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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Dear Qwest – An Orange Bag is Not A Solution

Comments (8)

It’s inevitable.  Every year we have our “first real snow” in Boulder.  That would be – today. 

Coinciding with the first snow – 100% of the time – is an Internet outage at my house and at our office.  Since we use IP phones, are connected to our infrastructure in our California office via point to point, and my T1 line from my house is direct connected into the office, and outage is – well – a major pain in the ass (did you know you can’t make a phone call on an IP phone from your house if your network is down – duh – yeah I’ve got a land line in this server room somewhere, now where the hell is it?)

I got home Saturday afternoon from being on the road for 18 days.  I was looking forward to a mellow weekend with Amy catching up on stuff, including a bunch of random things that I wanted to get to on the web.  Wrong.  No Internet.  Qwest dispatched someone to my house Saturday night (kind of a drag, but at least they were trying) but he couldn’t do anything because no one was “at the other end of the line” to troubleshoot things.

Ok – well – that’s not such a big deal – I went to Amy’s office in Boulder with her on Sunday and we camped out there (she has a beautiful office in downtown Boulder close enough to the Rio for some awesome huevos rancheros (no – not the Ranchero/NewsGator kind.))  We punted the “Qwest: we’ll try again on Sunday night” thing and just decided to have an Internet-less Sunday at home and an early night.

Not knowing access to my email was out in my office (due to the CO – CA point to point being down), I got to the office bright and early at 7am ready to catch up on the weekend stuff I didn’t do.  Wrong again.  My poor embattled IT guy (Ross) rolled in at 8am cursing and muttering as he went after the Qwest guys to try to figure out what was going on.  Did I mention that it was snowing?

It’s 3:45pm and everything is back up.  The problem – apparently over the weekend someone ran over one of the Qwest pedistals with a car exposing the wires inside.  The solution – put a big orange bag on it. 

Photo_101005_001

Now, while that’s a technical solution that will appeal to someone, apparently the bag wasn’t waterproof an the lines got “wet”.  My reaction (and Ross’s) – “you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”  It only took two days to troubleshoot that one (and I don’t know how many truck rolls).

  • Parkite

    Sounds like the “Spirit of Service” in action…..seriously, Qwest is way understaffed as they have cut back on field techs in an attempt to get back in the black after the Nacchio reign (of terror). You ought to look up the Qwest CEO, Notebaert, who is located close by in Denver, and tell him about your experience.

  • http://www.evolveadaptsurvive.com Christine Ekman

    Don’t think that only the IP phone users had an outage… I still have a Qwest land line. Because our lines are still ariel (and within 100 ft of a CO) so the heavy snow and branches literally bounced the line causing enough outage to drop a conference call 3 times in one hour, although it was just enough to drop the call not a complete outage. Qwest still has the most out of date facilities of any RBOC and any sort of “physical” anomaly (be it a car, moisture or snow) overwhelms them. I dream that WiMAX will be a realistic solution one day. Our cable went out as well so cable telephone is not the solution either. It’s a sad day when you think of Sprint PCS as the most reliable link in your office, but it was at least for the day.

  • http://www.fawnkey.com Marty Fahncke

    This story does not surprise me a bit. Not a month goes by that I don’t have a problem with Qwest. Billing, outages, bad service…you name it, I’ve expereienced it with this company. They are simply TERRIBLE!

  • nichole curtiss

    You should really switch to comcast they always haev someone to help 24 hours and try to get any problems fixed quickly.

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