Letting People Know
Not much in the news today, so I guess I'll have to deal with the internet outage yesterday.
What I'm wondering is why companies like sbcglobal don't send announcements out to the media when they have an hours long outage? I would think it shouldn't be too hard to call a few local T.V. and radio stations and let them know of the problem and expected time for repairs.
They don't seem to do that, although later in the day yesterday the radio station I was listening to mentioned the outage. The news guy said he'd heard it might have been a backhoe that severed our main DSL line, but he wasn't sure so he probably didn't hear about it from sbcglobal.
I usually try to not clog up the phone lines for things like this if I think it's an area wide outage, but I called twice yesterday. Each time I got some message all the lines were busy and to call back later. That reinforced my impression that I wasn't the only one affected which also meant there was really no reason to call.
It would have been nice, though, if somehow they could screen calls to their lines by area and have a message for people in the area of the outage describing the problem and when they expect it to be repaired. Not sure how hard it would be for them to do that but, if anyone can, it should be them. After all, they're the phone company aren't they?
They started out rough, which is to be expected. Gradually they got up to speed and seemed to only have an outage occasionally.
The years seemed to take their toll, though, and they eventually started having fairly regular problems. You might go two or three months with everything working great then, all of the sudden, their system would start screwing up and it would be a week or so before they got it all straightened out. To add insult to injury, it seemed to get harder and harder to get hold of them when something was wrong.
At first there was usually someone there that would answer the phone. Over the years it became more and more likely to just get an answering machine. You rarely heard back from them and didn't really know if anyone ever got the message.
I finally told the owner I really didn't want to bother him if they were working on the problem, but would like to know that at least they were aware of a problem. I suggested he get an answering machine with the capability of multiple answer messages, like the one I have. Heck, it only cost a little over fifty bucks.
I told him he could avoid hassling with all the customer calls when an outage occurred by simply switching to a message stating that there was an outage, they were aware of it and were working on it. Nope. He wouldn't go for that.
Things kept going downhill with West Coast Internet until they gave up and shut down. They did that in traditional style, too.
Had the increasingly usual outage one day. Internet was up when I left the house about noon. An hour later it was down. I told myself they were probably working on it and didn't call. Wasn't all that concerned at the time since I'd subscribed to one of the free internet services as a back up- Netzero, I believe.
Still out the next day but I didn't call. By Friday I was getting a little tired of Netzero, the outage starting around noon Wednesday. I finally called and just left the message: "You know the internet's down, don't you?". Never received a response.
It was still down on Saturday. I was going to work and decided to drive by their office, for some reason thinking I'd see people running in and out of the office frantically working on repairs. Nope. Looked like they were closed. Hmmm....
As I turned the corner I noticed there was a piece of paper on the front door that wasn't normally there. I pulled into the parking lot, got out of the truck and took a look. It was notice that they'd decided to close their doors, permanently, and Humboldt Internet would be taking over all the accounts.
How rude! At least they could have sent out an e- mail to give a little bit of warning. If the internet was actually down, they could have sent out post cards.
Probably just as well they closed down though. I ended up being very pleased with Humboldt Internet. Probably never would have left them except for I moved up to DSL and, back then, Humboldt Internet didn't provide DSL service. They do now.
I'll have to say I had fewer outages with Humboldt Internet than I ever did with sgcglobal. Then again, since it was the main line that caused at least two of my last three outages, I'm sure that would have affected Humboldt Internet as well.
I suspect, though, it might have been easier to find out what was going on with Humboldt Internet if I was using them yesterday- or would it? No way of knowing, I suppose.