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From TPG to ABB

TPG and ABB (Aussie Broadband) need no introduction, but the shite way one of them does business and treats its customers is the chalk to the others cheese.

Long time readers and visitors to this blog, or one of the ausics.net websites, including ZoneCheck and our usenet service, would be well aware of the frustrations and problems with TPG. I took up that service in 2010 as a static-IP account, yet after 6 years or so, TPG forgot the meaning of static-IP plans and changed our IP - without notice, not once, but three times, ignoring my complaints for my plan which even on the last day of my service when I confirmed closure of my account with them in October 2020 still said static-IP plan with rDNS.

This got even more frustrating in early 2020 as you're about to find out.

The last IP change TPG thrust upon me and others in early 2020 certain ports were found filtered, preventing inbound connections to some services, yet, all of my complaints went on deaf ears, these morons kept saying it was my configuration, the same one that had worked for 10 years, even through their earlier IP changes (until the last change), and all without me altering anything (pppsssst fyi TPG, those ports work now that I'm with ABB and amazingly no changes were made to firewall rules). Covid made it worse, when trying to get that fixed, it was a joke, reduced staff meant most were working from home, one clown who was assigned to my case was more interested in watching f'ing netflix, and complaining was pointless, I ended up getting a call from some muppet at TPG leaving a voicemail that she wanted to talk to me about the termination of my service, which of course went nowhere, and if they had, it would have just prompted my NBN move sooner than I planned.

Then, a new light shone down...

Dealing with Aussie Broadband was like entering a new reality, a bunch of friendly guys and gals that seem to care, their staff also being true blue Aussies meant no more language barriers, no more tech support staff who couldn't give a flying f##k if your internet worked or not, like I said, chalk, and cheese.

I'm pretty fussy with my internet, partly because other people rely on it, and partly from having an ICT/Telco background which has involved ISP network operations. After being forced onto NBN by the local exchange being turned off (yeah, I waited until the last week heh), and having tired from dealing with the numbnuts muppets at TPG for a decade, I declined their offer of screwing me over again and signed up with ABB.

The changeover was painless, ABB kept me informed along the way of each process, it was scheduled for 9am on a Monday morning, at around 9:15 ADSL dropped, I changed the routers login profiles I previously setup to minimise downtime and rebooted, up it all came, the static IP assigned to my account, its rDNS entries, even the phone service was active which came over from Telstra at same time, very impressed ABB and NBN, very, impressed.

But my joy lasted only a few hours, where I noticed a fair number of dropouts, but this didn't raise my blood pressure since I've worked with countless FTTN dramas and was prepared given this lines history, and with the much lower frequencies of ADSL able to handle more noise and crud then FTTN's VDSL, I expected it.

I jumped onto the my aussie web site, and ran a line test, yep failed, set stability profile, left a few days, no real change, so I thought here I go, grab a strong coffee and be prepared to argue my way through support, re-ran the fault test, it confirmed once again it was crappy, fired off the fault request, a couple hours later I got a response confirming that they can see the failures with their tests too and will send it off to NBN - very impressed ABB, blood pressure stayed low.

NBN tech turned up a couple days later - on a Saturday morning mind you, techie Wayne confirmed a problem using his hst3000, shot off to the pillar and an hour later it was back up all good, connection rock solid since (well, apart from a failed modem firmware update a month later LOL but that's Billions bad), and given my distance I knew I was only getting midway speeds anyway, too far from the node.

Further impressing me was Aussie Broadband staff stayed in touch for a week or so after, making sure it was all good, and I'll add that at no time, did I pull my credentials on them, they had no idea about my background in ICT and telecoms, this really impressed me, this is how they treat everyone, try getting that level satisfaction out of TPG or Telstra.

If you intend to use FreePBX to connect to your ABB SIP service, you will need to check out my next article, since ABB do things slightly different, I'll show you its really easy though.

My only regret is not moving to ABB earlier, with that level of service, even my elderly parents would have no problems dealing with them - unlike their previous experiences with Telstra, and I have no problem in recommending Aussie Broadband to anyone, ohh, and they have a refer system that will save you 50 dollars off your first bill, my referrer code is 4451415 feel free to use it if this post has been of any help (disclaimer: yes, they also send a once off credit our way too)

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