Older blog entries for dwmw2 (starting at number 190)

Maybe we should buy some of these and donate them to BT?

As strange as it seems to advertise a cable that "supports IPv6", it's very closely related to BT's problem.

When British Telecom states, as they did, that "BT currently supports IPv4 on it's[sic] Broadband products and does not support IPv6", that makes no more sense than saying "this cable does not support IPv6".

BT are paid to transport PPP data between the ISP and the end users. The contents of the PPP frames should be irrelevant — whether they be IPv4, IPv6 or anything else. Whether they're web traffic, email, IRC or anything else. Whether they're Russian, Polish, French, English or any other language... British Telecom are completely incompetent if they claim that some of these things are "supported" but others aren't. They are supposed to be providing a simple data transport — just like the cable — and they have no business caring about what gets carried over the transport.

The low-level transport really shouldn't care what's being carried across it, unless someone really went out of their way to fuck up. In fact it looks like Cisco did just that, on this occasion, and the muppets at British Telecom are too stupid to comprehend what's going on.

This is apparently a known Cisco problem, and I hear second-hand reports that it was actually expected to be fixed in the IOS version(s) that BT are using. If that's the case, Cisco get bonus fuckwit points — not only did they have such an inexcusable bug in the first place, but they also failed to fix it properly.

BT now say that they are "looking into this problem and will be holding a conference call with [their] suppliers". I wish them the best of luck with that. This particular supplier doesn't seem particularly competent either, judging by my recent experience of trying to report shameful security holes in some of their other products.

In the meantime, those subscribers lucky enough to be connected to Juniper's products instead of Cisco's should find that the service works just fine. BT use a mixture of both.

1 Nov 2008 (updated 1 Nov 2008 at 10:24 UTC) »

We just need 4 more days like yesterday...

31 Oct 2008 (updated 31 Oct 2008 at 17:43 UTC) »

Saw this on Andrews and Arnold's status feed today:

BT break some lines, again

"We'd like to apologise to those customers affected by the latest BT fiasco and assure you we are doing everything possible to ensure service is restored as quickly as possible. In some cases same day or next day. Whilst this has affected only a few customers in Crouch End, Perivale and a couple of other exchanges, this really is not acceptable.

"The problem is similar to the last screw up. Previously BT allowed upgrading of lines to new 21CN services in the exchange when the exchange was not plugged in to the backhaul to connect to us - most notably when Stepney Green was not plugged in to Stepney Green.

"Having made sure that was not happening again, we now have a new and interesting way for things to go wrong. This time BT have told us that an exchange is ready and have accepted orders to upgrade lines, but it turns out the exchange is not yet ready. In some cases the exchange will not be ready for over 2 months. Yet despite having nowhere to actually jumper the line to, BT engineers have jumpered the line to thin air and stopped it working.

"When we found this happening on Monday we immediately got BT to supposedly cancel the other orders going through this week. However, it seems BT cannot even do that right, and we have had some customers losing service throughout the week.

"It seems that it does not matter how many assurances we get from BT that things will work, they still find new ways to break things."

Words fail me. Meanwhile, BBC News reports that British Telecom's shares slumped 20% after they issued a profit warning due to "poor performance in its global services unit".

Four more days like today, and British Telecom will be completely worthless. We can shut them down, return their current employees to suitable institutions where they can't do any further harm to themselves or others, then sell off the infrastructure to someone with a bit of a clue, and the world will be a much better place.

I say "bring it on". I would love to see British Telecom being first against the wall when the revolution comes. The existence of the word "British" in "British Telecom" makes me ashamed to admit my nationality; associated as it is with a company with such a culture of incompetence, mediocrity, and contempt for their customers.

Fucking Useless Telco.

"I take direct issue with democracy. If democracy implies universal suffrage, or the right of all men to take part in the control of the state without regard to the intelligence, the morals, or the principles of the man, I am no democrat.

"I would as soon place my person and property at the mercy of an infuriated mob as place the liberties of my country in the hands of an ignorant, superstitious and vacillating populous."

-- Thomas R. Whitney

Oh, fuck me backwards.. this is great:

"Today 15:09:23 BT notes 15 - REJECTION - Records show that this is not a current working circuit ."

Of course is isn't a current working circuit, you stupid people. That's because you disconnected it!

Quite why you disconnected it isn't entirely clear to us — it seems unlikely that this will magically fix your Cisco-based problems, as I previously observed.

And why the "lift and shift" operation — which used to take a few minutes to move the user onto another circuit — has so far taken you over 24 hours is also a mystery to us.

Maybe it's just another excuse to close the fault and fraudulently try to avoid the penalties of exceeding the Service Level Guarantee, since now it needs to be re-reported on the "new" line? When that eventually starts working, that is — they're apparently saying it might take until the 23rd now.

Fucking Useless Telco.

21 Oct 2008 (updated 21 Oct 2008 at 10:49 UTC) »

Despite the ISP escalating the problem, it looks like British Telecom still haven't managed to reconnect the line that they disconnected yesterday... evidently in the hope that doing so would magically cause an IOS upgrade on their core routers. Maybe they're still waiting to see if it really does have the magical effect they desire, if they leave it broken for a little longer?

Fucking Useless Telco.

They're also making stupid noises in my fault ticket about the ISP being rude to them. When whining about it and threatening to make complaints about the rudeness, the BT muppet admitted to having hung up on the ISP, which doesn't strike me as being particularly polite.

Somehow I don't think the BT muppet remembered that the phone call had been recorded. I was quite amused by the response of Shaun's boss, after reviewing the recording:

"I have reviewed the call recording. I do not believe Shaun was rude at all. There are several cases where BT talked over Shaun (which is rather rude in my opinion). I feel Shaun was quite polite during the call. Statements by BT during the call seem to make no sense and were somewhat contradictory."

I find that assessment entirely credible. Having dealt with Shaun before, I find it hard to believe that he was anything less than his normal, unfailingly polite, self. The poor man has to deal with BT a lot — and as far as I'm concerned he has to be a saint, since to my knowledge he hasn't actually throttled anyone yet. Or otherwise promoted an attitude of violence in any way.

I am, as ever, massively impressed with the ISP; Andrews & Arnold.

British Telecom are going from strength to strength, continuing their stunning display of incompetence.

The fault has been reported against a handful of lines belonging to affected subscribers — and although it's a fault in the core network, in some of their Cisco routers, it looks like they decided to try to fix it by shifting one of the affected lines to a different copper pair.

Quite why they think this would help, I don't know — but thinking doesn't seem to be their strong suit. In making this unnecessary change, they seem to have terminated service to the affected subscriber entirely.

This would be funny if it wasn't so sad — and scary; how is it that people like this are allowed out into the community rather than being kept in secure institutions where they can't pose a danger to themselves or others?

Fucking Useless Telco.

It's just scary watching the responses from British Telecom, in the tickets which have been opened for the core network fault with their Cisco kit. I've posted a copy of the tickets on my line here and here. (There are two tickets because they actually closed the first, in what seems to be a fraudulent attempt to hide the fact that they are failing to meet their Service Level Guarantee.)

These people are so lacking in intelligence that I really don't know how they manage to feed and dress themselves. They just keep trying to clear the fault, with totally bogus responses — often trying to trick us into accepting a chargeable engineer visit, sometimes just claiming that such a visit has happened when it has not, sometimes claiming to have run diagnostics and found that the line was OK, sometimes claiming that there must be a misconfiguration at my end, etc.

It's clear that they aren't even reading the information in the fault report, and are just clearing it without even thinking — and they've done it so many times that the ISP has had to implement a bot to automatically reject the 'clear' each time.

It's mindboggling that a company can be so incompetent in the way it treats its customers.

I swear, the world would be a better place if the likes of Cisco and British Telecom were eradicated from it in a freak incident of self-annihilation brought about by their own incompetence.

Update... British Telecom have cleared the fault, saying "[End User] Equipment/settings/drivers believed incorrect".

Is there no limit to how incompetent these people can be?

Fucking Useless Telco.

British Telecom's capacity for incompetence continues to amaze me. We're reproduced the fault in their L2TP service using purely Legacy IP — although we first saw it with IPv6, it does affect IPv4 too.

It's a known Cisco bug — CSCsd13298, for which a patch exists. And yet they still seem incapable of dealing with it.

They've tried sending engineers to my house, as if they think that could help. I turned him away with an explanation of what the problem really was, and then they put false information into the ticket: "SFI Line tested ok following attendance by BT external engineer". The engineer didn't get anywhere near it; he was turned away at the door.

They've tried charging for a "Special Faults Investigation" engineer visit, despite clearly being instructed that such a visit was not requested. This is an offence under the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act, 1971.

This update from their side is particularly impressive:

No BTW fault - an engineer attended on 15/10/2008 23:40:00 and reported reterminated e side to b/pair 17070 all ok fast test done = line test ok. Notes and test results indicate no fault exists.
If there was an engineer in our house at twenty to midnight on Wednesday, he was very quiet. And he managed to complete his work without disturbing the DSL line, which has remained synchronised from Wednesday morning until now without interruption.

They've even tried just closing the ticket without fixing it, in what seems to be just a fraudulent attempt to evade the SLA.

It's astonishing to watch the exchanges back and forth between BT and the ISP on the fault ticket, with complete lies being put forth from BT in clearing the ticket, and then being rejected by the ISP.

Why on earth can they not just fix their poxy Cisco kit? (Or preferably retire it in favour of machines from someone less incompetent, like Juniper; but that's more of a long-term plan).

Fucking Useless, Criminal, Telco.

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