Someday, I hope Qwest's sales staff actually learns about the products they push on you. In case you haven't noticed, UrbanPotato has been offline for quite a while. So have MohairSofa, SimpleGeek, and several other sites. So has our email server. That outage isn't just on the public internet, either: we lost all internet access at our house as well. Why all the downtime? It was all due to a little innocuous flyer we received from Qwest (our DSL provider) about increasing our bandwidth for free. We went for it, and the sales guy promised it would not affect or static IP addresses. We did have to sign up for MSN, but who cares? We don't use any of our current ISP services anyway.

MohairSofa went first. Its DNS records are hosted by Qwest.net and when we switched to MSN those records were deleted. Wham, off the net. A quick re-route to NetworkSolutions DNS worked, but took three or four days to propagate around the internet.

For a while, all was quiet. It seemed the man on the phone was right -- we had double the bandwidth and everything was working. Then I received an IM from my good friend Shawn Burke saying his site (which I host) wasn't working. Nor was any site I host. I've had this happen before when a power glitch caused our router to hang, but that shouldn't be possible now because everything has a battery backup. I decided to withhold judgment until I made it home from work.

When I got home, it didn't take me long to place a call to Qwest. Our DSL modem had a connection, but wouldn't talk to any ISP. I called tech support, explained the problem, and was told, "whoever told you that either didn't know what they were talking about or was lying". The support guy transferred me off of MSN tech support and over to Qwest.net, where some very knowledgeable folks submitted an expedited work order to move me back to Qwest.net.

I'm still waiting for the modem to wake up. I've been transferred back to Qwest.net, but my existing account was wiped so they need to get me new account information. I will also need to re-apply for static IP addresses, so once I'm back on the net the party still isn't over. I'll need to reconfigure all DNS records to point to the new IP and then wait the several days for it to propagate around the net. Groovy.

I've had this problem often with Qwest. It's always the same: their sales staff seems all to eager to sign you up for just about anything. I don't believe I've ever placed a call where they didn't try to sell me some new package or change my existing service. Even when signing up for MSN, they tried to switch our phone to a different set of services before they had even completed the MSN signup. Sheesh.

On the other hand, once the Qwest sales guys mess things up, the Qwest tech support comes in like the cavalry and is very quick to set things right. As an interesting comparison, I dealt with both MSN and Qwest tech support last night. The MSN folks didn't know anything beyond what their screens would tell them. The Qwest folks, on the other hand, really knew their business.

If you're reading this it everything got properly sorted. Sorry for the downtime, but hey, the price is right.