Following weeks of colleagues trying to get a single Home Access for Targeted Groups ADSL Internet connection working in the home of a needy family, I decided to go to the house and see what could be done (if only to apologise in person to the family concerned).
Armed with test gear and tools, I was shocked at the impact of the salami-slicing of service responsibilities. It results in a culture of passing the buck and avoiding ownership of the problem, resulting in delay, inefficiency and work avoidance on the part of the firms involved, but more importantly, frustration, confusion and delay for the customer. More effort seems to go into shifting blame, avoiding accepting any responsibility and getting the customer to do all of the work for you.
- T*****i provides ADSL.service on existing BT line.
- Sy*****x operates helpdesk and is our service provider (who sub the ADSL to Sy*****x.
- To date, there have been numerous changes of router, each requiring one of my team to visit and assist the client, and various guesses as to the problem, yet little in the way of logical fault finding from our service provider. The method of fault finding is to keep changing parts until dizzy rather than accept there may be a root cause!
- BT adamant that the line is OK when tested from India (despite the fact that the pole has an A1024 notice on it that means there is a known fault).
- Having tested all internal systems and tried to access ADSL Internet at the BT master socket on a laptop and failed, its clearly towards the exchange. (Yes changed routers, filters etc.).
- BT line has a problem with noise (although unlikley to affect availability, more likely to cause slow Internet speed).
- I can't detect the ADSL carrier so its probably a fault in the exchange DSLAM or T*****i service.
So, BT are at last visiting this afternoon, S******x on Monday ... just need T*****i to join the party and we might get somewhere. Anyway if they can't solve it Monday, I will insist on a temporary 3G dongle until it's fixed!!
How do you explain all this to the poor client?? When firms agree to use each others services there need to be clear escalation processes and a willingness to work together. This is an example of how it must never be done, but alas I fear that this is the dominant model in a commercial age!
Latest Episode: BT engineer called and agreed line faulty - has replaced corroded terminations and master socket - carrier LED now on - need to check Internet availability. Its taken five weeks of BT avoiding doing anything before we got the line fixed - progress at last? let's hope so!!
Closing comment: BT line was the fault. If they had agreed to come out five weeks ago when asked, we would all have been saved a lot of work and grief. How can it be that the first call to BT five weeks ago was met by threats of £200 call-out charges that effectively meant no-one would take the risk? The BT engieer was great, but the BT process that got him there is pretty awful.
Hat's off also to Sy+++++x who sent a dedicated engineer who went beyond the call of duty today!