Bell Wins One

So I know it is popular to complain about the various companies that provide services to us. Telecom companies especially, since they seem to like to do the minimum amount of work necessary to collect the maximum amount of money.

However, I have a different story.

See we've got Bell Fibe through the "Better" bundle from about three years ago. Nominally this is a 25/10 service, and we routinely see around 20/3 through it. Not fantastic, and actually slower than the Rogers service it replaced -- but we keep it because A) its bundled into the Bell service we have, and B) Bell made it easier to switch -- by listing trivial details like what TV channels come with which TV packages, and listing on their web page a willingness to sell an "unlimited bytes" add-on -- than Rogers made it to stay with them.

The other Saturday, Jenn tells me that the internet is slow. Now I'd left something running through the morning while I was away with Nathan, and just assumed that that something was still running. Well it was -- or rather, a side-effect of what I'd left running was running -- but there was no question about it, the internet was slow.

Since I'm a network admin, I decided that I should rule out all of my gear. This is easy to do since my current home network is a firewall behind the Bell router thing, so I could just plug a laptop directly into the Bell thing, get an IP address, and test from there.

Yep, Internet is still slow, it isn't our gear. Even power-cycling the two Bell boxes isn't helping.

So here's where the story starts.

I call the Bell line and jump through the phone tree. After about ten seconds on hold, I get forwarded to someone, and she turns out not to be the triage/ticket-entry-person, but the actual tech who'll be looking at the issue. I mention to her that since I got straight to her on Saturday that this means my problem is specific to me, not a network issue, otherwise all my neighbors would be on the phone and I'd have waited on hold longer. After fifteen minutes, she agrees with me that there's some problem, and tells me she can have the next available tech come to have an on-site look.

The next available time? 8-12 in the morning the following day.

On Sunday.

So ok, the next morning the Bell tech shows up at about 8:15AM.

On Sunday.

Since we have a pair of ancient Bell devices, he says before he does any troubleshooting he'll just replace them with a single, more up-to-date device.

An hour later, he's got all the systems up and running, and everything looks good. We conclude from this that there was a problem in one of the two boxes he pulled out, so just doing the replacement solved the issue. No need for any further diagnostics.

He even boosted the speed a bit, so now I'm running something like 32/4 instead of 20/3. This is likely the best I'll get until either A) Bell drags real fiber out to my neighbourhood or B) I go with someone else for Internet.

So let's review. On a busy Saturday, I got directly to a tech without waiting. On Sunday morning, I got a home visit from a tech who fixed my problem in less than an hour.

Now that's service.