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fax2email

mikeb
Grafter
Posts: 367
Registered: ‎10-06-2007

fax2email

Anyone else seeing problems with fax2email ?
I don't use it very often TBH but almost every time that I do actually need to use it, it's more often than not being cranky, fussy and generally unreliable  Roll eyes  I've obviously no idea how it behaves the rest of time when I'm not trying to use it of course but my money would have to be on much the same because it's far too much of a random coincidence otherwise !
Last night (or rather stupid o'clock this morning) for instance: Out of many attempts (not sure exactly how many because of 'redial on error' but it was well into double figures) by far the vast majority resulted in getting the "number unobtainable" tone, a very small number did get answered but negotiation apparently failed almost immediately and then finally 1 successful connection.  On various other occasions I've experienced similar problems and also with calls being picked up but not responded to at all and even engaged tones on my so-called 'personal' number.
There's nothing exactly shiny new and state of the art about FAX technology so why so many apparent problems for something that is in principle so very simple and routine ? I've seen numerous service.status posts about problems fairly regularly over the years but never any explanation needless to say.
8 REPLIES
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 13,582
Thanks: 1,267
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Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: fax2email

We outsourced Fax2Email to Gradwell some time ago so any network/architecture problems lie in their domain. Having said that I've not seen any recent status posts from them that suggest widespread problems  Huh

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

mikeb
Grafter
Posts: 367
Registered: ‎10-06-2007

Re: fax2email

Hi Bob thought I'd read somewhere a while back that you weren't going to be around these parts any more  Huh Something about reduced sentence for good behaviour or run away screaming or lying down in a small dark room trying to recover from being around here too long  ah, no, 'pastures new' that was it wasn't it  Tongue
Quote
We are currently experiencing problems affecting our Fax-2-Email service
When dialling some customers' Fax-2-Email numbers callers may be greeted with a dead tone or 'number not recognised' recorded message.
Our engineers are investigating and further details will be provided as they become available.

At a quicky looky see, service.status as above or similar appears to have been posted on 26/11/2013, 11/12/2013 and 13/02/2014 for instance.  In all cases
Quote
Our suppliers have informed us that the problem is now resolved and our testing has confirmed this to be the case.
Apologies for the inconvenience.

appeared shortly afterwards. Pretty obviously not properly and permanently resolved in reality or there wouldn't be action replays and all that !  Definitely more of the same at stupid o'clock this morning and similar but not so bad last weekend.  Also, given the nature of FAX and the apparent intermittent(ish) nature of the problem it's probably fair to say that such problems aren't necessarily always totally obvious and therefore aren't necessarily always reported either. Apart from inability to get through, I'd be mighty pee'd off if I was getting hit with a minimum call charge and/or set-up fee for every time fax2email picked up the call but then didn't bother to do what it says on the box immediately afterwards that's for sure.
Who PN choose to subcontract any parts of their infrastructure or service provision or indeed anything else to might well be interesting but is completely irrelevant of course Wink  However, someone somewhere needs a bit of a slap it seems.
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Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
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Re: fax2email

Quote from: mikeb
Hi Bob thought I'd read somewhere a while back that you weren't going to be around these parts any more  Huh

I'm a glutton for punishment it would appear Wink
Quote from: mikeb
Who PN choose to subcontract any parts of their infrastructure or service provision or indeed anything else to might well be interesting but is completely irrelevant of course Wink  However, someone somewhere needs a bit of a slap it seems.

Quite interested in this one so make yourself heard if/when things do fall over. With enough evidence I'm sure we can persuade comment from Gradwell.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

mikeb
Grafter
Posts: 367
Registered: ‎10-06-2007

Re: fax2email

Happening again right now Sad
Only problem is that I'm not sure what evidence or even potentially helpful info I could possibly provide that could assist in any way.  All I can see is that dialling the number either via the FAX, modem or even the usual voice handset simply gets you the "number unobtainable" tone.  It also happened a week or so back, as did getting the "engaged" tone but just the once on each occasion though.  It wasn't a rather more consistent issue as it seems to be again right now.  Several attempts over the past 30 mins or so all ended up with the "number unobtainable" tone.
I'll probably regret posting this ... but does anyone still around at the mo fancy dialling 08 707 ### ### to see if they get the same problem from a no doubt totally different exchange and via a totally different routing ?  No need to use a FAX/Modem, simply dialling on a normal phone will demonstrate if the call gets answered by a modem at the Gradwell end or doesn't even get there.  It's a standard 0870 stylee number so no charge if your calling plan includes these but it's probably NOT a good idea to try it from a mobile unless you're absolutely sure these numbers are included for free because you may well get charged silly money otherwise if it does get answered by the Gradwell kit.  Ta muchly in advance if anyone is reading and able to give it try from somewhere else Smiley
PS: It's over 12 hours now since I first discovered more by accident than intention that it wasn't working ... and it's still not working from here.  Getting "number unobtainable" tone on every attempt.
[Edited to remove phone number]
mikeb
Grafter
Posts: 367
Registered: ‎10-06-2007

Re: fax2email

Seems to be working again as of around 30 mins or so ago ... but for how long is anyone's guess  Roll eyes
Pity no one was about earlier to help establish if it's a problem somewhat specific to this exchange/area or a rather more widespread if not fundamental problem.  I happened to notice a flurry of PN personnel around this morning followed by the customary swift disappearance of same and a significant increase in the number of "hidden" users so I would guess PN peeps various read this thread, found the same issue and did something before hiding for a while. I don't see any service.status posts to acknowledge that the problem existed and has now been resolved though.
So who's done what and where to apparently fix yet another repeat performance of a well known problem ? And what exactly was the problem this time anyway ? Whatever this problem is and no matter who's technically responsible for it, it just has to be happening on a very regular basis for me to keep on finding strange issues on so many of the relatively infrequent occasions that I actually try to use the service.
Community Gaffer
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Re: fax2email

Quote from: mikeb
I happened to notice a flurry of PN personnel around this morning followed by the customary swift disappearance of same and a significant increase in the number of "hidden" users so I would guess PN peeps various read this thread, found the same issue and did something before hiding for a while.

I'd be very surprised if that were the case and AFAIK no F2E incidents were raised over the weekend.
Due to the intermittent nature of the problem and that fact that we've no other reports, it's going to be a tricky one to get Gradwell's engineers to investigate. Perhaps if you can start logging the date/times of the failed calls then we can at least open a ticket with them and get the ball rolling.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

mikeb
Grafter
Posts: 367
Registered: ‎10-06-2007

Re: fax2email

Happening yet again Sad  No connection possible to my number or any of those nearby that I've tried.
Anyone still around and able to give to give 08 707 052 643 a quick try from somewhere else to see if it gets answered or also results in the "number unobtainable" tone ? No need to try from a fax/modem, a handset will be fine, just need to know if the call gets answered by a modem or ends up going nowhere.  Still trying to establish if this recurring problem is a general problem or something a bit more specific to my particular exchange as it seems like it might be a routing style problem. Many thanks in advance and all that Smiley  
The call should be free if your calling plan includes calls to geographic numbers and standard 0870/0845 numbers BUT be careful if using a mobile as it might get charged at silly money if 0870 isn't included in your free calls allowance !
Superuser
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Re: fax2email

It's a long time since you asked but I've just tried it and got a continuous tone which I assume is number unobtainable.
David
David