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Review: Cisco Linksys Customer Service & Technical Support

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a Cisco Linksys EA3500 (N750) smart wireless router (read my review). Obviously if I am calling Cisco technical support, there is a problem with the device. The problem is that I can not log into the router admin system to make changes to the network config!

So I call up Cisco customer support and talk with Connie, probably a false name given the Indian accent. Immediately she starts data mining, name, phone number, email address, serial number etc, without thinking I volunteer this information, heaven knows how they will use that information? Then asks a few brief questions about my issues; spouting a load of rubbish, I inform her that I am a former network administrator and have done all the usual troubleshooting. I’m not the sort of person who immediately calls tech support! I have the knowledge to fix most network issues myself!

After getting some additional information such as purchase location etc, she tells me she is having a hard time hearing me and that she would call me back; thinking about this now; this is more than likely a way to check that you have given a real phone number. Anyway, she called back and immediately attempts to sell me a support package for $19, I inform ‘Connie’ that I have no interest in buying more support, I just want my two week old product to work as anyone would expect.

I reiterate my technical abilities as we go through unplugging the router and modem, reconnecting both, still no access. the rep asked me to try another machine, so I boot up my laptop and attempt to login, same result, nothing after clicking “Login”. ‘Connie’ then asked me to unplug the WAN Ethernet cable from the router and it allows me to login, but everyone on my network has been disconnected from the web; which is unacceptable, why should users have to stop what their doing?

I make my feelings clear that booting everyone off the Internet to make changes to network configuration is totally unacceptable; then ‘Connie’ becomes very condescending saying “it’s only disconnecting one cable for 30 seconds” like this is an acceptable solution to the issue. Suffice to say I told her that I will simply box up he router and take it back to the store where I bought it and hung up on her. I will not be talked to like that when it’s their product at fault! Damn unacceptable!

Suffice to say, I will not be buying another Cisco product ever again, I have never experienced customer service this bad before; and trust me I have experienced a lot of bad customer service since arriving in the States! Bottom line, Cisco are more concerned with relieving you of more of your hard earned cash than actually providing support, I truly am flabbergasted by this experience!

Further to what I have written above; have a read of this customer service review website, lots of others massively dissatisfied Cisco customers, also check out this article about how Cisco can take control of your bought and paid for router at their whim, surely that has to be borderline illegal?!?!

Update [Mar, 31 2013, 11:02]: I made good on my word and returned the EA3500 to the store and exchanged it for a Western Digital MyNet N900 wireless N router (450+450) and thusfar I am very happy. I can log in and out of the router admin system without a problem, it’s a shame that the biggest name in networking, Cisco Linksys can’t create an admin login with the same ability!

8 thoughts on “Review: Cisco Linksys Customer Service & Technical Support

  • CHUCKeR commented on December 18, 2013 at 22:20

    I’ve run into the same thing trying to swap my defective EA6500. The only thing I would like to say is it is not Cisco handling the customer support anymore it is Belkin via the Linksys buyout. I use many Cisco devices at work never encounter horrible service like I did with the EA6500 rma.

    I’ll never buy another Linksys home product again. I also advise all the users at my place of employment to steer clear of Belkin/Linksys. Hell even Netgear is better now.

    As for me my next router will be an ASUS or I might even drink the Apple koolaid and get an airport extreme ac.

  • CHUCKeR, when I called about the EA3500, it was definitely Cisco tech support as many times during the call the rep referred to Cisco and when the call was initially answered, the automated system also mentioned Cisco, so maybe the takeover happened after I called?

  • dexter commented on February 27, 2014 at 09:07

    i cant believe your saying this when youre supposed to know the reason because you claimed to be an expert in networking. most likely you didn’t ask for reasons why you had to remove first the modem ftom the router. simply, the possibility is that the modem and the router has the same IP Address which means for you to access the router’s UI, you’ll gonna need to isolate the connection and focus on the router instead. like wat the rep did after doing that you get to log in to the setup page after disconnecting the modem. then you should have been good from there and did configurations to the router to avoid ip conflicts. after doing necessary configurations inside the router’s page, you could have just simply plugged your modem back in and you should be online by then.

  • Dexter, first of all, I never claimed to be an “expert”, I said I was a former network admin. The modem and router had radically different IP addresses, 192.168.100.1 and 10.254.100.1, so there was definitely no conflict. Cable modems generally use 192.168.100.1 to avoid IP conflicts and I always set 10.254.100.1 for my routers, I’ve not had a problem with not being able to access the router admin before or since the issue described above!

  • Dexter, You are so right.

  • Paul commented on May 11, 2014 at 11:34

    Dexter you are so wrong lol

    Not knowing the situation you assume things. I had issues with port forwarding on this router and I am somewhat of an expert. Port forwarding is absolute basic stuff, yet I could not get it to work. Support ignored my credentials (having dealt with technical discussions with clients that thought they had more knowledge than became apparent they did, I understood), had me go through steps that I had already completed to no avail (sort of understood) then had me flash the firmware and finally told me it must be my service provider or my network problem even though I explained that I could just sub my old router back in and everything worked fine so obviously the router was at issue.. crappy support

  • sm commented on May 25, 2014 at 09:33

    I am even more suspicious of linksys tech support in retrospect. After you they ask you all kinds of info, the support guy asked me for the security key of my router. I am convinced now more than ever that there might be some tampering going on. I had my router working after I installed new cable modem. I was on with a support person and had reset the password myself to the linksys admin website. I checked and was able to get in. Now I cannot access the admin site. The tech support person told me to reset password means all my setting would be wiped out. Does that make any sense? I’ve reset password before and that did NOT happen. And it would cost me $29.99 or $39.99 for 6 mos plan if they access remotely and fix it or if they just reset the password.

    So I am wondering now, since they remotely access (think support is in the Philipines) and know my IP address, and know all the sensitive information about my router, they can hack themselves and makes changes if they want to and force me to have to come to them to fix whatever new problems are happening and of course pay a fee. Icing on the cake was that the support guy said he could not guarantee his attempted fix would even work. But he assured me he knows how these products work. After being on the phone with him for hours, I just hung up in disgust. Do yourself a favor and buy a product that has proper tech support that you can be confident in.

  • Thomas Bitner commented on October 27, 2014 at 16:48

    The operation posing as Linksys customer service is, in fact, a computer service sales group and there is really no customer service to be had from them.
    Probably my last Linksys product purchase

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