Over the weekend, our phone line at the house failed. Again, it was a situation where the DSL at the house worked, but the phone didn’t give dial-tone. If that sounds familiar, that’s because I had the exact same issue last year – for a week. After the apparently prerequisite of telling me that the issue simply must be in my home’s internal wiring, they scheduled an engineer to come out 3 days later. When that person finally did come out, they discovered that the problem was in the wiring outside my home.
I never did actually see the engineer and his explanation over the phone to me at work was a bit vague but he apparently found damage in the bearer line leading to the house. He supposedly replaced it. When I got home, the phones did indeed work.
And my DSL was down. Hard. The modem was showing that it wasn’t seeing the network out there at all. No amount of configuration troubleshooting on the modem will handle a situation like that because the modem does not detect a physical connection outbound to Verizon’s DSL service. In network parlance, that a Layer-1 issue. Since all the other layers of a network build upon each other, a problem at layer 1 means you don’t have a network, period.
After slogging though an increasingly maddening Tier-1 support script with a technician who has clearly never actually seen the results of the stupidity he was suggesting, I finally got escalated to a manager. Frankly, James was a bit better in the troubleshooting department, but not by much. It’s just incredibly hard to believe that people who allegedly troubleshoot network issues for a living will look at a scenario where the network connection at a location was working fine right up to a point where one of their engineers fiddled with the connection, whereupon the network failed and they then conclude that the problem has to be in the wiring past the point where the engineer was working.
Common sense – not to mention actual network knowledge and experience – will tell you that the problem was almost 100% caused by something that engineer did. That’s where you look for the problem. But no, Verizon’s “support” staff can’t see past the next idiotic question on their idiotic script and they are completely careless about the effect this has on their customer relation.
So, I’m using a cell card my company provides to get critical e-mail, engineering documents, and the like while I wait for another engineer to come out and figure out what was done. Perhaps it is time for a change, after all.