Here We Go Again: My Teksavvy DSL Is Down

I cannot seem to catch a break with my Teksavvy DSL.

Last weekend I noted that my DSL would disconnect and reconnect frequently. So I took my MacBook Pro and plugged it into the DSL modem so I could pull the line stats, just like the last time this happened to me. I found that my signal to noise ratio or SNR was between 6 and 6.4 which is really, really bad. It normally is 7.5, at least it was since the last time this happened. So I put in a repair ticket with Teksavvy and a Bell tech was scheduled to come out late yesterday to deal with this. Now I did take advantage of Teksavvy’s ability to leave your phone number and have them call you back as from previous experience, you can be waiting a long time to speak to someone. They did call me back in 30 minutes and I was able to have the tech do some troubleshooting (the same troubleshooting that I had done) and get the repair ticket into the system.

The Bell tech arrived and did some tests. What was interesting was that he could not get his testing equipment to work properly. He then asked if the property management office was still open. It was after 5PM on Thursday so it wasn’t. That meant that he couldn’t get into the phone room in the basement. He said that there was noise on the line, and the best way to deal with it was to install a new jack that had dedicated DSL and voice lines. He did that, but he did it on the jack in the living room despite the fact that I was told by previous Bell techs that the place to plug in my DSL modem was the bedroom as that’s where the phone jack enters my unit. He also then stated in an arrogant tone that he had been doing this a long time and he knew what he was doing. In any case, what he did caused the SNR on downstream to go up to 9, but it stayed at 6 on the upstream. He claimed that the upstream number didn’t matter. Also of note, he got that information from my modem as his testing equipment still wasn’t working properly. As an added measure, he dropped my speed a bit so I was getting 8.9 Mbps downstream instead of the 10.5 Mbps that I normally get. He then packed up and left.

Now I didn’t do myself any favors because clearly this Bell tech didn’t know what he was doing and I should have called him on that. But I didn’t and as a result my phone line failed outright at 11PM last night. No DSL, no voice, nothing.

After doing some troubleshooting which involved testing each jack individually using another phone that I keep lying around for just such a reason, I called Teksavvy. After waiting for 10 minutes with no option to leave a number like I did the last time I called them, I got a live human being. She took my info and recognized that I had an open ticket and tried to get me to the group that handled that, but after putting me on hold for another 5 minutes she came back and said that nobody was available so she’d help me. I told her that I had no voice or DSL after a repair earlier in the day. She then asked me to troubleshoot by unplugging all the phones in the  home and testing each jack one at a time. When I told her I did that, she then said I should get another phone and try that. I told her that I did that too. Then she said that I should go to the “Bell box outside your home and plug the phone in there.” Now when she collected my info, she recognized that I was in a condo. Therefore logic would suggest that there would be no “Bell box” to plug into. Thus asking me to plug into the “Bell box” is a great way to turn the conversation negative which is exactly what happened. Now I didn’t yell and scream, but I became far less forgiving than I was as the start of the call and I think that she could sense that in the tone of my voice. She put me on hold several more times before she opened a new repair ticket to get this fixed. In the process of doing so, she asked me when I would like a tech to show up.

Now one thing that I tell the call center agents that I train when I do consulting with call centers is that you want to phrase a question in a way that sounds like you’re addressing the needs of the customer and not in a way that could send the interaction negative. For example, if your customer just had a repair and the product is still not working and you need them to come back to do a re-repair, you should ask the following:

“I can schedule you in for the first available appointment which is 12PM tomorrow. Would that work for you?”

That comes across as recognizing that the issue is not resolved, and that you want to get it resolved quickly. Also you’re doing your best to get the customer in at the first opportunity that you can find. Now, conversely if you ask this question, the conversation could turn negative:

“When would you like to come in to get this fixed?”

When a customer hears that, there’s the possibility that it will come across as “Gee, this company doesn’t take my issue seriously. They tried to fix my product once, it doesn’t work, you’d think they’d care enough to fit me in ASAP.” Now, I can say that this is not what the Teksavvy tech was trying to express, but that is the knee jerk reaction that I had to hearing that. Thus I would suggest that Teksavvy invest in some soft skill coaching for their call center staff.

Now, as I type this as I install a new server for a customer, my wife is at home waiting for Bell to show up sometime between noon and 5 PM today. Hopefully they send a tech knows what they are doing. In the meantime, my wife and I are now again considering switching to another telco provider for our Internet and home phone service. Now to be fair, its Bell that’s making our lives miserable at the moment. But Bell is acting on behalf of Teksavvy, so they have to take some responsibility for this. And as I’ve documented, this isn’t the first time I’ve had problems with them and their ability to resolve my issues in the last few months. At the end of the day, all we want is reliable and stable telco services. When things break, which ideally should be very infrequently, it needs to be quickly fixed right the first time. The telco who can do that for myself and my wife gets my business.

Any takers?

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