Waste-of-Time Warner

Or: “Why Time Warner’s Customer Support is Bloody Useless, and their Technical Support is non-existent”

I am not in a good mood. I spent more than five hours last night troubleshooting and configuring Routers, Cable Modems and Routers *in* Cable Modems. And Time Warner’s alleged Customer Service was no help at all.

The story begins at about 21:30, when my home network went down. After some troubleshooting, I determined that my Router – a D-link DGL-4100 – had packed up, possibly permanently. The Cable Modem – An Arris TG-862G – had a built-in router. When they installed this router four months ago, I asked the tech to switch this embedded router off to prevent a problem called “double-natting“. He did so. With my router down and possibly out, I wanted to reverse this process.

Question 1:  How do I turn the embedded router in the cable modem back on?

I called Customer Service and spoke to a woman of foreign extract who did lots of apologizing and asked me all the usual questions. I asked her the question. In spite of my detailed explanation, She didn’t seem to get it, and kept blathering about “wireless”, and I kept having to correct her  – this has nothing to do with wireless. Eventually told me that she could not do this, but Technical Support could. She put me on hold.

A few minutes later another lady answered. After lots of apologizing and asking the usual questions, I realized that she was not Technical Support, but another Customer Service Dweeb who also could not help me. I was put on hold again. After fifteen minutes of being told how wonderful Time Warner Cable is, I hung up in disgust.

After a little trial-and error, I found the solution: Connect a computer directly to the cable modem, browse to http://192.168.0.1 and the password is “password”. I did so, and turned off Bridge Mode – Hurrah!

Then I tried to change the IP address from 192.168.0.1 (the default) to 192.168.1.1 (to match the network I have set up), but the change wouldn’t take. Curious

Question 2: How do I reset the Cable Modem to Factory Settings?

Against my better judgment, I called back Time Warner. This time I spoke to a gentleman of foreign extract, who did lots of apologizing and asked me the usual questions. I explained to him that I was an IT professional with a complex network (Modem+Router+WAP+two switches+about a dozen different devices) and restated my question. He said “Let me check that on my system” (which I assume means “Let Me Google That For You“), then he put me on hold, and I six minutes later I heard the annoying tone of a disconnected line.

I hazarded an intelligent guess, and the gamble paid off. The answer is: Press and Hold the Hardware Reset button on the Cable Modem for twenty seconds. I then logged in, changed the password, changed the IP address and configured the router.

So I am back up and running – sort of. The “embedded” Router built in to the Cable Modem is Gigablt – which is good – but it is otherwise crap, as it does not support port forwarding or QoS – which is bad, as it means that I cannot use Wake-On-LAN to remotely start my computer. But it will do for now. If my old router is working, I finally have an excuse to flash it with DD-WRT, and if not, I will replace it.

So there you have it: Customer Service is staffed with Professional apologizers with foreign accents who can’t answer a serious technical question without putting you on hold, and their Technical Support department – if they have one – is apparently staffed with telephobic Ninjas. So how to fix this? Here are my suggestions:

  1. Employ CS people whose first language is English, and pay them for quality (customer satisfaction) not quantity. (number of calls). Empower them to solve problems without putting customers on hold.
  2. Hire some decent techs. I am available nights and weekends, but you probably cannot afford me.
  3. When someone’s Internet is down, don’t insult them by trying to upsell them to faster Internet. Some people find this offensive.
  4. Act like you have competition. You do.
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Comments

  • Tammy Salamun  On October 5, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    I am sick of time warner as well… I want to know why I have to reset my cable box a few times a day? Every time I use the guide and try to find a channel, it wigs out and starts rolling thru channels like a roulette wheel & where it will stop, only time warner knows.. I can’t chose what I want to watch… it’s a gamble if I found an ok channel, if I even want to chance looking for something different… I tried to watch college football game and by the time I found it, the game was ending, due to the remote and cable box… I threw the remote, reset the cable box again, put remote back together & wasted hours of my time… what is wrong with their equipment???

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