Tales from Tech Support.

So without trying at all, I totally embarrassed the crap out of a customer today. He called in for support, claiming that the DSL light on his basic modem was blinking on and off and losing its signal; for those who don’t know, a blinking DSL light is a straightforward issue – it’s not synchronized with the network.

So I run a line test, get a perfect result. He tells me that he’s got the light blinking, which doesn’t add up – his modem can’t detect the network, yet I’m getting a response from it? At this point I’m starting to worry that we have some wires crossed somewhere, and somehow this guy’s service has been provisioned recently to someone else’s phone number.

So I have him turn everything off and on, try again. I’ve still got a perfect test, he’s still got a blinking DSL light, and yet when he tries, he’s able to connect to any page that he likes. So now I’m simply thrown for a loop… but it does occur to me to ask one simple clarifying question.

“Alright, sir… you don’t suppose the light that’s blinking is the Internet light, do you? Not the DSL light?”

In contrast, the Internet light indicates activity between the modem and the Internet itself. It’s always blinking and going steady, constantly. He checks, and falls silent. “Oh,” he says. “Oh, alright then, well… thank you very much.”

I don’t press the issue. “My pleasure, sir. Any other questions for me? Anything else I can help-”

“No, no, that’s alright, thank you, that’s alright.” Click.

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  • About

    My name is Bobby.

    I write about random things a lot. I write a lot about random things.

    I write occasionally for Smashing Magazine and the London Community News online, and weekly for Interrobang, the student voice newspaper at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario.

    I've also been published by the Canadian University Press.
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