Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Why I Will Never Buy From Netgear Again

My first router was a Netgear router, and it worked great. It wasn't wireless, and I had to run lines back and forth around the house, but the router was fast and reliable.

My second router was a Netgear router, because the first one was so good. It was my first wireless router and it was surprisingly easy to set up. It wasn't fast, but it was reliable and had a solid range. I could 'net from anywhere in the house.

My third router is a Netgear router, because of my good experiences with the first two. It's also wireless, but faster than the second. It is, however, completely unreliable and we have to reset it daily, sometimes hourly, and I cannot download large files without it dying. Certain websites make the router die, and any fast download at all tends to kill it. The problem really defeats the purpose of buying a fast router.

I contacted Netgear support about the problem and received a mostly useless e-mail asking me to do some basic troubleshooting steps, all of which I had already tried. I responded to the e-mail and said the problem wasn't fixed and asked for more help. I never got a response. A couple of weeks passed and I tried contacting them again. They told me the issue had been resolved, and that I needed to open another issue.


I opened another issue, stating clearly in my comments that the first issue had never been resolved because the support guy had never responded to my e-mail. A completely different support guy responded to this new issue... with EXACTLY the same instructions that the first guy had sent with the lovely addition of: "This issue has been marked closed because these instructions will be suitable for fixing the problem."

Extremely angry at this point, I wrote back and said that the issue was NOT closed, and I was pretty insulted that they would close an issue without ever getting feedback from the customer. I got no response.

It's clear that the support guys are getting paid by issues closed, and since they are in charge of marking an issue closed they have no interest in actually making sure that the issue is fixed. They send a band aid when stiches are needed and claim they did the job because nobody will follow up. Who cares if the patient bleeds to death, as long as they get credit for a job done?

I attempted to reach someone above them in the Netgear hierarchy, but apparently they aren't at all interested in the average customer. I was unable to get any response from Netgear.

So that's it. I'll never buy another one of their products again. And if anyone asks me, I'll tell them to avoid Netgear like the plague, because Netgear doesn't care about its customers.

Now. I need a new wireless router. Preferably one from a company that has some sort of tech support available if I should run into an annoying problem. Hubby-Eric is leaning toward getting the Mac router, which I know works well because Eric's parents have one. I'm hemming and hawing at the price. Do any of you folks out there reading have a favorite router, or know of a brand like Netgear that I should be avoiding? Any advice is appreciated at this point.