Archive for the ‘Tech Stuff’ Category

You knew it was coming… ;)

We came back home on Sunday, 3 days after the Broadband was ceased. Yet it was still working! So a call to BT Wholesale informed us that UKOL was still supplying us with ADSL. Even they didn't give me a straight answer as to what was going on! So another call to UKOL to request a new MAC code to migrate away. Again we were told 48 hours and someone would call (yeah right). So this morning was 48 hours later and no call. Dave's just called them and fingers crossed we'll have a MAC code on Friday. Of course pigs might fly but you never know.

Still we have ADSL and when the migration finally takes place there shouldn't be any downtime (in theory, highly unlikely but miracles do happen!).

After waiting almost 10 days for a call back from UK Online today I called BT Wholesale and was informed that the cease on our line should be finished by midnight tonight at the latest. This means that tomorrow our new ISP can order a reconnection (at a price of £50) and have our ADSL back up and running in a week – woohoo!! Finally there's a light at the end of the tunnel! Of course the next step in the process is the nice long letter of complaint which I've already got 4 pages of events to go with it! We'll be covering everything from telephone bills to show the time and money spent on the telephone through to requesting them to pay us back the reconnection fee after their underhand tactics of cancelling our ADSL without our permission.

So this weekend we'll be going back home (finally). It's only been 6 weeks…!

The sequel to ADSL Woes has already begun!! I have had such a **** day of phone calls. This morning I was given our Mac code for moving our Broadband to another supplier. All seemed fine, called the new company (I like a company that answers within 2 rings!) and set the ball in motion. Then a couple of hours later they called me back saying there was a problem with the code and it was one of three things
1. The code was invalid
2. The code had already been given to another BB company
3. The old ISP (UK Online) had begun cancellation proceedings on the line.

Well the first was checked and seemed fine, the second option wasn't an option as far as we were concerned so that left an invalid code from the ISP or a cancellation on the line. So another hour spent on the phone to get through to the correct department, and we were told that the code was valid and no cancellation had been put through. So another call to the new ISP and they went off to ask BT why the error had happened. Half hour later a call back telling us that UK Online had definitely put through a cancellation order on the BB on our line on Sunday and gave us the order code! So the Mac code, generated for Saturday but not given to us until today was completely useless. So we called UK Online again (yep another 45 minutes to get through) and I spoke to someone who was insistent that there was no cancellation, that they couldn't generate the Mac code if a cancellation had been put through (clearly ignoring the fact I kept saying the code was generated first then a cancellation put through), she even asked another department who said no cancellation had gone through – yet BT said there was (and right now I know who I believe!). Then the bullet hit, Dave spoke to her and she informed him that unless we paid them for the rest of our contract (which we are wholly within our right to cancel according to their Terms and Conditions) they wouldn't do anything about it. No manager or supervisior was available to talk to (likely story) and she wouldn't give us a number for anyone else.

So after all this Dave called Ofcom for advise on what to do. Essentially we are being blackmailed into paying for a contract which we shouldn't have to pay for because they've been sneaky to generate us a Mac code and then cancel the broadband right after! I hate not being in control and right now we have no control over our own telephone line. Ofcom gave us the number for BT Wholesale so we called them to find out exactly what was going on with our line. The cease was definitely ordered on Sunday by UK Online however soon after they also put in a reprovision order to supply us with broadband again! Even the woman at BT said she'd never seen anything like it. Unfortunately there's nothing they can do which is so unbelievably frustrating as they could just fix it all there and then.

So we decided to bite the bullet, call UK Online and offer to pay the remaining £75 for the get out of jail option. Then get the BB moved and write a long letter detailing it all to the Ombudsman and see if we could get our money back this way along with compensation for the amount of telephone time spent on this. Another 45 minutes to an hour wait and we got through to someone who suddenly said something different. This person was actually more helpful, she passed our problem on to a technician there who's looking into why the Mac code isn't working and is going (in theory) to call us back tomorrow to let us know what's happened.

So yet more ups and downs over this whole issue, yet again ridiculous customer support from one girl we spoke to twice with regards to the whole cancellation of BB on the line and her defiance in saying it wasn't true and then being blackmailed to get any further action. Fingers crossed tomorrow may be a better day, I hope so, I've lost most of today to the telephone :(

Thank god for chocolate icecream…

4 weeks ago today we started having ADSL problems. The speed had dropped to virtually nothing. After tests from our ISP they submitted the problem to BT. On Saturday 30th September the ADSL went completely and we've not had any connection since. During this time Dave and I have been staying down at my parents place to continue working. Come Monday we won't have been home for 4 weeks!

Every week we've been spending 20-30 minutes on the phone, 2-3 times a week, to get through to technical support to be told that there's been no reply from BT and that someone would call. However nobody ever called! It's been a major disruption to the business, the amount of work we have on and of course sheer frustration at no understanding why there's a problem. We've been told BT said everything was fine, we've been told BT weren't responding to their request for an update and one customer service person told us it wasn't their problem and that we had to call BT!!

After a chat with Khalid yesterday, he had a friend run a line check for us and told me that the ADSL was enabled and that the ISP just weren't doing their job at getting it sorted. So after a check on the terms and conditions I phoned customer services and told them they had until Saturday, the 30 day mark, to get our ADSL running otherwise we would cancel without penalty as we're still within our year's contract. Strangely enough the firm words seemed to have made a mark as we had a call yesterday evening from someone at the ISP, we were told that there had been a failure at the exchange and BT should have fixed it on 30th September. This was new to us as we'd just been told BT had said there was no problem! They asked if we were still intending to cancel because if we were they wouldn't get the issue fixed.

We've spent the past 4 weeks being lied to, fobbed off over it all and essentially ignored. Who knows who's to fault, BT or the ISP. After being told today it would take another 10 days to get our ADSL activated again (when it was meant to have been done within 24 hours originally!) we decided to cancel. Perhaps it will take that long but I'd rather get an ISP we can trust to tell us the truth and not just leave us without broadband. We'll be moving to fast.co.uk as I know of the owner and he's already aware of our situation, and apparently the support is second to none which is something you need when you rely on the internet as much as I do.

So now that the ADSL is almost in safe hands plus the completion of 3 projects this week I may start to relax and get rid of the stress that's making me ill!

Microsoft have finally released the long awaited Internet Explorer 7. However I won't be using it for some time as I run… Windows 2000. Clearly my operating system is obsolete as far as MS are concerned. If I want to use IE7 I have the pay however much it costs for XP Pro to get the same options as 2000 offers. It also means I then have to use something that has a default look of something off the Teletubbies. I'm sure if you stare at the default WinXP background long enough you'll see the purple one with a makeshift aerial on its head pop up and wave.

Luckily I don't really browser test these days as I don't do much frontend development (XHTML, CSS, design) so I assume it's already tested. I guess I'll just have to install it on my spare laptop, however considering running IE6 sends the CPU into 100% usage I'm guessing IE7 isn't going to make much difference (and it'll be Firefox to win out!).

Still, if you run WinXP I guess you should go upgrade, and then you can see how many websites break with it's new 'standards' which are probably still only halfway there :P

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