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ADSL Problem

23 Aug 2003 8:42AM
ive had this asdl set up for over 6 months with no real problems but in the last 2 weeks ive been getting disconected constantly. not from the internet but the little green arrow thing.sorry not shure what its called. keeps turning red and cutting me off. its getting very anoying. and the only way i can get it to re connect is to make a phone call!. and then once i hang up it can last 1 second or 2 hours. but it will... inevitably disconect again its not the recently publicised blaster worm. ive already sorted that problem and it was happening befor that. can anyone help?

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Will 16 1.8k United Kingdom
23 Aug 2003 9:23AM
Have you got the splitter devices on every used phone connection in your house?
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
23 Aug 2003 12:48PM
If there has been no change in your set up and you have only just started getting these probs I would suggest contacting your ISP. I had a similar (but not identical) problem and only the ISP was able to sort it out.
csurry 16 9.2k 92
23 Aug 2003 6:11PM
Is your modem on a USB port - have you installed any new USB devices. Try unpluging any devices you don't need.
Lesley Jane 15 305
24 Aug 2003 5:39PM
A similar thing was happening to me when I attempted to switch from trusty narrowband to the risky underworld of Broadband.

My provider Tiscali also used ADSL and it was very unstable and used to flicker and then switch off.
I am in the middle of a battle with Tiscali at the moment as it has been disastrous and has resulted in me buying a second hard-drive to try and stabilise my systems.
I don't really expect to get very far. My letter to the Managing director hasn't been replied to yet!
Little Jo Plus
16 2.3k United Kingdom
25 Aug 2003 4:26PM
I've been broadband since the BTOpenworld Plug and go service was launched last year. No problems, total reliability.

Are you sure you don't have a virus on your computer? One of the symptoms of the w32.blaster worm is that it keeps disconnecting you from the internet. Look for a program called msblast.exe running on your computer. If you didn't have all the patches installed from Microsoft or an effective firewall, it would have taken a mere 27 seconds on the internet to get infected as of last week.

Broadband isn't a risky underworld, but you must keep your system secure. Viruses will disconnect you from the internet and make your system very unstable. If I remember rightly Lesley Jane, you weren't keeping your system fully protected. Until you've ruled out virus/worm/trojan problems, moaning at the MD of Tiscali won't help.

Why a second hard drive? Basic rule of troubleshooting - just change one thing at a time, that applies to all troubleshooting, but especially to complex things like computers.

Lesley Jane 15 305
25 Aug 2003 8:52PM
I had the new hard-drive fitted as a last resort as my PC did not have any software conflicts and my Computer-guy didn't really know what to do with it .
I could have had it formatted of course but that would have meant losing a lot of files that I haven't backed up and I was at my wits end with it.

No viruses have shown up and yes you are right I didn't do total system scans as regularly as I should but I had always kept my virus definitions up to date.

Things aren't particularly bright as I have had to put everything back onto my new drive and as yet cannot connect to the internet!!
I could have that worm in my old drive but everything is running from the new drive and seems stable.

I don't suppose I shall achieve much by 'moaning' to the MD but I feel I do have a justified case as I had a perfectly normal system until I sampled broadband.
Sometimes one has to make a stand to try to make it fairer for the unfortunate few who experience a problem.

I have noticed that recent broadband adverts offer a month's free trial which is a whole lot fairer as in my situation I could have cancelled until I got the system sorted out.

As it stands now I have been blocked from using broadband and have been threatened with being taken to court for breach of contract.

I suspect you might be writing letters too if you were in my shoes! Or what do you suggest is my next move?
Little Jo Plus
16 2.3k United Kingdom
26 Aug 2003 4:35PM
Hi Lesley

If you haven't been able to get the service running satisfactorily - you could try Trading Standards. Unfortunately when you sign up for broadband, you sign up for a minimum 12 month contract and that is legally binding. You can't withold payment or you are in breach of contract.

I had problems with an ISP over unmetered access, I'd signed a 12 month contract and there was nothing I could do. It did work as described - just it was so congested I needed up to 20 attempts to log on. I swapped to BTOW and have been with them ever since.

The worm w32.blaster didn't travel by email - it attacked via a vulnerable port on your pc. Unless you had your XP installation fully updated or an effective firewall, you may well have the worm. It won't show up on a system scan. If you go to the run box and type msconfig and press return, you'll see msblast.exe running on your machine. Once the worm is on there, it can be a sod to remove as it keeps disconnecting you from the internet.

So, if I was in your shoes -

1. Contact your local trading standards office.

2. Also worth looking at the Oftel website. They have some stuff about complaining about an ISP on there.

3. Contact BT and get your line checked. It may be a fault with your line - too much noise can cause spurious disconnections.

There are three ports of call. You do need to keep paying those subs otherwise you give the company an excuse for not listening.

Also double check
1. that you are within the required distance from the exchange.

2. that you don't have too many devices connected to your telephone line(max REN = 4).

I hope that helps - also search on ADSL - there's a website where there's a user forum and lots of free advice.

Good luck!

Lesley Jane 15 305
26 Aug 2003 9:58PM
Thanks for the advice - I will do a worm-check but would have thought that it would be restricted to the drive it infected if indeed it is there.

Your comment about the twelve months contract is of course true but .........
at the time of my start-up problems when I contacted all the appropriate departments to get my registration cancelled I was advised by the accounts dept to go down to my bank and cancel my standing order and to send Tiscali a copy of my letter.

I did just what I was told to do and it was cancelled 5 weeks ago. Subsequently 'the Powers to Be at Tiscali' have told me that I couldn't have been told that as it was not company policy and surprise surprise my faxed letter has gone missing!!

It is very much a catch 22 situation -

I have been advised by one of the Ephotozine members to look at 'How to complain.com' which laid out complaining in three stages.
The letter to the MD was stage 2, contacting a watchdog e.g OFTEL is stage 3.

I have been giving The Top Dogs at Tiscali a suitable length of time to reply given that they are probably all on holiday.

My computer is effectively ruined and I don't have the finances to buy a whole new system.
Having switched to a digital camera it has ruined that for me too.

It seems indecent that I should be expected to pay 27.99 per month for something which they have stopped me being able to use by making my user name invalid.
Badger 15 4.7k 20 United Kingdom
26 Aug 2003 11:21PM
I worked for a cable company for a period, in my area they released a broadband service which is still in operation. Although different from Tiscali in the fact it utilised a Digital Set-Top Box rather than a cable modem it is similar technology and contract.
The important thing with any contract is when you agreed to it did the operator advise of a twelve month contract? If not then the company, who should hold recorded details of all sales related calls, can not hold you liable to a contract.
If the service is not as described then you should be protected by consumer law, i.e, a service was sold which does not meet the described level (high speed access, easy installation). You should be entitled to cease the contract with no obligtion.
By the way, your letter to the MD would have been diverted as a consumer to a dedicated complaints department. Your letter should have been answered within two weeks, as long as it went directly to them. Keep writing, they will respond, initially they will try to keep your business, if you can prove that it was not sold as seen or as described then you should be able to cancel without penalty.
I wish you all the best in your fight, as a consumer I can see that your plight is correct, and Tiscali are wrong. Find a sympathetic adviser or ask to speak directly to their supervisor, then they will give in easily, if not you could be in for a small battle.
Good Luck.
Little Jo Plus
16 2.3k United Kingdom
27 Aug 2003 4:35PM
Hi Lesley

Panic not - you don't have to buy a whole new system. Did you get a reload CD for Windows XP? If you did, then it should be possible to restore your machine to how it was when it came out of the box and was working perfectly.

This machine I'm using had the Tiscali software installed, and I removed it as I'm a fan of BT. No problems there, it went without a glitch.

Tiscali were LineOne originally who didn't have a particularly good record for customer service.

There's another option - BBC Watchdog. The new series should be starting in the autumn and if you find their pages on the BBC website, they'd probably relish a good case for their new series. It might just work.

Lesley Jane 15 305
29 Aug 2003 8:00PM
I want to thank Jo and Matt for their advice and support.
It seems as if my letter to the MD may have helped as I phoned up to enquire about the state of affairs to be told that my account had been cancelled on the 28th Aug. I was so shocked that I phoned BT who confirmed that a cancellation order had been placed.

It will take a while for me to be set up with another provider but it's what I wanted.
I phoned BT just to enquire about their service and to be reassured that not all their support staff are located in Bombay.

I am also having my computer system totally checked by an expert so that hopefully I will soon be on the road to recovery.
Little Jo Plus
16 2.3k United Kingdom
30 Aug 2003 9:26AM
Hey, what are friends for???

I'm glad you're getting sorted out - BT Openworld will be launching an enhanced service in the coming month as they are linking up with Yahoo. I do think they get a lot of unfair criticism. We've kept our BT phone line throughout - partly because of the excellent response my disabled Mum always got when she had phone problems. Repair was almost immediate.

Look forward to having you back on the fast superhighway soon!

11 Sep 2003 1:05PM
you kinda gone of the point abit lol. no virus ive run that program i did have it and i cleared it up but the problem was there befor and is still here now!. yes its usb but ive tried disconecting everything. there seems to be many things that have a temporary fixing effect sometimes like unpluging the printer or changeing which usb port the modems on. but the only thing that always works is makeing a phone call >.!
Little Jo Plus
16 2.3k United Kingdom
11 Sep 2003 2:24PM
No one's gone off the point. At the moment, the w32.blaster worm is still at large. You don't just need antivirus software, you need an effective fire wall. The only way to prevent w32.blaster from getting onto your computer is an effective firewall or having the appropriate patch for Windows installed. The easiest way of detecting the worm is to look for msblast.exe in msconfig.

If a device that has previously worked suddenly stops working - the best route is to uninstall the device and start again and reinstall the driver. You could also try changing the ASDL filters, one may have become damaged. Lastly, get BT to check your telephone line.

You need to be systematic - change one thing at a time, then monitor performance.


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