TWC Tells Customer To Shove ‘A Pack Of Matches’ Under Broken Router

Short version: Mark got high-speed wireless with Time Warner Cable. They gave him a dirty, fidgety router that if you touch the power supply, it resets. When he got a tech to come back, the tech told him to shove a pack of matches and a bottle cap under the router to keep it from moving.

By way of explanation the tech offered, “This is the nature of the beast,” and left.

Long version: inside.

Mark writes:

I recently (Friday, August 18, 2006) had Time Warner Cable install high-speed, wireless internet service in my apartment. After almost one and one half hours of installation, including the technician having to re-run the exterior cabling for the job TWICE, i was left with an old, busted up cable modem/router and poor connectivity, at best.

Now, I had just finished writing a check to the tune of $160 dollars for this service when I got a good look at the hardware they left with me and discovered a used, malfunctioning router. You can see in the pics that their are black smudges and fingerprints on the top and bottom of the router. Also, i found that if you touch the powersupply entering the router, the device will reset itself.

While I was not happy with this hardware, it was functioning properly, for the time being. I got almost three hours of internet service before i started experiencing long periods of no connectivity. I was very unhappy at this point. So the first thing I do, like any other consumer, is to contact my customer service representative at Time Warner Cable. While I cant complain of my experiences with the support team, I also cannot praise them. I got no apologies or explanations for the faulty product and poor service i received. I did, however get an appointment for a service technician to visit my apartment the following Monday, August 21.

That day came, and the man arrived, only to find, at my amazement, that I was getting a good signal good connectivity. I then brought this gentleman to the hardware and showed him the problem with the powersupply. Unbelievably, this supposedly trained technician advised me to put a pack of matches and a bottlecap underneath the powersupply to keep it from moving, leaving me speechless. He then explained that “this is the nature of the beast” (wtf does that mean?) and promptly left my place.

Now, I wont pretend to be very well versed in modern computer technology, but I know a faulty product when i see it. I paid alot of money to have this hardware and service installed, and the product is poor. Unfortunately for me, Time Warner Cable holds a monopoly on high-speed internet service in my area. They are the only providers of broadband service, so currently, I am stuck with their services. I have made three phone since the “matches” incident, and have another service appointment scheduled for Thursday, August 24 to remove the mentioned router and replace it with an “updated” piece. I will continue to subscribe to Time Warner Cable as long as they are without competition in my area.


Edit Your Comment

  1. homerjay says:

    Ya know, I had a Logitech Harmony universal remote that you put on a base station to charge. Quite often it would lock up when put on the charging station. When I called support I was told that the charging contacts were shorting and the remote needed to stand off a tiny bit from the base so it made a lighter contact.

    Their remedy- to tape a couple squares of folded paper to the base and force the remote to sit a little higher off the base.

    Must be the nature of the beast.

  2. I actually got a dustbuster with the same problem, homerjay, and it came with a piece of cardboard cut to size in the box and printed instructions on how to tape it on so the dustbuster would charge!!!

    On the one hand I appreciate them doing the work for me; on the other hand, couldn’t they have just fixed the problem and dumped the bad ones at Big Lots or something?

  3. Paul D says:

    I have that same problem with my Harmony remote, homerjay. Every other
    time I put it on the charger, it freaks out and resets itself. I don’t
    lose any settings, thankfully. But the clock resets and the screen goes
    all weird.

    Poor design, clearly.

    I’ll try your tape-n-bubblegum solution.

  4. He says:

    It is basically never a good idea to get anything more than you have to from the cable company. They overcharge for those routers and cable modems (and cable boxes). If you can return it, do so. Before you do that though, watch spoofee for a while or just search around for a good deal on some name brand alternative (apparently not netgear for you).

  5. Jon Simantov says:

    In response to the people above who commented on their Harmony remotes:

    I had a similar problem with mine. I contacted Logitech and they said that they had since redesigned the charging station to fix that problem, and sent me a new charging station absolutely free. No further problems after that.

  6. masd says:

    I believe your problem is a broken solder joint at the AC connection. Try to see if you can just buy a replacement modem of higher quality. It’ll probably be cheaper. However, they might be able to tell you’re using an “unsupported” modem (modems they don’t sell for large markups may be “unsupported”), so if you wander over to Best Buy to get a new one, you might want to double check return policies.

  7. LLH says:

    i have the same crappy netgear piece of puppy poo as well but mine is new out of the box. my (soon to be ex) husband, a tech, installed it. it’s connected via my airport and as i sit about 6ft from it i still only get two bars of signal strength. so i’d say age doesn’t play into it. they’re just shit. oh did i mention it also drops the connection 3-4 times an hour? it’s doing my head in waiting for my airport basestation to make it’s way back to me.