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Telefonica Incompetence, Xenophobia or Fraud?

Conspiracy Theory
2003-08-03 (updated: 2014-08-17) by

Me and the missus have a computer shop in Moraira, Alicante, Spain and part of the services we offer are ADSL connections via one of our Suppliers.

Recently, Telefonica (a Spanish phone company with absolute monopoly) started offering ADSL connections via USB Modems using dynamic IP addresses.

The first inkling of problems came when one of our clients received an older model USB Modem, which was used with a static IP address. After he had tried unsuccessfully for 48 hours to get the modem to connect he contacted me.

When I arrived at his house,I spent an hour and a half installing, uninstalling and configuring with no success in speeding up the connection process, which was taking a minimum of 5 minutes to connect. (the problem was the old model modem which is incompatible with WinPoet).

Then I rang the helpline to explain the problem, and the conversation went like this.........

Me: "Hi, I have a computer shop and we arranged for one of our clients to be supplied with ADSL by yourselves. The problem is, the modem is the older model that was supplied before Telefonica started using dynamic IP addresses, so it will only connect via Windows Connection Manager, WinPoet doesnīt work"

Helpline: "Is the modem actually connected correctly?"

Me: "The modem is connected correctly, the configuration is correct, but it takes a minimum of 5 minutes to actually connect because WinPoet does not work with this modem, as it is the older model, so could you please arrange for the new model modem to be sent to the client because he doesnīt think having to wait 5 minutes for a connection is reasonable"

Helpline: "How do you know it is the older model modem and how do you know WinPoet doesnīt work?"

Me: "Because I have the newer model myself, at home and tried to install WinPoet from my disc with no success. Also,I spoke to my supplier who raised the contract for the client, and he told me he received a letter from Telefonica 5 months ago stating that from that date the old model modem would no longer be distributed because it did not work with WinPoet which was required to connect using a dynamic IP address."

Helpline: "Well I donīt know about that, but I can give you the URL for the latest drivers for the modem and they include WinPoet, but I do agree that waiting 5 minutes to connect is not right."

I then took the URL, waited 5 minutes to connect, downloaded the "new" drivers and then installed. After rebooting the system the message regarding older files attempting to install over newer etc... appeared. Time for phone call number 2.

Me : "Hi,Iīve just been talking to one of your associates regarding ...."

Helpline: "Is the modem connected correctly? Can you just check the configuration with me?"

10 minutes of going through the setup...AGAIN.

Me: "So, now you know everything is correct could you please arrange for the modem to be replaced?"

Helpline: "No,Iīm afraid we canīt do that because there is nothing wrong with the connection."

Me: "But it isnīt working properly because this modem should not have been supplied to the client, as stated by Telefonicaīs letter 5 months ago."

To cut this short, the girl offered to send a technician out, at the clients expense, to check the connection. The technician arrived 2 days later, checked the installation and declared it working perfectly.

The killer point, however, is every single one of our non-spanish speaking (english, german, french and belgian) clients are still receiving the old modems, and being charged for technicians to come out and check the connection, yet our spanish clients have always received the new model, WinPoet compatible modem, which, even though it always has to be installed and uninstalled 3 times, works perfectly.

You be the judge.

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