Ugh.. we've had problems with our internet dropping out 1-3 times a day for a few months now. I finally got fed up with it enough to contact someone about it. I'll leave out the details of using their online support, it was worthless and warranted a phone call. The phone support is worthless as well, and warranted a technician visit.
Well, the technician showed up a few weeks back. And I'll pause here to note that every cable modem carries in it a bunch of diagnostics and log entries. My modem is full of log entries timestamped with every outage that we experience. They meant nothing to the online support. They meant nothing to the phone support. The on-site tech was disinterested (or had no clue about them). Instead he unscrews the cable modem and notices that the compression fitting on the cable feels loose, he put a new fitting on, tested the signal, and left. His comment was “if this does not fix it then you must have a bad cable modem”. The problem reared itself again the next day. 2 weeks later we were billed $50 for the service call (a charge I never knew was coming, nor did I agree to. Dang that's one expensive compression fitting).
Now I have another cable modem to try (thanks Rich) to see if the modem really is the problem. But, I also have a $50 charge I want removed. So I call back tonight. The process of removing the charge mandates another on-site visit from a tech (regardless of what the first one said about trying a new modem, and me being ready for that today). *sigh* I asked: “How do I know that I won't be billed for a second visit?” The answer I got on the phone: “Be sure to tell the technician not to bill you”. HA! this is epic. If I had known he was planning on billing me the first time I would have told him that THEN! heh
But.. In all of my ranting I am distracting from the crux of my frustration: The logs. In my job, if I want to fix a computer issue the first thing I have to do is check the logs. Logs are everything. They may be cryptic but to someone who knows what they mean they point to the problem. Well, in this problem we have logs. Nobody along this chain knows what they mean. I imagine that in order to fix this problem, I will need escalated to someone who will make sense of the logs. I'll probably google them tonight and see what other people say (just for the heck of it, here are some entries)
Wed Jan 27 09:19:26 2010 Critical (3) DCC aborted unable to communicate on new upstream channel
Wed Jan 27 09:19:26 2010 Critical (3) Init RANGING Critical Ranging Request Retries exhausted
Wed Jan 27 09:19:26 2010 Critical (3) No Ranging Response received – T3 time-out
Tue Jan 26 21:32:08 2010 Critical (3) Started Unicast Maintenance Ranging – No Response received – …
Tue Jan 26 14:11:18 2010 Critical (3) No Ranging Response received – T3 time-out
These tech visits and tech support contacts are all a waste of time and money (mine and Comcast's) until someone pays attention to what this means and how to treat these symptoms. But until that time comes, I have another tech visit scheduled for some time between 1-5 on Saturday. Let's hope they credit our account this time.