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TPG To AussieBroadband - Was It A Mistake

(Last updated, June 14, 2022...)
Well, we've managed to survive the horrors of the world thus far and made it to April 2022, so as promised, here is an update on how the Aussie Broadband experience has been.

The positives - Front of house support including Level 2 are terrific, IPv4 and FTTN reliability is excellent, only outages I've experienced are a few pre planned NBN outages and a couple of ABB's quick middle of the night maintenance tasks.

The negatives - well... Easter 2022 a few things became very clear, their developers are incompetent, there seems little to no procedural policies for back of house engineers and developers, or they simply don't care or follow them, IPv6 is a mess that should never have been moved from beta into production, there is a lot more to it than just routing packets.

I'll say upfront right now that if you don't care about IPv6, don't know what IPv6 is, do nothing out of the ordinary with your connection, which would be greater than 99% of their customer base anyway, I'd say go for it, you can stop reading here and just sign up with Aussie now.

If you just want to be the cool kid on the block and surf the net with IPv6 and don't care if it works (OS's failover back to IPv4 automagically) I'd also say go for it, because if any of the following happens to you, you wont care.

But if you're an advanced user, or require IPv6 for remote access to other networks, the choice is not as clear cut, but once you opt in, do NOT try to edit anything on the IPv6 page, or you'll be opted out losing your address range - a known problem since at least Aug/Sep 2021. So if like me, you need and require reliability with IPv6 - forget it, your addresses are not locked to you.

I've lost my IPv6 addresses three times now, the last two times both within the last few weeks, A senior netops engineer restored it for me March 31, but in ABB's attempt to delegate the /48 DNS back to me on April 9, their NSOC again wiped me out and assigned new IP range, I'm told "they're all over it" - this was April 12 and not a word since. (Maybe the "all over it" meant everyone's "so over it, go away" ;-) ) and since they gave me a third new range to use, they consider I have one if I want IPv6 badly enough, so they probably don't see any problem exists. Well if I enable IPv6, I bet you you'll never see this site again on 2403:580a:5f::10... it's probably long been reallocated.

The problems stem from when modifying name servers in delegation on ipv6beta page (note, even in production, this is the only place we can delegate from), clicking edit, allows to enter in the name server, (one of only, of course nowhere do they say you can actually only enter in one NS), and hitting enter is the only way to move forward on that page with no specific submit button, the form then produces a “Are you sure?” popup, one assumes this means "Are you sure you want to change/save the DNS entry?", but of course it does not say what it wants you to be sure about, that's up to our imagination, so clicking OK, then not only clears the DNS server delegation, it actually cancels the opt-in and revokes IPv6 on your service, again, they have known about this since last year, yet they still took this into production, and 6 months later thinking it must surely be fixed by now, I tried to set a secondary NS (again, no mention of saying you can't actually do that - I only found out from one of many conversations with their staff), hit enter, again it asks only "Are you sure?" clicking ok, BANG.. it immediately opted me out of IPv6 - I was speechless, they did nothing to fix this, and weeks later when they tried to do something to my account, they broke me again.

Moving on, I informed L2 Support I understand the latest range is delegated but I was not about to renumber (I static IP, it makes network management simpler) so I'll leave my IP configs as they are and wait till they resolve it so things will just start working again, of course I did this thinking a couple workdays maybe at the most, but the days (weeks) keep rolling by with nothing.

I do pay extra for a static IP address, but apparently this only extends to IPv4.

And now, since about April 9, I've been unable to access even the normal myaussie portal at all, I thought "great" they must be working on it", but as time (days) went by, I concluded they took a coffee break and forgot all about me.

April 21 I was fed up and fired off an email, basically to be told it's not a simple fix (no, but any competent dev could resolve this is in a day if they were tasked to it, they could resolve it for any customer who tickets the same issue within minutes, but it must be too hard for poor devs to manually alter a database row to keep the paying customers happy.

Because they don't know what's going on, netops will not restore my assigned IPv6 range again because it might interfere with their developers work (pffft what work) so I've given up on it. I tried to get HE tunnels working again but to no avail, ABB still haven't found the error on their BNG that's denying me that too, I used to use H.E. tunnels for ipv6, worked flawlessly on Exetel and TPG for over 11 years, moved to ABB and no worky - perhaps I should have heard the alarm bells sounding back then.

Anyway, the main point of the latest email was the fact I still can't login to the portal, (about 2 weeks now), but again, I'm told they see no reason why I can't login, so I asked for them to tell me when my creds were last changed and by whom, since I never did (the same creds are stored in multiple devices and an encrypted password file) and their CRM should have all this logged or recorded in a database, so lets see what transpires.

Don't get me wrong, the L2 guys I've dealt with (Felix and Harrison) have been understanding, and really tried to help, those guys have done their job, and I'm very appreciative of their efforts, but those guys can only do so much themselves, relying on other departments (ie: developers) to actually do their fucking job, and that's where it is failing.

I've worked in ISP netops myself, senior roles too, and I know things happen, but I can assure you that any of my previous employers would be seeing red if this dragged out saga occurred, heads would have rolled, even my head would have rolled for allowing this to happen on my watch, not only for customers to be locked out and forgotten, but for allowing known broken/destructive code to remain in active use for so long, and then, take that into a production environment - the latter being grounds for instant dismissal for gross negligence.

Late on April 28, ABB admitted to me an engineer in their NSOC changed my password and did something on my account, that has as of this evening been reset and I am now able to log back into my portal again.

Yet another process needs cleaning up to include communicating with the customer when you're about to do things on their account that stops them logging in for three weeks, it seems AussieBroadbands back of house staff have very little to no procedure policies in place.

June 10 Update
On Tuesday, June 7, I decided to bite the bullet and try adding IPv6 back, since its clear ABB developers have not done squat to resolve my ticket in nearly two months. This time I find it wont let me opt-in, so I fired off an email to L2 who replied a few hours later apologising and issued me IPv6, restarting my router picked them up, all good.

The new allocation was not appearing on ipv6beta page, so next day I asked them for - you guessed it - DNS delegation, this was later advised as done, but 24 hours later it wasn't (nearly a week later finding out why, the CSR actually changed the PTR entry on my IPv4 address, so did not read or understand the request and blindly made changes, at no point in that tickets history was there any reference to IPv4 which worked flawlessly - until mail conflicts due to the changed PTR records) anyway, on Friday June 10 2022, I informed L2 the delegation wasn't playing ball, thankfully our regular friendly and helpful L2 Felix was back on deck and fixed the PTR, but had to pass the rest to engineering, after being told I cant edit them, engineering were seemingly not so believing as I was asked to send screen shots of what I see, obviously so engineering can see I'm not full of it, and do have working IPv6, but no access to manage it, a reply soon after was to the effect the engineer was "shocked" I can't manage it (how he/she can be surprised I don't know, it is after all one of the key things going on here with this ticket for over two months, perhaps they are a new hire, perhaps its sums up engineering's care factor in all this time).

I actually feel for Felix, being the front line guy who as to deal with people like me, and the back end incompetence hides with no customer interaction or seemingly any accountability.

June 13 rolled around and we now know why some issues are occurring why it doesn't see my new IPv6 range to manage, without divulging too much, lets say that script was not accounting for expanded allocations, this of course still has nothing to do with why nobody has fixed at least the wording on the ipv6beta page, saying only one DNS server for delegation, or altering the alert confirmation box to read Are you sure you want to opt-out, that last one alone would save a lot of grief to a number of people, and this article would never have existed because the problems would not have occurred, but it has, and its led to the many failures of ABB being exposed - all because one developer couldn't be fucked writing a proper html form.

To sum it up, Aussie Broadband are no different than any other RSP/ISP regardless of what they try advertise with this shiny "No Bullshit" motto advertising - which is in fact complete utter bullshit itself...

Am I remaining with them? Well, the IPv4 side is rock stable and reliable, so for the time being at least, yes.

  • The images used in this article are Creative Commons licensed, or Proprietary Copyright Property of their respective owners used here without permission under Australian Copyright Law's Fair Dealings Exemption.


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Juzza on :

Hey man, I was almost going to sign with these dudes till I read this, so my question is, did they fix it all and apologise for locking you out? That is a TIO call in my books.

NoelB on :

No, they have not fixed anything, ipv6 or portal login both still MIA.

Delfin on :

This is terrible treatment by aussiebroadband, I thought they were different, just finished reading both the articles, it is like two different companies. I have to say I'm saddened at how unprofessional aussie have become. This started in March? It's now nearly June so I guess your all fixed up now, but I don't see any updates so despite curiosity killing the cat, this kitty will ask anyway?

NoelB on :

Thanks for asking, there has been no update because there is no update, I haven't heard anything from them in nearly a month, no I dont have my ipv6 range restored, or any range now, since I checked the ipv6 page about 4 or 5 times to see if it was restored, its now locked me out, calling aussie unprofessional at the present seems like a compliment because the words i have for aussiebroadbands developers and management are frankly unprintable, they really just dont give a f*ck, too busy with their acquisitions to give a stuff about us little guys.

I've little doubt my ticket was closed, and they have absolutely no intention of doing anything about it, they are hoping I just fade away, why else would this still be a problem 3 days short of 2 months.

Jesse on :

I would never stay with an ISP who treats me so bad, I get you want them to get their shit together but I hope you're not holding onto your breath. I remember the days of other ISPs who made themselves out to be our saviours, they all be gone today, tick tock Aussie Broadband tick tock.

NoelB on :

I've remained because for most part the service still works, ipv4 is flawless, the PTR issue for last week or so can be fixed quick and is only 4xx erroring at some remote servers so far, as for ipv6 issues, if no one makes a noise, where is their incentive to fix the thing, even though I've been complaining for 10 weeks, given recent corro, I feel slightly more confident things will eventually change, of course it could have been engineering speak for "its not a priority so we'll forget about it and hope you go away"

Jessie on :

What a sad situation, I never thought Aussie Broadband were such a tin-pot operation, that's really worrisome they are so stupid and care free about us, I don't use ip6 just normal internet, but I think if this is how we are treated, I should start looking at other ISPs, just in case, after all Aussie are not the cheapest ISP around.

It has always bothered me Phil Brit goes on whirlpool telling us he has no margins and his costs are up and needs to put up our price last year, then a few weeks later the Big Bash started, and we see where those price increases really went to with all that branding team which can not be cheap, so short of funds he can afford to do that, I was mad as hell and nearly changed ISP's then, so it wont take much for me to change for sure next time there's lies or problems.

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