All About Broadband Faults but you were afraid to ask… Part 5

In Part 5 of of the trilogy I’m going to explain the importance of doing diagnostics when asked to so so by Technical Support.

Diagnostics and why they matter.

light_bulb_201010_t325The first step in troubleshooting faults is to perform a diagnostic check by running through various tests. For example when you see the Doctor he/she will ask you what you think is wrong and from that ask a series of questions to narrow down the cause of your illness.  We come across may examples of people who are simply unwilling to perform any diagnostics when they are having problems with their internet connection.

Now when most people hear a support agent tell them that the will have to perform diagnostics it fills them with fear. Performing diagnostics is easy! So why are people reluctant to do them?

The reason that most people don’t like doing them is that they expect to fix the problem in one go. With broadband there are many things that can go wrong and it takes a careful approach to get to the real cause of the problem.

So for those customer’s who are afraid/unwilling to perform diagnostics I have devised the following analogy.

Would you pay an electrician to change a lightbulb..?

Seems like a simple question doesn’t it? And while it doesn’t appear to have anything to do with broadband it is very relevant to performing diagnostics.

The majority of people would respond a resounding no. Ask them why and they’ll tell you how you get charged through the nose for 5 minutes of work. They’ll tell you that they could do it themselves for nothing!

Ask the customer why should they change the lightbulb? Surely it’s the responsibility of their electricity supplier as its their electricity that must have caused the bulb to blow, or that the electricity must be faulty as there’s nothing wrong with the bulb.

Is this starting to sound absurd to you..? Now ask the customer to imagine that a BT engineer is coming to look at their lights… What would he do..?

Tell them he’ll get out his ladder, take the bulb out of the socket and connect his meter and check for electricity. He’ll then tell you that there’s nothing wrong with the electricity and that your bulb’s blown. So you ask him if he’ll fix it and he’ll say “Oh sorry mate/luv that’s not on my worksheet” and leave you sat there in the dark knowing that the bulb has blown and that it has just cost you. That’s right when BT find no fault the visit becomes chargeable and can be anything up to a whopping £240! And you’ll still have to buy your own bulb!

Hopefully at this stage the customers’ just realised that 5 minutes worth of work over perhaps several days in some fault cases is chump change compared to what BT will charge (which can be anywhere up to a whopping £240!).

Where people go wrong with diagnostics is they try too many things all at once. This usually has one of three outcomes:

    1. No change
    2. It’s gone worse
    3. It’s fixed (but I don’t know what it was!)

Now there’s a golden rule for performing diagnostics…

Change only one thing at a time

      • So, make one change.
      • Observe the result e.g. no change/better/worse (if not sure ask Technical Support to check from their side) sometimes you need to wait so be patient.
      • If no change, try the next step on the list. If better, you’ve fixed it! If worse go back one step and try again.

It’s really just like following the instructions on a bottle of shampoo… rinse, wash & repeat! Easy when you know how!