The rep we talked to asked us, 'Did you request disconnection?' (We barely refrained from screaming.) He told us he would put in a reconnection request and, if we were lucky, we would be reconnected by the following Monday. When you hit bottom you'll climb any ladder no matter how short so we simply said 'thanks.'Last week we recounted the next chapter in sorting out our DSL issues\u00a0with AT&T ("powered by SBC," as their greeting would have it, as if this were a positive piece of branding that somehow ameliorates the rage felt by customers calling with severe service problems).In last week's installment, engineer Todd 370 (a very helpful and well-informed chap) visited the Secret Underground Gearhead Laboratories and improved our connection performance with the cunning use of a heavy-duty line filter and a screwdriver. We were left waiting for another engineer who specialized in wiring and who would, so we were led to believe, check the cabling from the demarc back to wherever it came.The cabling engineer was supposed to arrive on Thursday, but much to our surprise when we sat down at the computer on Thursday morning there was no Internet connectivity at all. According to PingPlotter, this situation had begun at 6 a.m. that same day. A quick probe of our Linksys BEFSR41 gateway's status revealed the wonderfully informative "PPPoE Authentication failure" as the problem.As we wondered last week, how on earth is Joe Average supposed to make heads or tails of this kind of error message? What the message should really say is, "Nothing there. You're screwed. Your DSL provider is not responding because a) you have a really gnarly line fault; b) you haven't paid your bill; or c) they've cut you off for some random reason. Whatever, get ready to spend a lot of time on the phone."So we got on the cell phone to wrangle with AT&T's customer service. Why a cell phone? Do you remember we had switched to VoIP? Ahhhhhh!Of course, there was a small problem with the cell phone: We had accidentally dropped it into the sink a few days before, and it wasn't working too reliably.We have no desire to relive the sequence of calls that were terminated by our phone or because the idiotic customer service rep would send us into the seventh ring of hell otherwise known as "on hold" limbo.Anyway, after some ridiculous number of calls we finally determined that AT&T wasn't actually sure we had been disconnected, but a rep thought that our address had something to do with it.When we moved into the Secret Underground Gearhead Laboratories in 2000, we had an address that was about a quarter-mile from where we actually are. This was a historical oddity, and preferring not to have to hike to our mailbox every day, we had our address changed.Since the change, SBC and its new incarnation, AT&T had been sending us bills for telephone and DSL service and we had been happily paying them. This, however, was of no consequence to the chaps in DSL service, who still had us listed at the old address.The rep we talked to asked us, "Did you request disconnection?" (We barely refrained from screaming.) He told us he would put in a reconnection request and, if we were lucky, we would be reconnected by the following Monday. When you hit bottom you'll climb any ladder no matter how short so we simply said "thanks."We then tracked down the External Affairs executive for our region, Mike Silacci, and got a call back from him on the afternoon of the next day, Friday. He listened to the tale and called back late that same day with his findings.Like everyone else, Silacci couldn't determine why we had been disconnected, and it turned out that the last customer service rep we spoke to hadn't actually put in a reconnection request so we weren't actually scheduled. Silacci initiated a request and the earliest expected date to get us reconnected was the next Friday, a week away.So now that we have finished this column we are going out to set up a wireless link to our neighbors, the commander and his lady wife, and piggyback on their cable broadband connection. This promises to be easier said than done.Will the fun never end? Reconnect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org - and discuss our ongoing DSL woes on Gibbsblog.