How To Lose A Customer Forever With Just One Faulty Router

Jessica is a network engineer, so she has some idea of when a piece of networking equipment isn’t working properly. Her Netgear router isn’t working properly, so she called up their tech support. She patiently sat through all of the normal troubleshooting procedures that are used for people who can barely tell a router from a toaster. Then she learned that they weren’t going to accept the router for repair or replacement after only eight months. So she did the only sensible thing: went out and bought a router made by a different company after being loyal to Netgear for more than a decade.

Being a loyal NETGEAR customer for over 12 years and I never really had an issue with them until recently. Being an Network engineer and having my bachelors in Computer Science and a CCNP to top it off I like buying the best techy thing. I purchased NETGEAR’S WNDR4500 after hearing good things about from online articles and reading its online sats of the highest speed, range, and etc. I was using it for basic home wireless routing, but shortly after 8 months it broke. I believed it to be from a broken port that wasn’t receiving an IP address. It wasn’t anything huge it had a Lifetime Warranty so I figured I would just call about it.

I called knowing it was going to be kind of a pain in the rear listening to them talk to you like a child to fix my issue or at least get a new one sent out, but I know they have to just go off procedure and its just general protocol. After an hour on the phone and with the technical support line going step by step of (turning off the box, checking to see if it had an IP Address, etc) they refuse to give me an RMA # to send it out to get it fixed.

Even though the guy knew I was a Network engineer and even help him out a little. Instead the guy transferred me to a manager who listened and then transferred me to another tech which that tech transferred me back to the beginning of the whole entire process. It was a long process not worth my time and instead I just bought a new nonNetGEAR router, but their lack of knowledge even on their own boxes confuses me and irks me to the core.


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  1. cytoman says:

    DLink has some of the best routers right now. And firmware updates are released to keep them performing at their peak.

    • dorianh49 says:

      Yeah, but I’ve had to deal with D-Link’s customer service / tech support before, and it’s just about the worst.

    • chucklesjh says:

      I had a DLink router not that long ago that was having some WiFi issues. I called them and they told me to upgrade the firmware. Easy enough, done it before, but apparently I didn’t know about a beta firmware on their FTP site that I was to load, so I went out, grabbed the file and proceeded to load it. Mid-load, the CSR kindly tells me that since we’re going from something like version 1.1 to v2.0b, I won’t be able to downgrade back to the old version, which can be important. Update finishes, now I can’t connect to it. Hard reset, get into the config, set everything up, WiFi works great, DynDNS doesn’t work anymore, no biggie, I’ll use the Updater until they fix it.

      Everything was good for about a week until the WiFi stopped broadcasting. Did hard resets, tons of other crap, nothing and I assume the WiFi chip burned out. I called back, went through the same crap, then they said they’d need to replace it, so I spend the 8 bucks to ship it to them, finally get a replacement after 2 weeks. It comes with the same shitty beta firmware and it burns out in a week. I refuse to buy DLink ever again.

      • Captain Spock says:

        TOMATO or DDWRT ftw

        • theirishscion says:

          Seconded. I’ve been running DD-WRT (run it one whatever hardware you can find that there’s a build for, I’ve had excellent luck with Buffalo) for six or seven years and, political infighting aside, it’s just the best damn thing. Never going back.

    • scoosdad says:

      I had a Dlink DIR655 wireless router that was supposed to be one of the top of the line models when I bought it several years ago. Almost immediately it has some issues which crippled some but not all of its awesomeness that the Dlink (company) forum moderator admitted was due to a bad firmware revision that couldn’t be reversed. And Dlink had no forecast on when the firmware issues would be addressed, and I couldn’t wait so I bought a Netgear router instead. Never ever had an issue with that from day one and it’s still in use about three years later.

      Meanwhile for over a year I hung in there waiting for the Dlink firmware to be corrected and updated so I could maybe sell it and recoup some of my loss, and finally gave up and tossed it the closet. When my brother’s router failed one weekend I installed it at his house in a pinch. His networking requirements are a lot simpler than mine were so it worked out OK for him. So please don’t tout Dlink’s awesome firmware updates to me or the other owners of that particular product.

      • jefeloco says:

        Wow, I had a DIR655 that crapped out as well. Mine would reset the internet connection 2-3 times a day, usually when my wife or I would be playing an online game or streaming a movie/TV show. Our printer makes this nice loud “ping” sound when it reconnects to Wifi, which we would wait for any time the connection slowed down or stopped. I tried every trick in the book to get it to stop, for months, before finally upgrading to a Netgear router.

        I love that damn thing and it has been going strong – and un-managed in any way – for almost a year now :)

    • BobOki says:

      Dlink is bottom barrel trash electonics. Nothing they sell can even be considered mid-tier. Not name calling or anything but your statement is outright wrong. There is a reason they are $15-20 then their next competitor for a similar product. Poor? Quick and on a budget? Performance does not matter? Dlink is your man.

  2. snarkysniff says:

    Something seems to be missing from this article.. why if it supposedly had a lifetime warranty was Netgears reason for not giving an RMA?

    • Jessica Hernandez says:

      They didn’t give me RMA because they kept saying it was an hardware issue (more programing issue ext.) the router works but its actually a broken port that wasn’t receiving an IP Address. The router works as a very expensive bridge.

  3. Bladerunner says:

    What was their reason for refusing the RMA #?

    • Snoofin says:

      Probably because she hung up before they could determine that it was faulty using their crappy troubleshooting techniques.

      Hint – They dont just take your word that its bad and send you a new one
      Hint 2 – They also dont believe everyone that calls up saying they are a network engineer to skirt the over the phone troubleshooting

      • Mike says:

        Hint # 3, it shouldn’t take an hour to get an RMA for a broken piece of equipment.

      • DrLumen says:


        I don’t know of anything that will close ears faster than someone calling up for tech support and starting off with their resume’.

        It may not be right that it happens but it is true.

        What really surprises me is that this is deemed important enough for a separate article and how quick the OP was to give up.

        • elangomatt says:

          I beg to differ. Last time I called up Comcast because my internet wasn’t working. The first thing the phone tech did was start blaming my wireless router. I explained all of the troubleshooting steps I went through to eliminate my router and any other device on my network as a possible source for the problem. The second question from the phone tech was if I worked in IT since he could tell I knew what he was going to ask. I confirmed that I was an IT tech and the phone call went much easier after that since he knew that I actually knew what I was talking about.

          • fuzzby says:

            This is more dependent on the level of quality of the call center. If they’ve hired out of country monkies on typewriters reading off a script then you’re screwed from the word Hello.

          • repeater says:

            That’s actually a totally different approach. You are going about it the correct way.

            You go through the initial questions like everyone does, and they get a feeling for what you know based on the way you talk. If you are talking shop a bit, they might even pick up on it and ask if you are in the industry. Then you can skip all the bullshit and move on to shorthand troubleshooting and you both can let your guard down a bit.

            If they don’t pick up on it, and insist on following the script, well, that’s the tech you got and nothing is gonna change that.

            It’s pointless to throw it out immediately as it comes off as a red alarm to the people who know what they are doing, and it means absolutely nothing to the techs following a script.

            I remember from working at computer hardware shops back in the day that all the people who rattled off their qualifications right away were the ones who knew just enough to be dangerous. And you immediately had to steel yourself for a looooong frustrating call.

      • SBR249 says:

        Hint #4: an RMA doesn’t mean the company automatically sends out a new replacement. An RMA requires that you first return the product (which is then usually tested by the manufacturer) before a replacement (which is often a refurb anyway) is sent out. Many companies will return the original unit unrepaired if they find that the unit is actually functional or the user misrepresented the state of the product.


        • GaijenSoft says:

          “An RMA requires that you first return the product “

          Not with Logitech. If the MSRP of the product is under a certain amount (Not going to say what), it will be RMA’d without requiring a return. The only exception is if they think you are scamming, they may require the product back.

          Also, Logitech doesn’t send out refurb RMA’s. It sells them to a third party. All RMA’s are replaced with a brand new product, same as you would buy at a store.

          Source: I am a logitech rep.

          Also: If you are out of warranty, call us up and play dumb. You’ll most likely get a 50% discount code for (US/Canada only. Not sure about Europe)

          • HogwartsProfessor says:

            Really? My wireless mouse quit after a month. I totally threw the packaging away. If I call, will I get a new mouse? I can send the one back.

          • joako says:

            Yes when my piece of crap bluetooth keyboard died twice they pull the “fraud” thing on me which assured I would never buy or recommend a Logitech product again.

            I would use each keyboard and suddenly it would get stuckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk.

  4. Such an Interesting Monster says:

    Not too loyal if all it took was one bad phone experience for Jessica to jump ship.

    I’d love to know what their reasoning was for not honoring the warranty. That bit seems to be conveniently left out.

    • daemonaquila says:

      Sounds loyal to me – but loyal stops really fast when being jacked around by idiots and having your time wasted. Good companies go bad really fast sometimes.

      • carlogesualdo says:

        I agree. And when you’re already waaaaayyy past tech support in what you know about the problem, sitting through another round of humoring their tech support shenanigans turns into a completely different circle of hell.

        • BobOki says:

          “have you tried rebooting the computer sir? That usually fixes the issue. Oh, you have? Well, lets’s go ahead and do it again while I am on the phone. *click”

  5. Buckus says:

    Why wouldn’t they issue an RMA? What was their reasoning. We’re missing a crucial piece of info here…

  6. Snoofin says:

    So you just gave up after being transferred a few times? I hate to tell you but youre not going to get any better customer service from Linksys, Belkin, D-link or any of the no name brands you can buy. They ALL have crappy support due to all the cheapskates out there that wouldnt want to pay $259 for a router that comes with knowledgeable tech support. Since most people want a $50 router (I know the one you bought was $179 or so) they have to offshore tech support and pay the representative $2 an hour to read a flip chart instead of having domestic support where they pay knowledgeable people $25 an hour.

    Your best bet is to buy a business class router. They are built to last and have generally good support, but youll pay about $300 for one

    • MrEvil says:

      Real pros build the router themselves.

      For $250 I built an Atom based PC from all new components and loaded a BSD firewall distro onto it. Has way more features than a $300 router.

      • ajaxd says:

        I still have a Sun Spark 5 box running Solaris 5 that was my first router. As hard core as it was back in the day, I am more than happy with my $20 router running DDWRT (basically Linux). It has more controls than a jet airplane and functions perfectly.

    • EllenRose says:

      I buy Timex watches. If the watch fails, it’s no great pain to throw it and buy another. If I accidentally break the watch, I don’t have to try snowing the CSR. Routers fall in the same place in my world — get a relatively cheap one, replace as needed. Save your money for something that can cause real trouble if it breaks, like your RAID5 storage.

  7. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    I’ve had more than one piece of Netgear equipment that one or more ports went bad on. I got tired of having equipment with Sharpie marker X marks all over it, and quit buying Netgear stuff.

  8. Blueskylaw says:

    “they refuse to give me an RMA # to send it out to get it fixed”

    You never should have told them that you hooked up a 12 inch subwoofer
    to the router on one of your days off because you thought it would be “cool.”

  9. Straspey says:

    At a certain point in that process, you simply hang up the phone and either —

    1) Try again in the hopes of being connected to a different CSR who will handle the issue properly


    2) Give up on the normal tech support route and call their corporate office:

    Contact Us

    NETGEAR Inc.
    350 East Plumeria Drive
    San Jose, California 95134-1911
    Corporate Office Phone: (408) 907-8000
    Corporate Office Fax: (408) 907-8097

    In the hopes of speaking with a person who understands the importance of retaining a computer network specialist – with twelve years of Netgear brand loyalty – as a valued customer.

  10. consumed says:

    I am a network engineer too, and while I have a bachelor’s degree in the IT field, I don’t gloat about it to the script-peddling tech support people on the other end of the line the rare time I have to call in a support ticket. I act like a normal person who knows how to do basic troubleshooting, but I don’t act entitled or arrogant about my problem just because I have a piece of paper that says I can pass some Cisco exam. By acting like a normal person without bragging about her qualifications maybe she could have gotten a replacement router. Maybe Jessica’s problem is that she is too cocky about her qualifications.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      “I am a network engineer too, and while I have a bachelor’s degree in the IT field, I don’t gloat about it”
      – You just did

      “I act like a normal person”
      – Does this mean that at other times you are not a normal perrson?

      “I don’t act entitled or arrogant about my problem just because I have a piece of paper that says I can pass some Cisco exam”
      – You just did

      “Maybe Jessica’s problem is that she is too cocky about her qualifications.”
      – Pot meet Kettle.

      • backbroken says:

        I see the problem. You have to “act” like a normal person.

        Seriously though…the 2nd level Netgear support was probably thinking “bull-sheeeit she’s a network engineer. Network engineers don’t buy Netgear crap.”

      • Snapdragon says:

        I don’t think mentioning credentials that she legitimately earned should be considered ‘bragging’. She mentioned them for context in her letter–i.e. she kind of knows what she’s talking about. She says the technician knew she was a network engineer–maybe he asked her what she did for a living while there was a lull waiting for some procedure to complete. Techs get dinged on their call QAs if there’s too much dead air time.

        Saying she was “acting like a normal person” suggests she was NOT flaunting her credentials and saying “Do you know who I am and what I do?”

        Having said that, I too would love to know why the RMA was refused, particularly if there was a ‘lifetime guarantee’. I would have escalated.

      • consumed says:

        In the context of this site, yes, maybe I bragged about myself a little bit, but in the context of calling India tech support, I don’t let them know that I am an IT professional or have Cisco certifications. Maybe you are taking this thread a little too seriously.

        Like someone else pointed out, if she really was a network engineer she wouldn’t be buying Netgear. Also, when I do purchase Netgear stuff, I buy it at Best Buy so I can exchange it 8 months later under mfg warranty when it does die. Believe it or not, the Best Buy return policy does extend beyond the 30 day policy for a number of manufacturer warranty issues, and it rarely is a hassle if you have the original receipt and box the item came in.

    • nishioka says:

      It’s a real pain for tech folks to have to call tech support, because of the overwhelming urge to declare I ALREADY DID EVERYTHING the second the person on the other end of the line tells you to unplug the power cord and plug it back in.

      I’ve found it’s easiest to just let them work through their process, and when you and they both agree that the router isn’t working, then you get an RMA number and the problem (hopefully) gets fixed.

      Problem is, it sounds like OP actually did all this and still didn’t get any sort of resolution. So I’m a bit more inclined to pin this one on Netgear than her. Netgear isn’t supposed to just withhold resolution from people who are too “arrogant” or “cocky”.

      • Dyscord says:

        This. Though I don’t think she sounded arrogant and cocky. She mentioned that she went through the usual procedures knowing that it’s just protocol. It seems to me that they both came to the conclusion that it wasn’t working, but they wouldn’t give an RMA. Though the reason they wouldn’t do so would have been nice.

        When dealing with tech support, I usually outline what I’ve already done. Usually that’s enough to clue the person in that I actually know what I’m doing. More often than not you’ll get someone who actually knows what they’re talking about as opposed to people just reading off a script.

    • ovalseven says:

      I didn’t get the impression she acted that way. She said she allowed them to follow the standard steps of troubleshooting.

      She may have simply mentioned her profession, but she didn’t say she bragged or gloated about it. Why do you assume she did?

    • PsiCop says:

      Same here. If I want to save time on a call, I usually start off by explaining the problem, then describe what I had done so far to resolve or diagnose it. Usually this is enough to clue in the tech that I have some experience, without bragging or bludgeoning him/her with it. Sometimes I get someone who wants to go through all the paces anyway, but usually it works out.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      You made a lot of assumptions about the OP’ conversation that aren’t mentioned in the quoted text.

  11. Bugley says:

    I understand the frustration level at this point, so I don’t really blame the OP for bailing, I suppose. But if you found yourself at the beginning of the “process”, couldn’t you explain that you’ve already been through the trouble-shooting procedure and ask for that manager again?

    No, you shouldn’t HAVE to do that. But who knows, the OP might have been one or two steps away from not having to walk away from the phone call (and from Netgear).

    Details seem to be missing.

  12. LanMan04 says:

    Individual ports go bad on routers all the time.

    Do yourself a favor and get an ASUS RT-N16. Best router *evar*.

    USB ports for centralized file-serving capabilities, N wireless (although not dual-band), gigabit wired LAN ports,Tomato/DDWRT compatible, and tons of RAM/processing power.

    • Coyote says:

      If you want Dual-band get a Netgear WNDR3700 or WNDR3800

      Throw DD-WRT or OpenWRT on it and you’ll blow everytthing else out of the water. V1 of the 3700 had throughput and range like nothing else, v2 has twice the flash space, 3800 is a 3700v2 with 128MB RAM. Take your pick.

      • Bent Rooney says:

        I think the OP is done with Netgear.

      • Derigiberble says:

        I’ve had major problems with my WNDR3700 routers (yes, plural: one is for work). The radios on them seem to have major problems and have been dropping dead one after another for the last few months. As of now only the 5GHz radio on one of the routers is still working.

        That said the routing and gigabit wired portions have been absolutely perfect.

    • Captain Spock says:

      +1 for Tomato/DDWRT!

    • SegamanXero says:

      Yup, I absolutely LOVE Tomato firmware. DD-WRT is my seccond choice, that works awesomely as well.

      I currently run a network on a Linksys WRT54G v2 customized with dual extended 7 inch antennas & Tomato firmware…. Combined with Actiontec GT701D DSL Modem in a dumb modem transparent bridge mode, my network never been more stable, fast or smooth ever. (I use to have said Linksys with a Verizon provided Westell Versalink 327w, which was absolute & utter trash)

      I do have my eyes on the Asus RT-N16, eventually if something happens to my Linksys or my needs grow to great for it… Ill upgrade and get the Asus RT-N16, all the reviews I have seen say that is awesome

    • BobOki says:

      I have this exact router with tomato with the teddybear addons. The router has a HUGe proccessor and TONS of ram for a router and can easily handle well over 100meg of traffic doing QoS without slowing down. (I think it was around 40,000 connections at the time). The range itself is decent, and astetically it looks good.

      All round best router hardware for a non-business application I have ever purchased, and I do highly recommend it to others.

  13. BrownLeopard says:

    All I have to say is: “Buy Cisco”. As a network admin, OP probably doesn’t have any Netgear stuff in the racks….at all.

    Maybe HP, probably Cisco, but no Netgear.

    Just because I’m a CCNA doesn’t make me prejudiced, either!

    • Eugene says:

      I have one of the new “Cisco Linksys” and linksys has gone downhill. Linisys before cisco you plugged in, hit the web page and configured it. The new Cisco Linksys you plug in and hit the web page and it does nothing until you install some software on a windows or mac and let it talk to and configure the router which creates a goofy guest network and a bunch of other features you don’t want. Then when I did hit the web page and make one minor setting and can’t find a place to turn off the unneeded guest network i then have to go back to the software on a pc and it can’t talk to the router so I have to default it and then the software can talk to it again but erases everything i setup in the web interface.
      I understand the need for software for the small number of people who don’t know what a router is but don’t force those of us that do to have to use it.

    • BobOki says:

      Cisco as a company (I worked for them) is not the company it once was. It is now the Symantec of networking equipment living off the good name before it (Peter Norton). The new nexus line is crap, the old Pix gave way to the ASAs which were crap, support is out sourced (it’s how I lost my job) to India during the day and aussie at night, and they do not even have any of their optical line anymore.
      PLENTY of other companies VASTLY superior to them now at 1/3rd the price.

  14. Coyote says:

    “I believed it to be from a broken port that wasn’t receiving an IP address”

    Wha…? a broken port isn’t going to “not receive an IP address”. It’s going to not have a link, or show a lot of TX/RX errors… stuff a network engineer should be able to check.

    A network engineer would have also known to check SmallNetBuilder’s review for the router, which shows it’s not really the best at anything despite the claims and the price:

    • j2.718ff says:

      No, it makes perfect sense. Most likely, there was a short on the DHCP line that connects to that port.

      Ethernet cable, as I’m sure you are aware has 8 wires. Obviously, it’s not designed to send the same signal on each wire. Instead, things are divided up. As I recall, the first wire is for DHCP, the second is for UDP, the third is for HTTP, the fourth is for youtube, etc. Oh, and they recently added a 9th wire for IPv6.

      • MrEvil says:

        Obvious troll is obvious.

      • Rena says:

        I once miswired a cable mixing up the Youtube and DHCP lines. All my machines ended up having cat videos as IP addresses.

        • j2.718ff says:

          This problem illustrates why we no longer use token ring. The cats would find the token and chase it, and it’d eventually get lost under the refrigerator.

  15. JimmyKumbaya says:

    Shame that Jessica missed out on all those English Grammar lessons on her way to her bachelor’s degree … Yet Another Arrogant OP article on a slow Consumerist day.

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      You realize that as a network engineer, there’s a decent chance English is not “Jessica’s” first language, yeah?

      And even if it is her first language, it’s not her primary concern.

      And…what are you even referring to? I didn’t look too hard, but I only saw two real issues (the first sentence of paragraphs one and three.)

  16. Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

    Wow, Fubish, do you work for Fox News or something? You sure have a lot of out-of-context quotes there to go with your faux snark.

    Out-of-context quote and snark: “I am a network engineer too, and while I have a bachelor’s degree in the IT field, I don’t gloat about it”
    – You just did

    The accurate quote: “I am a network engineer too, and while I have a bachelor’s degree in the IT field, I don’t gloat about it to the script-peddling tech support people on the other end of the line the rare time I have to call in a support ticket.”
    Making a statement plainly as a frame of reference not only isn’t gloating, but is relevant to the discussion.

    Out-of-context quote and snark: “I act like a normal person”
    – Does this mean that at other times you are not a normal perrson?
    More out-of-context quote and snark:
    “”I don’t act entitled or arrogant about my problem just because I have a piece of paper that says I can pass some Cisco exam”
    – You just did

    The accurate quote in full context: ” I act like a normal person who knows how to do basic troubleshooting, but I don’t act entitled or arrogant about my problem just because I have a piece of paper that says I can pass some Cisco exam.”
    While the first part may have just been an attempt to be humorous, it falls flat considering the rest of your comment. Again, making a statement that being educated in the particular field that is pertinent to the discussion is neither entitlement nor arrogance. It is simply a matter of fact.

    More snark: “”Maybe Jessica’s problem is that she is too cocky about her qualifications.”
    – Pot meet Kettle.

    Though I agree with other commenters that I didn’t get the impression Jessica was too cocky, this is a legitimate thought, though it could be considered cynical. Quite a few highly-qualified IT techs are cocky and treat low-level support like crap.

    In review, your goal with this line of comments seems to just have been showing yourself to be a jackass, or at the very least, a filthy troll. There was no gloating, no entitlement, no cocky statements about their own qualifications and no claims of being better than anyone else. Just a straight-forward note that they share the same line of work and education as the OP and how they behave toward customer support.

    Be gone with you.

  17. Jawaka says:

    So to teach Netgear a lesson she purchased a not as good router from a not as good competitor. Who is she trying to punish here, Netgear or herself?

  18. gqcarrick says:

    So weird. I’ve never had a Netgear problem since switching from Linkysys. That’s pretty piss poor on their part though for not offering to replace it.

  19. majortom1981 says:

    Obviously she is not a network engineer. As a network engineer i know enough not to buy netgear products as they are of poor quality.

    The only way to truly have a good router that does not break often is to build one from a not used machine using pfsense or untangle or something similiar.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      I have Netgear switches. The seem to do those right. But that was their startup product. Routers are more complex, especially wireless, and so many things can go wrong. They really should put diagnostic code in the router.

      Lame procedures for tech support have been around for ages. Way way back in the dialup days, I called tech support because their dialup phone numbers didn’t answer (I could hear it just ring). They wanted me to reboot my computer. Should I lie and say I did when I sure as hell was not going to do that. Instead I just said “transfer me to someone that knows what a phone line is”. She did.

  20. anime_runs_my_life says:

    This is not new with Netgear. Their “lifetime warranty” is a joke. I stopped using their products after being told that they wouldn’t honor the warranty either. I have a DLink router that I bought about 10 years ago and is still running perfectly.

  21. ajaxd says:

    Suppose they do give an RMA. Then what are you going to do? Wait a few weeks for a replacement without a functional internet connection or just go and buy a new one?

  22. Razor512 says:

    The WNDR 4500 is actually a good router when you mod it with external antennas.

    Simply disconnect each internal antenna, then drill a couple of holes for the antennas, install a few u.fl to rp-sma adapters and then screw on some 5dbi antennas

    You will see a nice bump in SNR and maintain higher speeds at further distances. (if you can afford a router that expensive then you can afford 12 dollars worth of parts to add external antennas)

    Also understand that most CSR’s are hired based on how useless they can be and not based on how helpful they can be. They are designed to minimize cost as much as possible by putting a number of road blocks in your way to an RMA.

    if you call a support number and you get a bad CSR (you will know within the first 10 minutes), then hang up (don’t worry they wont try to call you back), simply hang up and call back and get a different CSR.

    (also OP are you sure you are a network engineer? Your answer in relation to the issue sounds like what a novice would say. Also did you attempt to track the actual issue down, or check a forum where someone has tracked down the exact issue?

    Usually if you can provide a detailed and accurate technical explanation of an issue, while being nice, a CSR will be more likely to help you

  23. evilpete says:

    There have been times where I have had “sorta broken” gear they would not replace ( rebooting hourly etc )

    My solution has been to subject it to a 10,000 volt tazer, there are no physical marks and the device is now dead

  24. ElDiablo says:

    “I like buying the best techy thing” and yet she bought a Netgear product. Probably owns lots of Apple merchandise.

  25. scoosdad says:

    I have a favorite Dilbert strip. Dilbert is having problems with his internet connection at home and is on the phone with his ISP’s tech support. He’s lying on his couch talking on the phone to them, obviously not following their instructions and nowhere near his PC:

    “Yes, I’m now reinstalling my operating system from scratch. What do you want me to do next?”

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:


    • Corinthos says:

      Exactly what I did when microsoft told me to format my 360 hard drive so that the arcade game Risk would work. I was thinking no way I’d lose most my saves for them.

    • Rena says:

      As a Linux user, I have to do this any time I need to call my ISP to complain about a problem that doesn’t seem to be on my end and they tell me to go into my start menu.

      The best part is when I can actually tell them what the problem is. But of course so many people *think* they know the problem, a lot of them will just ignore you…

  26. ferozadh says:

    I have a refurb Netgear running on Tomato and it’s pretty much plug-and-play (filled my 90’s buzzword quota for the day). No issues at all for about a year now…much better than my old D-Link. Not acquiring an IP sounds like a MAC address issue with the modem where it’s locked onto the old router’s MAC. But then what do I know? I’m just a regular electrical engineer not a fancy network engineer. ;)

  27. working class Zer0 says:

    Bought a $25.00 Belkin wireless router 18 months ago. Didn’t know the first thing about routers. Had a problem connecting to my two laptops. I called their tech support (definitely off shore), they very patiently and professionally walked me through it. A day or two later I had problems so I called back and again with the same great service walked me through adjusting security settings. Then called back again a few days latter after having more problems with settings they again patiently and professionally walked me through adjusting settings. It has worked trouble free since then.
    I was greatly impressed with the tech service I got on a $25.00 item and will definitely purchase a Belkin for my next router.

  28. Corinthos says:

    They also charge 17 dollar shipping for warranties. I will not do business with netgear anymore either. I had a WNR3500L and it would stop broadcasting the SSID adn the wifi light would go off and stop working until I rebooted. I’d be lucky if it lasted 20 minutes. I did several resets to the device was on the phone hours with their tech support. The thing would go off even if I didn’t have anything connected to it. I spent probably 4 hours over 5 calls to their tech support and decided it wasn’t worth arguing with them. One finally told me that they could try to warranty it but nothing was determined wrong then I’d be charged plus told me the shipping cost. I flashed it with tomato firmware after I knew I wasn’t going to pay the stiff price for their warranty and it still didn’t fix it. I only spend 80 on it so decided to just eat it and put the 17 I would spend on warranty with their crappy company towards a different brand.
    I actually work in a position that supplies and helps with router settings for our equipment to work. If a client ask for a router suggestion if theirs is outdated then I tell them to avoid netgear. Inform them that my experience with them has been horrible and their support is shotty. I’m sure by my word of mouth I’ve cost them a few more customers.

  29. BeastMD1 says:

    Netgear tries its best not to honor warranties. Its just that simple. I had 4 powerline network adapters that came in 2 kits. After about a month or so 1 stopped working. I knew which one it was because the others were working fine and talking on the network. So I called them to get a new one. Its a rather simple device, you plug it into the wall and then you plug in an ethernet cable and boom, done. But I sat on the phone did the troubleshooting, and when it got time to for them to tell me to send it in, they wanted 2(you see they came in a 2 pack) back. This was completely ridiculous and while my home network could live without 1 of them it could not work missing 2. They would not budge because they insisted they were a set, although thats not how these worked. You could by 10 single packs and they would all work together with no configuration what so ever. I tried explaining that and they simply wouldnt budge.

    So now I buy other brands. Its as simple as that. Bye bye, netgear.

  30. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Oh my. I read the comments. I realize I am so far out of the technospeak loop, I’d be thankful for someone to talk to me like a child. I have no idea what “tomato” is, except that it’s a red thing I put on salads. I have a vague idea about “firmware”.

    Oh, and I have a Netgear router. Comcast provided it with my home internet service, and by some miracle, I installed it, it works with my Roku box and my work laptop, my new cordless phone doesn’t interfere with it, and I’ve managed to set the security settings so unlike my neighbors, it’s not open for the world to use.

    Reading comments and articles like this feel so intimidating because I know at some point I’ll have to change my modem, router, or something, and I worry I’ll be hopelessly lost!

  31. Extended-Warranty says:

    As soon as I read “network engineer’, I knew I couldn’t side with the OP. In my experience, anyone who claims to be in networking/IT generally is an idiot. Having worked customer service before, you’d be amazed.

    I find it hard to believe that an RMA was refused on a defective product. There is more to the story. Just admit it honey, you don’t know what you claim to know.

  32. Wiggs says:

    I can’t be the only one wondering how she managed to go 12 years without having a single problem with Netgear products. In the same amount of time, I’ve had nothing BUT problems with every single piece of Netgear equipment I’ve ever purchased or seen a customer purchase (back when I was in retail). Routers, switches, expander points, what-have-you, all being returned broken or generally non-functional.

    I wised up early and started buying Linksys. Many fewer problems, even after the Cisco merger. Yeah, sometimes it goes bad and you buy a new one, but that’s the way we build things these days. Disposable.

  33. axiomatic says:

    I had this same experience with Buffalo Networks.

    I have since bought a small Shuttle XG-41 pc (max 64W draw) and got the free version of VMWare ESX 5 and some cool router software (pfSense cased on Linux FreeBSD) and could not be happier.

    Finally a router I can rely on and configure appropriately. Not only that but there is room on the PC to load more VM’s like FreeNAS and others that just make things so much easier.

  34. baristabrawl says:

    I had a Netgear wireless router back in the olden days, but I stopped liking it. Now I’m pretty brand loyal to Belkin.

  35. soj4life says:

    This is why you ask to tall to someone in the states and then ask for a supervisor. Netgear routers are not bulletproof, I would not spend almost $200 on a n router from them.