Wind was ferocious enough last night that power went out here and never came back on until about ten hours later (a few minutes ago).
My granddaughter is 20 yrs old and computer illiterate enough to not know terminology except for chat rooms lol but follows directions exceptionally well. While I was on the three-way with Tier 3 support at TW, this gentleman took almost two hours to walk her through various tests at her end and manually installing the correct drivers from their cd for her Nvidia network adapter to work with their modem.
Previous tech support people basically stopped at the level of pinging backwards, couldn't get further than their modem, and automatically responded with 'your LAN hardware is broken' or 'your IE isn't configured correctly, call MS support instead'.
Every time she would try to use their installation cd, the third page of instructions would immediately state 'failed activity test...network adapter isn't installed or is not functioning properly'. Even though they would have her type in an IP addy for google into her IE address bar and it could reach google immediately, she could not travel the net using URL's. They still insisted it was her hardware or IE.
Brock (the Tier 3 support man) made some deletions via Vicki in the registry for winsock and winsock2 entries, rebooted the computer so XP could automatically re-enter it, and then was able to ping backwards to her computer....but it was identifying the network adapter as a Xerox which he had never heard of before and was temporarily stumped because he had it in his notes that it was actually a Nvidia device. He then walked her through manually installing the cd and once that was completed and the system was rebooted, he was able to ping backwards to the computer again, the adapter was seen correctly this time, and when she got on IE, it immediately slammed to the normal MSN homepage with no problems.
It turned out that the cd autorun feature was the main culprit all along since it was seeing the adapter as something incorrect and it didn't have in its database. But it had a compound problem of having something wrong with the winsock entries in the registry or any other tech support person pinging backwards would have seen that the adapter was being misidentified as a Xerox device when it wasn't.
I have no clue at this point as to how the winsock entries worked fine with dial up but got messed up for the cable modem/lan connection, but I'm very grateful to the level of support and the patience Brock took with solving this problem for us. I would have never considered removing the entries from the registry and then manually installing the cd. The man is worth every penny plus more that he is being paid.....a great idea would be to fire all the first level jerks we dealt with for two days straight for hours on hold just to go nowhere near the 'light at the end of the tunnel' and those paychecks should be split between the last woman we dealt with (who was exceptionally polite and when she realized she was out of her realm immediately turned us over to Brock) and Brock himself.
Tech support is always a hit and miss on the level of competancy you get...most times you end up with idiots whose pat answer is to format the drive, use the recovery cd, or it's at your end so figure it out. But I've found that if you keep calling back and you reach somebody new, you eventually get to the one person who is willing to go the extra mile for you and actually do what they are paid to do. You have to repeat your problem and steps you've taken already over and over but eventually you get what you need. The quickest way to save yourself from total frustration is to stay polite, get to the point in the conversation where you know you are spinning your wheels, then either insist on a higher level of support, or hang up, and call back to get to somebody else. Do not let somebody else talk over your words...they can't help if they aren't listening to you and only hearing themselves. Don't let them assume that your trying to describe what's happening isn't important enough to listen to because they know best. They don't know your hardware, they don't know your system, they don't know you and your computing expertise. They will always take a position of superiority and that you are dumb as dirt.
Always remember....YOU are paying for their service. Without YOU, they don't have a job. You are NOT paying them to be rude and jerks. Get your money's worth.