Are you having trouble with these wireless internet routers? Well, feel comfortable in knowing that you are not alone...as a matter of fact, there are MANY people going through the exact same things as far as frequent internet drops, bad customer service, inadequate tech support, and blatant lies told by technical representatives as well as upper echelon employees from Linksys, whose parent company is CISCO of course.
The following is a long read, but an in-depth look at what I went through to get some answers about our favorite routers. Sorry for the length of this post, and hopefully many of you will be able to read this post before it is deleted by Linksys moderators/staff. In any case, I'm posting this post to all of the forums that I've visited doing research on this product in hopes that people will understand that Linksys knowingly sold them an inferior product, but provides weak tech support and small fixes to mask the real problem
I see that a lot of you have been having a lot of problems with the wireless routers, especially with the WRT54G models. I too have been having these problems, mainly with the dropping of internet connection on a continual basis. Since we've been having the same problems, I'm sure that we all have been going through the same headaches with technical support and customer service...the long chat sessions, ridiculous phone conversations with tech support, going through some copy pasted steps for a quick fix, only to have your connection dropped again. Sound familiar? I know it does to a lot of you.
Well, on my 4th chat with tech support, I asked the tech rep if he was aware of any technical issues involving the WRT54G model. Very soon after I asked this question the rep disconnected. I thought that it was a comm issue that caused the hang up, and decided to try to chat again.
The next rep gave me the same copy/pasted steps for troubleshooting, which was fine, but then I asked this rep if there were any problems identified and boom, they hung up. Now the idea starts materializing in my head that these folks actually hang up when you ask certain questions, but I didn't take it too seriously...it could be another comm. Problem, right?
So in the next couple of days I enter a chat once again and explain my situation to the tech rep, and they apologize as usual and run me through the same copy/paste routine to fix my internet for about 2hrs. When I explained that these fixes only work for about 2hrs, she apologized, and I hit her with the question, "does Linksys know about a problem with their routers?" She did not hang up, but did not answer me ever again in this chat. I continued to ask if she was there, but there was no response whatsoever...I left the chat window up all day just in case she had to take care of an emergency or something and get back to me, but that was not the case. So then I got really suspicious and decided to call.
I talked to an outsourced tech rep (which is common with tech support), and he wanted to go through the troubleshooting steps once again, which we did, but I was really tired of going through these steps time after time. But he had his own insight, and fixed the problem differently, which gave me a little confidence and hope. Also, he said that I qualified for a new Linksys Router, with or without the receipt. Interesting. But I opted for the fix. After after another fix, I asked him if Linksys recognized a problem with this router and if they were working the issue. The tech rep told me that Linksys did in fact know of a problem with the actual routers and have known about this issue since November of 2006.
November 2006?!?! Then why all of the quick fixes in the chat as opposed to just telling me 8 chats ago that my router has been corrupted? The tech rep could not answer that, but asked if he could follow up the next to make sure that the router was working.
No follow up call the next day. And yes, the internet dropped again.
So I decide to call again, and I get forwarded to case manager or something to that effect. The lady listened to my whole story of consistent internet drops, bad tech advice, no follow up calls, and no continuity when it came to archiving chats. (Luckily I archived them on my own). She told me that she was going to talk to her supervisor to see if I qualified for a free router. Huh? I was already told that I qualified! Then she told me that there is a process to qualify, and I would have to contact the RMA department for details, but in the meantime, she would pass my complaints up to the corporate tech support offices. I was fine with that, but I had one more question for her; Why did the phone tech support guy say there was a problem identified in November 06 AND why did the same guy say that I already qualified for a new free router? She quickly dismissed anything that tech rep said, saying that there is not problems with the routers, and I just might have a defective one. She also said that I could not qualify for a replacement router unless I go through the RMA department. Something didn't sound right at all, so I refused the free router and decided to talk to the Corporate Tech support offices.
Fast forward to the next day. The Corporate tech support guy Robert Oreilly (firstname.lastname@example.org 949.856.8133) calls me up and listens to my story. When I mention the dropping of the internet service, he quickly rebuts saying that my surroundings might be interfering with my signal ect. I understood that, but didn't buy it because I did not change anything in my environment for about 2 years. Then he said it could be interference from outside sources like neighbors getting their own wireless connections ect. I can buy that because that's outside of my area and there's no way to know what the neighbors got. Cool. But I then he said that I qualified for a new router. I told him that 2 other reps already told me that I qualified for a new router, but he said that we have to go to a process to get me qualified, and that I was in fact qualified. So this is 3 different echelons of Linksys representatives telling me that I qualify for new routers only if I'm approved at each of its levels. I did'nt buy that, so I held off on accepting the router because I new something sounded fishy.
Then I told Robert about the tech rep that told me that Linksys knew about this problem since November 2006, and Robert told me that the tech rep I talked to was lying and they have no control on what their own guys say. I saw this as a break down in communication and continuity because either
a.) the first level tech rep guy is not accountable for his actions or
b.) the first level tech rep guy was telling the truth, but the corporate offices are either lying or ignorant to the problem; which is much worse in my opinion.
After Robert refused any info about the November 2006 date, I asked to ask one more question. I asked him `What is the average lifespan of this router?" Robert told me, "I'm not answering that question because at this point you are just nitpicking." Those were his exact words. I took offense to this because not only was this my 10th time contacting Linksys altogether, but also because this was a legitimate question...but yet was told that I was being spiteful. He also told me that there were no studies on Linksys products that provided that kink of info, which is totally false, especially for a big company like Linksys...Cisco for that matter. Another unprofessional move.
After stating that my stance was legit and I deserved to know the average lifespan of my product, he finally contacted a Director of some sort Named Skip Post (email@example.com )to quite me down. Mr. Post apologized for all of the hardships and explained how the company does in fact have a round number for the lifespan of the routers (3 years) and told me that there are a lot of factors involved, which I can understand...but could not understand why the tech rep Robert Oreilly lied or was ignorant to the fact of such numbers, and told me I was nitpicking.
The Mr. Post finally told me that he would get some of his engineers to look at the product and give me a report that same day. 2 hours later I get a call from Robert the tech rep telling me that the engineers did look at the router and identified a problem with it. Robert also told me that I now qualified for an upgraded router for free. I decided to decline the product replacement until I felt I gathered enough information to make an informed decision.
I don't know about you guys, but I find it hard to believe that a director addressing the problems of one customer would result in a team of engineers looking at a product for problems. Mr. Post told me via phone that a problem was found and would keep me up to date as things progress. That was last in August. I tried to follow-up with Mr. Post, but could not reach him, but I did reach the person directly under him...her name is Daniela Alawi (firstname.lastname@example.org 949.856.8115). She told me that Mr. Post would contact me asap, but I doubt that will happen.
I typed all of that to say this; Linksys has terrible tech support, a terrible archiving system, terrible continuity from the lower echelon tech reps to the higher ones, and most of all, Linksys either lies to you about your problem, or do not know what the problem is. They will give you quick fixes, but also will hang up on you if they do not like what you're saying, and will not contact you when they say they will. I know most of you on this board believe a vast majority of my story because It parallels what you've been dealing with. And if you haven't, check some of the complaints listed at the Better Business Bureau: http://www.labbb.org/BBBWeb/Forms/Busines
Or you can read reviews from some popular sites:
Amazon - Reviews
Or you can surf around and read on the MANY forums of folks that try to solve the problems themselves instead of relying on the ridiculous tech support provided by Linksys, like here;
and the forum complaints go on and on and on
Also, check some of the big internet retail sites for customer reviews....you'll find many of the same views...like on Amazon.com...
They will offer you the same product to calm you down, but will not address the root problem unless you constantly bug them.
The funniest part of this whole story is that I've read these forums and see users with the same problems as us, as well as other outside forums that have users with our same problems. When I told this to all of the tech reps they told me, "Well a lot of those folks are mad that their product is having trouble so they exaggerate..." or my favorite, "Well I surf the boards as well and didn't see any trend or problems as specific as this." I work in a career field closely related to Information Technology and I know how to find out if there is a trend with certain problems...one easy way is to, you guessed it, surfing forums dealing with your problems. This gets very specific in the IT field, and its easy to narrow down. I found it really funny that none of the Admin/Tech Reps/Customer Service Reps didn't see a lot of these threads in here about connections dropping.
Again sorry for the long post, but I think people deserve to see what kind of people they're dealing with.
Contact me anytime for questions about this whole ordeal and I'll tell you everything I know. I have chat logs, and even some audio of tech reps n such telling me all of these lies.
Or, maybe you'd like to voice your own stories to the same people I talked to...here's their contact info:
-Skip Post (Director of some department)
email@example.com (I don't have a phone number for him)
-Daniela Alawi (Support Supervisor)
-Robert Oreilly (Corporate Tech Support)
The bottom line; we paid for an inferior product. We should've done more research before the purchase, but corporations like these thrive off of our trust, and will continue to do so until we challenge them
Thanks for reading.