Finding the Root Cause

June 18, 2018

Since September I have been battling with my cable Internet. About once a week the Internet dies. There is no warning, no error, no malfunction of the lights of the modem, it simply halts. Its death apparent by my modem’s inaccessible status page. A simple reboot brings it back alive.

Diagnosing a technical problem involves considering all possibilities from the possible to the probable. A good technician gathers facts, assesses the situation, and starts with the most probable thing and works from there. Unfortunately that is not how tech support worked with Motorola and Arris. They wanted me to exhaust all the possibilities. While the chances are not zero percent that my router was not working, it did not seem to be the likely possibility. Yet they insisted I direct connect my modem to my computer for a week or two to see if the issue presented itself. I had to stand my ground that this was not a reasonable solution given the need of my roommates to also use the Internet for a week. After months of technical support calls with them and Comcast I finally have a path forward. They agreed to ship me a replacement modem.

One thing I have learned from this is to keep better records. While Motorola Arris had a record of my previous calls, they had logged them into the model number of a different modem that I did not own. Secondly tech support can make or break the trust you have in a company. I will never purchase a product from them again. The process for them to intake my information for a replacement was arduous and their system went down during my call. If they are messing so many things up in technical support, should I be surprised that their product may be the thing that broke?

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.