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repairs for out of 90 day warranty devices

ElNacho
Tutor

repairs for out of 90 day warranty devices

Back story: My dad bought a netgear modem from Best Buy last August. Last week it went bad. Today, the AT&T tech came out and gave us a free new one and everything is now working fine with their DSL. I checked netgear's website and sure enough, the old modem is still under warranty. Might be greedy, but I decided to try and get an RMA so I could get a replacement modem. Never know when you'll need a spare.

So I called 888-NETGEAR and after a few minutes on hold, I got connected to a very thick-accented indian guy. After a ridiculously long time getting account info and serial numbers and him asking me all sorts of weird questions about if I owned a smart TV or a kindle, we finally start getting into the heart of the issue. He verifies that the modem is still under hardware warranty, but the free 90 day phone support period has passed. I tell him, that's fine, I don't want tech support, I want a new modem and asked him what we need to do to get an RMA number. He tells me that I can't get an RMA number without first troubleshooting the problem. Which requires a free phone support contract. But no worries, because I can buy 2 years of support for only $199.99. I should point out that the modem itself only cost $50.

I am very clear from the start in telling him that there is absolutely nothing that he is going say that will get me to give him a credit card number. He assures me that my number won't be used until the issue is resolved. I literally spent over half an hour with him talking in circles. He can't help me unless I buy the "free phone support" and I won't buy phone support for something that is still under warranty. Each time he assures me that my card won't be charged until the issue is resolved. All this time, I sort of assume that he means the card won't be charged until the issue is resolved at which point in time we can cancel the contract or something. I clarify that he means he'll fix the problem, and THEN charge me $199 and he confirms this to be the case. He is literally telling me that even if the modem is broken and 100% their fault that there is nothing I can do to replace it that won't cost me 4 times the cost of the modem itself. I'm shellshocked.

Eventually he puts me on hold and talks to his supervisor and comes back with a "better offer" He can give me 6 months of "free phone support" (yes, he calls it that every single time) for only $79.99. Oh OK, nope. After another talk with his supervisor, he comes back and tells me that he is authorized to help me as a one time only deal. Now we're talking. Great, he just needs to charge me a one time fee of $29.99 and we can get started. I literally laughed hard at that one. Just out of morbid curiosity, I asked him what troubleshooting would entail. He said that he would remotely access my modem and change some settings. I asked him how he planned on remotely accessing the modem since we don't have any internet connectivity and that's sort of a necessity for remote access and he said (and I'm quoting to the best of my ability here) "Well, first we'll resolve the issue, and then I'll open a remote session into the modem to make some changes".

To that I replied, "Oh, so you're magic? It might actually be worth $29.99 for me to be able to see you do magic. That's really impressive"

This has to be illegal, right? What's the point of having a 1 year hardware warranty if you charge someone $200 in order to verify that the hardware is defective? Do I have any recourse here? I understand that from their point of view, this could be a software issue on my end and they can't provide free tech support forever, but all I'm asking them to do is honor the stated warranty. Would calling back and asking to speak to a manager be better? I called Best Buy and asked them if we could return it there, but they said after 30 days, it had to go back to the manufacturer. I'm sort of at a loss here.

Message 1 of 4
DarrenM
Sr. NETGEAR Moderator

Re: repairs for out of 90 day warranty devices

Hello ElNacho 

 

Sorry you had a run a round with tech support about getting a RMA. I dont know if you tried our Email support for this issue yet but may be the best place to have this taken care of just use the link below. Make sure the modem is still under warrenty and be able to provide a proof of purchase. Let me know if this works for you if not send me a PM and we can get this worked out.

 

http://support.netgear.com/general/contact/default.aspx#tab-email

 

DarrenM

Message 2 of 4
ElNacho
Tutor

Re: repairs for out of 90 day warranty devices

Unbelievably, email support told me the exact same thing as the phone support.  The device is still under hardware warranty, but my support contract is long expired, so they won't help me.  They told me to call 888-netgear to troubleshoot further even though I already specifically mentioned that I tried that first and got the run around.  They did say that phone support would be able to do some basic troubleshooting to verify basic hardware functionality, but in my experience from the first time around, that just means they ask you if the power light is green, and if that's the case the hardware is correctly functioning and therefore I need a support contract for any further assistance.   This is beyond frustrating.  

Message 3 of 4
ElNacho
Tutor

Re: repairs for out of 90 day warranty devices

So I've been going back and forth with email support and now they're just straight up refusing to talk to me anymore.  All I can get now is the standard copy paste of "your device is out of the 90 day free support period" etc.  What a joke netgear support is.  They were asking me questions (that I had already answered) and then closing the ticket before I had a chance to even answer them.   Not that any answer I give would have made a difference anyway, because no one will talk about anything other than how they can't give me support after 90 days and I can't get an RMA without troubleshooting.  

 

Also, for what it's worth, I don't appreciate the title of this thread being changed without my permission or input.  It isn't what I originally typed and currently doesn't represent the issue that I'm going through.  Also it's a lie.  I don't have a 90 day warranty, I have a year warranty, I just have a 90 day window for which Netgear support will actually talk to me and honor that warranty.  Which, I guess means that I do have a 90 day warranty in practice, so maybe the thread title isn't a lie afterall.  The lie was netgear telling me that I had a one year warranty to begin with. 

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