Thursday, December 11, 2008

Charter Customer Service

I always have strange times when dealing with customer service. The first time I ever needed to contact customer service was when I needed to ask what wireless card came with a certain Dell laptop. Well, the person told me that the wireless card's name was IEEE...

Anyway, the story today deals with Charter and my aunt's router/modem combo that was a little broken. What happened was the name, password, and encryption standard would change at random times on the router. So I would have to plug myself into the router, provide default username/password (admin::password) to the web administration tool, and change the settings back to my own. After calling, waiting for about 8 minutes and being transferred only once I got in contact with someone who actually knew what they were talking about (and spoke english as a first language!). He assured me that there was no script and after a little bit of talking he told me that someone would be out tomorrow to replace our router.

Now, this is where the problem with Charters' service lies. The guy that came out to replace the router had no damn idea what he was doing. He replaced the router and set it up to a hex version of our phone number (which is the same amount of characters in the first place) and also set up our encryption to 64-bit WEP! Now, seeing as I wasn't at the house when this was being done, my aunt had to deal with him. What this guy had told her was that there could be two possible problems and that replacing the router wasn't going to fix our problem. Problem one could be a problem with her firewall and problem two could be a problem with her wireless card. So, let me get this straight, somehow the firewall would access the router, guess the username/password, and modify the settings and random intervals of time? Now, with the second problem, I tried to understand where he was coming from. The only reason this guy would think and tell my aunt that it could be the wireless card is if he didn't know shit about our problem. I'm thinking he thought the wireless card's saved settings for that access point was somehow being modified by either a faulty wireless card or faulty wireless manager. The first reason why this wouldn't happen is two different laptops were displaying the same thing at the same time (two faulty wireless cards doing the same thing at the same time?!). The second reason would be I had to go into the router and change the settings. So it could NOT have been the wireless card's problem if the settings in the router were changed. Also, as soon as I changed it back to the settings that were saved on the wireless card, the computers could connect again.

It's been about two and a half days since the router was changed and there has not been a single problem. Thank you Charter for the speedy and helpful phone support, but maybe these people who work with your hardware should understand computers before confusing poor customers who don't know what's going on.

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