ActionTec, Best Buy, Blogs, Cisco, Community TV Series, Customer Service, Defective Equipment, DNG2000, Hulu, Management Practices, Modem, NETGEAR, New Business World, Public Image, Public Relations, Publicity, Router, Social Media, Value-added
By Paul Kiser
One hundred and eleven days ago our 2Wire DSL Modem Router died. It died just one day short of being five years old and it took me about a day to decide what to do about it. AT&T’s ‘store’ wasn’t going to be open until the next Monday, so I decided to go with a third-party replacement. I opted for a slightly more expensive, but faster NETGEAR Modem Router that I found at Best Buy.
I brought it home and set it up, and even though followed all the procedures, I spent most of the next two days trying to trouble shoot why some of my computers could log on and some could not. I finally called NETGEAR support and I learned that all of the computers had to have the same (lower) encryption settings of Microsoft XP operating systems to prevent the intermittent problem with each of the computers. During the call the tech requested all of my password information so he could record it.
Fast Forward 109 Days
On Saturday, May 22 our Internet service stopped working and a red ‘Internet’ light indicator appeared on the NETGEAR Modem. I called AT&T and after 15 minutes of waiting I got a real person, who then transferred me into another five minutes of void. Finally a person picked up the line and listened to my issue. She was very nice, but she told me that it is a NETGEAR issue. Ultimately, I discovered she was correct.
I then called the NETGEAR support number where I was given another number to call. Finally, after three phone calls and over 30 minutes of run around, I had a person at NETGEAR. After explaining the problem he asked me whether I wanted to pay $70 for six months of technical support, or $100 for one year of technical support. I explained to him that I just bought this product three months ago and he told me that May 1st was the end of the 90-day free installation support. He explained that, “…this was a common problem..” with my equipment and that “..the technical support could fix it without taking too much of my time…”
I’m sure it was all a coincidence that my 111 day-old NETGEAR DGN2000 Modem Router failed 21 days after technical support expired. I’m also sure that I could pay the $70 ransom to have the problem fixed and that it would take the technician too long to fix a ‘common problem’, but I won’t.
The fact that the product…
- …has a problem that can be fixed remotely, but I can’t fix it myself without NETGEAR tech support
- …that the problem occurred after less than four months of use
- …that according to NETGEAR the problem is a common problem and easily fixable
- …that NETGEAR has complete access to my passwords to access the configuration of my modem
- …and it will only cost me another $70 to $100 to have a working device
…is enough to convince me that I’m not pouring any more money into defective NETGEAR equipment. After a Google search I discovered that at least one Amazon.com customer went through 3 new DGN2000 modems and none of them worked. There is more to this saga, but suffice to say I was disappointed by the Phone Call Center in India and their, ‘these our the only options we can offer’ excuse. When discussing public image we can us NETGEAR as an example of an Epic Fail.
P.S.: I spent all day today (Sunday) on this problem. A second call to India resulted in much the same rhetoric, with one additional option and that is I can pay a per incident fee to have them look at my modem; however, if it is not a hardware problem they keep the fee. I’m not paying NETGEAR to prove that my equipment is defective when I already know it isn’t operational. I also cannot login to the website to check the configuration myself.
The good news is that I bought a Cisco Router and an ActionTec modem and we just watch an episode of Community with no buffering issues. That was common with the NETGEAR equipment. The bad news is that it cost me another $120 and a full day of my time to make it happen. In materials and labor NETGEAR has cost me over $1000.
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