DSL Network Guide Chapter 21: DSL Customer Service

Ordering DSL:
When you call in to order DSL you will be speaking to DSL sales representative. This is no different than buying a car at a dealership or a washing machine from Sears. The more money they can get you to spend the more money they see on their paycheck. These people know as much about the technical aspects of DSL as the sales man at the car dealership. Everything they say is subject to be wrong or over exaggerated. This is'nt to say that all sales people are liars (they aren't) but just don't be surprised if a sales rep tells you something and it doesn't turn out to be exactly as they stated. If you have a technical question ask them to transfer someone on from tech support. If you are really concerned ask them to provide you a link to their terms of service or see if they can mail you a copy.
After you have ordered your service if you have any complaints with not recieving what you where sold give them a call. Do not call tech support or billing. For these guys sitting on the phone with someone who is not going to potentialy order service is a bad thing. If you have a problem bug them and cost that department money.

The billing department:
If you have any questions or concerns about money issues this is the department to call. If your service was down or there was an outtage in your area this is the department to complain to and to get reimbursement on your bill. If your account has been disconnected or suspended the billing department should be able to find out what caused this and what needs to be done to get this fixed. The billing deparmtent also acts as the "Customer Service" department. If you have any general complaints or praises the billing department is the one to voice these concerns to.

Technical support:
When you call in to technical support you are speaking to a tier 1 agent. Tier 1 agents are generally paid less than $10 an hour and are outsourced by another company. Every second you are on the phone with them your ISP is paying that company money. For this reason the agents are pressured to keep their average talk times down as low as possible. Agents are also monitored and graded based on their performance to make sure they don't take shortcuts or other things to keep their talk times down.
Your ISPs tech support only supports the product they sold you. They did not sell you your computer and they have no way of ensuring that your computer works. If you bought any other equipment to work along with your DSL such as a router or VPN software your ISP will be unable to help you set up that equipment or troubleshoot why it doesn't work short of giving you some basic settings. As a general rule the only thing they try to make sure works is that you can browse with computer plugged directly into the modem, that your speeds are within the range you purchased, and that you can send and recieve e-mail using clients that either they provided or that they support. Most ISPs will give basic effort support for certain computer related issues like TCP/IP or Internet Explorer. If it is determined that the cause of your problem is that your mail client or operating system is currupt then you will need to speak with the people that sold you that equipment to get it fixed.
If a tier 1 representative is unable to get your problem solved or it is determined that fixing the problem requires access to equipment that a tier 1 representative does not have access to they will get you online with tier 2. The idea is that tier 2 representatives know more. By creating a small group of people who have more access and knowledge who are paid better then you don't have to pay as many representatives in tech support as much money. But despite this it doesn't mean that a tier 1 tech support doesn't know as much or a tier 2 tech does know more. This is just the theory. These two departments are often in two different buildings. Some tier 1 techs never get a chance to become tier 2 techs even after they've become experts. In the same instance a tier 2 tech has not necessarily worked in tier 1 or given any better training than them.

Despite everything I've written the guys on the other end of the phone are not out to get you. Most of the people who work in customer service do generally care about helping you out as much as possible. Sometimes they are unable to help you out because of company policy or sometimes there is nothing that the company can do for you. Just like any other work place there are always those people who do not care about doing their job properly or just have a bad attitude. These people do not last long and probably won't last very long at their next job either. If you call in and the person you get has a bad attitude or shows that they don't really care the best thing to do is simply tell them bye, hang up the phone, and call back in. Calling in with a bad attitude will not get you anywhere, even if a bad attitude is in order. The nicer and more understanding you are the more likely the person on the other end is commited to helping you resolve your issue. A little patience and a good attitude will go a long way in getting your problem resolved. If you find yourself constently getting the run around or different stories the best thing to do is simply ask for a manager and have the manager explain everything until you fully understand the situation and what needs to be done to get it resolved.

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