EarthLink’s email leakage; ISP quality of service and support in decline?

I came across a very interesting blog discussing the current leakage in EarthLink’s email system.  Robert mentions that a friend of his saw incoming email volumes drop by 80-90%, he decided to investigate after noticing that this had become the norm rather than just a quiet day.  A simple test was devised—messages were sent to his EarthLink, Blackberry and Gmail accounts.  For every ten messages sent only one or two arrived in his EarthLink inbox compared to ten out of ten being received by Gmail! 

After some digging around a technical contact at EarthLink acknowledged the problem—EarthLink’s email system is so overloaded that up to 90% of some users’ incoming mail has simply been disappearing!  No bounces, just gone!  As the author says; the quality of service ISP’s are giving their customers seems to be rapidly degrading.  I had a frustrating encounter with my ISP’s helpdesk (now very obviously a call centre in India) over the past weekend:

I was having trouble connection to a certain server, after reading ever expanding threads on the support forum it became clear that one of the ISP’s core routers had a problem.  Every single person who had trouble connecting to the server was on the same ISP and traceroutes showed the same router being a point of failure.  I called the ISP’s helpdesk and explained the situation in detail saying that I believed one of their core-network routers required attention—after five minutes of explaining the situation the agent’s response was, “Yes sir, can you please tell me what lights do you see on the front of the router?” Doh!  After spending another half an hour trying to explain the problem I gave up; it was too much like banging my head against a brick wall!  Luckily two days later I could reconnect to the server. 

Does anybody else find it increasingly frustrating trying to find someone technically competent to speak to on their ISP’s helpdesk?

Editor's Picks