Customer Service

Dialup - or how Ground Control managed to make my connection not work

WIth thanks to the folks at Ground Control and Direcway I'm once again using a dialup connection for the next week or two. Having had plenty of problems with the "Web Acceleration" of Direcway causing problems I decided to place a call to the satellite provider's 24x7 tech support.

First off it took several hours and in excess of twenty calls to have a single conversation. Every time I'd talk the satellite voice over IP connection on the other end would die and that was it. Once we got through that it turns out that the unnecessary "reset your DirecWay 4020" request was not only unnecessary, but also prevented my connection from working. So I was promised a call back in half an hour (the customer service manager and DirecWay's help desk were both not responding according to the customer service representative). Two hours later still no call. Being one to give the benefit of the doubt I thought maybe it was taking longer and waited until this morning.

A very rude customer service rep did everything but claim I'd been out moving the dish all night and instead of offering any sort of apology for the inconvenience and damages caused by Ground Control's errant attempts to solve a problem related to the cache on DirecWay's server, I'm now without connections. Once the problem is resolved I can share my customer service experience with Satellite World in Henderson, Nevada.

He could not seem to grasp that a user might expect a company which claims: Ground Control maintains an internal staff of highly trained satellite technicians. We know business satellite Internet. should be expected to not cause more problems. If, as the person this morning claimed, the problem is because of a "moved" dish then prior to starting the procedure, which again had nothing to do with the problem, that this procedure could fail if your dish has moved in the slightest.

DirecWay and XML-RPC

Last month I posted about DirecWay problems with MarsEdit. It occurred to me today that the problem may instead lie with the way DirecWay does "Web Acceleration" and that it could be interfering with the XML-RPC calls.

A quick search reveals that this indeed seems to be Direcway XML-RPC problem. The author of the WordPress article suggests it is related to latency. I'm not certain as it was working for me at one point over the satellite connection. I noticed, however, a problem with DirecWay's cache last night. At one point it attempted to load this site and munged the .css files associated with it. From then the only way I could load the site was to power-cycle the DirecWay box and load it before the Web Acceleration kicked in.

So I called Ground Control tech support and they say there is nothing that can be done. They recommend contacting the author of the software to have the problem with their system fixed.

Doing it right

The meatball sub at Rebel Subs was quite tasty. Ad added benefit was that it was "free", being the 9th such lunch at their shop. So I handed over the full customer card which had the eight punches for half sandwiches and and one for a whole sandwich. Instead of burning the extra punch, and without being asked, the proprietor took a new card, transfered the unused punch to it and sent me on my way. Customer service the way it should be.

Update on

I wrote last week about how terrible the service from had been. I thought I'd follow up (now that my important domains are out of their reach) that they never sent any follow up email, phone calls etc. Be very careful using them as I believe, and it is my opinion only, that they are likely not doing well as a company. Any time you start following a string of disconnected phone numbers one has to wonder if the company is long for this world.

A good car dealer?

It is just possible we found a good auto dealer. The emissions workshop has been on for a long time. On Monday we brought it to Findlay Volkswagen. $170 later it was fixed. Until we got home. It has taken two more trips but they say they're making good and fixing it for no additional charge.


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