Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My personal story of Internet woes, part deux

(Before you get into this post, you’ll need to read the one I posted last week.)

So I waited for a weekend with emails disappearing left, right and centre (if that can actually happen in cyberspace). My clients were not able to get through properly, and now my actual ISP address had stopped functioning. The “black hole effect” seemed to spreading. Since I have a business whose communications are nearly all through the Internet, this was getting serious.

On Monday, I called “Technician TS”, my own personal Deep Throat into the back room workings of a large Internet Service Provider. I explained that things were getting worse rather than better.

At this point, I could have just packed up, gone to another company and gotten sort of “un-black holed” but I really needed the thing straightened out and at least I was now getting some sort of action. This far in, I wasn’t about to give up.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“They let me speak directly to a tech at Microsoft. I’m amazed. And here’s what I found out: they’re going to have a meeting about your problem.”


“Sometime this week. I told them you needed this resolved ASAP. He said he’d do what he could. Hang in there, Rick. I have a feeling we’re getting close.”

I girded my loins (I found the info on how to do that on the Internet, by the way.) and waited two more days. Then, turning on my computer’s mail program on the third morning, I was suddenly inundated with emails downloading. I felt like Harry Potter when his uncle’s house is flooded by letters of acceptance to Hogwarts. Hundreds of the darn things came in. Most of them were for Viagra, but I didn’t care. I was getting all that had been denied to me for days beyond reckoning.

I called my tech savior. “I was just about to call you, Rick. They said there’s nothing wrong at their end. They didn’t do anything. If there is a problem with you getting emails, then it’s someone else that’s causing it. Sorry.”

“That’s curious because I just got 892 emails this morning, some of them going right back to the date of the problem starting.”

“Really? Could you send me a couple of them? I want to look at the headers and see what the routing was. I’m really curious to see what’s going on.”

I waited for ten minutes, downing three stiff Scotches before he called back (Mind you, it was 10 a.m.). “There’s now a route through the MS servers in all 4 emails you sent. Please don’t quote me on this, but I’m positive MS was the problem. You’ll have to be satisfied with that because I know for sure they won’t admit it. It would be bad for business.”

So there you have it. My problems were not caused by me. I was lied to by my ISP and they were lied to by Microsoft. Remember that old saw “the customer is always right”? Well, that isn’t the case anymore. It’s now “the corporation is always right”.

My only real solution to prevent this from happening again is to change my website address. That ain’t gonna happen. Too much of my identity as an author is tied up in it. But my tale of woe should be a cautionary one to every author out there who has a personalized website: be careful who is using its addresses and for what. Take steps to protect those (there are HTML solutions) as well as pre-emptive actions whenever you can take them. I didn’t, but then, I got lucky. I found a knowledgeable tech who was willing to help me. It happened by accident, or I might still be languishing in Internet Hell, alone, uncontactable, crying in the cyber-darkness.

1 comment:

Jannette Britt said...

Thank God for your tech savior! What happened to you seems to be straight out of a thriller novel. Big companies deceiving the small ones, a big pile of lies on top of each other, and an ordinary man who wants nothing more than to get his normal life with the help of a man from the inside. Sounds awesome, haha. In all seriousness though, I hope nothing bad happens to your website again, as having all that work go down the drain is a crime in my book.

Jannette Britt @ TLinkBroadBand.com