Vodafone Broadband Router Issue
I joined Vodafone for their broadband last summer. Not only could they get a good speed, based on their checker, but it was considerably cheaper than the broadband package I was on. I’d be saving over £60 a year moving to them.
There was an added bonus of coming with a £100 Amazon voucher but they were also giving a free Amazon Echo Dot, worth £49.99. Add this all together and I was getting a pretty good deal. Always worth checking out whether there is any extra cashback available via TopCashback.
30 Days Were Up
The first month I had the broadband everything was fine. I had no issues with the router or the speed and was more than happy with my move to Vodafone. However, as we moved into month 2 I noticed a problem.
Vodafone Router Issue
Vodafone Broadband had supplied me with their fancy new Wifi Hub and I noticed that a couple of times a day (sometimes well into double figures), my iPhone/iPad would be connected to the router but the router wouldn’t be connected to the Internet.
There was a message displayed when I went to a website saying ‘The Router isn’t connected to the Internet, click here to reconnect’. After a few minutes (certainly not seconds!) it would reconnect and I’d be able to use the internet again. Until the next time.
One of the really strange things is every time it borked the router ‘clicked’ with an actual sound. And when it reconnected, it clicked again.
Frustrating Call Of Duty
’General’ browsing online has a minor inconvenience with this issue. Emails get downloaded regularly so aren’t really affected. What was affected was my online gaming! I ended up getting kicked out of loads of games because the router dropped its connection.
(No) Customer Support
I didn’t fancy phoning up Vodafone Broadband customer support and as they had a webchat team I decided to use them. They weren’t really able to help, constantly telling me that I’d unplugged my router. I had not.
Eventually it got escalated to level 2 support and I had to give them a call. Level two support told me there was a line fault and they’d have an engineer out. To fix the cables in the street. A couple of days later they did, but it didn’t help. Back to support again.
Still (No) Customer Support
After going through webchat again I was told I’d unplugged the router, again. Eventually I got transferred to level 2 support and they arranged another engineer to check the exchange box on the street. I was assured that I didn’t need to be home for this but they could book it in the next day.
The Next Day
I’m at work and I get a call a from the engineer asking for where he can park (its residents parking on the road round here). I explained I couldn’t help with that and he got a bit frustrated. No-one mentioned I’d have to sort out parking for the engineer.
Then he told me he needed to get into the flat to check the cables there. Now I’d been very clear that I couldn’t just get home however my wife was there. He rang the bell and my wife let him in. They tested the phone wires in the flat and at no surprise to anyone, all the wiring of the flat was ok.
Absolutely (no) Customer Support
Back onto Customer support and I had to go through all the remote line tests before I got put back through to the 2nd line support. This time I told them that I think the modem/router is the issue (remember the clicking) and they agreed to send me a replacement router. There was one final thing they wanted to try.
I didn’t want to waste any more time on this but the agent told me this would work (but couldn’t explain why it had taken so long to suggest this as an answer). I didn’t believe it would fix the problem but said I’d try it anyway before the replacement router arrived
DNS DNS (doo dooo bee doo dooop)
2nd level support’s suggestion was to change the DNS server addresses. I did question whether this could cause the router to ‘click’ and I was told it would. This was a massive lie by the support person but I had nothing to lose.
I updated the DNS settings and you’ll never guess what happened……absolutely no difference.
Replacement Router Time
The replacement router arrived and I plugged it in. I gave it a few hours to bed in and checked how it was working. It was no different and I still heard the ‘clicking’. I knew the router must be the problem but there was nothing to be benefited by asking for another router from Vodafone. I did some Googling and it looked like I wasn’t the only person with this issue.
All the people who resolved the issue went through exactly the same pain as I did while talking to customer support. They were told it was line faults, or exchange problems, or anything except the routers. The people sharing my issue then can be categorised into two.
1) The people who cancelled their contract with Vodafone
2) The people who tried another brand of router.
I still had over a year of my contract so I thought I’d try another router. I asked for recommendations and it was suggested the *TP-Link Archer V600 would be a perfect replacement. It needed to be a MODEM/Router and not just a router.
I still needed my username and password for my broadband from Vodafone. It was easy to get from the webchat team (surprisingly easy!) and it was simple to add to the new router. By checking the router logs I saw that the new router managed to stay connected for a couple of days without disconnecting. The Vodafone router would have disconnected so many times in just one day. A massive improvement.
Not the End
I made the decision to not worry about it anymore. I shouldn’t have to have spent my own money on a router but seeing as I was happy with everything else, I decided to just suck it up. Turns out I needed that £100 Amazon voucher after all.
However, that wasn’t the end. The old router had been masking another problem and the new router uncovered it and caused me to raise a complain to the CEO of Vodafone….but that story is for another day.