The cable company says it’s my router.

 In damage control

Our techs are trained to work with phone and Internet providers. One of the first things we drill into our new techs is that most customer issues are caused by the carrier or their underlying equipment/provider, and it is rarely the customer’s equipment. Yet, on almost every tech support call with our customers’ phone or Internet provider, the problem is blamed on our customer’s phone system, PRI T-1 card or customer-owned modem/router. It is a daily situation we deal with to educate customers on this and have our technicians persist in getting the provider to fix the problem quickly.

Case Study?
Want a case study in dealing with cable companies? I went through it myself recently. At one of our locations, the Internet/TV was almost completely down. The cable modem showed it was connected, but we couldn’t get access via any devices. The TV would partially work on some channels, and we noticed the signal got better when we disconnected the WiFi router, which indicated a weak signal. I contacted the cable company almost 10 times over the next 12 hours, and was eventually told that the problem was definitely with my router because they saw a good signal to my cable modem with technical problems. I insisted that they dispatch a tech which they eventually did.

Please note, the picture included with this article is the actual picture of what the excellent cable tech found when he came out – the cable was almost completely chewed in half by a rat (surprisingly, it still passed enough of a signal to give some TV service, and make the cable modem think it was connected).

How did customer service get this bad?
I get this question a lot. How did we get to the point that many phone and Internet providers have horrible customer service? The answer we don’t want to hear is that we have done it to ourselves, both as consumers, and as an industry.

As consumers, we continually drive our phone/Internet providers to reduce costs every year and if they don’t, we leave them for another company that offers lower prices. And then we put up with the poor service they offer because they reduced staff or do not hire enough highly-trained people to service their customers.

As an industry, phone and Internet providers are constantly trying to gain market share by dropping prices because they cannot seem to sell customers on the value of their service. Many companies exist solely by borrowing money or by going public to sell services below-cost in order to gain market-share and eventually sell-out. This has led to several mergers and acquisitions/mergers in these industries. The end result – these companies must reduce costs and staff (never sales staff!) which leads to even worse customer service.

Bottom Line
The bottom line – it’s rarely your router. Or your phone system. Insist, or have your vendor insist, that your provider dispatch a tech or at least get somebody knowledgeable on the phone that can get you back up and running. If you are with a good phone/Internet provider – don’t leave! Try to work out a better plan that meets your budget when it is time to renew. If you need help – contact ComRes – we can help!

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