Sunday, August 21, 2016

Telekom Saga

Red Baron had blogged about the Deutsche Telekom in December 2012 explaining the history behind the magenta giant. I use their services for my fixed and mobile phone; my internet account includes three web site domains and my Telekom line downloads information up to 50 Mbit/sec. For me Alles aus einer Hand (a one stop service) is some sort of guaranty of a good service. Nevertheless my past correspondence with Deutsche Telekom fills a thick folder. The biggest fight with them I had a couple of years ago with respect to stability and speed of my Internet connection. Over the last three years however everything was working like a charm but man soll den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben (Do not count your chickens before they are hatched).

In fact, a new chapter of my saga with Telekom opened four weeks ago when they suddenly blocked my e-mail account. The reason given was that my e-mail address had supposedly been used by somebody sending spam mail. Telekom service requested that I scanned my PC for viruses, i.e., my antivirus program - a Telekom subscription - does this periodically and automatically and never shows any "negative" results. Furthermore they asked me to change all my Telekom passwords. Following my compliance they unlocked my account only to block it again 24 hours later with their old argument. Telekom required the same procedures as before that were followed by a deblocking. This however not for long when they blocked me a third time a day later. Being quite angry I told them: We cannot continue like this. Since I was insisting the technicians at Telekom eventually revealed that an Internet provider named "Synacor" in the States had complained about spam mail sent via my e-mail address. What has my e-mail address to do with Synacor? Nevertheless at the end Telekom unblocked me permanently in instructing their bot to shut up following any request from Synacor. Nevertheless all this leaves a bad aftertaste and remains an obscure affair.

On August 13, during the late morning hours I noticed that I no longer had any Internet. The classical cure to restart a synchronisation of the signal is to switch off the router and, following a short waiting period, to repower the device.  I recalled a couple of green diodes on my Speedport W 921V showing the various functions but now all lights had burned out probably due to the continuous use of the router for more than five years. Eventually the person on the other end of Telekom's hot line authorized me to fetch a replacement router in a downtown Telekom shop.

Installation of the "new" device was a breeze, all diodes were blinking and the signal was there alright but the router still would not synchronize. The result was that the person on other end of Telekom's hotline promised me to send a technician to my apartment on August 15, within a time slot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Extremely unhappy not being able to photoshop, edit web pages, or doing online banking I nonetheless was not without connection to the Internet using my telephone line for reading or sending e-mails and looking up some news on my iPhone. During that period I consumed more than two third of my 3 GB mobile data plan with Telekom. A connection to the Internet has become as important as water, electricity, and telephone at least for those who have made it part of their daily life even without playing computer games or hunting down Pokémons.

When the technician arrived around 11 a.m. on August 15, he tried this and that eventually telling me that in case he had to touch the router Telekom would charge me a minimum of 80 euros for his visit. His final conclusion was that my connection identification number was no longer valid. Pardon? Telekom had sent me this top secret number in 2011 in a registered mail and I even had not touched the paper on which this number was printed. At the end the young man provided me with a new identification number and suddenly Red Baron was online again.

What was still missing was the official Telekom document containing the new secret identification number in print. Times have changed since 2011. Telekom had replaced the registered mail by a pdf-file sent to me as an attachment to an e-mail. To keep the content of the pdf secret the file would only open with a code sent as an SMS to my mobile phone. When no SMS arrived I rubbed my eyes and reading Telekom's e-mail again carefully I discovered that they had sent the code to an unknown mobile telephone number. So I had to contact the hotline for the last? time asking them to correct their mistake.

I made the "unknown" mobile number illisible, privacy oblige.
This hopefully brings to an end the 2016 chapter of my ongoing saga with Deutsche Telekom. I again experienced shit happening but this time the friendliness of Telekom's service mitigated my irritations. The bottomline is, I will not change my provider still preferring Alles aus einer Hand.

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