The Epic Battle with SBC

18 05 2009

First off, when I first started with SBC, I lived in a decent effeciency off of high street. That was okay for a while, except that the power would go out when that would rain, and that SBC was exceedingly high.

Then it went downhill from there.

When I moved into the apartment at the corner of hudson and neil avenue I rerouted my phone there (kept the same phone number) everything was okay. Except when it rained. When it rained, my power would stay on, but my phone would die. This happened to be in 2007 the rainiest year I’d ever lived in my life. 

It would start where I would pick up the phone and hear static. Then it would die. Then there would be nothing. No static, no dialtone either. When the sun came out again I called SBC. Of course I would. But when they checked the line, it was perfectly fine, of course it was, the sun was out.

I’d come to expect it for a while, until one day I caught the static on the line and I called sbc. Oh you should have seen me, I’m looking up (you have to look up to look out the windows) to make sure that the weather doesn’t break and suddenly a downpour would knock out my line completely, while listening to the elevator music drone and the “all operators are busy…” praying I get someone on the line.

Of course when I did the first time the dialtone disapeared. But I tried again, same scenario. Then I got the person on the line, they did their tests, and talked to me about it.

I’m not an idiot. I know what a NID was, I knew what line attenuation meant, I knew what noise margins were. I was still on DSL of course I was getting slower speeds, and I was paying these assholes for all the time I had no signal. Because when it rains in columbus, it rains for three fucking days straight.

So the lady checks the line, she tells me there’s an obvious problem she’ll dispatch a technitian. The technitian comes, hooks his line test machine that I used to know the name of. He hooks it up to my line. It’s definitely dead. (could he not pick up a phone? ROFL)

I go down the hall where the NID is.

This little section is for us techies to show how a nightmare situation this was:

The NID was actually a square box. What happened to the front of it, I have no idea. That right there was bad news. Second off was that it was in our “laundry room’ which was a glorified basement with two washers and two dryers that didnt’ work.

The thing about the NID there was if you looked at it too close, you see a chaos of wires. One of the techs had written a note to someone (I assume the owner of the building) telling them this exactly I remember to this day: “Would the next tech PLEASE NUMBER THESE WIRES!!!!!” There was a strip on one side, and a strip on the other not labeled, but the tech tested a few and found my number.  He became such a regular as this problem kept happening that they had it tagged and even I knew its place on the exposed NID.

This first tech looks at the jumble of wires (which I also understood how to fix, and what was there.) He takes out his colt meter, tests the line, frowns for a while, then fiddles with the wires then tells me it’s a line issue. The man dissapears and I go back to my world of internet less life. I was so into the internet at the time that I was actually sitting in my desk chair looking at the computer and going, “Now what?”

He calls me and apparently I have a dialtone. Yipee. I think that’s the end of it.

A month down the road it rains. I don’t loose dialtone, this time I just get a busy signal. WTF? I wasn’t even ON the phone. I fight with the phone company for a few days. Frusturating conversations that go like this:

CSR for SBC: How may I help you?

ME: My internet keeps going out when it’s raining.

CSR: Let me look at the line.

ME: But it’s not raining today. It’ll show up fine.

CSR: Yep. It says that everything is fine. Try calling us back when you’re haivng the trouble.

ME: THat’s the problem, I can’t. The phone is DEAD, no dialtone, no static.

CSR (so not hearing me): Still, just call us back….

ME: ….

This continues until pratically a few months before I move out. Techs come out. Scratch their heads at the NID, test it with their colt meter and then come and tell me it’s a line issue. Then it got miracously fixed until a few months later.

That is, until the crazy idiot upstairs. And the RWB.




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