USR/TotalControl and 3Com Ballpark

From someone on a 3Com/USRobotics TotalControl mailing list

Back in the early days of the Internet, ISPs bought PRI lines and plugged them into devices such as the USRobotics TotalControl Chassis. These TotalControl devices basically handled incoming modem calls. As many TotalControl owners found out (usually the hard way), dealing with 3Com's support was challenging. They had bizzare restrictions on which support rep you could talk to and when you could talk to them. The following was posted to a TotalControl support mailing list.

I think the author (whomever he was) pretty much sums up the 3Com/USR technical support experience in this glorious post that should live on forever:


Speaking of ball parks... What if 3Com really managed 3Com Park?

It should go like this:

Three friends and myself went to a baseball game at 3Com park. The ticket prices were not only based on seating location, but also on your size. So my ticket was 25.34, and my friends paid 12.56, 17.45, and 21.92 (plus tax).

Concessions:

They ONLY served hots dogs, fries and Pepsi.

Beer was available but only if you had a beer drinking permit for $5.00. However, since I was with my 3 friends (2 of them don't drink beer), I had to purchase a permit for all of us ($20 total).

They had two kinds of beer - 3Com and 3Com Lite. 3Com Lite was brewed several years ago by a company call Livingston and it had a bitter after taste but I learned about this AFTER I bought my 3Com Lite. I went back to the counter wanting to get a fresher beer or at least get my money back. I was told by the manager that they are phasing out 3Com Lite and my only option was I could buy 2 regular 3Com beers and then trade in my 3Com Lite and get the third 3Com beer for free.

Restrooms:

Restrooms were opened to the general public ONLY between innings. If you needed to use the restroom during the game, you had to purchase a restroom contract, however, if the game goes into extra innings, you would have to pay extra.

I had to go really bad during the third inning, so I purchased a contract for $5. However, since I was with my 3 friends, I had to pay $20.

Well, by the time I got my restroom contract, it was the end of the third inning. So I had to wait in line with everyone else even though I had a special contract.

Once I made it through the restroom door, there was yet another door with another 3Com rep.in front of it. This time I had to show receipts for my food/drink I purchased at the game, otherwise I would have to pay another special disposal fee.

I finally got to the toilet stall but notice there was shredded newspaper instead of toilet paper. I asked what happened to the toilet paper. I was told 3Com sells single ply non-perferated toilet paper at the counter at the back of the restroom. "Single ply?", I said. "Yeah, we are working on a 2 ply perferated paper and should have it available next week.", the 3Com rep blurted. Moreover, since I had a restroom contract, I could trade in my single ply for the 2 ply when it became available!

The rolls were $2 dollars each, but since I was with my 3 friends, I had to purchase 4 rolls.

After I relieved myself, I went to wash my hands. Instead of paper towels, there was shredded newspaper. I went back to the restroom counter and asked about the towels. Great news! 3Com just released their 50 pack paper towels. I can get them for $3 dollars a pack, but guess what, I had to purchase 4 packs. I thought, screwed the towels, I'll use toilet paper. Wrong! Someone beside me was being ejected from the primises for drying his hands with toilet paper. I learned later his restroom contract was canceled. Anyway, I paid for the paper towels...

Just before I exited the restroom, I was reminded that the toilet paper and paper towels could only be used at this restroom and if I went to a different restroom, I would have to pay again. Oh yeah, the restroom contract is only good for THAT restroom!

It was the start of the 6th inning. I decided to make another trip to the restroom. I had all my paperwork in order this time so it wasn't a long wait. But I was detained because it was less than 30 minutes since my last restroom visit. I was pulled over to the side and questioned by 2 other 3Com ushers. I was asked repeatedly if I was sure I'm going to the restroom because the result of the 3Com food. They suspected that it must be something other than their food or maybe I was ill.

So, I was examined by a 3Com doctor, but before he would EVEN talk to me. I had to present him with my restroom contract and food receipts. He determined there was nothing wrong on their end and I must purchase the special desposal fee for $10 (but paid $40 because of my buddies).

Now I had everything in order.

Just before I got to the urinal, I was grabbed by a 3Com usher. He told me that I can only use the same toilet I used on my first visit and was not allowed to use any of the other urinals or toilets. I had to wait 5 more minutes because "my stall" was used by another person - and he didn't have a contract!

FINAL INSULT:

The game went into extra innings so we had to cough up $10 each plus $20 more for my other friends - even though they left early because of an emergency.

You may think this is silly. But this is how I feel 3Com treats Total Control Chassis owners.