Cheap home CPE troubles

Owen DeLong owen at
Mon Dec 27 13:53:29 CST 2010

On Dec 27, 2010, at 7:10 AM, Mike wrote:

> Hi,
> 	Well as is customary in our part of the country (Northern California), with the stormy weather comes brownouts and blackouts comes a massive influx of end users with locked up and malfunctioning home networking equipment. Every single time the power sneezes, massive waves of customers just 'go down' and then I get to pick the pieces all up by talking to each individual and instructing them how to pull the power and then plug it back in, or worse, their cpe needs to have it's settings restored since the internal flash memories got cleared or corrupted.

> 	We see this in the cheap home gear all the time. Makes me mad since linksys/netgear/motorola got away with the customers money and incurs ZERO support costs or any apparent liability for their product, where we in turn get to deal with upset subscribers who have been 'down for days...' while all the time the solution - powercycling - was within reach.
I think your only option potentially effective option would be to engage the great american tradition of legal reparations. (IOW, sue them for causing you harm by unleashing a product with a known defect and foreseeable harmful consequences).

> 	Is there anyone who has a script or process or policy concerning unreliable customer equipments and how to effectively deal with unsophisticated home users? I mean, users with business oriented gear (eg: cisco 26xx, 8xx, pix, and the like), and doubly especially those with working standby UPS, we never ever hear from and they have extreme uptimes, but home users aren't willing to hear $500 - $800 in gear is required to 'make it work all the time'. They interpret that to mean that there's just something wrong with us since WE 'require' such expensive and exotic equipment in order to work right, and they would be better off somewhere else.
Amusingly, I could turn this around in my situation... My gear comes from the providers in both cases. In one case, I purchased the cheap DSL modem from
the provider (which, admittedly, has been rock solid through many power outages). In the other case, I'm renting the CMTS box from Comcast which doesn't
even require a power failure to lose its mind periodically. (Apparently there is a known problem where every time Comcast does a firmware update to the
boxes, N% of them loose their minds). Arguably, at $5/month, over the life of my service I will likely pay quite a bit more for the CMTS box than I did for the DSL modem ($40). In fact, being a little more than a year since I got Comcast Business Class, I have already done so.

Indeed, the running joke is "I need fast reliable internet service, so, I get fast service from Comcast and Reliable service from Raw Bandwidth."
Unfortunately, as amusing as the quip may be, it's also an absolutely true statement about my network.


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