Back by popular demand, well one demand counts as popular in my book. Ever feel like you must be speaking a foreign language because no one seems to be able to understand what your saying? Well, if so your in the same boat as me.
I’ve recently upgraded my broadband to my company’s latest gratest and fastest offering. Oh, this isn’t the BBC so I can name them. I’ve upgraded to BT Infinity. I had a inkling that things weren’t going to be simple when the sails assistant couldn’t tell me if I’d be able to carry on using my current ADSL modem and router, a Netgear. This was important to me because the software that runs it is accessible with my Screenreader Window Eyes. All the assistant wanted to talk about was the benefits of BT Infinity and the BT provided hardware and software.
So the engineer arrived and removed my existing telephone boxes and replaced them with the new ones. He then told me that I would need to use both the BT modem and router and I let him get on and plug everything in. Then we hit our next snag. I didn’t want to install the BT’s own software as my previous experience, all be it, some years ago, was that it didn’t work with Screenreader software. I therefore asked the engineer if he could help me set up the service manually. I was absolutely amazed to hear him say no, as he didn’t know any of the settings. I then told him that I would ring BT technical support people because I knew they would be able to talk me through the manual set up. He left and that was that.
I then rang BT only to be told that as my installation was still open their technical support people couldn’t help me. I was now stunned. All BT could suggest was to wait until the afternoon when hopefully my installation would be complete and the techies could then help.
Well, I decided that I couldn’t be without my internet for even a few hours and bit the bullet and installed BT’s software. In all fairness it was quite accessible and easy. Within a few minutes my new fibre Optic broadband was up and running.
Over the next couple of days I was confirmed in my view that I didn’t want to keep the BT software on my system. Firstly, there seemed to be less security features EG no ability to limit access by a device’s MAK Address (each wireless ready device has a little number which identifies it to the router). Another problem I was experiencing was with web pages not loading properly.
Now we get into the not being understood. I spent a lot of time doing research on the internet, trying to find out what kind of Modem/Router I would need to replace the BT provided one. I eventually rang Netgear who told me that none of their modems would work with BTs Infinity service. I was told to buy a Netgear router and plug it in to my BT modem. Incidentally the suggested router’s RRP was over £300.
I then rang BT, who I assumed would know what modems/routers I could use. No such luck. I was first told that I couldn’t use any other modem/router. When I pointed out that I knew for a fact that this was not true, the person I was talking to went away, and on returning confirmed that this was true but that BT couldn’t support or recommend any other type of modem.
I’d already explained to the technical support person that I found the router software difficult to use with my Screenreader and him and his manager both told me that they would escalate this matter and I should give BT a couple of weeks and they would sort this out.
As good as that was it didn’t really deal with my problems. At this point I’d just about had enough, when a friend came back to me with a Netgear modem/router that he thought might work with my new broadband.
When I visited the shop’s site, one of the reviewers said they had set it up with BT Infinity. Hurray, the end of the road. I bought it, and when my mum next visited we spent a couple of hours installing it. As with my previous Netgear product the installation was a doddle.
Now, you may well be thinking what has any of this to do with not being understood? Well, each time I spoke to someone whether it was from BT or Netgear I wanted some very basic information that no one seemed to be able to provide.
I wanted to know whether my previous modem and router would work and if not could I purchase another Netgear that would do the job. I also wanted to know how BT Infinity actually worked, was it ADSL, DSL, or Cable and incidentally what do those acronyms stand for? It seemed virtually impossible to get answers to those questions.
As it goes I now know that BT Infinity is cable until it reaches the BT box outside my home, from which point it uses the pre-existing cabling.
Putting aside the difficulties in accessing BT’s software, both BT and Netgear should be able to answer these sorts of questions, after all they are both in the business of telecommunications.
At the end of the day my new broadband is working very well, I’m pretty happy with the speeds and the fact that its not gone down. This is of course why I stay with BT. They may not be the cheapest, but over several years of broadband use I can probably count the number of times I had to call them with faults on 2 fingers.