into windows XP. Customer has no idea what the password is… so after 20 minutes on hold, we give up on Telstra, she phones her hubby, and we try 3 different passwords, until we find the correct one.
I then setup dialup networking, dialup telstra, find that the PC has an antivirus package I’ve never heard of before. emails fires up and starts downloading the emails for the prior user of the PC (another user on the somedomain.com.au domain).
Oddly, the web also doesn’t want to work… But given that emails are the main focus, then I leave things as they are, as its now been nearly 3 hours, at the end of a very long day, and there is not much more I can realistically do, until hubby finds out the passwords for the relevant email addresses, and until Telstra connects the broadband.
All up, an apparently simple setup job became a marathon of obstacles, with few good results (I’d say getting the dialup half-working was all I really achieved).
She suggested I deal with her husband in the future, and I must say I agree… and given that he works during the day, I offered my services after hours, once broadband is connected, and I’ll finally be able to complete the task.
She agrees to call me in a weeks time, to arrange an appointment… but I don’t hear back. Things get busy, so I don’t get a chance to call back for a few weeks…
to be continued…