Xtra "Help" Desk Hell

By tonyhughes Hughes, in , posted: 16-Jun-2008 20:03

Perhaps using the word "Help" as part of the name "Helpdesk" is a quite an overstatement on Xtras part.

I come home. Internet working great. Browse the web, send some email.

I go do stuff.

I go to use internet again - but not connectivity, ADSL light is off. I reboot several times, but no luck.

After 30 mins of PC, Mac and router reboots, I call the alleged helpdesk. I spoke to "Cherry". She had quite an accent, but spoke English very well. She didn't however, understand very much of it.

Heres some of the gems she came out with:

  • Asked me my PCs LAN IP address 4 times (its static BTW).
  • Twice after asking my LAN IP address, she said "Ok, please hold while I check that out" a clear 5 minutes later each time, she comes back with no further knowledge (given that she asked my LAN IP address I am not surprised).
  • Was surprised to hear that my routers IP address was not (Its 192.168.x.x).
  • Was surprised to hear I could not open Internet Explorer, as I was using a Mac.
  • Had no idea what DHCP was.
  • Had no concept of DNS relay from the modem to the LAN.
  • Had no concept of the fact that no settings had changed on my three computers, therefore the issue must be with my router or further out.
  • Kept asking me to change the DNS settings in my Mac.
  • Asked me twice what model my router was, but insisted on saying 502-T everytime she referred to it (I told her I have a 504-T).
  • Plus more random stuff.

Says she will get the port checked and call me back. I asked how long would it be before she called me back. She said she would call me back in about 30 minutes.

HahahAHhaHAaHHHaHAHahAHHAa whatever.

I disturb a Telecom employee I know, and that person kindly helps me out, spends a few minutes actually trying to help, not simply reading a script. We establish that my router has seeminly good communication with the exchange, and that perhaps a problem with my router is preventing it relaying data back through to and from my LAN. He suggested a full factory reset of my 504-T. This was successful, and I now have interwebtubes again.

"Cherry" calls and says "Oh hai Tony, I was calling to see how your internet is going."

I politely informed her that because she did not call when she promised, I phoned somebody who could actually help me, and that because of that person, I now had internet. Goodbye. <click>

Xtra in general, suck. A few employees here and there that I have encountered are fantastic (Mostly Complex Technical Support, and a couple of NZ based helpdeskers), but by and large, the service (both customer, and the broadband service itself), suck, and suck badly.

I cannot change providers, as my partner recieves Xtra (specifically) Broadband as part of her employment package.

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I want broadband, why do I have to wait 3 days to even know if its POSSIBLE?

Comment by hellonearthisman, on 17-Jun-2008 09:36

I use to drop the odd pun on the old helpdesk people, keeps things light hearted...  But these days, I don't bother (my creativity crushed) because the help desk English skills are not able to get it,  which doesn't give me hope when I try to describe what my problem is.  I guess the helpdesk was never really good, so moving it overseas means now at least it's cheap and not very good,  a great savings.

Comment by ChrisGNZ, on 18-Jun-2008 23:00

I had a similar sounding problem with a Telecom provided Dlink 504-T at a customer site.  Since customer needs to use VPN to their office, first thing I did was change the LAN address and STUPID subnet mask to with subnet mask  8 bit mask, what are they thinking?  Anyway, that worked fine for a week or so, then I get a call from customer - internet no longer works.  Sigh. Go on site, check modem and find it is not getting an ADSL line sync.  Rebooting router made no difference.  Turning router off for 10 minutes made no difference (used to do the trick on the old Nokia M1122 and M110!) No config settings changed, so its probably just the upstream port needing a reset right? So I call the xtra helpdesk to request this, but no, the very polite but darned insistent person on the helpdesk insisted I do a full factory reset on the modem. Sighing quietly to myself I complied so that we could move on to the point where she would agree that it wasn't the modem and do a port reset, but to my amazement the thing started working!!  Coincidence?  I'm not sure if I believe in coincidences....

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