Cheap home CPE troubles

todd glassey tglassey at
Mon Dec 27 14:52:53 CST 2010

On 12/27/2010 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.
>     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.
>     Any comments?
> Mike-
Yes - you need to have a basic troubleshooting guide for the victims of 
the manufacturers bad documentation.  The most important thing is to 
tell the client how to reboot whatever device is providing their DHCP 
leases so that they can restore their service.

The other thing which is of value we find is to close that sheet out 
with a request that the customers contact the manufacturer directly to 
tell them what they think of their product and you give them the proper 
email/web links to make that happen.

Trust me if at Netgear Patrick Lo gets 500 emails from upset customers 
they will change that process immediately.


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