A while ago, Ling left a comment about Sympatico’s Tech Support. Ling hinted that Sympatico may have outsourced their Tech Support to India. When I made my last call to Tech Support, I thought about it being outsourced but thought maybe it was just coincident that both of the people that I spoke with were Indian. But then I call them again and sure enough, someone with an Indian accent answered my call.
I was hoping to get in touch with someone with a English accent so I wouldn’t have a hard time relaying my problem. But instead, I get this person whom wasn’t too knowledge about computers. It sounded like he was reading off some sort of script and following the instruction off of that. Judging by the tone of his voice, he didn’t know much about what I was saying either. I tried to help him out when I could but he didn’t take me on my offer.
My internet connection was frequently dropping again. When I attempted to reconnect, it wouldn’t let me. The only way I could reconnect was to power off the DSL modem and them power it back on. I thought I’d take the suggestion from the previous Tech Support and see if it was my router’s fault. I used my brother’s computer and connected the network card directly to the DSL modem. I tried connecting but it didn’t want to connect. If I power it down, I’m sure it would connect but before doing that, I gave Sympatico India a call to see if they can detect anything wrong with my DSL modem since they were dead wrong about my router. I reconnected the router to the DSL modem and gave them a call.
The Tech Support that I spoke with had a very strong Indian accent. It was so strong that I didn’t even get his name. He sounded like a nice guy and all but just not knowledgeable with the product that he was support. He repeatedly thanked me every time he placed me on hold which was like five times as he “performs diagnostic procedures on my connection.” Every time he placed me on hold, he would tell me that he was performing some sort of test.
I told him my problem with frequent disconnection and I mentioned my networking configuration. All of the computers are connecting to the internet via a router and the router is connected to the DSL modem. He requested that I get the DSL modem model so I gave it to him. Then he wanted to open up Internet Explorer, click on the address bar and type in “192.168.2.1” I know that this will take me to my router’s administration section but I’m not sure if he did because he was asking all sorts of questions.
Tech: On the right hand side, do you see if the connection is up or down?
Me: What do you mean? If I’m connected to the internet?
Tech: Yes, do you see if the connection is up or down.
Me: Well, right now, I’m not connected to the internet.
Tech: So is it up or down?
Me: Ummm, down.
Tech: Okay, on the left hand side, you will see Status. Click on that and then click ‘connect.’
Me: Yes, I’m already there and that is what I’ve been doing but I cannot connect. In order for me to connect, I will have to power down the DSL modem and then power it back up.
Tech: Yes, can you do that?
Me:Of course, but the problem is, I can’t keep doing that every time my connection fails because I’m not always at home.
Tech: Okay, try going to that page again from Internet Explorer.
Me: This address, where exactly should it take me to?
Tech: It should take you to the modem.
Me: You do realize that I have a router connected to the modem right? 192.168.2.1 will take me to my router’s administration section.
Tech: Okay, can you disconnect the router and connect straight to the modem?
Me: Yeah, sure.
(took a few seconds to disconnect the cables and plug it into the DSL modem)
Tech: Okay, now try to go again to 192.168.2.1
Me: You do realized that 192.168.2.1 is a private address for routers right?
Tech: Would you mind if I put you on hold for two minutes sir?
Me: Yeah, knock yourself out.
I got bored every time he asked to put me on hold so I thought of different ways to say yes. After being on hold for a couple of minutes, he came back on and thanked me for being so patient. After he was finished with his diagnostic testings he wanted to check my connection setup. He asked me to open up my Network Connection window and asked me to describe the window. I told him that I saw the connection wizard and my network card. He asked if I had an icon for Sympatico. I told him no. Then he proceeded to walk me through the process to create one. I managed to create the account myself without his help but he kept asking what I saw on the screen so I had to go back to tell him. By the time I finished tell him everything, I ended up with the same connection that I had started with. He asked me to double click and attempt to connect to the internet. By this time, I had already power down the DSL modem so for sure it will connect, which it did. After I told him that I was now online, he wanted to end the call.
Tech: So Mr. Don, you are now connected. Have I solved all your problems for today?
Me: Uhhh, yes and no sort of. The problem is with frequent disconnects. I can connect now but I need my router so the others can connect.
Tech: So the problem is your router.
Me: No, I don’t think so. The last Tech Support said that too but this is a recent issue. I’ve been with Sympatico for a long time and I’ve never had this problem until maybe a month ago.
Tech: It appears that this modem is not compatible with your router.
Me: I don’t think it has anything to do with compatibility. If it did, I would have had this issue from Day 1.
Tech: I’m looking here and it is saying that the modem that you have is not compatible with your router.
Me: Well, can I get that replaced? Maybe swap it with another one?
Tech: Of course. I can send you a modem and router but I will have to charge you a one time fee of $79.99.
Me: Wait, is it not possible to just swap my modem with another one because I have a router so I don’t need another one.
Tech: No, this one is no charge. So would you like to do that?
Me: Well, if there’s no charge for the swap, sure let’s do that then.
Although I didn’t quite get my initial problem resolved, I did manage to get a new modem out of it. I guess that was worth the forty five minutes that I spent on the phone with someone who had no understanding of networking. I just hope there’s no miscommunication between him and the billing department. I don’t want to have to see that modem charge of $79.99 on my next invoice.