Mailbox Internet has announced it has developed two tools to help its users as well as potential customers to check the compatibility of their line, and diagnose any problems.
The broadband availability checker tool works by dialling 0870 833 5155 (call rates vary according to telephone provider). The prompts then guide you through either checking the line you are calling from, or another number which you can enter using your telephone keypad. The service even works with mobile phones, allowing resellers to quickly check the suitability of a line on-site with a customer without needing to connect a phone say into a fax line. The test typically takes a moment and the results are read out to you over the phone. The system will detect the presence of conflicting services such as ISDN.
Mailbox have also announced a broadband diagnostics tool available 24x7 to Mailbox customers to try and work out what could be causing a problem. The tool asks users certain questions including whether 'disruptive' tests can be carried out which could affect the broadband connectivity on the line. Once completed, results are shown which help in fixing any issues that are discovered.
The company is planning to offer both services to other ISPs in due course as a custom-branded service. Tools such as these are likely to reduce the support overhead, particularly for smaller ISPs who may not all have the same level of automation as some of their larger counterparts.
Update 15:08 26th August 2005 Removed mention of calls charged at national rate in line with Committee of Advertising Practice. With 0870 numbers the fee charged will vary across the various telephone companies. With a BT calls package, an 0870 number is charged at 8 pence per minute. [andrew]
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