How best to reach an actual technical support person in 2022 (G1100 router failing ethernet switch)
mdsteveb
Enthusiast - Level 2

I have a problem with my G1100 router (on a gigabit Fios connection).

It has worked fine for years, seemingly 100% reliable. However in the last 3-4 weeks we've been having 2-4 daily incidents where machines on my LAN would lose connectivity for 10-20 minutes at a time (even though all lights looked normal) before things would mysteriously return to working again.

I've been in IT for 30 years. I'm not a network engineer but I know my way around networking, and I also know how painful going through tech support to troubleshoot an intermittent issue like this was going to be. So I've been gathering data and swapping devices and ports around. My home network has a number of switches and a CAT5 run to the other side of the house where I put another wifi AP. Again, this has all worked great for years. Nothing had been changed around the time the problems started. And I just knew that once I started talking to Verizon about it they were going to end up blaming my stuff and making me tear it all apart (again) which was just going to take forever with such an intermittent problem.

My first attempt at getting support through chat was terrible - it ended up as an attempt to up-sell me (to what?? I'm on gigabit already), and when that failed he was certain that a factory reset of my router would fix it. Um, no it didn't.

Tonight when it happened I discovered I could still get to the admin page on the router from my work laptop that was still on my work VPN (so it still had access to DNS I guess? My home DNS servers were part of the wired network that was now dead) and lo and behold, on the "System Monitoring" -> "Full Status" page, in the Ethernet column, it showed the status as Disconnected. When the network eventually came back (right on cue 20 minutes later), this updated immediately to "Connected".  Why would the router ever be disconnected from its own Ethernet switch??

Anyway if I'm interpreting this correctly, it seems likely the switch hardware is getting flaky and it sounds like I need a replacement router. (Yes I've checked/plugged/replugged cables, moved connections around, etc.. nothing helps.)

Years ago it wasn't that hard to put in a hardware service call and request a router exchange but that seems almost impossible now. So how do I get Verizon to take me seriously and ship me a new router to try? I've already done all the legwork I can think of to reasonably do to isolate the problem for them. (My router is rented although now I see you guys talking about buying them on Ebay... hm...)

Thanks.

1 Solution
gs0b
Community Leader
Community Leader

Verizon provides zero support for non-Verizon equipment.  They simply won't discuss or support anything other than their own gear.  That doesn't mean you can't use non-Verizon gear, just that they won't help with any issues beyond the ONT.

Since you're on Gigiabit, your ONT is provisioned for Ethernet WAN.  It's a standards compliant WAN interface supporting IPv4 and in many markets, IPv6.  Plugin any router and it will pull single public IPv4 address and maybe a IPv6 address as well.

Verizon routers are just that - routers.  What makes them "Verizon" is they have built in MoCA bridges for WAN and LAN, they create specific port forwards for their set-tops, and they speak TR-069 back to Verizon's network.  The TR-096 enables their systems and people to remotely manage the router.  Useful for things like remote reboot, firmware updates, app-based/web-based management, parental controls and so on.  If you like using their app and web site to manage your router, you won't get that with a non-Verizon router.

There is no activation for routers.  Simply unplug your current router, then plug in a new router and it will work.  Doesn't matter if it's a Verizon router or not.  All of the activation magic is in the ONT - it is provisioned to provided Internet service at the subscribed speed.

There has been an active used market for Verizon routers for years.  You do have to watch out for G1100's coming out of Frontier territories, as they've been flashed with Frontier firmware and are not Verizon routers.  Even though they have the big V on the side.  A check of a sellers location and reputation will help with that, as well as a return policy you can live with in case of problems.  Another problem with the newest models (G3100, CR1000A) is they may be rental units that are being sold.  Those may trigger a rental fee when used, but reports have been spotty.  You can check with Verizon social media support before you plug it in to find out if it's on the rental list, if you're that concerned.

As for the cable card, I don't have any 1st hand experience.  It's my understanding you can easily use one with non-Verizon routers, as they don't use MoCA to communicate nor do they need specific ports opened.  You can try searching this forum or the Fios forum at https://www.dslreports.com/forum/vzfiber for previous discussions, or wait to see if another friendly user comments on your thread.

If I were you, I'd swap that G1100 out with another router and see if the problem goes away.  That will quickly let you zero in on the issue.  It's up to you if you want to get a used G1100 or a non-Verizon router.  Even if you use a non-Verizon router for tests, that will let you know about your network and you'll find out real quick if the cable-card works with it.  All of this can be done without Verizon's involvement and will likely take less time than the hold time to talk to their support.

Let us know what you figure out!

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dexman
Community Leader
Community Leader

During the service interruptions, are there any alarms on the ONT?

mdsteveb
Enthusiast - Level 2

I haven't noticed any. I did go out to wiggle connections during an outage and didn't hear any so I think the answer is no.

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dexman
Community Leader
Community Leader

The alarm would be visual.

The only audible alarm that I can remember was from the Tellabs BBU when the battery needed to be replaced.

gs0b
Community Leader
Community Leader

You're renting a G1100?  Gosh, you've paid for that device multiple times over it's life.

To get Verizon to pay attention, figure out if you can create a simple example of the problem that only involves their equipment.  That will eliminate the possibility of finger-pointing at your gear.  If you can then show them the problem in this Verizon only environment, you should be able to get them to replace the router; which they should do since you're renting.  While the G1100 is currently supported, it is no longer available for new rentals or sale from Verizon.  They may upgrade you to a G3100, but you'll have to see what they offer.

Another option is to buy a used G1100 to see if swapping routers fixes the problem.  If it does, you could then stop renting.  Since used units are around $40, you'll recover the cost in just a few months of missed rental payments.  If it doesn't fix the problem, you'll know it's something in your gear.  And you can still exit the rental game; as you've seen how much "value" it really provides.


Also know that if you don't have Verizon set-top-boxes, you don't have to use their router.  If a non-Verizon router would add features you like (say, a mesh network), this could be a good time to make the switch.  And get rid of that rental charge.

Know that if you use a non-Verizon router, their support will end at the ONT.  This shouldn't be an issue for someone like you who knows enough about networking to post the above message, but be aware of it.  For this reason, many folk who use non-Verizon routers keep a Verizon router in the closet for debugging if issues come up.  Again, a $40 used G1100 is good for this use.

If you want to continue trying to get help from Verizon, reach out to their social media support team.  The best way to do this is to tweet @verizonsupport or DM them on their FaceBook page.

mdsteveb
Enthusiast - Level 2

Let's just say that I've had Fios long enough that the last time I heard, non-Verizon equipment was not supported and I didn't want to go down a road without any support options. However, I made the assumption that Verizon routers would only be available from Verizon (and maybe that was true at the time I considered it). It's news to me that they're available on the used market, so I'll definitely pick one up. (I figured at the very least I'd still need to call to activate the new device or something.... no?)

I have no STBs but I do have cable card (how long will I be able to still use it I wonder?) for HDHR used by mythtv. So if I can keep using the cable card without the official router I might consider going mesh. (Although frankly the G1100+AC1200 AP has worked great and I have no complaints about my wifi coverage.)  I also wasn't 100% sure that what was coming out of the ONT was a plain old TCP/IP connection that I could just plug anything into. If you can confirm any of that, it opens up my options a lot 🙂

Thanks a lot,

Steve

gs0b
Community Leader
Community Leader

Verizon provides zero support for non-Verizon equipment.  They simply won't discuss or support anything other than their own gear.  That doesn't mean you can't use non-Verizon gear, just that they won't help with any issues beyond the ONT.

Since you're on Gigiabit, your ONT is provisioned for Ethernet WAN.  It's a standards compliant WAN interface supporting IPv4 and in many markets, IPv6.  Plugin any router and it will pull single public IPv4 address and maybe a IPv6 address as well.

Verizon routers are just that - routers.  What makes them "Verizon" is they have built in MoCA bridges for WAN and LAN, they create specific port forwards for their set-tops, and they speak TR-069 back to Verizon's network.  The TR-096 enables their systems and people to remotely manage the router.  Useful for things like remote reboot, firmware updates, app-based/web-based management, parental controls and so on.  If you like using their app and web site to manage your router, you won't get that with a non-Verizon router.

There is no activation for routers.  Simply unplug your current router, then plug in a new router and it will work.  Doesn't matter if it's a Verizon router or not.  All of the activation magic is in the ONT - it is provisioned to provided Internet service at the subscribed speed.

There has been an active used market for Verizon routers for years.  You do have to watch out for G1100's coming out of Frontier territories, as they've been flashed with Frontier firmware and are not Verizon routers.  Even though they have the big V on the side.  A check of a sellers location and reputation will help with that, as well as a return policy you can live with in case of problems.  Another problem with the newest models (G3100, CR1000A) is they may be rental units that are being sold.  Those may trigger a rental fee when used, but reports have been spotty.  You can check with Verizon social media support before you plug it in to find out if it's on the rental list, if you're that concerned.

As for the cable card, I don't have any 1st hand experience.  It's my understanding you can easily use one with non-Verizon routers, as they don't use MoCA to communicate nor do they need specific ports opened.  You can try searching this forum or the Fios forum at https://www.dslreports.com/forum/vzfiber for previous discussions, or wait to see if another friendly user comments on your thread.

If I were you, I'd swap that G1100 out with another router and see if the problem goes away.  That will quickly let you zero in on the issue.  It's up to you if you want to get a used G1100 or a non-Verizon router.  Even if you use a non-Verizon router for tests, that will let you know about your network and you'll find out real quick if the cable-card works with it.  All of this can be done without Verizon's involvement and will likely take less time than the hold time to talk to their support.

Let us know what you figure out!

LawrenceC
Moderator Emeritus

I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to post your comments and opinions related to this topic. This topic has been thoroughly discussed and will now be closed. Please feel free to open a new thread for further discussion. Thank you.

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