Had a problem with ADSL at my Dad's office. ADSL line just would not go up etc. So told them to phone Telkom to check out the problem. After doing line test and sending techies out, they come to the conclusion that the Pots Router is screwed. This after 3 days of no internet. They tell them to get it swapped out at a Telkom Office. They take it in to the one Telkom Office and the guy would not swap the unit out without all the cables. This I can still understand to a point. (Just a side note this modem was bought with the line install, Early days of ADSL). So get the cables and take it to a Telkom Office closer to their office and get told sorry it is not under warranty anymore, but we will gladly sell you a new one. They are on special for something like a R 1000.
So obviously I told Dad beforehand, don't buy another router from telkom, they to expensive and crappy. Thought to myself lets test this router at my place just to see whether something is really wrong with this thing. I know for a fact my ADSL line is working as I have a Netgear Router myself so no harm in just making sure it is not a line problem at Dad's office. Plug the router in get the notebook out and test. No go. Hmmm, maybe Telkom was right for a change, this router is buggered. Plug my router back in just to make sure that Dad's account is not capped at all, just to make 100% sure. Try tog log onto the userstats.saix.net page. And username not valid!!!! HELLO WHAT HAVE WE HERE!!!!
Try my M-Web username/password on the userstats site and no problem. Try another TelkomInternet account and can also log into the userstats site without hassle. Surely the authentication must come from the same server for the authenticaion when you try and logon. (RADIUS)
Reconfigure the router with another TelkomInternet username and password and reboot. Wait for it to come up and fire up Internet Explorer and open a webpage. Lightning fast the page is displayed. CURSE A FEW TIMES!! OK, OK, 5 minutes long
First try our favorite hotline number 0800 375 375. After falling asleep 4 times (obviously the ringing phone didn't wake the recipient of the call) waiting on the line I try another hotline that seems to be a bit more wakey, wakey from previous experience with another authentication problem I had with someone else. So I call up TelkomInternet. Afterall it says 24 hours technical support.
And so begins another adventure in telephone convesations. Dude answers and explain the problem to him. He asks for username, I give it and he cannot find it on his system. This makes 100% sense to me, he seems a bit puzzled. Asks me for the e-mail address on this account, which we obviously don't use as we have our own domain. Eventually we traced the account via using the phone line that ADSL is installed on. So he tells me he can now see the user account is linked to the number, but the account has been closed. After asking lots of questions about this no straight answer was given. Also there is no reason on his system as to why the account was closed.
I explain to him that Telkom wanted us to buy a new router cause some idiot was to stupid or lazy to just check whether authentication was actually taking place for the DSL connection. I work with remote users everyday and the first thing to check with them is always is the cables plugged in and is the modem on. That being in place move onto username password especially case sensitive etc. Anyway, point is still that they should have been able to see that the connection comes up but fails with authentication.
Anyway, he confirms ID number with account holder and tells me he is re-enabling the account. 30 seconds later and the connection is working.
Now sure, this is a long message for a short problem, but I must believe that your average Internet user that doesn't know the technical stuff would have bought the new router seeing that a "skilled technician" claimed it to be faulty. Your average Internet user in South Africa being the type of guy that phones his IT buddy to come setup his pop and smtp mail server in outlook express.
Thinking about it after solving the problem and having Dad a happy camper again. What any easy way to make money. Disable a users account. If they not to technical they phone Telkom and expect them to fix the problem. They tell you your hardware is screwed. They sell you a new piece of hardware. Install it for your for a nominal call out charge of R404. Enable your account again and your will never know that your original router had absolutely nothing wrong with it.
Probably crying wolf here but hey Telkom SMS'ed me this month I should pay my account after they had my money for 10 days already.
The actually question is has anyone else had a similar sort of incident like this. I really shiver to think how many people are caught out everyday with nonsense like, it was your equipment when it was a line fault and get charged then for a call out.
Can I bill telkom for my unnecessary call out in this case? Seeing I solved the problem for them, telling them the router is fine, that is an authentication problem.
Anyways, Guys and Gals, just thought I would share some info with you.