Thursday, June 26, 2014

Malicious Intentions For The Benefit Of More Business

Well, I have seen a new low in the IT services business here recently.  The company I work for hosts a phone system for a particular company in town.  We only do voice for them, nothing else.  A competing services company does the data for them.  Voice for us, data for them.  Not too unusual of a setup.
But, this client has had their fax machines down for the last 48 hours.  The Telco provider called me (its a small world) and told me about it and asked if we had made any changes to our equipment (since he knew our setup, etc).  Of course, I said no, since I had not been out there any time recently.  But I said I would go out and check anyway, just to verify all looked ok.
When I arrived, I found out that the competitor had told the client that they needed a battery backup and that the "router" was bad.  Hmmm.  That "router" belongs to my company, how would they know that, since they have no login and no one has reported any problems?
Well, sure enough, NOW there was a problem.  The client could no longer get any fax calls in or out.  So, there was no problem before they showed up.  Now that they are onsite, there is a problem (a voice problem, I might add).  They claim (before anyone knew there was a fax problem) that the router is bad.  This just gets more interesting.
So when I get up there to troubleshoot, I find an alarm light on the PRI module.  I can loop back the carrier equipment with no problem.  I get a CD green light when I do.  I can loop back my router with no problem, as I get the CD green light as well.  Hmmm.  What do you know, there is a regular cat 5 patch cable connecting my T1/PRI module in my cisco router to the carrier Adtran router.  Well, those things just dont jump up there by themselves.
So if you arent aware, it takes a T1 crossover cable instead of a regular cat 5 patch cable to connect the Cisco and Adtran together on the voice side.  The competitor knew this for sure, as I have found out that the competitor has quoted a hosted voice solution to this client recently.  So, some questions:
1.  Do I think they competitor replaced the good T1 crossover cable with the patch cable?  YES.
2.  Do I think they were doing it to make my company look bad, to sway the client to use their hosted voice services?  YES.
3.  Am I upset about it?  Not really.  I told the customer what happened.  They were, of course, shocked at such a thing, as I am as well.  

Am I a fan of such tactics?  No.  Dishonesty never gets you far.  And even if it gets you immediate rewards, you will still loose in the end.  

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