Buyer Beware, My NETGEAR story
I purchased a NETGEAR factory refurbished router (Nighthawk AC2300 Smart WiFi Router (R7000P) from Woot. The price was great and I needed a better router, so it was a no-brainer. I have purchased from Woot in the past and never had any issues and to be honest, this isn’t Woot’s fault or their problem.
I registered my router and even received an email back from NETGEAR telling me that my registration included complimentary 90-day tech support and 1-year product warranty. I soon learn that those are just idle words and that NETGEAR does not support them.
After setting up the router, I loved how fast it was and how the Nighthawk phone app interacted with the router. This seemed to be the one, but then I noticed that about every 24-36 hours the router would just stop processing traffic. I checked the setting and everything seemed correct I had the router set to auto-update the firmware so it couldn’t be that. I reached out to NETGEAR and that is where the problems started. They came up with every possible reason it would be anything but their problem.
First, they tried to tell me “It seems that the purchase date specified for this registration is beyond a reasonable “presumed shelf life” (difference between manufacture date and purchase date)” Basically, they were saying that I shouldn’t have been able to purchase that router as they no longer sell it. Yet a quick search via Google shows that it is still available for purchase from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, B&H Photo, Newegg, CDW, Staples, and a handful of other companies.
But they told me that they would “we will be providing one-time courtesy support”.
Logically, they wanted me to update the firmware, which was three versions out of date. I found this strange as clearly it was set to auto-update (image). I updated the firmware to the version they requested and uploaded my supporting documents (receipt as the proof of purchase)
A screengrab of this first ticket is here
They waited nearly a week to reply to my first response, stating that I updated the firmware. This time around, I noticed that they changed the subject of the support ticket from “R7000P goes offline” to “OTS_R7000P_[15-month rule] The unit will suddenly drop its internet connection”. The first thing I noticed is they put in the 15-month rule. I Googled “NETGEAR 15-month rule” and found people being told “serial numbers were older than their 15-month rule and didn’t exist”, and a supposed quiz for NETGEAR employees mentioning the 15-month rule. So this tells me that they aren’t going to provide me with support. The next thing I noticed about the ticket is that they changed the description to something that isn’t a true statement. The router for all indications appears to keep its connection to my internet router, it simply loses it wireless radio connection. I also noticed that this is a new tech taking my ticket. This time they ask some logical questions, and then end the ticket by telling me that they are once again asking for proof of purchase, which I had already submitted based on the fact that they started the 15-month rule, telling me that they likely received it as well. They ended the ticket by stating “I am looking at the device’s warranty and it shows that you have refurbished the device which means the device comes with a 90 days technical support warranty and 90-day Hardware warranty based on the date of purchase.”
A screengrab of this second ticket is here
Oh, boy, I can’t wait for the next ticket and wait I had to do it, they ghosted me for 4 days. This turned out to be a tactic of theirs as my 90 warranty expires in three days, which is when they finally got back to me again. After I argued with them about ghosting me, they once again offered me “one-time courtesy support”. Now we are two days outside the 90-day warranty and they are sure to let me know that fact. This ticket was nothing but a sales pitch with options to purchase a support plan. Their support plans are outrageous, with $89.99 for 6 months. The cost of a 1-year support package costs as much as the router is brand new. This ticket was useless and obviously a polite way of saying pay us or bye.
Are they freaking crazy, so you sell a turd and then want to extend the warranty? Nope, not going to happen. I will spend that money on a new router that is not manufactured by NETGEAR. They can kiss my a$$.
A screengrab of this third ticket is here
The next ticket was simply a link to a support KB article about how to change my channel to increase performance. Again, that isn’t the problem, the problem is that the damn thing gets hot and shuts down and needs to be rebooted. And telling me that it was purchased “from an unauthorized reseller”.
A screengrab of this fourth ticket is here
For the fifth interaction, they basically told me that they are sorry for any inconvenience and that they closed my ticket. What do you mean you closed my ticket, nice support, nothing was offered, nothing was gained and nothing was resolved?
A screengrab of this fifth and final ticket is here
Now, this wouldn’t be a tech blog if I didn’t talk about the functionality of the router and my overall impression. Let’s just say, before it developed this mystery “freeze” or “lock-up”, I was impressed by its range and its performance, even the smart device app was well laid out. If it didn’t develop, this issue, I would be making a totally different post, but I digress.
The range was great, it had a much better range than any other router I have had, including the ones supplied by my various ISPs over the years. My speeds were in the 400s most of the time. It does run a little warm, which is what I think the problem ultimately is, I think it is getting too hot. In fact, there are thousands of posts online about that very same topic, they run very hot. There are inadequate cooling vents, no fans, and nothing to cool it down, but the natural airflow in the environment.
Alright, I have said my piece, I’m stepping off my box. I will, however, never purchase anything NETGEAR ever again. I do plan in the future to open it up and add a fan to see if that works, when I do I will post a follow-up here.