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Old 05-03-2004, 09:32 AM   #1
Hansum Gnomestomp
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venting in geek speech, just need it off chest...

In November I set up a wireless network for a small business client, 3 workstations, linksys BEW11S4 router, windows 98 workstations( yeah I know, he got them off someone's kid), 2 printers shared off parallel ports on PC's 1 & 3.
January I rcvd a call from client "network not working when we come in each morning" ...
They had hibernate going, taught them how to reboot, how to not use hibernate, how to share folders, etc some basic education. Showed them how the shared printers worked etc....
rcvd a couple calls in the last few days " I can't see the rest of the network" , "we can't print" and "There are new names on the network, we tried changing some settings and now........"
They pay me solely to maintain the network, they insist of having a different hardware guy, someone's son or some shit, no big deal ... This was an easy setup & only billing $75 per 2 time block for onsite work and zip for phone support.
I walk in
PC's are moved and there is a broadband modem attached to the router.
the printers are no longer attached to PC1 & 3, all three PCs have changed places and the printers stayed... screws the UNC \\pcname1\printer1 ... thus no printing....
I look at the wireless signal and it is 100%, open up network and they are connected to the neighbor's router, they have changed the WEP protocols, changed the workgroup name and are randomly jumping back across to their own network, which they have also set up with the same WEP protocols as the other network on the same channel....
enouygh of this crap ... what happened --->
They lost power and the "Technician" there ( she's the one that knows how to turn on and off a surge protector) decided to hit the "reset" button on the router.............
It was not working so she moved the PCs to different locations to see if the signal would get better, plugged printers in to the different PCs, etc.............
Enter Comcast technician_00
Comcast guy comes in to set them up with broadband for their network. They are not supposed to touch anything inside the network, just set up the connection to the business. Well, he's a nice guy that doesn't know what is going on so he helps the damsel in distress and sets all her wireless cards to connect to the neighbor's router. the neighbor already has broadband, so he doesn't need to complete the setup and walked out of there with the modem not even tested.

So I go in and figure this out in about 45 minutes after they stop lying to me, and adjust everything. Once on their own network again, they have no internet connection.... enter stupid business owner_01
"It never worked, the network never worked, nothing worked , etc"
so I brought out the schematics for the old network, and showed him what had changed, reminded him he had sat there at each PC with me while I showed him how to make printers work etc
he changes the story
" well since we moved the PC's nothing has printed and it hasn't worked"
I answer with "right" and try to explain UNC pathing etc.... to no avail
then he turns to his PC and says " I can't get on the internet anymore!!" I tried to explain that the cable guy had not hooked him up to the internet via their own connection, , that they were piggybacking someone else's connection, he doesn't buy it and says I don't know what I am doing.
So I unplugged their router and their cable modem, changed the network settings back to the neighbor's network and shwoed him that , he couldn't comprehend it, but sort of pretended to.
I set them back up, hardwired a PC to the cable modem, called comcast and had them make it work, connected the modem to the router, spoofed & made connections etc, made sure network was secure etc etc
fixed their printing problems, showed them how to update windows, where to update virus software etc.... Did this in 2 hours total time, contract with them states 2 hour timeblocks at $75........
I hand the guy an invoice for $75 describing the work done he says " You didn't do anything, you just fixed what you had left us broken with before, I'm not paying you"


I think that sums it up pretty well.

Last edited by Hansum Gnomestomp; 05-03-2004 at 09:33 AM. Reason: fixed some typos
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Old 05-03-2004, 09:56 AM   #2
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I would have quite simply unplugged everything and walked out the door. Let the fucker fix it himself
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Old 05-03-2004, 11:30 AM   #3
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Small claims court?
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Old 05-03-2004, 11:35 AM   #4
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I believe the phrase 'Go F*** Yourself and Your Network' would have been appropriate in this situation.

BTW, Valley you get your time/date problem solved?
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Old 05-03-2004, 12:22 PM   #5
Hansum Gnomestomp
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I spoke to the IT tech that works on the network that was interfering, he had called because I had contacted the people next door, I told him what happened and he is now using the same channel, encryption, etc............ with a stronger signal, thus creating the original problem all over again.
I should have a call before tomorrow night, he said if his company fields the call, they will refuse because the company has a reputation for nonpayment....

amazing what sitting back and trying to do nothing about it will accomplish. I appreciate the sympathy/support. some days just suck a lil til you look at the big picture.
$75 lost won't bankrupt me
Small claims court would work if it was a little more money but I get unfortunate problems because of where I live...... I live in a border town so I would have to pay my state $25 and his state $25 to file........... then sue him for $75.....
the way it works here I can't charge him for the court fee.

I just put it into collections if he hasn't paid in 15 days. that will do more damage than a court case.

Last edited by Hansum Gnomestomp; 05-03-2004 at 12:24 PM. Reason: typos, I suck
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Old 05-03-2004, 12:37 PM   #6
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Undo everything you did. Pay them a visit, unplug every pc..set all their computers to Ad-hoc wireless (which is the out the box setting) and flash the Bios of the router back to factory specs. Disable their WEP (factory setting) and unshare all printers and folders (they didn't come that way)..then politely inform the owner that since he was displeased with your service you did him the courtesy of setting his network "back to factory" so he shouldn't have any problems configuring it himself.

PS: You can bill him as well for resetting all his hardware to factory..that's billable time.
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Old 05-03-2004, 12:53 PM   #7
Hansum Gnomestomp
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he is in breach of contract right now..
I am waiting two days, if I don't hear from him, I have a standard dismissal from liability form I send out which I will mark to go out hte same time his bill comes up for collection.
He doesn't get anything without cash upfront now, but I won't undermine him directly , that just looks bad on me unfortunately...... God damn I want to , but playing by the rules puts more money in my pocket down the road.
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Old 05-03-2004, 01:14 PM   #8
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BTW, Valley you get your time/date problem solved?
Yeah Flub Man, I don't attribute it to anything I did because after I changed the CMOS battery the problem continued still. I set up an NT logon and password because I didn't want someone using my computer while I was gone. It hasn't happened since.../shrug. I can't figure out how that "fixed" the problem.
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