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Re: BCP Question: Handling trouble reports from non-customers

  • From: Mike Tancsa
  • Date: Fri Sep 01 13:15:33 2006

At 12:26 PM 9/1/2006, Owen DeLong wrote:
I think my previous post may have touched on a more global issue.

Given the number of such posts I have seen over time, and, my
experiences trying to
report problems to other ISPs in the past, it seems to me that a high
percentage of
ISPs, especially the larger ones, simply don't allow for the
possibility of a non-customer
needing to report a problem with the ability to reach one of their
customers.
I think its more of an issue of being able to get through to the right people as opposed to customers or non customers reporting problems. We had an issue with one large ILEC here in Canada recently (but similar problems in the past with others) where they did some upgrades to their radius servers that busted non PAP logins. Some of our older VPN devices used scripted logins so these all broke. We only were "regular" customers, so we tried our best to work through the front line tech support. Basically we got stuff like "we dont support UNIX. You need to call UNIX for help" "we dont have terminal servers", "there is nothing wrong with R-A-Y-D-E-E-U-S or even the circumference", and other crap that was an obvious 'jettison customer' leaf in the decision tree. It was an incredibly frustrating situation for 3 days despite asking to escalate etc. Ultimately, we discovered the issue had security issues, so we used that as a pretext to use a net-sec contact to pass on the info and it was acted on almost right away.

In general, the dilemma seems to be this-- customer calls up saying stuff that makes no sense to the front line tech. Does front line tech pass each and every, "the customer is saying our ION-Dilithium deflector array is misalligned and needs to be refilled with dark neutrino particles" and "You have a bogus next hop route in your IGP"... Pass it up the food chain ? Or just dismiss it. The answer seems to be, "if there is a bogus next hop issue, our second line will catch it on their own" so dont bother second line if you cant figure it out. Whether its a good business decision or not, dont know but that seems to be the popular thing to do in my experience.

---Mike




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