dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
2105
share rss forum feed


pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Be Realistic

quote:
The reason is usually twofold: it provides the ISP with more consistency making troubleshooting easier, but it also allows them to charge an additional modem rental fee.
Regarding your first point, I disagree. How big of an issue is it really with the thousands of different makes of standardized DSL or Cable modems out there already?

This is a rate hike, nothing more.
--
Romney 2012 - Put an adult in charge.


battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

It is a pain in the ass to support the customers equipment. The problem is that the customer pretty much never will accept the idea that their problem is with their equipment. Even worse is that the more advanced the equipment ( Think Tomato, PFSense, etc.) the more difficult it is to get them to understand the problem is with their $200 setup and not the $100k+ router on our side.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.



RR Conductor
NWP RR Inc.,serving NW CA
Premium
join:2002-04-02
Redwood Valley, CA
kudos:1
reply to pnh102

I am glad Comcast isn't doing this, in fact they seem pretty willing to help customers with their own equipment.



newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast

2 recommendations

reply to battleop

said by battleop:

It is a pain in the ass to support the customers equipment.

If it's such a pain in the ass to support customer equipment, then supply the required modem free of charge instead of turning it into a revenue stream, "just because you can".


treichhart

join:2006-12-12
reply to RR Conductor

I hope you know Xfinity is Comcast so comcast is doing this fee so you probably want to edit your comment on that one.


BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to pnh102

I see it a bit different , it seems like most companies are using it not as a rate hike but a way to pay for upgrades to the network, without it coming out of the "profit" coffer. Either way it's creative accounting at best. And this is what we get for allowing all our brains to go into accounting and money management instead of the sciences like we used to.

We did it to ourselves people.
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"



battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
reply to newview

I guess you missed where I didn't comment on the rental fee.... My comment is strictly related to customers expecting you to support 20323423 different combinations of equipment.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.



pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD
reply to battleop

said by battleop:

It is a pain in the ass to support the customers equipment. The problem is that the customer pretty much never will accept the idea that their problem is with their equipment. Even worse is that the more advanced the equipment ( Think Tomato, PFSense, etc.) the more difficult it is to get them to understand the problem is with their $200 setup and not the $100k+ router on our side.

Sorry I am not buying it. Besides, if the company owns the modem and people must pay to rent it, what do you think this is going to cause from a support perspective? Cue the "it's your modem, you get out here and fix it NOW" calls going up by an order of magnitude.

This is no different than the bad old days of Ma Bell requiring you to rent your phones from them.

Why not just call it what it is, a rate hike, and be done with it?
--
Romney 2012 - Put an adult in charge.


newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast
reply to battleop

said by battleop:

I guess you missed where I didn't comment on the rental fee.... My comment is strictly related to customers expecting you to support 20323423 different combinations of equipment.

Then allow customers to BUY modems from the cable company ... and do NOT charge ridiculous 1000% markups. A required modem from the company is nothing but a damn additional FEE, no matter how you slice it.


buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium
Reviews:
·AT&T DSL Service
reply to treichhart

Actually with Comcast you do have a choice At lest in Florida, you can still Buy your own modem ( must be approved by them ) and skip the fee for Xfinity internet, however for Comcast digital voice service you are FORCED to rent there VOIP equipment and pay the $7 monthly fee, so they get you one way or the other .


topgun

join:2011-01-31
Reviews:
·PHONE POWER
reply to newview

said by newview:

said by battleop:

It is a pain in the ass to support the customers equipment.

If it's such a pain in the ass to support customer equipment, then supply the required modem free of charge instead of turning it into a revenue stream, "just because you can".

OMG! You FN Brilliant bro That is what I did at the local Charter office. I got the newest surfboard 2.0. If anything goes wrong with it in a year they swap it out. Just a money grab...
--
I got the need for speed »bit.ly/topgunparody


Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to battleop

said by battleop:

It is a pain in the ass to support the customers equipment. The problem is that the customer pretty much never will accept the idea that their problem is with their equipment. Even worse is that the more advanced the equipment ( Think Tomato, PFSense, etc.) the more difficult it is to get them to understand the problem is with their $200 setup and not the $100k+ router on our side.

I've bought modems and I've been forced to rent one (back when I had voice service from Comcast). I've found that when renting modems, if you are having problems, the support people are much more likely to simply swap out the modem, even when the problem isn't caused by the modem.

For example, when I bought Comcast's voice service, they rented me a Motorola EMTA. Within about 2 weeks, the modem kept rebooting because of T3/T4 errors. They came and swapped the modem and left. The problems continued so they swapped it again (as well as replaced all the splitters) and left. The problems continued and they swapped it again (this time with an Arris EMTA). Again the problems continued. At this point I contacted Comcast corporate which apparently came down on my local unit so that the lead tech called me. While talking to him my modem rebooted again. He noticed all the modems in about a 5 block radius around me also rebooted. It turned out the problem was an upstream signal issue. No amount of modem swapping would have fixed that.

So while it can make support easier if the problem actually is the modem, in most cases it is not.
--
The Comcast Disney Avatar has been retired.


Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1
reply to treichhart

And Comcast's fee is actually higher ($7).


rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
reply to battleop

If it's such a pain in the ass, won't elimination of support costs pay for new modems?


adam1991

join:2012-06-16
Columbus, OH
Reviews:
·WOW Internet and..
reply to battleop

said by battleop:

It is a pain in the ass to support the customers equipment. The problem is that the customer pretty much never will accept the idea that their problem is with their equipment. Even worse is that the more advanced the equipment ( Think Tomato, PFSense, etc.) the more difficult it is to get them to understand the problem is with their $200 setup and not the $100k+ router on our side.

on the other hand, as WOW Dan found out in my circumstance, the problem *was* on their end. After my putting up with it for some weeks, he discovered some problems on their end.

That being said, he found that out only after I went and got a WOW cable modem that he could get more information from. I'm going to hold onto it for a month while I confirm that my own unit indeed is working properly with the infrastructure problem now fixed, and then I'll take it back. Easy peasy.

In the middle of all this comes the realization in the WOW community that their cable modems are stuck at no higher than 1.79Mbps upload speeds--regardless of the package the customer is paying for. We've made a bunch of noise and WOW Dan has confirmed this for a certain brand/model of the WOW supplied modems. Contrast this with my Surfboard 6120, which does not have this limitation.

So, forcing the customer to put up with the cableco supplied stuff--acquired as cheaply as possible--also forces the customer to put up with whatever limitations the cableco chooses to live with in this regard. I'm paying for 15/2 service, and in WOW's world "1.79 is within our tolerance level". I guess I'd have to pony up to pay for 15/5 and report that 1.79 upload speed before WOW would bother to do anything.

Hmmmm, I may just do that.....

But what WOW would do instead of fixing things is simply give me the other cable modem they have some of, the DOCSIS 3.0 model that doesn't exhibit this behavior. This would leave the 15/2 customers not getting what they're paying for.

In the end, the customer loses no matter what. Cableco wants his cable modem for his own purposes, then refuses to fix deficiencies in his cable modem and won't let me get my own. Cableco wins every time, customer loses every time.

rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
reply to Morac

Agreed. Whenever I've had a problem, it has never been the modem. Only once has it been a premises issue. To fix that, they swapped out the pedestal tap from a 2-way to a 4-way and removed an improper splitter between me and one of my neighbors. They also ran a new drop. Problem solved.


adam1991

join:2012-06-16
Columbus, OH
Reviews:
·WOW Internet and..

said by rradina:

Agreed. Whenever I've had a problem, it has never been the modem.

I have to say, one time I had a problem and it was the modem. Fortunately, it was the cableco-owned modem.

But this is a funny story. I dealt with ultra-slow upload speeds for three or more weeks. I kept calling, and they kept sending someone out. WOW's strategy is to start with the customer site and move backward into WOW's physical plant, one step at a time.

Each time they came out they replaced the cable modem, regardless. They also started rewiring and replacing connectors and whatnot. Finally one guy, before he re-wired my entire house and backyard to the tap, just made a hugely long wire and connected it straight from the tap to the cable modem--no change. Aha.

So they went straight to rewiring along the pole, changing out taps, etc. Over three weeks they chased this problem, each time with a new cable modem "just because," and nothing---

--until one tech happened to get the one guy at the NOC who had the bright idea to reflash the cable modem with the current setup, "just because".

Voila. That was it.

Yes, after multiple cable modems, that's all it took. I asked: how could it be that every cable modem that you brought was out of date/compliance with the current setup? There's no real good answer to that.

All's well that ends well, but three weeks and thousands of dollars could have been spared had someone thought up front simply to re-flash the damn hardware. So in the end, it wasn't *really* a modem issue after all, not in the way that people would think.

And had I had my own cable modem installed, the problem never would have come about.

voiptalk

join:2010-04-10
Gainesville, VA
reply to treichhart

said by treichhart:

I hope you know Xfinity is Comcast so comcast is doing this fee so you probably want to edit your comment on that one.

Huh?! I've had my own modem with Comcast (Xfinity is just a brand name) for 10 years and there it NO fee.


battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
reply to pnh102

The better solution is to just tell customers pay $6.50 and we support your modem. If you don't it's your equipment and you have to support your own equipment.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.



battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
reply to newview

So again what's that go to do with my comment?


elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
reply to battleop

The reason why is because customer support in the absence of true diagnostics, always blames what is easiest-- the customer. I had it happen twice to me when I was w/ TWC.

My CM was sporadic and of course this would be after big rains or snow storms. Hmm, it must be the CM. I argued the fact because I used to keep a list of S/N ratios from a screen grabber program just because... Once I called them out they sent techs. In any case in both instances it was caused by the sub of a sub contractor laying bad cable from the equalizer/tap (no more than 40 feet from my prem) to my CPE. In one case the core was folded over. I'm amazed it even worked. In both cases an actual TWC employee came out and fixed it. I have found the TWC employess vastly superior to subs in equipment, knowledge, and professionalism. If you are going to use subs, the need to have TQ standards....

Almost every industry has to deal with variance, and with that comes higher support costs. Using the methodology that forcing everyone to rent (a la Bell in the old days) - this would LOWER support costs dramatically so in fact those cost should be passed on to the consumer.

Considering a cable modem costs $50 or less to the supplier ( and probably they have a depot so swap costs are nill), charging $6 a month is pure highway robbery.

The whole idea for company modems is to put software/firmware on them for remote diagnostics which can be done anywhere, cheaply.

Calling a tech onsite is the last step.

So assuming support costs the ROI for these guys is somewhere around 12 months. Assuming the average CM life of 36 months (now that DS3 has settled in), this is easily a 200% return on capital, which is unheard of.

TWC charges $2.50 in my area which is close to a 0% ROC, which means they are not gouging the customer for said device.

Considering it costs about $4 to provide service, if you add that to the $2.50 modem cost these guys are profitable the second you make the call to sign up for service



newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast
reply to battleop

Your comment,

said by battleop:

It is a pain in the ass to support the customers equipment.

fails to elaborate that these are the VERY SAME modems that the ISP, in this case Sonic, approves of, and are the very same modems they distribute to customers who choose to rent, and not own. So in effect they are supporting those customer owned modems just by the fact that they are supporting their very own cableco modems. It costs them not a dime more when they push updated firmware to all modems of a particular model, no matter if it is customer or cableco owned.

So, "It is a pain in the ass to support the customers equipment." is bullshit and is just a way to increase fees "just because they can".

Again, if they want to reduce the cost of support, reduce the number of "approved" modems, GIVE them out as part of the ADVERTISED monthly fee and stop jerking your customers around with bogus fee increases.

raythompsontn

join:2001-01-11
Oliver Springs, TN
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to voiptalk

said by voiptalk:

said by treichhart:

I hope you know Xfinity is Comcast so comcast is doing this fee so you probably want to edit your comment on that one.

Huh?! I've had my own modem with Comcast (Xfinity is just a brand name) for 10 years and there it NO fee.

Do you have Xfinity Voice?

I do. I have two modems. The one for voice I pay for monthly, the one for data there is no charge. I could run my internet off the voice modem but I would have to run a new CAT5 cable and I just don't want to go to the effort when there is no benefit.

Apparently Comcast monitors the voice modems as I received a new battery in the mail because my modem was indicating the battery was failing.


Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT
reply to battleop

said by battleop:

Even worse is that the more advanced the equipment ( Think Tomato, PFSense, etc.) the more difficult it is to get them to understand the problem is with their $200 setup and not the $100k+ router on our side.

If they're running pfSense or Tomato, they'd better know their stuff.

It's like a consumer buying a Cisco router and not knowing a darn thing about it.. except it allows them to get on the Internet.

If I have any issues and need to call tech support, there's usually an issue with the line, their router, CMTS (or DSLAM), or one of their servers went down.
--
Bresnan 30M/5M | CenturyLink 5M/896K
MyWS[PnmIIX3@3.3G,8G RAM,500G+1.5T+2T HDDs,Win7]
WifeWS[A64@2G,2G RAM,120G HDD,Win7]
Router[2xP3@1G,2G RAM,18G HDD,Allied Telesyn AT2560FX,2xDigital DE504,Sun X1034A,2xSun X4444A,SMC 8432BTA,Gentoo]


battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
reply to newview

I really do not expect a reply but please show me where I approve of the fees? I am only commenting on the SUPPORT aspect of this not the fees.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.



battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
reply to Simba7

'they'd better know their stuff."

You would think that but this is more often not the case (at least when they make it to my group). It's usually not the equipment but a misconfiguration on their equipment. Usually the first clue that they really don't know their stuff is if they spend the first 5 minutes of the call telling you how qualified they are. Nine time out of ten if you have to tell me how qualified you are, you probably are not.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.


tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2
reply to battleop

Yup, as mentioned... if it's the customers modem then you simply connect your ownm, show them that it's working just fine and ask them if they want you to leave it for a monthly fee.

Truth is, it's probably usually not the customers modem that is the problem and if it were, simply show them this and they can get another one or rent from the provider if they want. No... the REAL reason for the month rental fee is that it serves only to generate a TON of free money for the provider. It's like selling a car and charging extra to rent tires.



Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT
reply to battleop

said by battleop:

Usually the first clue that they really don't know their stuff is if they spend the first 5 minutes of the call telling you how qualified they are. Nine time out of ten if you have to tell me how qualified you are, you probably are not.

Ya. I hear that from my friends that work at Optimum. I usually talk to the T2's because I lose the T1's at the first set of questions. It's rare I find a T1 that can speak geek.

..of course I also know a Network Engineer at Optimum (aka. Bresnan).
--
Bresnan 30M/5M | CenturyLink 5M/896K
MyWS[PnmIIX3@3.3G,8G RAM,500G+1.5T+2T HDDs,Win7]
WifeWS[A64@2G,2G RAM,120G HDD,Win7]
Router[2xP3@1G,2G RAM,18G HDD,Allied Telesyn AT2560FX,2xDigital DE504,Sun X1034A,2xSun X4444A,SMC 8432BTA,Gentoo]


battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

We don't have anyone who is really T1 or T2 unless you count non technical customer service employees. If you talk to someone technical with us you start with T3 but then again we will not handle residential customers which in it self knocks out 80% of your support issues.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.


unibroker
Premium
join:2010-11-12
Altadena, CA

1 recommendation

reply to battleop

Exactly battleop. If you called AT&T for support you'd better be using their preferred equipment or you're on your own. That is a reasonable response and I'm disappointed in Sonic's stance.