My land line is dead! [SOLVED]

General discussions and other topics.
29 posts Page 3 of 3
by virtualmike » Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:57 pm
It's not my company. I'm just another customer.

I had to replace the DSL filter on my line several times.That's not even in the Sonic technicians' script, because they're not expected to fail at all, yet mine did. Sonic sent me several to have on hand so that I could make a replacement when the line became unstable.
by ezekielk » Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:40 pm
I hope they didn't drag things out for you, before resolving the issue! The DSL line is not expected to fail, yet it happened to you more than once? Incredilble.
by briancw » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:28 pm
That is the unfortunate fact about copper infrastructure has numerous points of possible failure and is essentially assembled of various parts and elements that are in some cases quite old. While it is easy in hindsight to ask "why was this not asked first?" virtualmike is correct, the telephone cord being at fault is rare and less likely than the things we suggest first. Furthermore, it is typically poorly received for us to suggest the customer's equipment is at fault as a first order of business. We will typically only begin suggesting customer equipment after having ruled out our own.
Brian W
Community & Escalations Specialist
Sonic
by ezekielk » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:01 pm
briancw wrote:
Furthermore, it is typically poorly received for us to suggest the customer's equipment is at fault as a first order of business. We will typically only begin suggesting customer equipment after having ruled out our own.


I disagree, because replacing the telephone cord is the SIMPLEST thing to try, so should be tested out first, before anything else. It is also EASY to do...so easy in fact, no technician is required. And if it doesn't solve the problem, you can move on to other things which may be more costly and time consuming to resolve. A new cord costs very little...so little, in fact, Sonic could provide it for "free," as part of the service already paid for by the customer (assuming he's using a Sonic assigned gateway). I don't think the customer would be the least bit offended, if worded diplomatically. And you'd have a VERY happy customer as a result of resolved the issue so promptly, if that's all the problem was.

In fact, it strikes me that a failed cord is probably more common than one might think, due to its constantly being moved around, stepped on, and accidentally yanked. Same goes for the DSL line, in some cases.

At any rate, I'll be sure to be home tomorrow at 1 o'clock sharp, to welcome the Sonic and AT&T techs with open arms! Though no one from Sonic has emailed me yet, to verify the appointment.
by virtualmike » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:49 pm
ezekielk wrote:
I hope they didn't drag things out for you...

Sonic support was very responsive and put a lot of time into working with the line (I had Fusion X2 service, over copper). The line would work awesomely for a while, but then, on the line graphs, I could see where the sync rates on line 1 would go crazy. Sonic technicians visited my house several times, Sonic and AT&T ran diagnostics many times, Sonic and AT&T did vendor meets, and so forth.

The worst part is the issues with the erratic sync rates were intermittent, mostly occurring April through October. From November through March, the line was mostly stable.

Sonic tests showed AC current was present on my line, and theorized that it might be due to the Panasonic cordless phone I had hooked up. We agreed, however, that the cordless phone uses DC current--that's what the wall wart provides to it! This was verified when I left the phone unplugged and the current was still detected on the line.

Techs tried typical steps such as limiting the bit rate, and yet at some point, intermittent noise would occur, and then it would resync even lower. We finally agreed that no matter how low the cap, when the noise occurred, the resync would be lower than the cap. so we left it uncapped. I learned to check the sync stats periodically and record them, so that Sonic would have the information. I got into the habit of forcing the modem to resync multiple times a week. Most of the time, it would immediately sync at the usual rate, but sometimes I simply could not get it to sync and be stable.

One trick that I learned was to unplug everything: the MPOE test jack, the DSL filter, the phone line to the modem (at both ends), and the phone line to the phone (at both ends). On more than one occasion, this seemed to get it to sync when it was having issues. I started wondering if the various connections might be corroding, and unplugging and plugging might be cleaning the contacts. <shrug>

One day, out of frustration, I grabbed another filter out of the box and plugged it in, and for several weeks, the line stayed stable. When it went unstable again, I tried changing to another filter, and subsequently, the line was stable for another few weeks.

BTW, AT&T swapped pairs several times, and even did a port swap at the CO, and the issues persisted.

My theory is that somewhere along the path for line 1, the copper got close to some sort of equipment that threw out a strong EMF field, used extensively during the summer, and occasionally in the winter... perhaps a pool or hot tub pump, or something similar? I was about 4,500 feet from the CO (although occasionally Sonic's test equipment suggested that I was 7,500 feet--I suspect it sometimes got confused by whatever was causing the problems).

Sonic never gave up. Unfortunately, their hands were tied by using AT&T's infrastructure, so some dispatches depended on the latter's availability, and that wasn't during a pandemic when many more households were demanding instant service. And AT&T is trying to abandon its copper network, so some technicians were more helpful than others.

I've since moved from that house. At my current home, I'm on IPBB X2, and I'm about 300 feet from the VRAD. I can trace the line its entire length, and I can verify that it's not routed near anything that should be causing noise on the line.
by ezekielk » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:37 pm
Well, that was such an amazing true tale, so rich with detail, I am gobsmacked! You just made my day, my friend. It so happens I had to call 911 on a neighbor's bullying teenage son tonight, who threatened to beat me up! This is the result of my sending a certified letter of complaint to the property owner (a big realty firm) about his "friends" hanging out in the hallway once or so per week for like two or three hours, being noisy, talking gansta (thus intimidating), and NOT WEARING A MASK! The manager did nothing about it, despite the two times I brought it up to him. So I sent my letter to the property owners, and a cc to the building manager, and to the son's mom. Thus, this altercation ensued. He tried to intimidate me, but no such luck. I remained calm and stood my ground through it all, while his pathetic pipsqueak of a Universalist Unitarian mother stood nearby, wringing her hands. So I returned to my hovel (that's what I call my single room) and dialed 911...and thanking God that it's working again, or I'd be up shit creek without a paddle! The cops FINALLY showed up, were very cordial, attentive and professional, and talked to these stupid neighbors, while I waited in my room for the cops to return and give me a report. They basically said they warned them they are breaking the law in several ways, which is what I hoped they would say, as this was a good show of force to let them know I am NOT scared, just royally pissed. Her son is a big, athletic dude, 6'1", all of 17 years old, and I am a scrawny, white 70-year-old eccentric author only 5'7' in height. So it was a VERY interesting day, topped off by a most incredlble true event re. your outrageous experience with Sonic ISP. I'm composing INCREDIBLE tales these days, and I invite anyone here, to take a gander:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/brindlekin-tales/
by virtualmike » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:59 pm
I think that if anyone deserves fault in my experience, it's the owner of the poorly maintained copper. As I mentioned, Sonic was very responsive and kept pushing AT&T, but there's only so far that one can push a mountain.
by ezekielk » Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:05 am
I can agree with that part, thanks for the telling of a most interesting cyber-debacle. My situation is, however, quite different...and thank Cthulhu for that. It was basically a simple part that failed, and AT&T, the eternal scapegoat, had nothing to do with it.
by ezekielk » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:29 am
My connection and DSL phone line are now working properly. But I'm afraid if I hadn't made a big stink about it, I would've had to wait in line until the end of the month, before any tech person would even come out. That doesn't seem fair for any customer...let alone myself who, without phone access, would've been in really deep doo-doo, because I've suddenly gotten embroiled with some vulgar neighbor down the hallway who's harassing me and the doggies. If my DSL phone line were still not working, I wouldn't have been able to call 911 (as I have been threatened with violence), or contact the property owners, or even the building manager for that matter. Also, I wouldn't have been able to continue my search for a literary agent, or update my stories on social media for almost three weeks, and perform other tasks vital to my vocation...at a crucial moment in my efforts to expand my readership fan base, which has just begun to take off. All that would've collapsed, without access to either a telephone, or the Internet.

So, while I"d like to say "thank you immensely," I cannot do that, in all honesty. The technicians who came out were all excellent, BTW...I give them the highest rating, realizing they are not responsible for the convoluted infrastructure mostly controlled by monopolies, that we must all deal with. I suppose most customers have some sort of emergency backup for their Internet and phone, which is, obviously, a smartphone or tablet with cell service. Especially one which can be tethered. Or one can use a bluetooth keyboard and, perhaps, an external bluetooth monitor. So now I know what I'm gonna spend a chunk of my next stimulus check on. I can NOT afford to be without a phone or Internet connection for even a single day, as things are moving so fast in my life right now. This would NOT have been the case, but for the pandemic, because, before then, I could readily go to a coffeehouse or library and use public wifi. Which is why I've also invested in a VPN. But now, things are rather different. In fact, public wifi had been my ONLY access to cyberspace for at least several years by now...and I was perfectly happy with that.

I subscribed to Sonic.net as my first broadband service ever...figuring I can manage the expense, even though my sole income is Social Securty. (Rent control has saved my life; if not for that, I'd have died on the streets a long time ago.) But once the pandemic hit three months after I began using Sonic, I realized what a stroke of good luck that was, timing-wise. So, lesson learned:

You can't even rely on a single source for your internet OR your phone line..ALL Internet services based on DSL are gonna be a headache sometimes, for connection problems. But as far as all available ISPs out there in the Bay Area, Sonic is probably the best option overall.

Thus, I've reached the point where I MUST get a smartphone with cell service...I've held out long enough. This is gonna be difficult, financial wise, though the next stimulus check will be a godsend. Of course, I'll look for the cheapest possible deal.

Thank you for everyone's patient and kind input here, BTW. My New Year's gift to everyone living on this planet, is a hilarious, short, satirical sci-fi piece called "2021 is going to be a FANTASTIC year!" If you're in need right now for a good belly laugh (and who isn't) click here and you're on your way to chuckleville:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2020/12/ ... stic-year/
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