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Standard User BraveTyger
(newbie) Tue 01-May-12 15:09:53
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ADSL24 - No Broadband and Disappointing Tech Support


[link to this post]
 
Hi all,

My family has been having broadband connection problems this month with ADSL24, and though we have just got our connection back, the poor technical support we’ve received has led me to starting a thread here.

I’m posting partly in the belief that some of the forum members might be able to use their experience to offer an insight into what happened, but mainly in the hope that James from ADSL24 (who posts here often and always seems to offer friendly and coherent advice) might see this thread and offer us better technical support than we’ve received so far from his company.

Apologies for the length of this post: this has been an involved and frustrating process that has eaten up two weeks of my Dad’s life and mine.

Weds 11th April – We receive an email from ADSL24 telling us we will be upgraded to the new 21CN network on the 26th. It promises that we won’t have to do anything and will have faster speeds. Yay!

Fri 13th April – We lose our internet connection mid-morning. I check our TP-Link router: still syncing (usual rates: 7104kbps downstream, 448kbps upstream) but no internet session. I reboot the router. No change. I check and re-enter our password and username. No change. We give it a couple of hours and then ring ADSL24 technical support. They say they will investigate the problem, and we should ring again on Saturday.

Sat 14th April – We ring again. No new information. We are told that nothing is likely to be done over the weekend, so we should ring again on Monday.

Mon 16th April – We ring again. Technical support says that our internet connection would be down until 26th April, the date of our 21CN line changeover. I am rather shocked. We are told to ring their Customer Services line. We do so. They say previous techie is wrong; the 21CN change would only see a few minutes downtime on the day. The issue is sent back to their backroom people to chase.

Tues 17th April – Customer Services phone us back. We are told that the 21CN changeover order on the line was blocking any diagnostics being done. We agree to have this taken off the line. We are told to ring back next day.

Wed 18th April – Deep joy, the connection returns at 10.30am, working fine. We ring at lunchtime just to see what the problem was. Technical support do not know, but say they will contact the 2nd line team and email/ring us with an answer.

Fri 20th April – We lose our broadband again mid-morning, same as before (syncing but no PPP session). We ring ADSL24 straight away. Techie suggests we test another router if we can; meanwhile, he will run other tests at his end. He says he might ring back, but that we should ring him back at ‘the end of play today’ if we hear nothing. I test our Belkin router in the afternoon with the same results: full sync, no PPP session. Techie does not call back so we ring again and explain the issue again. No further info. New techie says he will add this problem onto his personal log and arrange for Network team to chase this evening or Saturday morning as a priority. He is off on Monday but promises to ring us by 10.30am on Tuesday.

Tues 24th April – Still no internet. No call back. We ring again. Techie who promised to ring us is off ill, so we explain our issue again to a new techie. We double check the username and password again. We also try the BT test logins with no success. Techie mentions possibility of ‘Ras Rebuild’ – will do more checks and ring back.
Techie phones back! We try another filter. No change. We try another router again. No change. We try the different filter / router combo direct into the BT test socket. No change.

We lose our phone connection when plugging into the test socket, so have to phone back. Techie is on another line. We phone again half an hour later. Go through long explanation with new techie support chap before he passes us over to original techie. He wonders if it might be HEC error (but is unable to explain what this is). He will connect 2nd line team and phone us back with more info by end of day. He phones back later to say his team can’t see a problem, so the issue has been forwarded through to BT. Techie will ring back with info in the morning.

Weds 25th April – Techie rings back. Wants to arrange BT engineer call out. On his suggestion, we triple-check username/password. We triple-check filter and router in test socket again. Exactly the same results. Techie says he has arranged BT engineer to call on us between 8am-1pm the next day. Says he might call back later with more specific time, or BT engineer may call in the morning instead.

Thurs 26th April – We wait in all morning. No calls. No engineer. We ring again. Another new techie says there was only the ‘possibility’ of an engineer visit and suggests BT have not been contacted. Their 2nd line team is now saying they might have found a fault. We are unhappy and ask to speak to a more senior member of staff. Senior techie not currently available. We ring back. Senior techie listens to tale of woe and promises to ‘kick some behinds’ and ring us back.

Senior techie rings back! He can’t see why engineer visit was suggested, and says we might have been charged because the line is fine. He says they have ‘rebuilt the DPLEX’ at their end but that this hasn’t helped, so now they are going to do a ‘cease and lease’. Senior techie says this will take two hours; after this time we try rebooting router and try the two BT test logins. Same result. We ring back. Senior techie says a ‘lift and shift’ will be needed at our exchange. He books a slot with BT engineer between 8-1pm on Monday.

Mon 30th April – BT engineer visits house, tests master socket, no probs on the line. Returns to exchange. Engineer returns an hour later to check extension leads and router. Same as before. Returns to exchange. Engineer returns with supervisor to check our passwords on router – they seem to be getting a gobbledygook password at their end. Passwords are fine. They leave to do ‘lift and shift’. Engineers then return for a fourth time, as the BT techies at Wigan say ‘lift and shift’ is not needed. They test their own Home Hub on the line; same result.

BT engineers return to exchange. Half an hour later we get our internet back! Engineer phones back to say they re-checked our ‘profile’. He tells us that only half the BT 21CN cancellation had been done, resulting in our authentication problem. We wait for promised call-back from senior ADSL24 techie to fully explain what had happened. Call never comes. We ring up. Senior techie is not available; another techie promises to ask him to ring us back.

Tues 1st May – Senior techie has not called back. We ring back. We speak to techie who cannot transfer us to senior techie and cannot explain what happened.

In summary: over the last 18 days we have had just 48hrs of internet. We have spent over £20 ringing up ADSL24 technical support – their techies have been either loath to call us back, or on several occasions have promised to call us and not done so, which makes me particularly angry.

Different ADSL24 techies have contradicted each other, booked non-existent engineer appointments, and seemed confused as to what might be happening. Even now they are no nearer to explaining to us what happened (the BT engineer’s explanation doesn’t explain why our line went in the first place, before a 21CN cancellation was even suggested).

Rival suppliers offer us broadband for less money, but we have stayed with ADSL24 because they claim to offer a reliable connection and a more personal technical help service if something does go wrong. In this case, I don’t feel they have met either of these claims.

We are considering contacting ADSL24’s customer services about compensating us for our phone costs and loss of connection, but in case you are reading this James, can you offer us any coherent explanation of what happened, and why it won’t just happen again in another day’s time?

This experience has really dented our confidence in ADSL24 as a company, and is particularly galling for me, as I was the one who recommended them as a provider to my parents.
ISP Representative Adsl24
(isp) Tue 01-May-12 18:38:36
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Re: ADSL24 - No Broadband and Disappointing Tech Support


[re: BraveTyger] [link to this post]
 
First of all I'm sorry to hear about the trouble you've had thus far.

Let me read through what's happened and get back to you as soon possible.

James
Technical Director, ADSL24

We supply ADSL, ADSL2+, LLU and FTTC VDSL2 services as well as cheap line rental and bundle deals!
Visit our website for the latest offers.
The above post has been made by an ISP REPRESENTATIVE (although not necessarily the ISP being discussed in the post).
ISP Representative Adsl24
(isp) Tue 01-May-12 19:18:21
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Re: ADSL24 - No Broadband and Disappointing Tech Support


[re: BraveTyger] [link to this post]
 
The response you got from support on the 16th April (must have been out of hours support as the guys in our office would never say such a thing...) about them saying your line won't work until it is upgraded to 21CN is nonsense, as that is just an order in the system. Until the date of the 21CN upgrade nothing actually happens to your line.

In general, the issue is not isolated to your line. To explain, we have probably had more than 30 customers over the past few months affected by a similar issue whereby they are in SYNC but can't establish a PPP session. It turned out on most of those that BT have been performing some software upgrades on certain 20CN equipment which caused loads of ports to lose their configuration an thus where not pointing to the ISP's virtual path, which meant that authentication requests from the customer's router were not getting past the exchange.

This issue is sometimes fixed by way of a "Flex" to the circuit, a RAS rebuild, or a soft cease and re-provide. Failing that, a lift an shift can be performed but this requires an SFI visit to be arranged as they demand an engineer visit to action the latter.

I can also confirm that when there is an open order on the line, such as a 21CN upgrade, BT's systems are not able to run any line tests until the order is either completed or cancelled, so that information was accurate. I can see the 21CN order was cancelled so we could continue investigating.

I don't understand what the engineer said about the 21CN order not being cancelled properly. We simply click a button on Bt's system to cancel the order, so if this was not cancelled properly this is a problem on their back-end system. It's likely that the cancellation of the 21CN order somehow resulted in the Virtual Path being lost on the port configuration which potentially stopped the authentication again.

Having checked why the engineer did not show up on the first time of asking, it turned out that although we requested the engineer visit on the 25th they did not have time to book it for the next day so their system rejected it but without informing us in advance, so the first we knew about it was when you let us know they had not shown up. It was then booked for the 30th as you confirm.

Half the problem we have is that this type of fault is largely unexplainable, as it's nothing on the ISP's side (as authentication requests from your router never make it past the exchange down the Virtual Path to our servers), and BT don't understand why not as the port is configured correctly (apparently) and it "should work".

Regrettably it seems you've not had the promised call backs from the 1st line support and I will be raising this as an internal complaint with the 1st Line support manager who is very good at dealing with these kinds of things.

I do apologise for this and will try to find out more but ultimately BT don't tell us what the issue is/was so we have to have a guess most of the time.

In any case, I have immediately taken action to move your bill date on a month so you will not be billed now until the 1st July in light of the problem and we'll see what we can do to ensure improvements are made when coming to handling these types of faults in the future.

As you probably know this is not the level of service ADSL24 aim to provide so rest assured I will be talking to the relevant people within the business to ensure this is improved upon asap, but this is a somewhat isolated issue as most of our faults are rectified within days, not weeks!

Thanks,

James
Technical Director, ADSL24

We supply ADSL, ADSL2+, LLU and FTTC VDSL2 services as well as cheap line rental and bundle deals!
Visit our website for the latest offers.
The above post has been made by an ISP REPRESENTATIVE (although not necessarily the ISP being discussed in the post).


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Standard User partial
(learned) Tue 01-May-12 21:10:09
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Re: ADSL24 - No Broadband and Disappointing Tech Support


[re: BraveTyger] [link to this post]
 
Bit unfair to specifically blame adsl24 as he will probably be using Daisy or suchlike White Label Branded Support.

http://www.daisywholesale.com/support-services

I would doubt resellers have any access to Openreach, BTw or o2w backend systems to book engineers or suchlike.

Edited by partial (Tue 01-May-12 21:12:46)

Standard User BraveTyger
(newbie) Tue 01-May-12 21:16:58
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Re: ADSL24 - No Broadband and Disappointing Tech Support


[re: Adsl24] [link to this post]
 
Hello James,

Thank you for your prompt response detailing some of the answers to the problem we have been experiencing.

We also appreciate your action in forward-dating our next monthly bill, as this will go some way towards the phone costs we have incurred and our loss of service during this last month.

My Dad and I both await with interest whether your further investigations with BT provide any further explanation. I would also be interested in knowing when you think our line will go back into the pot for upgrading to the 21CN platform, as we don't want to miss out on the speed improvements your first email said were possible (and it would be nice to get something positive from all of BT's software upgrades).

Reading your reply, we are confident that following your intervention any future problems will be dealt with more proactively by your 1st Line support team, especially with regard to keeping us informed on progress made.

Thank you again for taking the time to reply to us this evening.

Robert.
ISP Representative Adsl24
(isp) Tue 01-May-12 21:19:41
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Re: ADSL24 - No Broadband and Disappointing Tech Support


[re: BraveTyger] [link to this post]
 
Hi Robert (& Dad)

If you are able to confirm everything is now ok, I will go ahead and process another upgrade order to 21CN for you.

Can you also confirm which router you use so we can be sure that your line will support ADSL2+ which we can enable once 21CN goes live.

Thanks

James

James
Technical Director, ADSL24

We supply ADSL, ADSL2+, LLU and FTTC VDSL2 services as well as cheap line rental and bundle deals!
Visit our website for the latest offers.
The above post has been made by an ISP REPRESENTATIVE (although not necessarily the ISP being discussed in the post).
ISP Representative Adsl24
(isp) Tue 01-May-12 21:21:02
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Re: ADSL24 - No Broadband and Disappointing Tech Support


[re: partial] [link to this post]
 
Ultimately the customer relies on us, ADSL24 to provide the support, so regardless of whether our own staff our out-of-hours staff deal with the call, there is no excuse for anyone not calling the customer back when promised.

James
Technical Director, ADSL24

We supply ADSL, ADSL2+, LLU and FTTC VDSL2 services as well as cheap line rental and bundle deals!
Visit our website for the latest offers.
The above post has been made by an ISP REPRESENTATIVE (although not necessarily the ISP being discussed in the post).
Standard User BraveTyger
(newbie) Tue 01-May-12 21:31:59
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Re: ADSL24 - No Broadband and Disappointing Tech Support


[re: Adsl24] [link to this post]
 
Hi James,

Our connection has been fine since returning yesterday (touch wood), so as long as you don't think a new upgrade request will plunge us back into having PPP/authentication problems, then processing a new order would be great.

Our router is a TP-Link TDW890N - it does say it's an ADSL2+ router on the front, so I think it should be okay.

Thanks,

Robert (& Dad)
ISP Representative Adsl24
(isp) Thu 03-May-12 08:25:56
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Re: ADSL24 - No Broadband and Disappointing Tech Support


[re: BraveTyger] [link to this post]
 
Just to let you know I have requested the 21CN upgrade for you again. This could take a few weeks as it's a manual process rather than the batch upgrade that you were included on last time. You will get notified by email of course with the relevant date etc.

Just to conclude on this one, BT have identified a problem which was what I was expecting, in that the port of the line card your connection was on at the exchange had a configuration problem and had reset to defaults, but their testing did not pick this up which is qhy it ended up dragging on, as when they tested it several times all came back No fault found.

It was only once the engineer physically came out to inspect and check things did they find the issue.

Once again many apologies for the time this has taken and I'm glad your connection was restored a few days ago. It's as frustrating for us as it is for our customers when this type of thing happens as we are largely reliant on BT resolving exchange problems, there is nothing we have direct control over on that I'm afraid.

James

James
Technical Director, ADSL24

We supply ADSL, ADSL2+, LLU and FTTC VDSL2 services as well as cheap line rental and bundle deals!
Visit our website for the latest offers.
The above post has been made by an ISP REPRESENTATIVE (although not necessarily the ISP being discussed in the post).
Standard User BraveTyger
(newbie) Thu 03-May-12 11:51:09
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Re: ADSL24 - No Broadband and Disappointing Tech Support


[re: Adsl24] [link to this post]
 
Hello James,

Firstly, thank you for taking the time to update us and for requesting the 21CN upgrade.

However, bad news: we lost our connection again at about 2am this morning, same as before, Syncing but no PPP session. I'm typing this at my brother's house.

We have contacted your technical support line again. The second gentleman we spoke to has said he will talk to your technical team and also speak to yourself about this issue. He has promised to ring us back by 1pm.

Obviously, we don't want to start back at the beginning on this problem. I'm hoping your involvement on this issue will ensure we don't have to go through days of frustration and fruitless testing again.

Thank you,
Robert.
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