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Eric 1stDiv, Triumphant

"Aha!" The Tech Support Indian said...

Posted on 2012.01.16 at 08:00
Current Location: 67114

Friday, I searched the following keywords in Google

allow root telnet suse

The first ten hits were people before me asking the same question, and whole threads of people explaining why that was not a good idea. Ten full threads of no one answering the goddamn question. What a colossal waste of my time.

But the cake-taker this weekend was Netgear Support. I'd sat down at my son's computer the other day and pulled up my router's IP to check connectivity - I was surprised that it logged me in and immediately displayed not only my unbroadcast SSID, but also the wireless password! I was pretty sure I had not set my credentials on my son's computer, and even if I had, it should've prompted me to use them rather than just displaying the secured page. I ran a couple of tests at my own desk, and sure enough, ever since I upgraded my firmware, I've been running wide-open despite having locked down my router.

Back before I'd replaced the router I was having issues with the router intermittently not passing DNS to the connected devices, both wired and wireless, so I called COX, my provider. They sent a cable-tech out to check my signal. "Good strong decibel reading," he told me. I explained the issue was not with my signal. Apparently COX has no network techs on staff. "You sold me this router," I explained, so very gently, and now I need support."

Come to find out, the way the small print reads, I "agreed" to "purchase" a "third-party" networking device from them in such a way they would not have to provide support.


So I called Netgear this weekend. He was all ready to help until he asked where I bought the modem, followed by, "You're going to need to call COX Tech Support." I sighed cheerfully, and explained that COX does not have tech support for networking. He explained that I would need to contact them, and tell them I needed T-E-C-H S-U-P-P-O-R-T for the R-O-U-T-E-R.

I replied that I had called COX, and after explaining again about the "third-party" craziness and finding this out when I did call COX I asked him if he thought COX was tying to mislead me - to somehow shirk a responsibility they knew they held for purposes of entertainment. "Do you think they really do have a networking tech support group and were trying to trick me by telling me they didn't? Why do you think they would do that?"

He didn't know what to say to that. But that didn't stop him from repeating his request that I contact COX.

Somehow, I managed to convince him to assist me. First thing he did was have me rename my SSID. As I was doing this I asked, "Can you explain to me why we're doing this?" He told me that if I could try to connect to my wireless network with like an iPad or an iPhone, that if it prompted me for a password my problem was solved! He was very excited.

As this was not my problem however, I was not.

He had me open specifically IE, specifically on a laptop. The whole time I was asking him why? His explanations were insufficient and irrelevant, but to appease him I did. As a reminder, I run Ubutnu 10.10 on my laptop with a second screen containing a Windows 7 Enterprise VM and I also have a quad-core Windows 7 desktop with a second screen running both an openSUSE and Windows 7 VM, as well as an old PowerMAC running OSX 10.5 - all this on just my desktop environment:


Anyway, I was explaining to him why all his demands were unreasonable as I was nonetheless following them (to save time and arguments) and he had me go to the password change page to fix my access problem. Why didn't I think of that? So I run through the steps, explaining that I had done this 150 times already prior to calling him. Sure, everyone who calls tech support says that I suppose. Unsurprisingly, it didn't work.

And that's when he had his epiphany.

You see, I'd given the dumb sonofoabitch too much information in my desire to bypass his deficiency.

"Aha!" The tech support Indian said, "The problem with your router is that you're running Internet Explorer on a virtual machine!"

And that's when I lost it.

Me! Its embarrassing and unthinkable, and yet it happened. "And how do you explain it not working on the Windows Desktop with Opera or Chrome? I tried them both. And did you know Chrome runs on linux now too? I tired it with Chrome and Firefox on linux. And on Safari for Mac and Windows - on both my lapttop - which is wired by the way, not wireless, and my desktop. And I already told you I discovered it on my son's computer - is that caused by the virtual machine as well? You think my son's computer is virtual? How is that supposed to work?"

After a brief hold time, he returns to report an undocumented issue in their newest firmware, which I had already assumed was the case.

I told him I could install the earlier firmware myself without his help.

Only...I couldn't do it in IE.

I hate IE almost as much as I hate Tech Support and thread-responders who tell you why you should do something different than you ask instead of answering your question. I was able to get it done using Firefox.

I rolled it back (temporarily disconnecting my wife from Netflix), and once again locked down. This time, successfully.

1 - I plugged in a couple of OpenDNS numbers to override theirs and haven't had a problem since.


michelle1963 at 2012-01-16 15:34 (UTC) (Link)
I really despise having to call tech support for ANYTHING! The system is set up to handle the problems of the lowest common denominator ~ those with little experience. I understand that, I really do. The least experienced among us probably make up the greatest percentage of support calls. That said, it would be ever so nice if a tech could recognize when they are talking to someone who is not your average caller. Or actually listen to the words coming out of my mouth.

I had problems with AT&T support. I called about the many issues with my phone. The tech wanted me to go through the same procedure that hadn't fixed it the time before. I explain that I'd been through it once, it didn't fix the issue, and that I needed a solution. After trying to convince me to go through the procedure anyway, the tech then said, we have lots of problems with this phone, just take out all your text messages, phone logs, pictures, and apps, and it might work better. Huh? That's not what I paid for when I bought this phone. Connect me to someone who can help me. I will give this tech credit, as she did just what I'd asked.

I talk to HTC, and yeah, this guy is on the ball. I like him a lot. Have only to say things to him once. Heaven. I'm thinking I may survive this call without talking to a complete idiot.

Could be wrong! As my phone needs to be repaired and I need a replacement, we have to talk to AT&T again. The first thing the AT&T rep does ~ despite the fact that the HTC guy initiated the call and told her the problem and that we needed a replacement phone ~ is make me remove battery. Like WTF? But like you, I comply in hopes it will hurry everything up. After she finishes, she says, "Okay, we'll call you tomorrow and see if that fixed the problem." And now, I'm like WTF big time, and saying, "No, that won't fix it."

The HTC guy intervenes, and repeats his request for a replacement phone and again states the problem. She finally transfers us to the warranty dept.

This guy says to me, "So your phone isn't making or receiving calls?" Again, WTF? "No, I say," and begin to explain. The HTC guy then takes over. The AT&T warranty FINALLY agrees to send the replacement phone.

I was only on the phone for an hour and a half.

ehowton at 2012-01-16 16:13 (UTC) (Link)
One of my all time favorite was explaining to customer support that I was not allowed to be transferred to them without having already entered my [phone/credit card/account] number so why were they asking me for it again? What happened to the number I already input? Why did they need it twice? Were they not aware I was asked to input it before I was transferred? Do the numbers usually come over and just this once it didn't or are they not normally forwarded? Why would they ask me to do that over an open line? This line isn't secure! Is it? Is this a secure line?

Yeah, good times.

michelle1963 at 2012-01-16 16:47 (UTC) (Link)
Oh yes. Or in dealing with some financial institutions in which you are asked to input your social security number, only to be asked for it again.
jobu121 at 2012-01-16 15:49 (UTC) (Link)
I feel your pain brother... I had a similar situation happen with Time Warner. I bought their wireless router and it too was wide the f*&k open. I too hate tech support. Especially when it is obvious they either A do not want to help you or B are completely clueless and they stick to their crappy script.

Well what I ended up doing was installing a wireless router software form DD-WRT.com My Cisco buddy recommended it. Now true there has not been a firmware update for my router in years but it is secure, works on my African Freeware Ubuntu and all browsers... I do not use IE! So Chrome, Opera, Mozilla, and my Android browsers all work fine. Also, I am secure!!!

Hope that helps if you want to give it a try.
ehowton at 2012-01-16 16:09 (UTC) (Link)
Remember our employer? Yeah, that's why. Because we're a technologies company!
jobu121 at 2012-01-16 16:37 (UTC) (Link)
LOL that's right. HAHAHAHA
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2012-01-16 15:50 (UTC) (Link)
Sounds like you were bent over and given a lot of Cox!!!
ehowton at 2012-01-16 16:08 (UTC) (Link)
I've had about all the COX I can stand.
codekitten at 2012-01-23 18:06 (UTC) (Link)
my users know that before they call me they need to:

1) log out of PeopleSoft
2) clear cache, close their browser, log in again
3) if that doesn't work, do 1 & 2 again as well as reboot

this solves 85% of the problems to the point where i won't work on most issues if they don't do this.

when they call me now they preface things by saying, "...and YES i have done your steps 1 - 3!!!" complete with *eyeroll* from the superusers.

so i guess i've sort of become the annoying IT support person!
ehowton at 2012-01-23 23:15 (UTC) (Link)

Kinda gooey

There was the time I got an email from a user asking me to check her "gooie" when I got to work.

codekitten at 2012-01-24 15:23 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Kinda gooey

hahaha! that was disgustingly funny.
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