Is there no end in sight ? Yesterday when I got home I found that my broadband connection had dropped off, which was a bit weird, but anyway… I tried reconnecting, and it just wouldn't go. My attempt to call “customer service” resulted in a warning that waiting queues were about 45 minutes, and as I was using my mobile I thought “well forget that…!”.

I called back this morning, and the guy patiently and unhelfully suggested that the connection had dropped and my modem was holding a dead session, and switching the modem off for an hour should do it. As I was heading out to work, I figured I might as well leave it off all day.

When I got home tonight I plugged back in, fully expecting to get online. Unsurprisingly really, not a sausage. Back on the phone to helpdesk (15 minutes), and the guy looked at the diagnostics and said I had to do a hard reset on the modem back to factory settings. It sounded very much like the “I'm going to do everything I can to make this not MY problem” school of troubleshooting, but he wasn't going to offer me anything more useful, so away I went.

Predictably, it made no difference, and after tweaking every seeting on the utility console, I decided to ring back and find out who I needed to contact to do a line test or something.

Another 20 mins on hold…

The next guy seemed more helpful, and asked me to describe the setup (e.g. what kind of modem, router, etc. I had)… and part way through he said “Oh no, here's your problem – ADSL terminated by BT”.

It seems that our good chums at BT for some reason have disabled ADSL on our phoneline, for reasons known only to them. The guy advised that he'd had this before, and usually what happens – unless you can actually get them to admit that it was their fault/mistake – is that the user has to pay to get it connected again… to the tune of £60. No thankyou very much.

An extremely cranky Jason (having no internet access is one of the few things in the world that REALLY pisses me off, along with humans and water) rings BT, and after exploring nearly every branch in the automated menu finally gets a human to speak to. The human advises him that he has to call back after 8:30am when the consultants are in.

Out of interest, I enquired (switching back to first-person again) which arm of BT I was presently speaking to (i.e. which part had phones manned 24/7). He replied that it was Sales. Billing and Fault Reporting only operate from 8:30am until 9pm though.

So now I'm looking forward to a NICE RELAXING GODDAMN NIGHT'S SLEEP, followed by a quite irate call to BT in the morning.

Incidentally, in preparation for this assault on the great stronghold, I had a look around the BT website to find out what their complaint escalation procedure is (I have a feeling I'll be needing it). It took a while to find the FAQ for starters (I rationalised that there may be no BT Service Complaint FAQ on the grounds that there's no digital storage system large enough to hold it), and noted with pure joy that their equivalent of the Telecommunications Ombudsman will only step in if a complaint has not been dealt with within 12 weeks of it being reported. Hooray !

The more astute of you will notice that I've used fewer 4-letter words in this post than I would typically in person in reaction to an event like this… essentially it's cos my Mum's just subscribed to my distribution list, and she'd be horrified at my actual current description of the lifeforms (I use the term loosely) who work at BT. It's almost as if BT and Telstra have carried out some sort of cultural exchange on cutting edge ways to alienate customers and prove a global standard of ignorance and ineptitude.

Anyway, I'll see what happens.