Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cox and World Record Customer Support

I get Internet, cable TV, and phone though Cox. Perhaps I'm entirely too picky, but when I pick up my phone, turn on my TV, or want to check my email I expect these "always on" services to be, well, on.

In the last 30 days, I have lost the use of my phone that I have noticed four times, each of which was approximately an hour.

I happened to be on the phone with Dell at the time (Yea, I posed about that mess too.) So, after cleaning up with Dell, I called Cox and asked what happened. The answer was as expected... "We don't know."

Who monitors this sort of thing? What can be done about an ISP and Telco provider who, well, doesn't provide? It's not like things aren't working amazingly well when they work. It's when they fail to work that is the problem.

It seems to me that they intentionally keep the customers in the dark. They intentionally choose to not say if an outage is planned or unplanned. And when they do maintenance at night it is between the hours of 01:00 and 08:00, which is the only time supervisors are not in their call centers. Coincidence? Unlikely.

I'm looking in to what to do about this. Not having a working phone is not only annoying it is downright dangerous. Have to call 9-11? Well, better have a cell. Out of town? Hope your alarm doesn't go off because it cannot make a call for help.

Update! Just last night (06-Mar-2009) my services went out again. I found out from a line tech that this was to "split my node" -- more or less, make two or more network segments from one. This is a good thing, but once again it would have been nice if Cox knew WHY when I asked them the first time...

Below is a graph showing the average ping times to my default router before and after they completed the split. I like the one on the right much better as it is far more stable. Ignore the small outage on the right side, it was expected.

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