Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Big T - Part Two

I was so frustrated at Telstra/Bigpond's non-action when I posted last time on this, that I tweeted the link to @Telstra. Quite quickly I got a response back on Twitter asking me to go to a web page and link in to the support mechanism.
This has been the highlight of the saga. A guy called Mark has stuck with me and been able to escalate stuff and get action. So before I go any further I'd like to say that Mark has done a great job and that Telstra/Bigpond need a few more of him.
Mark went away and explored the problem and came back and said - Tuesday 17 at around 1pm you should have a static IP. OK, it's a wait but what else can we do?
On Tuesday morning Bigpond was down for maintenance - OK now I see what's happening. The problem was that when it came back up I visited and could see immediately that the Additional Services functionality wasn't working still. Mark, true to his word, came back at 1:00pm and said "sorry the fix didn't work". However he had escalated the problem and had high hopes of an outcome. Waiting, waiting, then on Friday 20th at around midday a tweet from @BigpondTeam and an email from Mark alerted me to the fact that finally, nearly 3 weeks after applying, I had a static IP.
The advice was to go to a page link, look at the FAQ instructions and activate the static IP that way. Off I beauty, at last.
So the link told me to change my username from to @static.bigpond. So I did that and the link went down and stayed down...
Back to Mark who escalated to the product owner and got the same advice, so I tried some more. Still the link stayed down. If I went back to the original logon it came up and it had the static IP, but if I followed Telstra's advice it went down and stayed down.
At Mark's request I went to tech support. The less said about that the better. I was very civil - they're just part of a broken system - but again they didn't get the issue and chased red herrings. Every time...Finally during a lengthy call I came back from rebooting the modem, again, to find that the tech support person had simply vanished from the line.
Back to Mark again and a request to do a chat session with tech support and reset my password - whatever turns you on, so I did that but to no avail.
Finally I suggested to Mark that the FAQ is wrong, it appears that you don't need to change the logon, the static IP just tags you and stays with you. He wasn't sure but said he'd check it out. We wished each other a good weekend and so ended the week.
This is where @lbanister came in. He knew what Telstra didn't know: for the last couple of years you haven't had to change your log in for a static IP - it just comes along and stays along. @lbanister had been waiting longer than I had for his static IP and got it at about the same time. Thanks for your help mate.
So one final strike for Telstra/Bigpond: They still don't know their systems. People like Mark are the only reason you keep using this company, because there is no other good reason. The rest of Bigpond has lousy service and product knowledge. How is it that the product owner doesn't know what customers need to do to activate his/her product? If you are the product owner for static IP this is a great big fail and you need the sack: first principle is know your product and you clearly don't and you don't appear to care. How else could you let a situation like this occur?
So coming to you this morning from my shiny new static IP and much thanks to Mark...
BTW it is raining, and I mean seriously raining, in Melbourne this morning. Melbourne airport reports over 50mm of rain since 9:00am yesterday - not even 24 hours and it is pissing down still. Just what we need after the heat of the last couple of weeks. Just what the reservoirs need as well.

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