***BAD PRODUCT -REAL LINKSYS CONTACT INFO****


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Initial post: Sep 5, 2007 5:13:43 PM PDT
timothy says:
Dear Linksys product users and friends,

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 (roreilly@cisco.com 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 (skpost@cisco.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 (dalawi@cisco.com 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/Business/CompanyReportPage_Expository.aspx?CompanyID=13116607

Or you can read reviews from some popular sites:

Amazon - Reviews

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/B00007KDVI/sr=8-1/qid=1188957360/ref=cm_cr_dp_all_helpful/103-9610295-7943014?ie=UTF8&n=172282&qid=1188957360&sr=8-1#customerReviews

www.cnet.com Reviews

http://reviews.cnet.com/routers/linksys-wrt54gs-wireless-g/4864-3319_7-30825185.html?ctype=msgid&messageSiteID=7&messageID=2478383&cval=2478383&tag=uolst

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;

http://forums.wi-fiplanet.com/showthread.php?t=6089

or here;

http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:72K2Nbt2bfMJ:mepislovers.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-1644.html+linksys+wrt54g+forums+drop+bad+router&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=18&gl=us

here;

http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:h_9CVnX-xQMJ:forums.cnet.com/5208-7813_102-0.html%3FforumID%3D19%26threadID%3D113647%26messageID%3D1290305+linksys+wrt54g+forums+drop+bad+router&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=12&gl=us

or here;

www.wirelessforums.org/alt-internet-wireless/keeps-dropping-connection-9905.html

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...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/B00007KDVI/ref=cm_cr_dp_all_helpful/103-9610295-7943014?ie=UTF8&n=172282#customerReviews




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.
tim.lewis36@gmail.com

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)
skpost@cisco.com (I don't have a phone number for him)

-Daniela Alawi (Support Supervisor)
dalawi@cisco.com
949.856.8115

-Robert Oreilly (Corporate Tech Support)
roreilly@cisco.com
949-856-8133

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.

Tim Lewis
tim.lewis36@gmail.com

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2007 9:24:59 PM PST
Tim
I had the same prob with my Linksys. I'm starting out new - I threw the L away. What router DO you recommend for a desktop and 2 notebooks (one Dell and my son'e new iBook OS10? Does the Mac Airport Base Station work with a PC? Thanks! Deb

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2007 11:23:58 AM PST
Bikes2work says:
Wow, I feel your pain. The only consolation I can see it that the problems you describe seem to be endemic to the industry. When I read reviews of Netgear, Belkin, D-link, etc, without fail I see a significant number of people complaining about dropped links, poor reception, bad customer service and more. I am trying to find a replacement for my defective Belkin and not a single wireless router gets uniformly rave ratings. Sigh. I liken the industry to the Model-A era when users had to turn a crank to start their cars. Maybe in 50 years wireless technology will be a bit more user friendly too!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2008 9:17:16 AM PST
R. Milewski says:
I understand and feel your pain on this but every piece of electronic equipment is built at a price point. Most of these routers are built very cheaply to keep the costs down. Those savings are passed on to you the consumer. If you want something significantly better be prepared to pay 3-4 times more. I do agree that the customer service should ahve been better.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2008 2:36:30 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 17, 2008 2:39:09 PM PST
I have had some similar problems with the Linksys wireless routers dropping signals in the past. I have had some success with buying different cordless telephones (5.4 ghz). I have also had problems with disconnects from the internet and cloning my desktop computer MAC address in the router seemed to help that. I have DSL and I cloned the MAC address for the network card into the router. I had a friend who was having similar problems and I did the same thing for them and it fixed their problem, too.

But the most significant improvement came when I used different 3rd party software instead of Linksys firmware. The WRT54G with SpeedBooster that I am using now has been working great for a couple of years, but I am running Firmware Version: v4.71.1, Hyperwrt 2.1b1 + Thibor15c.

Good luck with yours. But you're right about their technical support. Unfortunately they are not alone. It seems to be a trend, like their dropping signals.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2008 12:40:51 AM PST
S. Young says:
I just purchased the travel router. It took over five (5) hours trying to set this thing up. I'm not stupid and these people have NO idea of how the unit runs. Bottom line.....stay away from Linksys and save yourself time and frustration by never calling so-called customer support!
Capt. Steve

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2008 7:26:59 AM PST
Steven Ball says:
yep...I bought a Linksys wireless card for my notebook..what a nightmare to configure and get to operate even with a linksys router. I just went out and bought another brand and all is good.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2008 6:13:54 PM PDT
JRaja says:
I had the same problem and threw away the linksys router. Then i bought Belkin wireless router, for the first 6 months i hardly did a restart or reset on the router. In the mean time my friend had Linksys and had connection drop problems, so i recommended the belkin product to one of my friend and helped them install and secure it. But now both of the belkin routers doesn't work with my laptop with windows Vista and drops connection often with other laptops, Macs.

My conclusion is that the generally wireless routers have less reliability.

Now, My friend still had his old Linksys. I installed DD-WRT free software from http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php?title=DD-WRT_Docu_(EN) and now it has been working fine without any problem for the past 2 months.

So if you have a Linksys or going to buy one, just flash the software you should be fine. But still i am not techie enough to say whether the problem is because of the software or hardware. Unfortunately i haven't tried flashing the Belkin products.

- Jerome

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2008 6:13:57 PM PDT
JRaja says:
I had the same problem and threw away the linksys router. Then i bought Belkin wireless router, for the first 6 months i hardly did a restart or reset on the router. In the mean time my friend had Linksys and had connection drop problems, so i recommended the belkin product to one of my friend and helped them install and secure it. But now both of the belkin routers doesn't work with my laptop with windows Vista and drops connection often with other laptops, Macs.

My conclusion is that the generally wireless routers have less reliability.

Now, My friend still had his old Linksys. I installed DD-WRT free software from http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php?title=DD-WRT_Docu_(EN) and now it has been working fine without any problem for the past 2 months.

So if you have a Linksys or going to buy one, just flash the software you should be fine. But still i am not techie enough to say whether the problem is because of the software or hardware. Unfortunately i haven't tried flashing the Belkin products.

- Jerome

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2008 6:14:24 PM PDT
JRaja says:
I had the same problem and threw away the linksys router. Then i bought Belkin wireless router, for the first 6 months i hardly did a restart or reset on the router. In the mean time my friend had Linksys and had connection drop problems, so i recommended the belkin product to one of my friend and helped them install and secure it. But now both of the belkin routers doesn't work with my laptop with windows Vista and drops connection often with other laptops, Macs.

My conclusion is that the generally wireless routers have less reliability.

Now, My friend still had his old Linksys. I installed DD-WRT free software from http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php?title=DD-WRT_Docu_(EN) and now it has been working fine without any problem for the past 2 months.

So if you have a Linksys or going to buy one, just flash the software you should be fine. But still i am not techie enough to say whether the problem is because of the software or hardware. Unfortunately i haven't tried flashing the Belkin products.

- Jerome

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2008 7:59:57 PM PDT
OMG!! 17 chat sessions (9 pre-new router, 8 post), 16 reps, 1 phone call w/an Indian man who got mad at ME because I couldn't understand his broken English(!), 3 dropped phone calls, a trip to Best Buy for a new router which the Indian guy told me to "Just plug it in and it will work automatically." BS...but hey maybe I'm over-reacting!! I finally went to Best Buy after being given a multi-tude of solutions, being asked for the S/N on the router to the point where I had it memorized, being treated like I'm a moron [as opposed to an educated 34 year old] and the like. The Best Buy person said Linksys are good products but have crappy service and that I needed someone to come to my home to look at the issue...so because Linksys reps are MORONS I now have to pay for someone to come to the house and look at it..huh?!

The Linksys people have no idea what in hell they're doing in most cases, are rude and give you the most odd solutions...since when is 'I have no idea how to fix that' or actual trouble shooting extinct?!

Thanks for speaking out Tim and to the Linksys folks overall...kiss it! You've cost me 10 days of peace of mind and trying to get work done as I work from home..NOT AMUSED!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2008 2:42:57 PM PDT
JJB says:
Tim

Thanks for this. I was just about to purchase this router. Reading of this is very timely for me. I will be steering clear

Thank you very much once again

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2008 2:47:36 PM PDT
The saddest thing really about the whole router situation is that between the IT guys I know, the ones I consulted, several people at Best Buy and CNet.com, Linksys is the 'top of the line' when it comes to routers! As one person put it, great produce, horrid customer service. After 2 weeks and 2 routers and I'm on my 3rd Linksys one and so far so good.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2008 11:01:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 26, 2008 11:02:36 AM PDT
Tim Curtin says:
For what its worth, I can also attest that the DD-WRT software works like a charm. Its easy to install, and turns this $60 router into a $600 router by adding features only available on much more expensive options. (One of those features being better reliability, actually.) You can increase the transmit power, add bandwidth throttling based on computer or program, turn on logging, even make your router into a paid wireless hotspot! They just released a stable version of the software last month - go grab your copy and make your life easier.

Posted on Jun 3, 2009 7:58:20 AM PDT
Loren Parker says:
This thread is many several months old but I will put in a small synopsis of the issue.
The LinksysWRT54G has been heavily redesigned several times (each known as a "version") throughout it's lifespan. Early in its life, the goal was to enable the device to do more - expanding its processor and NVRAM resources. However, as time went on and the mkt swelled with (cheap) competitors the company was forced to relegate the product to a smaller and smaller footprint to make it price-competitive. The NVRAM was taken down over 75% from its peak size to the pathetic resource that is now available in the newest models.
Cisco/Linksys was forced to open source the firmware for the router when it was uncovered (yes, they didn't freely offer) that the router's firmware code borrowed from GPL-protected code-bases. By the terms of the GPL that meant that the Linksys router's firmware needed to be made open source as well. After some legal shenanigans it was determined that opening the code base was indeed the best alternative.
Following the firmware's source code release several open source alternatives became availble to run on the WRT models - Tomato, DD-WRT and several others. Many of these firmware alternatives were able to be written to take advantage of features/functions that had been disabled or were unused by the Linksys firmware (using the Broadcom chipset in many of the early vers).
If you are somewhat technically adept, I recommend flashing to one of the open source alternatives. It is clear that supporting the WRT-54G is not high on Cisco's list of priorities. Further, on all but the "GL" (Linux-based) they run their garbage operating system, VXWorks. This was the nail in the coffin of the product - IMO. I'm going to go back and look if the date of VxWorks adoption to the prodct line might be to blame for the "drop" issues described in part here.
Before you flash be sure to determine the version of router you have (should be on a sticker on bottom of the device). Some of the emasculated vers don't have enough NVRAM even for the "compact versions". Best Wishes & Good Luck! Loren

http://www.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv3/index.php
http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato
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Participants:  12
Total posts:  15
Initial post:  Sep 5, 2007
Latest post:  Jun 3, 2009


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