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Using dial up to report a fault

quantium
Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: 20-08-2011

Using dial up to report a fault

Last night we were struck by lightening and the modem was destroyed. I have got some spares so replaced it, but got connection to the exchange only. I was unable to connect to 
username: bt_test_user@plusdsl.net
password: test
without success.
I asked neighbours (on BT) to see if their broadband worked, and it did, so assumed that I was unable to connect because of some setup error with my replacement modem. I then tried to connect to Plus Net by dial up and spent fruitless hours trying to find the page that would say whether there was any known fault. Once I had found it, it reported none. I then wanted to raise a ticket, but couldn't find the link. We then bought a 3G USB HSPA "dongle" to try and get connection, but by the time we got back with it, service had been resumed.
Clearly the strike had affected the local PN network, but this was not reported on the Plus Net web site. Obviously the information was available somewhere, but I spent most of the morning looking for a non existent fault in my own network.
I would like to recommend that there is a quick link so that customers can get a support ticket open on dial up with the minimum amount of connection time. A simple link, say "http://ticket.plus.com" that brings up a form right away.
As a side issue, fibre to the premises would make lightening strikes a thing of the past. Lightening cannot pass down optic fibres! Ducting has been laid down out road now, but I am told that we can only have fibre to the cabinet.
A more immediate solution may be to have optical links coupling the copper to the home to the customer's modem. This would obviously be possible to implement. Get the Chinese turning them out! Optical AV is already here, so this would use similar technology.
5 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,263
Thanks: 199
Fixes: 62
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Using dial up to report a fault

Thanks a lot for the suggestions, glad to see you're back online too.
Quote
Clearly the strike had affected the local PN network, but this was not reported on the Plus Net web site

I sincerely doubt we would have been aware at such short notice, if our suppliers report any such localised issues we'd report them on our service status page http://status.plus.net if they affect a large proportion of our customer base, otherwise we should be checking for them as part of the process of investigating faults for customers.
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 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,678
Thanks: 902
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Using dial up to report a fault

Quote from: quantium
I would like to recommend that there is a quick link so that customers can get a support ticket open on dial up with the minimum amount of connection time. A simple link, say "http://ticket.plus.com" that brings up a form right away.

I'm not sure about this. Very few users will have a dial up modem or even if they had an old one laying around have any idea on how to set it up manually (also old dial up modems will need a serial port and how many PCs made in the last few years have those!).
A far more radical solution would be for Plusnet to give a telephone number which would be answered within minutes by an agent who could check the BT notifications.
If you look up your exchange at http://usertools.plus.net/exchanges/ and then use the link in
You can view recent Service Outages for this exchange here
you will see if BT published information about the outage.
It might also be listed on http://usertools.plus.net/exchanges/mso.php
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 3,083
Thanks: 1,515
Fixes: 9
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Using dial up to report a fault

I have to agree with Jelv. 
I am fortunate to have a couple of old Dial-up modems  but finding a working one would be a challenge likely to take longer than BT Openreach would take to fix the fault Grin
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,664
Thanks: 763
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Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: Using dial up to report a fault

Quote from: jelv
Very few users will have a dial up modem

I don't think that statement is quite true.
Every laptop I've had, including the one I'm using now, had/has a software dial up modem built in.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,313
Thanks: 86
Fixes: 3
Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Using dial up to report a fault

Yes, this laptop has a 56k modem too (though I've never actually used it).
I imagine many websites would be terribly slow to load at modem speed.  I have a 'text only' browser in Linux (Lynx) but not sure if the modem works with Linux.
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