It’s my router’s fault

Lately, I’ve been getting disconnected from the internet very frequently. On average, I rarely get disconnected unless there’s inactivity on the line. Now, it seems like my connections are dropping at random. According to Sympatico’s Second Level Senior Staff Member (or whatever his title was) the cause of the connection drops is my router. I highly doubt that.

After being disconnected for the umpteenth time, I decided to give Sympatico’s Technical Support a call and inquire about connection issues. Having experienced calls with them before, I didn’t have high hopes regarding finding an answer for the connection issues. This time, I spoke with two different people. A lady who seemed fine and somewhat knowledgeable and a guy who didn’t quite seem like he knew what he was talking about. The obstacle during the call was trying to understand what they were saying because they both had an Indian accent. I guess Sympatico outsourced their Tech Support to a third party.

The first person I spoke with was the lady. I didn’t quite hear her name because her accent was a little strong. I informed her of my problem with frequent disconnection and my inability to reconnect to the internet without having to restart the DSL modem. I also informed her of my network configuration. I don’t think she understood me completely.

She requested that I power down the DSL modem and the router. That doesn’t really solve anything but Tech Support likes to make that request very often. It seems like it’s the first thing they ask you to do when you call in. Sometimes that fixes the problem so I guess it doesn’t hurt to try.

In my case, that does fix the problem. Restarting the modem will allow me to reconnect to the internet but I shouldn’t have to do that every time my connection drops. Nonetheless, I did as she requested and told her when it came back online.

She asked me if I’m able to connect to a website, which I could. As I informed her earlier, disconnecting the DSL modem was the only way to get back online. For some reason, she seems to steer away from the fact that it “might” be the DSL modem that is causing the disconnection.

Tech: Have you tried connecting to the internet without the router?
Me: No, I’ve never had time to connect that way because I’m sharing the connection with the other computers in the house.
Tech: You might want to try that and see if that will solve the problem.
Me: Oh, I didn’t know that. Maybe I’ll try that one day. I just don’t have time right now. But I’m not sure if it’s my router since the only way I can reconnect again is to restart the DSL modem.
Tech: Okay. Seeing that I can’t detect the issue from my end, I will ask a Senior Technician to speak with you.
Me: Okay, that’ll be great.
Tech: I am going to put you on hold. If it takes too long, someone will call you back within 24hrs.
Me: So I might get disconnected?
Tech: Yes.
Me: Uhhh, I’ll hold then.
(placed on hold with some crappy music)
Tech: Hello, Mr. Khuth. Thanks for holding. I have a senior technician who will speak with you and assist you further.
Me: That’s great!
Tech: If you don’t mind hold, I will get him on the line.
Me: Sure, no problem.
Tech: Thank you and have a great evening.
Me: Likewise…

After running troubleshooting procedures and some tests from her end, she was unable to detect any issues. I guess she didn’t have a choice but to escalate my issue to a senior technician. He was very prompt to blame my router.

Tech: Hello, Mr. Don. My name is Ravish. I understand you have a frequent disconnection issue.
Me: That’s correct.
Tech: From what my colleague has informed me, it appears that the issue is with your router.
Me: Are you sure? Because my router is fine. It’s the modem that…
Tech: You are connected now, yes?
Me: Yup.
Tech: Can you surf to a veeshee?
Me: Pardon me, what?
Tech: Can you surf to a vebsite!?
Me: Yes.
Tech: Can you send veeshy?
Me: I’m sorry, can I send what?
Tech: Can you send veweemal!?
Me: Uhhh, sure.
Tech: From the tests on our end, there is no problem with your connection. When you were speaking with Armerita, that was for five minutes and then she put you on hold for five minutes. So you have been connected for ten minutes.
Me: Yes, I know how to do that math but being connected while I’m on hold doesn’t really say much. That’s only ten minutes while I’m getting frequent disconnection throughout the day.
Tech: Yes, but seeing here from our end, the DSL light on your modem, is it blinking?
Me: No, it’s solid green.
Tech: That means that there is no interruption with the connection that we’re sending you. So the problem is on your end, with your router.
Me: I’ve never had this problem before. Every time I get disconnected, I would have to log into my router’s admin section and attempt a manual reconnect. Every time I try to reconnect, nothing happens. The only way to reconnect is to restart the modem.
Tech: Yes, but at the moment, you are connected without the router and as you can see, you have been connected for ten minutes.
Me: Uhhh, okay then.

I have no idea where he got the idea that I’m connected to the DSL modem directly. I’ve been connected to the router wirelessly this whole time. Obviously, there was a miscommunication with him and his colleague. I was on the phone with them for 29 minutes and 11 seconds and nothing was solved.

The whole time, I was hinting on the fact that the DSL modem might be the potential problem since it disconnects me and every other computer from the internet. The router has an idling timeout turned off so it won’t disconnect me. And when I do get disconnected, the modem won’t connect when I tell it to. The only way to reconnect is to restart the modem. I’ve stressed that fact a few times but they don’t want to hear it. What they’re saying is, if there’s a problem with my connection, it’s something on my side.

It’s an inconvenient to have to restart the modem every time I get disconnected. It’s something that happens randomly and it’s during the day. During the night time, I rarely get disconnected at all. To say that the issue is with my router doesn’t make any sense to me. I guess the whole time I was speaking with them, they couldn’t pick up on the fact that I’m not computer illiterate. I mentioned “buzz” words when I spoke with them but the only thing they could focus on was my router.

Tech Support

I don’t like it when I have to call into Tech Support because majority of the time, the person I’m speaking with doesn’t know exactly what they’re talking about. I know that they have a computer in front of them that helps them troubleshoot the issue. I can hear it in their voice that they’re reading something.

8 replies on “It’s my router’s fault”

  1. I do Tech Support for Apple computers, and every time I take a call the person on the other end says “Oh thank god your not someone from india”. Apparantly many big companies are outsourcing now. I deal with alot of router/modem/wireless conenctions at work, and I am about 95% confident the problem is NOT with the router, but with the modem.

    Hope you get it figurd out soon!

  2. Hey Paolo! It’s been a while…

    Next time I call, I’m gonna ask if they’re from India… hahaha!
    A 95% confidence interval that the router ISN’T the problem is good enough with me…

  3. not all of them… I’m quite good at that job…

    and unless you can get me a new DSL modem, I don’t think you can solve the problem…

  4. Welcome to the nation of Sympatico tech support sufferers.

    After all that, a Bell technician finally visited and fixed something on the phone pole outside my house. Suddenly I had service again, which is basically very good, except daily during the hours of around 5pm to midnight (when I often have pressing needs to get good service, of course!). During those times, for downstream it would be faster to send me emails by Canada Post, and visit my place to draw me a picture of whatever website I’m trying to view. (Upstream seems unaffected or far less affected.) Suggestions are it’s still an outside line quality issue, but once again I’m back at level 1 Sympatico India tech support, jumping through the usual hurdles over a couple of days just so they’ll escalate to level 2.

    It seems like level 1 support has been outsourced to India since beginning of December at least. Level 2 seems to be local. A wise person told me to always get a “trouble ticket #” for support calls. That way you’ll be able to refer to it in future if your problem is related, and hopefully you’ll get escalated quicker.

    I would *love* to switch to another ISP, but I want to keep using DSL if possible, not cable. Since Bell runs the phonelines no matter who you are getting phone or DSL service from, how far do you think I would get calling in to Bell to report outside trouble affecting my internet service provided by a different company? Bell phone tech support agent: “Is there any problem with the voice quality on your phone line?” Me: “No.” Bell: “And you’re using DSL, but are not a Sympatico customer?” Me: “Yes.” Bell: “Well, good luck with that. [click… dial tone]” If I can sort out this last (hopefully) problem, I’ll jump ship to someone else. I’ve had it with Bell.

    My suggestion to you is to actually try connecting without the router. One PC, the DSL modem and that’s it. Make sure the DSL modem is connected to the phone jack by a cable under 6 feet in length. You know these things are 90% likely not to make a difference. But this way you can anticipate the tech support questions about these things by saying: “I’ve already tried it. No difference.” I disconnected all of my inside wiring, and took my wireless router out of the equation, and made sure my DSL modem is connected to the jack by a wire less than 6 feet. I did all this to convince the buggers that the problem *had* to be outside.

    Oh, you might also check out the Sympatico support forums at (IF you can stay connected long enough that is…). It’s mostly users helping other users, with occasional input by a few knowledgeable support staff who monitor the forums. At least you’ll be able to see if anyone else has the same problems as you, and what they tried. I’ve found a bunch of people with the same night-time only connection problems.

  5. Hahaha! It sounds like you’ve gone though enough Sympatico calls as I have. I don’t understand why they keep asking the same questions… basic questions too… I think I’ll call them up tomorrow and set if they can ‘assist’ me with my issues. Although, I’m not sure if they work tomorrow. It’s either them or some other company that doesn’t work outside of business hours. I find that a little strange. Sympatico India Tech Support, here I come! hahaha!

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