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i try to avoid support whenever i can for various reasons.  first one being that i like to think i'm competent enough to fix it myself and the second one being that i dread having to re-explain things to potentially 3 different people, all not understanding the simple issue.

well, i'm trying to receive some faxes this morning (i know, how 1990 of me).  here at work we use fax servers but have inbound fax numbers that route to our email inboxes, etc.  this morning the inbound fax telephone number is not answering.  it simply is not ringing even.  i tried myself, yep, not working.  since this is something out of my control, i contact support.  what follows is my virtual chat with our support engineer:

Support (Fri Oct 12 07:34:54 MST 2007)>Hi Tim
Support (Fri Oct 12 07:34:58 MST 2007)>How are you doing?
timheuer(Fri Oct 12 07:35:44 MST 2007)>Good, my customers are trying to fax me something and i gave them the local fax number (602-263-0007) as well as the Redmond inbound fax number and both are not answering
Support (Fri Oct 12 07:35:57 MST 2007)>ok
Support (Fri Oct 12 07:36:05 MST 2007)>Do they get any NDR message?
timheuer(Fri Oct 12 07:36:13 MST 2007)>no, the phone never picks up
Support (Fri Oct 12 07:36:57 MST 2007)>ok
Support (Fri Oct 12 07:37:38 MST 2007)>When was the last time you received the fax fro them??
timheuer(Fri Oct 12 07:39:45 MST 2007)>from this customer never, but i've received faxes all the time
Support (Fri Oct 12 07:40:07 MST 2007)>ok
Support (Fri Oct 12 07:40:57 MST 2007)>Let me know which office you are located in?
timheuer(Fri Oct 12 07:41:08 MST 2007)>phoenix, arizona, usa

(note: i already completed a form describing my exact location)

Support (Fri Oct 12 07:41:20 MST 2007)>ok
Support (Fri Oct 12 07:41:38 MST 2007)>Do you use a MS provided fax machine?
timheuer(Fri Oct 12 07:42:40 MST 2007)>i'm not using any fax machine -- i'm trying to RECEIVE a fax. our local office uses an inbound fax number that routes to my email and it always worked, i also gave the customer the inbound number advertised on itsupport (425 area code), both do not answer (i tried myself)
Support (Fri Oct 12 07:43:09 MST 2007)>ok
Support (Fri Oct 12 07:44:11 MST 2007)>Please refer the link (link describing what needs to be on the cover sheet)
Support (Fri Oct 12 07:44:27 MST 2007)>It describes the procedure to send a fax.
Support (Fri Oct 12 07:44:46 MST 2007)>The customer should include all necesasry details when sending fax to you. Support (Fri Oct 12 07:45:17 MST 2007)>If you still can't receive the fax, you should contact support
Support (Fri Oct 12 07:45:54 MST 2007)>I suspect that the sender is missing something while sending fax to you.
timheuer(Fri Oct 12 07:45:56 MST 2007)>you aren't understanding the problem. please pick up a phone and dial the fax number -- IT IS NOT ANSWERING -- the customer is providing the correct information, the fax number IS NOT RINGING!!!!
Support (Fri Oct 12 07:46:45 MST 2007)>Let me check..
Support (Fri Oct 12 07:58:39 MST 2007)>Please give me some more time.
Support (Fri Oct 12 08:06:12 MST 2007)>Thank you for your patience
Support (Fri Oct 12 08:06:30 MST 2007)>We tried calling hte redmond fax number and it doesn't ring.

um yeah, isn't that exactly what i reported?

Support (Fri Oct 12 08:07:20 MST 2007)>It seems to be an issue with the fax number in redmond.
Support (Fri Oct 12 08:07:47 MST 2007)>Please send a mail to Redmond Fax Secretary and report the issue to them..
timheuer(Fri Oct 12 08:08:16 MST 2007)>isn't that what the helpdesk is for? none of the fax numbers are working.
Support (Fri Oct 12 08:09:02 MST 2007)>We do not enough  resources to troubleshoot fax issues.

sigh.  almost an hour (still unresolved) to basically describe the problem of "a phone number is not ringing" and it is painful, just painful.

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