Back online and the things that I learned from Verizon Fios

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I am back online starting yesterday and here is a rundown of what I learned this weekend.

Saturday night the Internet went out and the Verizon tech said that my router/WAP had failed. He promised a tech to arrive on Sunday. Sunday comes and no tech. Meanwhile I bought a router/wap from Target and was working on setting it up as I was talking to Verizon again. I was letting them know that the tech not showing up was not acceptable.

As I was setting up the new router and troubleshooting again with the Verizon supervisor I somehow got the router/WAP to show signs of life on his end by connecting the third-party hardware to it. I reconnected the old equipment and it worked. It turns out that the WAN port was loose and even though I had re-plugged it in/out several times, this time it worked. The Verizon manager agreed that the unit was defective and sending me a new one this week.

The manager also explained many things about Verizon FIOS service in NY. Apparently the state law says that techs can’t work on Sunday and so the supervisor who said he was scheduling an appointment should have seen that when he booked the appointment. I was asked for the appointment confirmation number which I never received.

The original tech was terrible, and their system was terrible, and if it wasn’t for that one manager who shared with me all kinds of details about how their system works/quirks of their system I would be looking at a new provider. I am still strongly considering a new provider. One person who is competent doesn’t give me confidence when everyone else was either incompetent or a liar.

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Now to be fair, the replacement unit he sent me was a gift from Verizon. Apparently the router/WAP I purchased from them was out of warranty but I would not have bought another one. I would have just used a third-party one. Right now the router I bought is $400. I used it for about 3 years so it roughly comes out to $11 a month. The cost of their router is $15 a month rental. If they had not replaced it, I would have another $400 cost and I would need another 3 years of use to come out ahead. I don’t think with Verizon it matters if you rent/buy, you will be replacing their consumer routers at least.

Was this frustrating? You bet. Using the internet via hotspot was impractical for me. I couldn’t do any real work and I couldn’t study videos after this happened. Once the new router arrives the manager told me to install it when I go to bed and then configure it in the morning. He said that sometimes the DHCP doesn’t immediately pick up and by following his suggestions it will be working in the morning. They should have shorter DHCP periods to make it easier for customers. However I will try that suggestion since I haven’t done it before and report back what happens. Then I will keep this faulty one as a backup.

Even though I am online I could go offline at anytime. I don’t have confidence in this loose connection and I am returning the WAP that I bought at Target. It was the cheapest one there and it didn’t work when I set it up. It turned on and then turned itself off. That was pathetic. I won’t ever buy that brand again. It was a TP-Link if you are curious. I haven’t had good experiences with cheap networking equipment.

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I do feel grateful however that this problem happened on the weekend and not during the week when I needed to use it for work. You learn things everyday in life don’t you?