Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Post NOT About My New House

OK, so I'm not really in the market of doing product reviews.  I have been contacted by some companies, and I'm just not that in to turning my blog in to anything more than just a place for me to share my thoughts and daily goings on.  I have agreed to do one product review that will be coming pretty soon - and that's for a NAYAD bathing suit.  I was so intrigued with the design, and I thought it was fate that I was being offered a free bathing suit after buying a house with a pool, that I just couldn't refuse.

But I'm not doing that review until I actually get in my pool and use the suit.

Today, I am going to do a product review.  One that wasn't asked of me.  One that I'm doing totally and completely on my own... because it's just too good of a story to pass up.  And the company I'm going to be reviewing most definitely did not contact me or ask me to provide the's just something that companies run the risk of when dealing with a blogger.

So, anywho... this week we had some pretty harsh storms in our area.  One storm sent a bolt of lightening in to my parents' house taking out one of their TVs and their internet router.  That's it.  Nothing else but those two things.  My mom called the router company - being that it was still under warranty - and they sent her a new one.  No biggie.  The router is a NetGear Work and Play.

The new router arrived yesterday.  My mom went to her computer, hooked it all up, and the router didn't work.  She was able to get internet by hooking the modem directly to her computer, but the router wouldn't connect.  It was connecting to the internet, but not getting the internet to the computer.

So, she did what any person unfamiliar with computers and modems and routers would do... called technical support.

Her first call with NetGear tech support was started at 2:15pm yesterday afternoon.  After spending an hour on the phone with them being asked to turn it off and on again, unplug it and then plug it back in, push the reset button and then turn it on again, and so on... there was still no resolution.  The tech support person then told my mom to contact her internet provider - because the problem had to be with them, even though the internet was working perfectly fine.

The internet provider worked with my mom to try anything that could be internet related, to no avail...and was then told to call NetGear back.

I'm not sure what transpired between that next call and 7pm, accept for that my mom was on and off the phone with NetGear and her internet provider the entire time.  THE ENTIRE TIME!

At 7pm, I arrived at my parents' house greeted by an extremely frustrated and disheveled mother.  She was at her complete wits end... her hair a mess, her breathing fast, and her voice climbing to the point of glass shatteringly high.  I walked in just in time to hear in an almost desperate voice "I've been on this phone since 2:15 this afternoon.  I've called you and called my internet provider.  My internet provider says it's not them, you say it's not you.  My internet is working and my router is not...what does that tell you?"  Followed by "Yes, I'll hold.  Again."  Then, in a voice almost tear inducing "I already know what my connection type is and the username and password for my internet is...why do I have to call my internet provider to get them?"  Silence.  "OK, I'll call them back and find out."

My heart wanted to break for my mother.  For five hours she had been dealing with tech support, not getting a single answer to her problem.  I did what any caring, loving, know a little more than she does about computers daughter would do... I offered to help.

Now, I have worked in technical support before.  I have asked those same "have you turned it off and on again" questions a thousand times.  I know the tricks.  I know the gimmicks.  I know what stuff like ISP, IP Address, and DNS server means.  I know how to run a diagnostic on an internet connection error, and what the error message means.  I don't always know how to fix it... but I can at least get an idea of what the problem is.  I did the check, found out the DNS server wasn't responding.  No problem.  I ran the ipconfig command to find out what the IP address and DNS server code was, and entered them in to the program.  Didn't work.

So, I was faced with the dilemma of having to call the technical support back.  My worst nightmare.  Except for the fact that I knew how to run a computer, I knew when I was being played, and I also knew what the problem was and just needed someone to help fix it.

I started my call with NetGear technical support at 8pm.

For 45 minutes, the tech support guy had me shutting stuff down, turning it back on, restarting, resetting, unplugging, and plugging back in.  No matter how much I told him I'd already done everything he'd asked... and my mom had spent 5 hours prior doing the same stuff, he just wouldn't listen.  He refused to do anything but follow "the protocol".  By 9pm, my patience was on the verge of finished.  It takes a lot to get me mad at any form of customer service or technical support... but this was just downright ridiculous.

Finally he asked to remote in to the computer so that he could look at the configurations and "fix the problem".  REALLY?  You've had me acting like a circus monkey for an hour and NOW you decide to remote in to fix it?  I'm pretty sure smoke was coming out of my ears by this point.

Well, for 30 minutes he moseyed around the computer.  He ran the ipconfig.  He manually entered in the IP address and gateway address and DNS server code.. JUST LIKE I HAD ALREADY DONE!

Finally, at 9:40 I said enough was enough.  I couldn't take it anymore.  I told my mother to get back on the phone, tell them to shove up their rear, and to take the piece of crap back to the store and get a refund.  She then told me that she had her old router in a box (the one before NetGear and the storm) and to see if I could get it to work.  It took me all of 3 minutes to hook it up and it was working.

My mom sat on the phone with NetGear for another 15 minutes before she could get a supervisor to agree to replace the router.  They are going to send her another one...again.  Ridiculous!

Now, I've been looking at my own NetGear router with a different face.  We've had no problems with ours... it works just fine.  But, now I'm having nightmares about something happening to it.  What happens if it stops working?  What kind of torture and agony am I going to go through if we need to contact technical support?

EIGHT HOURS is what my mom spent on the phone with them trying to get them to fix it...and they never did.  Rather than just saying "No biggie, we'll send you a new one" or after about an hour saying "Well, there's nothing more we can do.. we'll send a replacement again", they tortured my mother for EIGHT HOURS!! And the only end was me finally saying ENOUGH!  I'm totally convinced that my poor, stressed out, ready to smash a window mother would still be sitting on the phone with them.

So, NetGear is now getting a completely free product review.  Or should I say NetGear technical support.  As far as I can see, the routers are pretty good.... just pray to all things holy that they never break down on you.  If they do, either take it back to the store and replace it or get your money back.  DO NOT CALL TECHNICAL SUPPORT!! Nobody deserves that kind of torture.

NetGear, you seriously need some technical support for your technical support.  Not good AT ALL!


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