Good ole’ tech support

My modem died last week.  No big deal since I pay Charter outrageous fees to lease a modem from them – they’ll just have to replace it.  I call them to let them know and find out how I can get my internet back right this second (I work from home.  Not having internet literally costs me money) and get addresses for places I can take the dead modem in for a replacement.  The lady on the phone tries to hard sell a modem/router combo job where the built-in wireless has a lamer feature set than the router I currently use (smaller range, narrower bands, no external media port).  I tell her their proffered feature set is lame, especially since I could replace my router three times a year at the lease upcharge, and stick with the modem.

Yesterday, despite being nicely connected to my fancypants router, I could not get through to the internet.  The whole setup has been mildly buggy since the modem swap, but not buggy enough for me to actually futz with.  Since the internet chocked while I was working against a deadline, I confirmed that plugging directly into the modem got me a connection, then ignored the problem for the rest of the evening.

Today I decided to fix whatever it is.  I have to hand two routers, a plethora of ethernet cables, and two operating systems.  I troubleshoot the living daylights out of the setup.  All the cables work.  Both routers can see the modem, and are broadcasting wireless networks that both operating systems can see and connect to.  There is not internet.  So I plug straight into the modem again.  No internet.  I call Charter.

“I don’t know, everything looks good.  Let’s button mash until it works,” is the net effect of the phone call.  But hey, button mashing is the modern hoodoo, so for inexplicable reasons, the inexplicably absent internet returns.  I spent the whole call going, “I guess we’re doing this next,” and having the girl say, “Yup.”

Internet back in the modem, I gleefully go back to getting a router working.  Sure, the den is nice and cool, and the chaise near the modem is comfy, but my favorite part of modern life is internet in bed.  That calls for wireless.

“Sorry to call back so fast, but the auto-detect on both of my routers seems to think I have a static IP address.  That seems wrong, but if I do, could you give me the settings I need to get my router working?”

Nope, have dynamic IP.  They have no idea why things don’t work.  We button mash.  I predict the next step out loud the whole way through the phone call.*  By this point, I’m also explaining the reasons I know it won’t work, what with me having tested it on my own already.

So, yeah.  Internet from the modem it is, and I’ll have to rely on my phone for access to the untethered lifestyle.  Maybe this will magically resolve before I care intensely again (Saturday) or maybe the roomies will snap and make it work.

* I must be excruciating to have on the phone for a tech support call.  This didn’t occur to me until after.  Next time I’ll ask whether it’s helpful or annoying.

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