Computer says no: how hard can it be to get VOIP working?

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Computer says no: how hard can it be to get VOIP working?

How far should you have to go to get an IT device fixed? Read the saga of Colin and his non-operating VOIP service.


Just how hard is it to get your problem solved? Well, that depends on whether you’ve got a simple problem or one that falls into the ‘too hard’ basket, taking a little external attention to get the right people to pull it out and dedicate themselves to fixing it.
Colin from NSW, who was a sales rep in the past, was taught a simple lesson that seems to have been forgotten in some quarters these days: “Do not let it fester, fix it up quickly.”
Colin’s story starts in November, when he purchased a NetComm modem over the internet. 
“I set it up. All was okay, but VOIP would not work. I contacted my internet provider TPG and they spent a good deal of time with me trying to get the modem to work. Finally they said to contact NetComm as they could not help further.
“I contacted NetComm and they asked me to do the normal things like restart the modem and so on. I did not hear from them for a while (glad the old modem worked as I was using that). After a while I contacted NetComm again and they tried to fix things over the phone and internet. We had several remote login sessions where the tech took over my computer and tried this and that. I had to download several programs hoping they would fix things up. The hours of my time were mounting up. I asked why they could not find a fix and then get back to me. It seems they did not have a spare modem to try things on so they were using mine. So we did this for some weeks – sometimes I did not hear from them for a while, and then they contacted me with a new firmware. I installed this but the modem was still no good.” 
No closer to a solution, Colin sent an email trying to get some more help. “I’ve had another look at the settings and the only difference now is the gateway. All else is the same as before, the only small thing is it does not work at all. I feel we are going backwards. I really have had enough but I will give you one more go and see what you come up with. It still puzzles me as to why I am so involved. Have you not got a test bed for these problems? The engineers should have the simple answer.”
No reply was forthcoming, so Colin did the only thing he could do, and turned off its life support.
 Some weeks later he received an email with new firmware for the modem. However, when it was nearly installed he lost contact and the modem stopped working all together. He tried to contact NetComm several times but did not receive a reply.
Some time went by and still unhappy that he had a new modem that was not functional at all, he sent another email to the company looking for some help, a refund or just a response.
Colin also sent these emails to Investigator as a last resort looking for some help with his modem. Investigator got in touch with NetComm about the problem, passed on Colin’s emails again and asked for some help. 
NetComm was quick to call Colin and tell him that his problem had been escalated to senior management. Two NetComm engineers, who are responsible for VoIP development, were working closely with TPG’s engineers to get the issue resolved, which was a “compatibility” issue between the device and the TPG VoIP service.
“Colin’s NB16WV appears to have ceased establishing a connection to the internet, so I offered that we pre-configure a replacement unit, thoroughly test data/VoIP, and courier it to his home. He was pleased with this offer and looks forward to receiving his NB16WV. I said that I would personally follow up with him once his new unit had been delivered to ensure that it was all working.”
Colin was impressed with the speedy way his issue was dealt with at this point and the assurances of being provided with a device set up and ready to go. A little dedication to fixing a tricky problem is all it takes. Now how hard is that?


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