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Some of the worst support in my 25+ years in the tech industry

ChopOMatic
Luminary

Some of the worst support in my 25+ years in the tech industry

R8000 died overnight. No Wifi device (despite a dozen of them being connected for months as of the time I went to sleep last night) will stay connected to the router for more than a couple seconds. Unit reports it's not connected to Internet; in fact, it reports it doesn't even have an ethernet cable connected. Replacing it with old ASUS makes everything work perfectly, but I continue to spend ~three hours covering every minute possibility before asking for help.

 

I file a support ticket. Gist of response:  "Your 90 days of support has expired. Your hardware is under warranty, so you can only request an RMA. You can only request an RMA by phone. This ticket is closed."

 

I call, and after ~5-10 minutes of automated phone menus, find myself in a loop with no escape.

 

I call again. Again the phonebots lead me off into an inescapable loop. At least it was a different loop this time, although I answered the questions identically.

 

I call again and get "Harry," presumably in Mumbai or similar. Harry won't give me an RMA until I connect the R8000 to the Internet so they can "perform hardware tests." I explain to Harry approximately a dozen times that I cannot connect the R8000 to the Internet for his hardware tests because the R8000 won't connect to the Internet. This is, after all, why I called in the first place. 

 

Harry is so sorry but Harry can't help because Harry has to run his hardware tests across the Internet before providing an RMA. Harry is also unable to find a supervisor or manager to speak to me.

 

Are you kidding me, Netgear? This is the support you provide on a $300 consumer router? First, there's the (despicable) old trick of making people enter PhoneHell in order to resolve a problem. Your entire business is the facilitation of online data exchange, but somehow the needed help can only be provided by phone? Riiiiight. No, this is a calculated trick:  Your stats show that a significant number of customers will just chunk the product in the garbage before venturing into your PhoneHell and, voila!, problem solved for you at virtually no expense.

 

Then, for those of us who are dumb enough to brave your hinterlands, you've managed to craft impossible conditions that must be met before you replace your defective product. Since most of us can't afford to spend an entire day explaining to someone that Internet tests are not possible when your device won't connect to the Internet, once more Netgear escapes its responsibility at very little cost.

 

But, alas, occasionally you stumble across an idiot who's willing to spend a year spreading the word about Netgear to every nook and cranny of the online world. Like me.

 

I'd like to say this is gonna be fun, but that would be a lie. It is, however, necessary for someone to occasionally fight you on pure principle, no matter how long that battle may take. Time to get started...

 

@Chop0Matic on Twitter

 

Message 1 of 6
slompochomp
Luminary

Re: Some of the worst support in my 25+ years in the tech industry

Good on you. I personally have not had too many issues with my unit as of yet, but If I were in your shoes I’d feel the same. I have noticed most of the intelligent answers on this forum were mainly from product users rather than a Netgear support that had his/her hand in the development of the units and knows the answers to inquiries. I too have been around since the start of the public internet and sadly hardware support & customer care has dropped tremendously as well as the quality of hardware. I recall calling up support for my mouse and keyboards back in the day and they would simply ask for my SN# and send me a replacement without cost and tell me to simply throw the old one away. I hope things work out for you but truth be told those good old days are gone.


If You Got Em....I'll Chew Em!
Message 2 of 6
pspec
Luminary

Re: Some of the worst support in my 25+ years in the tech industry

 

You have a device that doesn’t work so can’t connect to the internet but they won’t honor warranty unless you connect to the internet..

 

Bit of a catch 22..

 

Surprised it's been 2 months and no response to this post from Netgear staff. Would have thought this sort of thing would be embarrassing for them.

 

Seems to compound what you are saying.

 

Good luck

 

 

Message 3 of 6
operator187
Luminary

Re: Some of the worst support in my 25+ years in the tech industry

Check out the R7500 .94 firmware thread. Netgear don't care. Either the consumer sector is a tiny percentage of their business, or they think this information doesn't come up on Google, and their customer base consists entirely of people with no purchasing influence outside their homes.

 

As the OP wrote, support is the pits. Forget about "facilitating" a resolution. I just had my ticket auto-closed after the two week inactivity delay, even though some other L2 tech had finally responded to a "hello, anybody here" message I sent last year as Netgear support had seemingly run out of solutions (none offerred, my only consolation is that at least one of the guys and girls involved learned something) and decided that I'd go away at some point. Well played in the short term, but they would do well to remember that a lot of those who buy their broken by design, unsupported high end home network equipment are also those who decide on who the vendor is going to be in our workplace.

 

Not Netgear, I can tell you that.

 

Message 4 of 6
Smitty995
Luminary

Re: Some of the worst support in my 25+ years in the tech industry

Re: Your comments on the phone support loop

 

I experienced the exact same thing. I believe my phone number and case number (#26630967) were coded in the phone tree as Angry Ignoramous or something, so the system kept looping me hither and yon without connecting me to a technican. I called from a different phone number, and verbally gave the case number to the tech, and then was put on a 25+ minute hold (I presume I would still be on hold 76 hours later, ie, that I was on the permanent hold where troublesome customers go).

 

Message 5 of 6
stevnim
Luminary

Re: Some of the worst support in my 25+ years in the tech industry

Sadly, it's not really a "NETGEAR" problem, but please read on. What's really going on is a person at NETGEAR problem. A particular (unknown to us, but known to NETGEAR) individual is responsible for customer relations who is also probably directly or indirectly resonsible for this community forum. It would be in NETGEAR's best interest to realize he/she is just not good in customer relations. If there is no customer relations person, well that is also a person problem...

Message 6 of 6
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