Tag Archives: clear

Clear-ly Bad Customer Service


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Yay! Finally, I’ll be able to… wait. No, I can’t. The Rover Puck (running on Clear’s service) isn’t working for me, and their customer service is nothing short of a joke.

I don’t know why, but I seem to be having the worst luck with technology lately. For some odd reason, everything I touch seems to stop working near-immediately. And you know me – I’m about as gentle as they come!

You can’t always count on having access wherever you go in the world. I plucked down some serious dough to buy the Rover Puck to make sure I’d have an access point with me. This device promises to keep up to eight devices connected to a 4G network. However, I am pretty disappointed in the Puck. During the first 24 hours of the 48 hour free grace period, I wasn’t able to get online at all… no matter what I tried.

The Rover company is actually Clear – in Rover clothing. Clear is one of the worst consumer electronics companies on the planet in terms of their dastardly customer service options. Clear makes it nearly impossible to cancel any type of service with them – and charges you an arm and a leg to do so. Rover claims to have a month-to-month contract, which seems nice on the surface… IF you can even make it work.

I can’t recommend this product, folks. I just can’t do it. Not only are they a Clear company, they’re using a proprietary cable. That’s another rant in and of itself, as you know. Setting aside the fact that the product won’t work, I cannot in good conscious tell you to try something out that has such horrible support behind it. In order to give the Puck a fair chance at doing what it should, I hopped into a chat with these people. That was a painful experience.

Well, so much for the idea of connecting to a 4G / WiMax network.

Rover 4G Wireless Internet Problem

Yesterday, my new Rover 4G Wireless Internet “puck” arrived in the mail. I could use the Rover Puck last night (for a very brief while) just fine. Suddenly, and without warning, it turned non-functional – despite a 100% perfect admin status page.

I was grateful to be able to give ‘er a go with their 48-hour unlimited trial – but if the following experience is indicative of the shitty service I can expect from Rover in the future, I’m returning the unit immediately and withdrawing all future recommendations. Then again, I discovered it’s running on “CLEAR” – which, I’ve long attested, is one of the worst companies to deal with in the consumer electronics / wireless Internet / WiMax space.

I’m not surprised that my Rover experience has been just as nasty. Check out this joke of a tech support session – with the rep, at one point, referring to the hardware as “wifis.” Seriously.

NOTE: I did move lines for readability / clarity. It would have been easier to follow in real-time – but, as you know, Internet chats (even with one person) can become disjointed quickly.

Hello Chris. Please wait while we find a ROVER specialist to help you.

You have been connected to Patricia Everest.

Patricia Everest: Hi, Thank you for chatting with Rover. I’d be happy to help you.

Patricia Everest: What is the Mac ID# to the device?

Chris: [redacted]

Patricia Everest: You will need to go to the user interface and check on the signal strength

Chris: 100%

Chris: Everything checks out.

Chris: I can get to the local admin interface.

Chris: I have an IP as assigned by the connection…

Chris: But… nothing else.

Patricia Everest: what is your ip address you are getting?

Chris: Which – client or the puck?

Chris: Client IP is 192.168.0.189.

Chris: DNS is 192.168.0.1… which is odd, but that’s what it’s showing.

Patricia Everest: that is the wrong ip, it should end with a number other than 1. please check
your connections

Chris: Puck IP is 75.94.67.57

Patricia Everest: i need the ip for your wifi on your puck

Chris: You’re asking one question with four possible answers.

Chris: i can email you a screen shot of what I see.

Patricia Everest: i need the ip address on your computer, you are giving me more information than i did not ask for. all i need is the ip address from your wifi connection

Chris: I’m not going to argue with you, but you said “I need the IP for your wifi on the puck” – and that’s the info I gave you. If you’re asking for AN IP address assigned to a connected system, one would be 192.168.0.114.

Patricia Everest: you have given me three ip address starting with 192.168

Chris: And the Puck IP, too – scroll up. “Chris: Puck IP is 75.94.67.57”

Patricia Everest: I’m sorry you are having problems understanding me, i will try to be more clearer. when you are connected to the wifi, what ip address do you get. it should start with 192.168

Chris: You said “I need the IP address on your computer” – and I have two connected systems. One (again) is showing 192.168.0.189 as the IP, and the other is showing “192.168.0.114.”

Chris: ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Patricia Everest: are you connected to two wifis at the same time?

Chris: …that’s impossible.

Chris: They’re not “wifis,” they’re access points. And no, I have two different systems connected to the Puck.

Patricia Everest: it is not possible if you have two wifi adapters. you should only get 1 ip address

Chris: TWO DIFFERENT SYSTEMS CONNECTED TO THE PUCK.

Patricia Everest: you can have upto 8 devices connected

Chris: Yes, I know.

Chris: I’m trying to troubleshoot, eliminating the possibility of this being a problem with ONE system.

Patricia Everest: I appologize that you are having problems connecting. lets try something else. where do you get your ip address 75.94.67.57

Chris: Admin Status page

Patricia Everest: what happens when you try to browse. do you get an error message, and what do you see?

Chris: timeouts

Patricia Everest: have you tried to connect with another computer?

Chris: are you kidding me?

Patricia Everest: no

Chris: scroll up

Patricia Everest: i don’t understand why you want me to scroll up

Chris: I’ve told you, nothing short of twice, that I have two systems connected to the puck.

Chris: They’re exhibiting the same problem.

Patricia Everest: sorry, you also said you cannot connect more than 1

Chris: No, I didn’t.

Chris: I was correcting your error, in that you can’t connect to two access points from one antenna at the same time.

Patricia Everest: have you tried to ping?

Chris: Yep. “Unknown Host”

Patricia Everest: you have a valid ip address. have you tried resetting the puck?

Patricia Everest: are you still there?

Chris: I can’t even factory reset

Chris: i can’t get a connection

Chris: even after sticking a paper clip in the pinhole…

Patricia Everest: can I have your address please?

Chris: [redacted]

Patricia Everest: It seems that we are having some issues in WA with our signal. Our techs are working to solve the problem and should be working in a few hours

Chris: so my “free trial” was uselss?

Patricia Everest: no, you still have time to use, you will only miss a few hours

Chris: few hours? It was problematic last night.

Patricia Everest: when did you setup your account?

Chris: last night.

Chris: it seemingly worked fine. then an hour later, it didn’t.

Patricia Everest: I’m sorry it is not working now. I will submit another issue so our techs can escalate and fix the problem with the system.

Chris: Thank you.

Patricia Everest: it should be working in a few hours, is there anything else i can help you with?

Chris: no

Playing Tetris Eases Stress

It’s no secret that I am a Tetris fanatic. That is pretty much the only game I play and truly enjoy. Forget the fact that the game is addictive. Researchers at Oxford University have suggested that playing Tetris can assist in the treatment of post-traumatic stress.

According to the research, playing Tetris after a shocking event can help reduce the number of horrific flashbacks that a person may have. According to Dr. Emily Holmes, memories become permanent six hours after trauma. She feels that playing Tetris will interfere with the process of memories being kept by people’s brains. She further speculates that in the future, Tetris could be used to help people who are suffering after accidents or during wars.

I am grateful that I have never suffered a severely traumatic experience. However, I still maintain that playing Tetris is good for keeping my stress levels down.

Is your computer stressed out? Take a look at what’s new in the software center and calm your computer with something new.

CLEAR Customer Service Nightmare

After seeing a tweet from Jeris JC Miller this morning, I offered to provide her guest blogger privileges on my blog – given that I once suffered the cruel and unusual torture of ClearWire customer service. The following has been written by Jeris:

As an active member of a thriving social media community, I often have need of a portable hub while attending community events. Not every venue that I attend is equipped with internet access as I do a lot of outreach in Seattle’s non-profit community. Of the portable wireless hubs currently on the market, I chose the ClearSpot from CLEAR (formerly Clearwire) because of its convenient size and the fact that the portable modem could be disconnected and carried and used separately without the hub when size portability is my foremost need. It was the design that won the day.

I ordered my ClearSpot hub and modem on 01.15.10 and it was promptly delivered. However, the ClearSpot was shipped with outdated Firmware which kept me stuck in an endless loop of “Capture” on Clearwire’s Home page during set up (very annoying!!) and which required a two hour telephone call with CLEAR Technical Support as they walked me through downloading and installing correct Firmware updates and setting the unit up. I will say on CLEAR’s behalf, the Technical Support team was well trained and effective – for a newbie or intermediate user however, this task would have been very daunting right out of the box! Still, I persevered since I really want this mobile capability and functionality. At the initial time of my purchase, I also opted for an Extended Hardware Warrantee for an additional charge. Although I am not a super highend Power User, I am also not a neophyte. Hardware and software isn’t perfect and it’s best to have a backup!

My initial user experience with ClearSpot upload and download connection speeds was disappointing from my Queen Anne area home, but connectivity speeds seem to perform better at the top of hill (I live on South Slope) and necessitated purchasing a separate homebased cable modem to meet my daily needs. The total package for connectivity only for both services is close to $69 per month.

On March 6th, 54 days after the arrival of my ClearSpot hub and modem, the ClearSpot failed – it stopped assigning IP Addresses and required an internal “reset” as I was informed by Clear Technical Support. One problem however; the sliding panel on the back of this hub is fused to the main unit and it cannot be opened unless I pry it off which of course will void all warrantees on this unit. Totally exasperated, I let the project go another week as work demands took precedence.

I followed up with a second call to CLEAR Technical Support on 03.13.10 and spoke with one of their Second Tier Customer Support Technicians, where I learned that my extended hardware warranty, which I specifically purchased to cover this kind of an incident, did NOT cover the ClearSpot – it was only valid for the mobile modem! What’s more, the ClearSpot only has a 30 Day Warrantee! – not the 90 days typical of most electronic equipment – and CLEAR requires ME to send the ClearSpot to Motorola for replacement.

In the meantime – while I am expected bear the burden of sorting this out with Motorola – CLEAR intends to keep billing me for a service I cannot use! When asked if I could cancel the ClearSpot Service outright and asked for a refund for the defective hub – I was referred to the CLEAR Billing Department – which of course is not available on the weekends.

I pursued the Customer Service Escalation line of inquiry further by asking if there was a Twitter account, an email address, a web site to which I could escalate this terribly inequitable issue and register a formal complaint with CLEAR Customer Service. There is none! The mechanism in place for formal escalation of customer complaints is through traditional snail mail to:

CLEAR Customer Service
5220 Industrial Blvd
Milton, FL 32983

In the meantime, I am automatically charged for a service I am not and cannot use. This ranks among the Worst Customer Experiences I have ever encountered or even heard of! I can think of no other piece of electronic equipment that is warrantied under 90 days!

CLEAR does NOT Make It Simple!