Background: Our ISP ran some new cable from our demarcation box outside the house to the modem inside when we upgraded our bandwidth a month ago. Last night we had thunderstorms. My wife was sitting in the den reading when a lightning strike nearby literally blew the cover off the jack mounted on our baseboard. The prongs on the modular connector melted and it even scorched the carpet.
Now, this was definitely an Act of God, but it caused me to have to sort things out in that location so I could temporarily plug a phone directly into the (fortunately) undamaged modem. I was shocked to find that the cabling and terminations were made in a very amateurish way. The modular jacks were just sitting in the box because they were the wrong type to snap into the spaces intended for them. Spare conductors were left hanging. The technician had not even cleaned up the wood shavings where he drilled through the floor and my built-in desk, which may actually have contributed to the scorching since the jack had wood shavings inside it. The work at the demarcation point was just as bad, if not worse. It may or may not have contributed to the lightning damage.
Of course, the ISP wants $149 to replace the jack.
It also blew up my FAX machine/printer. No hope for it.
Is this the new normal? I feel sort of bad that I hadn’t noticed this before, but the work was done when I was out of town and and only my wife was in the house.
TL;DR: My ISP installation sucked.