But a couple of hours later she called back, saying that they’d found a problem at the exchange and that a team was working on it. She said a line had been cut. So, she’d cancelled the tech visit, because when it was fixed that would resolve the problem.

Your internet service is now working … not!

This morning (Thursday) I received a text from Telstra saying “your internet service should now be working”. So, I tested it. I pulled the 4G dongle. Restarted the modem. Re-entered the credentials. Same non-result.

I used the call-back link on the text the woman had sent the previous day. A different woman called up within a few minutes. I went through the story. Again. I explained I’d already redone the credentials lots of times, and one more time just before I called her. But she did what I wanted, which was to re-enter them again anyway.

Surprise, surprise, it didn’t work. She said, confidently, that she could fix it at her end. “Refresh the line?” I asked. She went away for quite a while, refreshing goodness knows how many things. Eventually, she came back and said she’d elevate it. Probably take a week to get a tech, but she’d managed to secure one for Monday. I got a text saying that it’d be fixed by midnight on Monday.

That call lasted 42 minutes.

But while I was on the phone with her, I got a text from the support person from the previous day, saying that the “outage is still ongoing.Will update you once there are any changes.” Which is contrary to the earlier Telstra message saying that all was well.

In Telstra’s hands

Doing the same thing that doesn’t work over and over is reputed to be the definition of insanity. Re-entering credentials and refreshing lines repeatedly didn’t work, yet I kept being asked to do them over and over.

And it’s all too easy to understand why. There are people who don’t refresh things, restart things, perhaps don’t even plug them in, before calling tech support. The Telstra people to whom I spoke were all polite and kind and clear, but of course, they couldn’t know for sure that I might know a little about what I’m talking about. They did seem surprised that I actually knew how to call up the web interface for a modem/router.

We’re all in the hands of our ISPs. They do know more than us, although the first line of tech support is most likely heavily scripted. I suppose I shall have to continue to rely for a few days on the 4G network that chokes right down in speed when all my neighbours get home from work. No streaming video for me until Monday.

And I shall have to hope that the problem isn’t something silly that I’ve done because then I’ll get a bill. And it’s always possible that I’ve done something silly.