You probably won't read this until the Internet comes back
Tue, 18 Jun 2002 03:29:43 +0000
You probably won't read this until the Internet comes back ...
I'd like to recommend the NTL web site as a great demonstration of so many ways to get the design of a web site wrong. Primarily at this present time
- graphic-heavy design guaranteed to annoy anyone who just had to fall back to their emergency analogue modem
- no indication anywhere of what the current known faults in the network are
- or how to report a new one
- and completely robot-proof: any Google query for "ntl fault" will go straight to the NTHell pages instead. Nice one ...
- (actually, there are some Google results for NTL Ireland, but luckily NTL have removed the pages in question since they were indexed, so all they show now are IIS error messages)
Eventually I thought to check Robin Walker's (amazing, frankly) Cable Modem Troubleshooting Tips and found the numbers I wanted in the Tech Support section there. For the benefit of future Google users who experience similar problems and may end up at this page, 0800 052 4315 for the status recording, 0845 650 0121 for the helpline.
For the record, the NTL telephone voicemaze jail is almost as well-planned. I dialled the status recording, which is information-rich in much the same way as 10 Angstroms is a long way: for each outage it tells you who it affects, that it is due to "a technical fault", that engineers are aware of it (in fairness, given NTL's usual standards of internal communication, it's entirely possible that they would announce a fault on the answering machine and forget to tell the engineers, so perhaps there is actually some value in knowing that they havent screwed up in this particular way) and that they apologise for any inconvenience. No estimated time to repair, and no fault description which would let a caller make a reasoned guess at time to fix either. But anyway, it didn't mention Oxford.
So, try the other number. It says "for cable modem faults, replace the handset and dial 0800 052 4315" which number sounds vaguely familiar: not surprising, it's the recorded status line I just called to be apologised to by a machine. So instead I retain the handset, I select a plausible-sounding option from the next menu and then it tells me that they're rewiring the entire HFC network for expansion and Oxford is one of the exchanges that will be off from 1am. Why don't they put that on the service status report? Call me a non-technical person, but by any dictionary definition of service status, I'd have said that "no service" is relevant.
Could have been worse, anyway. At least they didn't play their hold music at me.