An interesting and really, really infuriating story I want to share.

OK. I honestly don’t know what else to do and I feel like getting it all out. Here is an example of awful customer service. Those familiar with Bigpond in Australia will not be surprised by this.

OK. So, we were, supposedly, on the 20Mbps ADSL2+ plan that Bigpond offers, with a landline. We weren't getting those speeds. We were getting 6.5Mbps. I didn’t think much of it. I thought it had something to do with how far we were from the exchange, congestion and blah blah blah. But, I found it weird it never went higher. Ever. Always a constant 800KB/s down. Never once saw it higher or lower. So, I got in contact with support on July 26th. Was told that the line configuration didn’t switch from 8 to 20Mbps. This happened before when we were switched from 1.5 to 8. Had to get in touch with support for it to be properly switched over.

Here is where it gets interesting. And strange. When it did switch over I was thrilled. 16Mbps. Nice. Made me happy. Speedtesting until I couldn't speedtest any more. Shit was a lot faster. But, after 8-9:00am it would take a MASSIVE dive in speed. All the way down to 2Mbps. Yep. 2Mbps was what it was was all day until the next morning. Every day, too. Pretty freaking confused. Contacted support and did all the pointless troubleshooting they put you through. I was finally put through to a technician who detected a fault on the line. Cool. Set up an appointment for him to come out. He came out on Monday August 20th. Corrected the fault, came inside, and the speed was no different. Still crappy. Was told to wait a few days to make sure. Told the technician the problems we were experiencing and he said it had to do with the connection at the exchange. Which is handled by a level 3 technician. He was a level 2. Briefly after this the speeds were as low as .2Mbps. But that fixed itself with time. Thankfully.

Waited a few days and nothing happened. Got in contact with support again. Went through the same annoying BS they put me through before and was finally told a technician will call us within 48 hours. Didn't happen. Called back to book an appointment and was put on hold. Disconnected. OK. Shit happens. Guy from support calls back and tries to transfer me over. 17 minutes go by and I'm disconnected again. All I needed to do was book an appointment. Decided to call the next day. Next day came, call back and told the support person I needed to book an appointment with a level 3 technician to check the exchange and solve our issues. Was told by the support member that even though I called a numerous times previously, the case was closed. And, it closed 7 days ago. I don’t know why. Was annoying as all hell. Had to spend an hour and a half opening the ticket again. Fine.

Was FINALLY put in contact with another technician. They tested our line and found another fault. OK. Whatever. He came out and fixed it. Nothing changed. Called back again and was told by another technician there was ANOTHER fault on the line. Mind you, our speeds are still at 2Mbps after 9:00 am for the entire day. Third technician comes out and fixed the issue. This, amazingly, did some good. It didn't suck after 9:00 am any more. It sucked after lunch. And would be up and down all throughout the day. The upload was never affected, though. Which I find weird.

Yet again I call support. They dick me around for a while, as usual, and was told that, even though our speeds suck for most of the day, they met the "minimum speeds" for our plan. Which is 110Kbps. Yep. 13KB/s. Which is about 6 better than dial-up. Some support members would tell me the speeds we were getting are totally fine and others would say "that’s so slow!". So, after being stuffed around endless by support members who seem to have NO IDEA what they are talking about I crack the shits pretty fast. They, fortunately, redeemed themselves by getting me in contact with a dude who had a awesome British accent. That made me happy. Hung up the phone for them to do a line test and he called back telling me there is ANOTHER FUCKING FAULT on the line. OK. At this point I am physically tired from having to deal with this. Book an appointment for someone to come and fix it. He came out, fixed it and came into our house to see what was going on. Did a speedtest and things were about the same. This was 11-ish in the morning. Had to wait and see what would be the result. Did not fix it. So, finally call back again and they are no longer finding faults on the line. Good. Still having problems. Problems that have never happened during the years of our time with Bigpond. I am starting to wish I had never enquired about the issue to begin with. Never had any issues with the previous set up.

So, I do the whole support thing again and am put in contact with someone who sets it up so we can receive a new modem, cables and filter. Need a filter because of the landline. Testing it without the landline connected does not improve anything. It is the exact same. The filter is plugged directly into the wall socket. All of that came and nothing was improved. Nice new modem, though.

Was told to call again if the new toys didn't help with the issue. Book another appointment with a technician and he comes out to check what the hell is going on. I tell him everything that has happened and he says it has to do with the connection coming in. Something is screwing with it. It is not our distance from the exchange since we are about 1km from it. Which is good, according to him. Not congestion. Due to the fact these issues have NEVER been present before July 26th. The last 3 months haven’t been more congested than the last 5-6 years. No one is going to convince me of that. Ever. So, he hooks his device into the modem and does a test of his own. His is showing 15Mbps. My computer showed between 2-4Mbps. How is that fair? Happens on every connected device. Wireless of an Ethernet cable. Same thing.

He goes out and checks these little boxes around the neighbourhood. Comes back to tell me there is a damaged cable. It isn’t getting the voltage it needs. It needs 54volts, I think, and it isn’t getting it. All sorts of things he listed off that could be causing us issues because of this damage cable. But at least we know what the issue seems to be. They come out to dig up the cable and fix it. Things have improved slightly. Except for the fact I am sitting here with a connection that seems content with sitting at 1.9Mbps for the rest of its life. The ping seems to be all messed up, too. Weeks ago the ping, when it was all behaving itself, was between 11-15ms. Which is nice. Recently, it is always 25+. Which is strange. Then, there is that frigging upload speed. WHICH IS ALWAYS FINE! WHY DO YOU TAUNT ME!

It is hard to find another ISP. We need a landline and many of them don’t offer one where we are. We need a landline because mobile phone reception here is useless. Just about every call that has taken place here has dropped and that person then calls via the landline. Stupid issues. But an issue nonetheless. I have managed to track one down, though. Just need to figure out the cancellation fee for out plan. If it is prohibitively expensive, which it will be, we might be stuck for a while. They have made it difficult to find, too. Which is not surprising.

I will keep calling support, though. I need to know what is causing this.