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I live in Sydney Australia, but had a very similar experience (right down to rain causing the problem).
In my case they wouldn't send the technician out to investigate for a few days and if they came out and there wasn't a problem they billed me $125. This wasn't any good for me because when it stopped raining the line worked again, so I needed them to investigate that day. They said they wouldn't.
I complained to the Telephone Ombudsman in Australia and the response of the telephone company was to to phone up, twice, and tell me that I should change phone company! Anyway the ombudsman backed me and forced them to investigate when it was next raining. Turns out it was the exchange flooding and that numerous people were experiencing the same problem. Since they fixed the leak in the exchange, no problems.
So Tech support is the same the world over.
on April 13, 2010 at 11:55 AM PDT
Been there done that. Remember LOA's problem with the dsl line dropping all the time at Foxworthy? Almost a year went by and dealing with 'it's your equipment' no it's your phone line.
I finally got ATT (the evil deathstar) to come out and check the connections both at the building (Which were superb and properly connected) as well as the colocation box on the street.
The tech called and found the culprit. A squirell had managed to weasel it's way into the box, and had chewed through the insulation for it's nest in the box. Once it got through the insulation, hello fried squirell. (not tasty) When BBQ de' Rocky's body went over the wires, it would cause a short, then a disconnect with home office.
Once new wire punched down, whalla.
Where's that in their checklist of "here we'll ask these really easy questions so they will get bored with us and leave us alone"?
on April 13, 2010 at 01:57 PM PDT
Yep, I'm in NSW, AU and had the same conversation. Took me two weeks to get Telstra to understand it was not my problem and for them to send someone out.
He found the line from my house to the junction box across the road was bad, the line from the junction box to the nearest pillar was bad, and the line from the pillar to the exchange was bad. He couldn't believe it when every time he changed a line to fix it, it still didn't work.
It is exasperating talking to "technical support".
on April 13, 2010 at 07:58 PM PDT
John R. Rose
Java maven, HotSpot developer, Mac user, Scheme refugee.
Once Sun and present Oracle engineer.