A colleague of mine just told me of his encounter with Virgin Media tech support yesterday evening. He’s on cable broadband and we need him to have a static IP address to be able to access certain work facilities, so he phoned them up.
It took an hour and a half for Virgin Media’s broadband tech support, including supervisors, to conclude that they didn’t know whether he had a static or dynamic IP address, or if he was dynamic, how he could get a static IP address from them.
They also told him that if he needed to transfer some files from home to work and back then he should just copy them on to a CD and take them with him. This wasn’t a failing of their system in being able to tell them, they just didn’t know what their addressing scheme was or which was provided by which product in their range.
Now let’s not forget, call centre staff are mostly poorly trained and badly treated by their employers and their customer alike, so let’s not shoot them for it, but somebody should at least train them in the benefits of their different packages and whether a certain product provides a dynamic or static IP address. This is supposed to be technical support.
Personally, I found that shocking, so I thought I’d tell everyone. Every service provider in the world has it’s proportion of dissatisfied customers, so remember, don’t shoot the call centre staff, shoot the policy makers and please don’t take this as an opprtunity to make my blog a focal point for venting your spleen about service providers 🙂
UPDATE: In a second call to Virgin Media broadband support, at 75p per minute, my colleague was bounced around from department to department again, before finally being put on to someone who knew about this sort of thing who told him that you can’t statically address connections (and by connection, I assume they mean a cable broadband end-point) otherwise the Internet wouldn’t work. Shocking.