I'm in Scottsdale right now. My server is still back in California. In the middle of copying files this morning I lost my VPN link back to my home server. What an immense drag. I'm 750 miles away. The last time this happened I had to wait until I could get home to solve the issue.
The first step I performed in troubleshooting was to connect to my router at home. Un-surprisingly, it wasn't available. This was relatively good news, it meant it was a network issue and not a server issue. The next question, do I call home to California at 6:00 am to tell my wife the network's down or do I just wait until later in the day. My wife is home entertaining her mother and two of her aunts while I carefully look after things in Scottsdale. I'm sure she doesn't want a pro-active call at that time of day so I put it off 'till later.
Of course, I get a call from my wife later in the day asking why her Mac can't connect to the network. As if by magic I explain to her that the network is down and step her through the process of checking things out. Sure enough, Pacbell/SBC/AT&T has, once again, failed in their delivery of DSL services to my home. This is about the 20th time it's gone out in the past 7 years; at least, as far as I'm aware.
While I was having my wife get ready to power-cycle the DSL modem it re-synced and came back up. I'm back to copying my files and life goes on. But then my wife asked what we would have done had it not mysteriously re-appeared.
"That's easy," I replied, "we would have called Pacbell/SBC/AT&T customer service."
"Oh, what a pain that would be," she replied.
Then I explained how to deal with customer service. Given the number of times this has happened I know the routine and I know that it is likely that they will continue their 100% streak of it being their fault. I humor customer service. As they ask me to check things I merrily bang away at the keyboard and reply, "Oooooh, that didn't work, what should I try now." Of course, I'm not actually doing anything. I know the issue is on their end but they won't escalate and accept responsibility until they have me try everything.
So, I bang away, saying, "Yep, tried that and it still doesn't work." Eventually, they say it must be a network issue, they create an internal trouble ticket and I get service back typically by the next morning.
I've tried bypassing this process many times but I always get the same answer, "Sorry, but we need to check everything."
Of course, it's entirely possible that they're on the other end making things up for me to try just so they can appear to be "helpful." What a sad state of affairs customer service has become.