North American Network Operators Group

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BCP Question: Handling trouble reports from non-customers

  • From: Owen DeLong
  • Date: Fri Sep 01 12:28:50 2006

I think my previous post may have touched on a more global issue.

Given the number of such posts I have seen over time, and, my experiences trying to
report problems to other ISPs in the past, it seems to me that a high percentage of
ISPs, especially the larger ones, simply don't allow for the possibility of a non-customer
needing to report a problem with the ability to reach one of their customers.

I'm curious how people feel about this. As I see it, there are a number of possible

1. Don't help the person at all. Tell them to contact the customer they are
trying to reach and have the customer report the problem. This seems,
by far, to be the most popular approach in my experience, but, it makes
for a very frustrating experience to the person reporting the problem.

2. Accept any trouble report and attempt to resolve it or determine that it
is outside of your network. This approach is the least frustrating to the
end user, but, probably creates a resource allocation and cost problem.

3. Have a procedure for triage which allows a quick determination if the
problem appears to be within your network. Using that procedure,
reject problems which appear to be outside of your network while
accepting problems that appear to be within your network.

It seems to me that option 3 probably poses the best cost/benefit tradeoff,
but, it is the approach least taken from my observations. So, I figured
I'd try and start a discussion on the topic and see what people thought.

Feel free to comment on list or directly to me (I'll summarize), but, if you
want to tell me I'm off-topic or whatever, please complain directly to me
without bothering the rest of the people on the list. I believe that this
is an operational issue within scope of Nanog, but, I can see the
argument that it's a business practices question instead.


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