Matt Connolly's Blog

my brain dumps here…

Telstra Bigpond pays up for router to make up for crappy Netgear cable modem!

After a frustrating series of unsuccessful attempts to get Telstra Bigpond to replace their crappy Netgear Cable modem with something that would actually work, and resolving the issue by supplying my own router, I made a formal complaint to Telstra documenting all of the trouble shooting that I’ve done, the dates that I had rang technical support, etc, etc.

The crux of my complaint was this:

I have provided enough technical analysis of the problem to unequivocally identify that the Netgear CGD24N cable modem is incapable of performing the required functionality for the “Telstra Complete Home Saver 200GB Bundle” service.

I have given Telstra Bigpond a fair opportunity to resolve the issue and it has not been resolved.

I have taken further steps and resolved the issue myself by disabling a significant portion of the Netgear CGD24N’s functionality and installing an additional wireless router (Linksys model E2000) at my own expense.

I therefore make the following demands:

  1. I demand that the cost of this Linksys E2000 router ($115.00) be reimbursed to me as a credit to my Bigpond account. (Original invoice attached.)
  2. I demand acknowledgement from Telstra that no suitable customer premises equipment has been delivered and subsequently the conditions for the contract for service have not been met. I will then continue to use Bigpond as my Internet service provider just as if a contract period had expired naturally, subject to no cancellation clauses, and continuing on a rolling monthly basis.
  3. I demand a written response to this complaint with 14 days. 

And today, I received a phone call from their complaints resolution people, offering me a refund for the $115.00 which I happily accepted and a guarantee that I’ll be released from any contract-period cancellation charges should I cancel my service. The guy was polite and gave me a reference number, his Telstra employee number and the phone number for his office (call centre I suppose). I’ll take what I can get.

A refund of $115.00 certainly costs Telstra less than a complaint escalated to the TIO, is less than what they’ve already spent on technical support that couldn’t deal with the issue, and is worth way less than the amount of time I’ve spent on this issue, but I’ll take it as a win.

I just hope they’ve really learnt something from this and can give Netgear a boot up the proverbial for making such second rate equipment (and themselves for supplying it).

Happy days.

Edit: Thanks Glenn for your comment. You can download the pdf here: Telstra Complaint – Netgear CGD24N


9 responses to “Telstra Bigpond pays up for router to make up for crappy Netgear cable modem!

  1. Glenn Sweeney 31 August, 2012 at 15:32

    Whyis this on scribed for .. not paying 10$ a month to access something like this…
    Not sure why didnt you just host the pdf on your blog? Anyway I was so impressed you put this up for other people.. but im not paying scribe for it…
    Could you please email me the pdf to –email–removed–
    Hope your having a great day!

  2. lukebarnes 5 March, 2013 at 08:24

    Oh oh. Having complained and complained about dropouts from my Netgear CG814WG, Telstra have just sent me a Netgear CGD24N. I’ll keep your letter handy if I have to call Telstra!

  3. Laurence Barber 19 March, 2013 at 22:07

    Hi Matt,

    Fascinated by all of this. I don’t really understand most of the technical stuff (though reading your explanation has cleared a lot of it up. I just got a CGD24N without realising this would be a problem – a lesson to me for not researching beforehand. The connection is much better than my still-functioning previous modem, a Motorola SBG900, which I wanted to replace in some way because its wireless signal is quite dismal after so many years of dutiful service.

    What I’m wondering is, do you think it might be possible for me to get a reimbursement for a router without having to spend all the time on the field tech & phone call nonsense? Because I’ve already had enough trouble with the CGD24N when it failed to function for over a fortnight after I first tried installing it, and I’ve spent too many hours on the phone to them already. It’s unbelievable they can get away with selling such a poor quality product.

    I’m thinking I might switch back to the Motorola in the meantime. But now I’m out $80 or so for the CGD24N as well. What a debacle.



  4. Phil 22 March, 2013 at 13:29

    Great letter Matt!

    Not only is the NAT capacity rubbish, the WPS capability leaves the modem suspect for hacking using “Reaver”. Had a problem with internet usage going up and discovered a device that was not one of mine in use. Changed the WPA password and 2 days noticed the same MAC was back. Changed WPA and it was about a week before it was back. Turned off wifi and used a different access point = MAC not seen since and no unknown devices. Went back to original setup and the next day the device was back. It was then I discovered backtrack and reaver which retrieved by WPS and WPA2 in just under 3 hours.

    Complained to bigpong and they promised a new router – 6 weeks later, no result.

    Your letter inspires me!

    • mattconnolly 22 March, 2013 at 20:42

      Thanks for the kind feedback, Phil. I hadn’t looked at any security aspects of that router. That’s for sharing!

      I’d recommend using the Netgear as a modem only (disable NAT) and an external wifi router. Best of luck getting sorted, let us now how it goes.

  5. Phil 17 May, 2013 at 14:05

    Telstra/Bigpond never ceases to amaze me with their incompetence!

    Apparently the order for a CG3100 was stuck in provisioning and that it’s not unusual. So the CSR cancelled the order and created a new one with promise of a modem being delivered in 2-3 days.

    2-3 days later no modem so another call only to be told the CG3100 is not compatible with my service so the 2nd order was cancelled. I had the CSR take a specific note that I don’t care what they send me, it must have the ability to turn off WPS and it must not be a CGD24N.

    3 days alter a CGD24N turned up.

    Another call and same storey, CG3100 not compatible with my service. After much barking I got a new CSR who put me on hold numerous times to determine if I could use a CG3100 – yes I could and he would get one sent immediately and even gave me a stock reference. I told him this was to cost me nothing to take delivery and no change to the plan – he confirmed that was correct.

    3 days later a CG3100 turned up and after 15 mins was up and running = sweet!

    Then a week later another CG3100 turns up but I am away and the housesitter received it. Called them again and the CSR said drop it into a Telstra shop.

    Then my bill turns up with 2x $72 charges on it = 2x modems. Well, I did receive 3 modems in total and will be keeping one! Called them to say I was only paying the relevant portion of the bill ($88) and the 2 modems will be going to the Telstra shop that day with the interaction number scribbled all over the box. They agreed to remove the 2x $72 charges.

    Whew, hope it is all over.

    The CG3100 – wifi performance is a bit flaky unless you are close to it. I have a WR1043ND that outperforms it. Occasionally I get connections dropped but I will need to check if it is the CG3100 or another aspect of my network.

    Moral is to keep at them and don’t let up. I finally have kept the hacker at bay and without giving Telstra a penny – although a shedload of my time!

    Thanks Matt for your positive story that made me persist!

  6. Sharon Cohen 24 September, 2013 at 23:27

    Hi Matt,
    I have just read your letter to Telstra and like many are not that familiar with the technical information, however, the problems you incurred seem similar to the problems I am experiencing with my CG3100 and my new Iphone 5s. Other devices, Iphone 4, IPods, and PC all work okay on my cable service. Just not the new Iphone.
    Telstra is refusing to do anything about the fact that their Netgear modem is not configured to the new technology! Talk about behind the times. I can’t even buy my own modem! Anyone else having the same problem or have a solution? Tech support won’t even escalate it unless I pay for it….Netgear won’t do anything. They say that as Telstra reconfigure their manufactured modems so they take over the warranty! The Iphone works on other ISP providers wifi so I know its not the Iphone. I can use my Iphone on an ADSL modem with Telstra at a friends house. I seem to only be having the problem with the Netgear Cable modem? Apple have indicated that it sounds like the modem requires some firmware upgrades. Do you have any suggestions on either how I can get it to work. I really feel Telstra is forcing my to use their paid support service for something that I believe they have an obligation to fix. I get the same response for them each time. Your the first case of this to be reported so its not our problem.

    • mattconnolly 25 September, 2013 at 06:48

      Hi Sharon,

      I’m not that familiar with the CG3100. According to the Whirlpool site: it has a bigger NAT table than the CGD24N I have (only 1024). From research I did during my problem, I found an American ISP who had to upgrade the firmware to have a NAT table size of 65536 befor their customers would stop complaining about dropped connections and slow performance. Telstra and Netgear will play hot potato not be helpful. You’ll need evidence to build a case.

      If you can have the modem in its “full” state where devices cannot use the connection, and the Telstra guy comes around and fixes it simply by resetting the modem (off, on), then that proves the fault is in the cable modem and not with your iPhones, etc. Telstra can’t charge you for this callout and if they do, take it to the TIO. They’ll likely replace the modem, which will have the same fault because it’s a problem with the design of the unit.

      To get it working, you’ll need a third party router. Disable NAT on the cable modem (which turns off its routing) and connect the new wifi router. You should be good to go.

      The outcome of my process was Telstra gave me a $115 credit for the cost of my wifi router. The whole process, however, getting the tech out, recording evidence, researching the problem, and so on, took a lot more than $115 of my time.

      It’s a shame that we don’t have a choice to buy third party cable modems in Australia. And it’s a real shame that Telstra provides such crappy equipment.

      If you don’t have the time nor inclination to go through that, just buy a new wifi router (try something like the Linksys EA2700, I don’t know what your needs will be like) and be done with it.

      Good luck!

  7. Brad Parker 22 January, 2015 at 06:53

    Matt thanks for taking the time and making the effort with this. It’s over a year later and has solved an ongoing frustration with my netgear modem wifi. You know the drill, kids and wife complaining of Internet dropouts with a modem reset fixing things for a while.

    I purchased a linksys EA6300 yesterday, changed the netgear to modem only (disabled NAT and turned off wifi) and now have better wifi signal and nice fast internet consistently.

    Anyway thanks again. Telstra Bigpond should have you consult to them for a better service!

    Regards, Brad

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: