support model fails for certain problems

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iainpople
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:36 am
Location: Northcote

support model fails for certain problems

Post by iainpople » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:51 am

Hi,

Having spent the last week unsuccessfully trying to get a dial tone restored to my phone I have come to the conclusion that the Exetel support model doesn't suit some situations. In particular I would say that for basic service faults like a non-functioning phone line the current model really doesn't work.

I was well aware of the support model before signing up to Exetel a month ago so I am not blaming anyone. My eyes were wide open but I guess I did assume that things would proceed reasonably smoothly.

In my case the problem is that there is no dial tone on my phone, so I have no internet connectivity. Interestingly I had a similar problem when Telstra installed my phone recently so I can compare the service provided by both companies.

With Telstra the events were as follows:

1. Called Telstra on mobile and reported that landline had no dialtone.
2. Spoke to technician who carried out line tests while I was on the phone.
3. Confirmed that there was a problem and scheduled a technician to come and fix the problem.
4. After a couple of visits on different days the technician located the problem and fixed it.

Under Exetel/Optus it proceeded as follows:

- Called Exetel but it was a Saturday so logged fault with automated system.
- By midday Monday I had received no indication from Exetel that the fault had been logged or that anyone was working on it.
- I posted to a forum to see what I should be doing.
- A forum admin chased up the case and i received a message that it had been logged with Optus.
- At 4.40pm on Monday I received an email from Exetel asking me to do isolation tests.
- I carried out the tests Monday evening.
- Tuesday morning I replied to Exetel to inform them that the tests didn't work and the problem persists.
- Received prompt reply asking that all equipment be unplugged so that Optus could perform isolation tests.
- I unplugged all equipment and was told an Optus technician would be scheduled for Wednesday.
- Thursday morning I emailed Exetel for an update and was told that a technician would be attending the fault on Thursday.
- Friday morning I requested an update and was told that technician had been rescheduled for Monday.

So after almost a week I still have no dial tone and shouldn't expect one until Tuesday at best.

I am not complaing that I have received bad service. The responses from the Exetel staff have been fine. However I am saying that the support model doesn't work well for these types of problems. The constant back and forth via email means that it probably takes 3 times as long to resolve a fault. And if your fault means that you have no internet it makes the whole process even slower.

If the line tests could be performed interactively on the phone when a fault is first logged i believe it would speed things up a lot as you could quickly eliminate user error and schedule a technician to look at the problem. Clearly there are also some issues with Optus passing scheduling information back to Exetel as well.

cheers, Iain.

David_h
Exetel Staff
Posts: 582
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:20 am

Post by David_h » Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:11 am

Thanks for the feedback on our process, the problem is that we as well as all suppliers rely on telstra tech's at some point. As they're the ones who have access to the cables and the exchanges, the rescheduleing would be because they couldn't make it. (at a guess without having read the file)

It's unfortunate, but there's really nothing that can be done.

About the line tests, our supplier runs those tests and we don't have access to this information straight away, so we can't run them over the phone like you suggest.
-David

iainpople
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:36 am
Location: Northcote

Post by iainpople » Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:19 am

Thanks for the reply. So are you saying that for even the bundled Optus/Exetel phone line we still depend on Telstra technicians to actually address the fault?

Does this mean that there are effectively 3 layers? I.e. Customer calls Exetel. Exetel calls Optus. Optus calls Telstra?

No wonder it takes so long to get any information about what is going on.

I wonder if Telstra prioritises faults from it's own customers. I would have thought that there would have to be some fairly specific SLA's between resellers.

ForumAdmin
Posts: 3663
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2004 2:31 pm
Location: Sydney

Post by ForumAdmin » Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:38 am

iainpople wrote:Thanks for the reply. So are you saying that for even the bundled Optus/Exetel phone line we still depend on Telstra technicians to actually address the fault?

Does this mean that there are effectively 3 layers? I.e. Customer calls Exetel. Exetel calls Optus. Optus calls Telstra?

No wonder it takes so long to get any information about what is going on.

I wonder if Telstra prioritises faults from it's own customers. I would have thought that there would have to be some fairly specific SLA's between resellers.
I sympathise with your unfortunate situation; as Forrest Gump remarked on his long run across the USA - "It happens".

Irrespective of which provider delivers your ADSL2 service the line between your residence and the Telstra exchange where the ADSL2 equipment is located is owned and managed by Telstra.

So, you could say there are three parties involved though it usually is no more of an issue than if you were a direct customer of Telstra (there would still be the need to log the fault with a system which passes the fault to a first level screening process and then, if required a second level resolution process.

With around 10,000 Exetel ADSL2 users there have been installation problems such as you are currently experiencing though these are not common and have been getting progressively less common over the past 15 months as both Optus and Telstra's 'relationships' have become better established.

None of that is any comfort to you in your particualr situation but I doubt that there is anything wrong with the process used by Optus - it would be the same process used by every other ISP that is reliant on Telstra lines to and from the customer to the exchange - which is 100% of them.

The only logical extrapolation of your view would be that an end user should only use Telstra direct for ADSL services that involve Telstra lines - perhaps that's the real answer - it appears to be the answer that Telstra is aiming to achieve.

Exetel is looking at broadband solutions that don't involve Telstra and will, hopefully, begin to offer low download broadband over 3G in the not too distant future with the, eventual, aim of discontinuing providing broadband services that use multi-party infrastructures that include Telstra exchange lines.

ADSL1 services via Telstra Wholesale appear to be still viable, at least for the moment; though it's impossible to plan ahead very far on that basis.
Last edited by ForumAdmin on Fri Oct 26, 2007 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

iainpople
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:36 am
Location: Northcote

Post by iainpople » Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:51 am

Thanks for the extra background information. It is actually quite empowering to know some of the reasons that problems can occur.

trev
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 12:38 pm
Location: The LAN Downunder

Post by trev » Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:04 pm

Things could be worse, admittedly this was in 2002/2003 ...

Signed up for ADSL1 in the first week of November 2002. Finally connected and working at the end of January 2003! Nearly 3 months during which Telstra kept "closing" the fault report without resolvng it and my ISP (iGreen at the time) kept re-opening it after I kept complaining that there was still no line sync - and, at various times, dial tone.

So count yourself lucky (unless it's still not working by Christmas :)

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