Looking out for the customer

12Feb09

This past weekend I visited with the in-laws.  During conversation they brought up that they ditched their DSL connection and replaced it with service from their cable provider, Charter Communications.  They are happy with the switch:  faster access and by packaging it with their phone and television service they are saving money.  WIN!  I asked how the install went  and my father-in-law explained that it went well but that the technician told him that the router I had put in place with the DSL connection could not be used.  No explanation was given as to why, he just said he couldn’t connect it and plopped the machine out on the Internet.

I shook my head and walked into the office.  The machine was on and upon running netstat saw a handful of random connections.  GREAT!  A while back I had installed Microsoft’s Steady State on the machine so it wasn’t too big of a deal.  I connected the router, power cycled the modem, rebooted the PC without saving state, and all was well again.  Luckily I had Steady State running so the Charter monkey didn’t create too much of a mess, but what about other customers that don’t have relatives who dread the tech support calls related to malware?  Why couldn’t he just unplug the DSL modem and replace it with the Cable modem?  He wouldn’t have had to touch the machine or the router and would have left things more secure.

Get your head out of your ass Charter and train your employees to not only install routers/firewalls when available, but recommend them to customers who do not have them.  Better yet, make them part of the standard install.  Not only will you save headaches for your customers, you’ll reduce the number of support calls.

-DanO

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