Archive for March, 2010

A Tech Support Horror Story

I just got off the phone with my brother. After an hour and a half of talking on the phone with D-Link’s tech support in India, nothing was resolved. 40 minutes of productive conversation and troubleshooting with me and we isolated the exact problem.

All of the sudden the other day, no computer on my parents’ home network was connecting to the internet. They’re a bit “old fashioned” and still have ethernet wire going through the house walls and floors. They could get wireless, but they’re happy. Fair enough.

First thing I told my brother was that I didn’t care what D-Link had told him, we were starting from scratch, and I guaranteed him it would not take as long. I got him to unplug the router, switch, and cable modem for 3 minutes.

I then told him to plug in only the modem, and wait two minutes for it to “think” and talk to Shaw (their ISP). Then, I got him to plug in the router, wait two minutes, then the switch and wait two minutes.

I got him to verify that an ethernet cable was connected to the modem and to the ’ethernet’ port on the router, and that another cable was connected from the #1 port on the router to the #1 port on the switch, and that the rest of the cables were connected to to the switch.

We decided to open up a command prompt Window and type “ipconfig” (w/o quotes). He got an IP address. I got him to confirm through the network adapter properties that the computer was getting a dynamic address and not a static IP address. He had changed it to static during his own troubleshooting, so he changed it back.

We then discovered no IP address when doing ipconfig again. We attempted ipconfig /renew, still nothing.

So, we unplugged the ethernet cable from the computer directly to the router. Magically, the computer gained an IP address. At that moment, I became certain the switch is failing and that he should buy a new one.

They need a switch only because their router only supports 4 ports, and they need 8.

Either way, issue resolved, they’ll replace the switch and all should be happy. 40 minutes later, NOT an hour and a half where he spent most of the time on hold and they didn’t attempt half the the steps I did.

This is the benefit of talking to someone who actually knows what they’re talking about. If you’re wondering, I work for Nerds On Site for my day job. You can find my contact information on my Twitter profile at http://twitter.com/kevinatnos.

By the way, to be clear, I actually love D-Link’s routers, but they I don’t think they have very good tech support these days, like many companies that have cut costs. That’s my personal opinion, as is this entire blog, not reflective of the company I work for, or anyone else.

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