Monday, 9 May 2011

Played the game and won...

My wireless network has been acting up recently, ever since my previous router died and I had to switch to the cheap piece of garbage my ISP provided. I tried eveything I could think of, even mounting it on a wall so it could be as close to the center of the house as possible.  Nothing helped. Even two feet away from it our iPhones and laptops were having problems staying connected. And that's when the fun began...

I knew the first phone call to my ISP would not get me a replacement despite the long list of troubleshooting I had done and the fact that these routers were known to be junk. The agent and I went through the call scripts and I ignored all the dog-dumb suggestions he made ("I notice you're not broadcasting your SSID, you really should"). This is my business, I know how the game is played and if the roles were reversed I wouldn't want to replace equipment on the first phone call either. I looked at this call as laying the groundwork for a second, and hopefully final, call.

A couple days later I braved the long hold-time to make that call and was again stonewalled. I thought we had exhausted the call scripts and their troubleshooting for dummies approach, but that was apparently only volume one. Thankfully the call ended when the agent accidentally hung up on me. I called back, thinking 'third time lucky' and was absolutely astounded when this agent actually had a suggestion for something I hadn't tried.

You see, I figured the router would be intelligent enough to choose the best broadcast channel based on success rate of returned packets, or some similar measure of connectivity. I obviously forgot that it was a piece of junk. Instead, we set the channel manually and I gave it a few days to see if that would improve things. It did not.

Finally, on the fourth call (although the third call was techincally a continuation of the second) I was finally transferred to a tier 2 agent to set up an order for a replacement router. It was like finishing a grand quest, getting past the dragon and absconding with some of its treasure. Treasure which took 3-5 business days to arrive.

In the middle of the day I received a text message from my wife, "the router has arrived." I rushed home from work and spent the next couple hours setting up and conguring things on both the router and the 7 devices that woule be accessing it wirelessly. I even found a USB port on the router so I could connect an external hard drive!

The next day I received a text message from my wife, "the router has arrived." Wait...what? Did she somehow resend a message from the day before or did the Matrix just glitch big? "No," she said, " another router was just delivered." Well, they say you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, expecially when there's order tracking involved. My ISP may still want the extra modem back.

If not, then I guess I won twice.


  1. Maybe so, maybe no. Sometimes the left hand doesn't know what the right one is doing. We ordered 100 vacuum cleaner bags and got two shipments. We reported the mistake but no one ever asked for the extra 100 bags to be returned. It's a good thing we're dirty people, cause we've got a use for them.

  2. Sean you are a great writer.

    I have to tell you, when I first read the paragraph about setting the channel manually the first thought that came to my mind was "How quaint!" (and you will remember that reference I'm sure).

    The second thought I had was ... hey now .. with all your newfound experience (LOL) you can set up our wireless (which comes from the SAME ISP provider). :)

    What say you oh High Priest of the Reboot?!!