Archives for: October 2006, 06

10/06/06

  07:59:38 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1018 words  
Categories: General, VoIP, Networking

I answered the damn phone

One of my phone numbers had been acting kind of weird lately....this morning I decided to investigate. It was my BroadVoice VoIP line which I have configured for simulring to my landline. I also have my Vonage number set for simulring to my landline. This was largely for historical reasons.

When I was using the D-Link DPH-540 WiFi phone with BroadVoice, I wanted my landline to get the calls....because the phone was kind of iffy. So iffy, that I have shelved the $250 piece of junk and gotten a different adapter to do phone with the service at home. Though that isn't without its problems.

Later in trying to resolve DSL issues, I had moved the cordless phone from my Vonage adapter to my landline....so I could be calling from the problem landline while talking to phone repair. So because that meant there was no phone attached to the Vonage box at all....

Well, those calls were completing because the landline seemed to be sucking those calls into a blackhole.

So, I tried calling myself.....one ring and then noise. Tried again...same thing. One more time....same thing. Then I looked at the VoIP activity logs and found that I was paying for calls that were being routed to the landline (I only get 100 minutes a month, and I do more than that just talking to my mom...so I should probably upgrade to unlimited, but it currently isn't over that threshold). But, the landline never rang or anything.

So, I walked over to the landline phone (a basic AT&T line powered phone...since the main reason I have landline, is so I will have something in the event of a power outage....or something 'reliable' to call 911 on). No dial-tone...just noise. Though the DSL is working fine.

So, I log a trouble report...which wasn't easy. I first went online to do it...and at the last step it said it couldn't process my request online and that I would need to call.

Calling the repair number....routed me to a hold queue....where they kept telling me in the recording that I should be using their website to log my trouble report. Umm, that's what I tried first!

Finally got through to somebody....quickly rattled off that I not an idiot....but left out that I'm a Professional (Electrical) Engineer and I already did numerous internal wiring checks (though I couldn't find my buttset, which probably gives me the excuse to get a DSL safe one to replace it &#59;) And, they said somebody would be out by 6pm to look into things...but since I'm not paying them their special service fee to cover my inside wiring, there would be a charge for the service call if the problem is on my end. Didn't I just tell them that I already know the problem is on their side.

Well, I wasn't gonna wait around to see them show up....I already missed half a day on Monday, when they finally responded to my DSL trouble ticket. Where they knocked and said they were here and would look around outside and get back to me. Later I noticed they were gone and I didn't hear from them ever again. If it weren't for the 12-month contract, I'd cancel the DSL....and I'd strongly be thinking of going landline free again. (Hopefully, my new Sprint phone will appear soon and it'll have a local number, etc.....unlike my T-Mobile line where I asked to have the number changed to a local number...and they only got as close as being in the same area code.... for a small city of population ~3300... But, T-Mobile was glad to charge me for changing my number....and my old number was gone forever and any additional changes would result in the same change fee again....oh they finally said, that they are currently out of local numbers.)

Anyways....I came home, eventually remembered to check for dial tone....and went about my evening....

Until the phone rang. I answered it....though I guess I was kind of expecting an automated message from AT&T telling me that they had completed the repair (sometimes I get one, sometimes I don't....though I'm supposed to get some kind of work completion indication...and there were times I got the message even though they didn't actually complete anything. Like when I first got service...they turned it on, but didn't feel it necessary to connect my home to their system...and it took a major effort to convince them that they needed to send somebody to connect the wires, instead of assuming that a remote circuit test was sufficient and any lack of service at my end was a problem on my side....even though I told them that there was nothing connected to the wires sticking out of the side of the building.) I guess this is what happens when the phone company turns into a monopoly again. They broke up AT&T so that one of the pieces spawned from it could buy up all the pieces and eventually buy up AT&T and become AT&T again?

Anyways....it wasn't an automated message...but somebody looking for a Brian. I told him he had a wrong number....and then it was just silence....no apology or acknowledgement. Some people.

At least it wasn't a Sunday 6am call for somebody looking for some hotel....or some 3am call, because some girl is giving out my phone number at bars. The last ones are worse, because the guys won't accept that they have a bad number...

The rest of the time...its people calling for money....while they are worthwhile causes....it does make me wonder how they got my name, address and phone number...I don't want incoming calls on the line (I'm thinking of turning the ringer off again). Obviously the answer is that the phone company sold my personal information to them.

Not sure who I'm angrier at in this case.....

Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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