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Surprised at how TPG Tech Support dealt with me in the latest call

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Level 3

Hi all

 

Backstory is that I've been with TPG with for about 3 years, and am currently out of contract.  In 2017 I switched from TPG ADSL to TPG NBN-HFC.   I've had numerous drop-outs in the past 1 year on NBN but, to be honest, I have not felt the need to call TPG as the problem normally goes away on it's own.  However, back in August this year the problem started persisting for longer periods of time, which forced me to finally call TPG support.

 

The TPG support person very frankly told me that the modem I have (Huawei HG659) is the cause of a lot of customer complaints.  He couldn't tell me the reason for the drop outs (but he could see numerous DO's had occurred) but offered to swap it for a TP-Link modem.  Not sure why I didn't take him up on the offer and, in hindsight, I should've had the modem swapped right there and then.

 

The problem went away on it's own (again) until this morning when I started experiencing dropout after dropout.  It's been like this all day, forcing me to switch to tethering my laptop from my mobile phone on Telstra 4G.  So, earlier today I called up TPG tech support and this time the person was far less than helpful.  In a nutshell, here's what he said:

 

1.  We don't see any dropouts on our end, have you rebooted your modem?

2.  Do you have a spare VDSL modem lying around to test things with?

3.  If you want a new modem, you need to sign up to a new contract

 

#1 raised my BP a bit, #2 made my head hurt (seriously?  spare VDSL modem?), and #3 made me want to book an appointment with my anger management coach.

 

I'm a bit surprised at how this tech person dealt with me.  He claims that my modem is no longer under warranty and that it can't be replaced and the only way to get a new modem is to sign up for a new contract.

 

Wondering if there's any truth to what I've been told and, if there is, is this truly how TPG deals with it's customers.  I hope it's just a case of a newbie not knowing the facts.

 

Regards

 

8 REPLIES
Moderator

Hi @QLD4122,

 

Welcome to the community!

 

We appreciate you being with TPG as a long time customer. I was able to locate your account using your community details. The modem old modem is out of warranty and based on initial assessment of our Technician, it shows no dropouts on the line. I'd like to confirm if the dropouts you experienced was on the device(s) connected via Wireless.

As part of basic troubleshooting, our Technician asked if you have a spare VDSL modem/router for testing purposes. Whilst we understand that not all of our customer does have a spare modem/router. I've seen that  they offer you a Free Modem/router in exchange of contract, this is to offset the new modem/router's cost.

 

I've also seen that you our Technical Support Team assisted you to set up your newly bought 3rd party modem/router and your service is now connected. I ran initial tests on your service and it shows minimal dropouts. I'd like to confirm if you're currently having difficulty with your connection, else I'll arrange one of our Senior Technicians to call you for further test and investigation.

In case you need a reference: How do I private message (PM) in the community

 

Cheers!

Level 3

Hi Shane

 

I've just gotten off the phone with TPG support about 5 mins ago.

 

Firstly, I called TPG twice yesterday.  The first time I called I was told that I couldn't replace the modem.  Hence, I went out and bought a new modem that was advertised as being NBN compatible.  After struggling for an hour to set it up, I called TPG again a second time.   The TPG tech spent about one hour with me on the phone and, after having tried everything, he declared the the modem wasn't HFC compatible.   I then disconnected the new modem and put back my old Huawei modem.  The Huawei modem is currently still connected.   

 

I returned the new modem this morning for a full refund.

 

The issue has persisted since yesterday.  I suspect that when you are doing line tests, you are testing whether the Internet connection is reaching the black NBN box (Arris CM8200).  I probably should have been clearer in my original post and should have mentioned that the NBN box has always had all 4 lights on, and solid green.

 

Hence, I don't doubt that the Internet is reaching the NBN box, but the issue is that the modem itself (Huawei HG659) isn't getting the signal.  The signal comes and goes intermittently.   When it goes, it affects both Wifi connected devices and ethernet connected devices across the board.

 

As I also mentioned, I called TPG again today.  In today's call the tech had me to a ping test of various external URLs.  She also had me disconnect all devices from the router and leave only one device connected via ethernet cable, namely my laptop.   The ping test results are as follows:

 

ping tpg.com.au --->  100% packet loss

ping google.com --->  100% packet loss

ping 192.168.1.1 --->  0% packet loss

 

Meaning that all external addresses were unreachable, and all internal address (i.e. my gateway) are reachable.  This is despite all the lights on the NBN box being solid green and the Internet, WAN, and VOIP lights on the modem also being solid green. 

 

She then had me do a hard-reset of the modem (using a pin to place in the tiny hole at the back).  After doing the hard reset, the ping test was repeated and this time it was 0% packet loss across the board.

 

At the moment my connection is still alive, hence I am able to submit this post.

 

But, to be clear, it was never the NBN box that was at fault and hence your line tests would have shown no dropouts.   It's the modem that is flaky.

 

Seeing that you are unwilling to replace this modem, and seeing that I cannot trust this Huawei modem, I will need to replace it one way or the other.  Can you please verify that the following modem is compatible with my NBN HFC service?

 

TP-Link Archer VR600 V2 AC1600 Wireless Gigabit VDSL/ADSL Modem Router

 

Thanks for your help.

 

Regards.

 

Level 7

Hi @QLD4122 Just a couple of things to be aware of before purchasing new gear, the Arris CM8200 although referred to as the NBN connection box, is actually a cable modem, the HG659 in a HFC installation is used in EWAN mode so it's only acting as a router not a modem/router.

That being said, only a modem/router supplied by TPG will work if you are using the VOIP service. If you're not using the bundled VOIP service a device like the TP-Link Archer VR600 will work fine for normal Internet only.

 

 

 

Highlighted
Community Manager

Hi @QLD4122,

As per our conversation i have sent a TP LInk 1600v modem to you to test and see if it improves your issue.

Please allow 1 to 2 working days for the modem to be delivered.

You can respond here after testing with results of the new modem.

Cheers,

Manuel

Level 3

Hi Manuel

 

I really appreciate your phone call and your gesture of goodwill.  I look forward to receiving the 1600v modem to help me diagnose and solve this issue.

 

I'll post the results here.

 

Regards

 

 

Level 3

Hi Manuel.

 

The Archer VR1600v modem that you sent has been received.  I've set it up and it's up and running.  Internet is available on all my devices.  Will keep you posted on any dropouts over the course of the next 24 hours.

 

Thanks and Regards

 

 

Level 3

Hi Manuel

 

An update.  I've kept several devices online overnight and through today, and the situation is that not once the did Internet connection drop for any of the devices.  I'll keep monitoring however.  

 

Regards

 

Level 3

Hi All

 

TPG provided a TP-Link AC1600 Archer VR600 v1 modem free of charge for me to diagnose my Internet connection dropout issue.  Here are my findings:

 

Firstly, I've noticed that the TP-Link modem authenitcates very quickly with TPG and the modem is online and ready with a working Internet connection in less than half the time that the Huawei modem does.   The Huawei seems to struggle just to get online.

 

That said, the results are as follows:

 

I've kept the TP-Link connected to my NBN service (HFC) for a bit over 48 hours.  Not once in this period of time did the Internet connection drop.

 

Last night, after the 48 hours had elapsed, I placed back my old Huawei modem into service and I was expecting to find that the old behaviour would return, i.e. that the Internet connection would start dropping again.  This did not turn out to be the case.   Instead, the Huawei has been maintaining the Internet connection as well.  It's only been 18 or so hours since the Huawei was put back in service and so far there are no dropouts.

 

So, that's quite a surprising result.  Maybe the "downtime" gave the modem a chance to ponder on things or maybe some buffers have ended up getting cleared out, either within the modem or elsewhere along the chain.

 

As a final note, I have been in contact with Manuel this morning who has kindly allowed me to keep the TP-Link modem.  I am very grateful to Manuel for his assistance in this matter.

 

Regards