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:
- 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.
- Hire some decent techs. I am available nights and weekends, but you probably cannot afford me.
- When someone’s Internet is down, don’t insult them by trying to upsell them to faster Internet. Some people find this offensive.
- Act like you have competition. You do.