Island Tel’s Pretend Technical Support

So I’m having another problem with my Island Tel Internet. Last time I had problem like this, Island Tel threatened me with legal action for talking about it, but I think they were just frustrated, so I won’t let that bother me.
The current problem is weird: I maintain a server for Yankee Publishing in Boston. I use my Island Tel High Speed Internet to ssh to the server to maintain it. I’ve been doing this with no problems for over a year.
Yesterday at 2:30 p.m., I could no longer reach the Yankee server, and I haven’t been able to since. After contacting Xensei, Yankee’s Quincy, MA-based ISP, it became evident that the problem was on this end: for some reason, the Aliant/Bell/ITAS network was rejecting packets from the ypi.com server.
Weirder still was the fact that only packets directed at my IP address were being rejected. I could get at the server with no problem from other machines on the Island Tel network. Heck, I could even get at the server from another machine plugged into the same DSL-connected hub here in the office.
A simple problem to solve, one would think. Or hope. So I called 1-800-773-2121, the Island Tel technical “support” line. And talked to a guy who, through no fault of his own, could neither understand the problem, nor offer to do anything but “escalate to second level technicians.” They would be back to me “in a couple of days” he said. (this couple of days thing seemed so absurd I ignored it, thinking it was some sort of joke or worst-case-scenario thing).
So last night I naively sat back and rested easy in the notion that the problem was being addressed by the crack second level guys.
Until 8:46 p.m. when I got a call back from the first level guy looking for the IP address of the ypi.com server. He’d forgotten to ask for that.
Or until 11:10 a.m. this morning when I called in again to see how the big escalation was going only to be blown off with a comment that I should just sit tight and be patient.
Or until 11:20 a.m. this morning when another first level guy phoned back to ask for that ypi.com IP address again.
At this point, any goodwill that Island Tel has earned over the last year by providing me with good service is now gone. My overall feeling is that they wish I would go away.
The funny thing is that this is all about attitude, and has little to do with technical issues. I know that the Internet is a complicated jungle to figure out, and I would be naive to think that anyone can make it work all the time. But I also know, from my universally positive experiences with both Xensei and ISN that it’s possible to run an Internet company without making your customers feel like jerks for bothering you.

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