Category: IT Support

How I spent 20+ hours troubleshooting Rogers Internet problems

Prelude – A Story of ISP Woe

Just to warn you before you begin reading this article, this article could be seen as extremely biased against Rogers. I’m quite disappointed in the level of customer service I’ve received as a result of a virus-related problem in the home. At least, I think it’s a virus related problem (but since Rogers can’t really provide any real information, written or otherwise, I’m just going off what they’re telling me when I call in).

If you’re a Rogers fan boy, you may want to protect your virgin ears on this one and go read someone else’s article praising how great of an ISP they are.

However, it may take some time for you to find said article.

Why did you spend 20 hours on the phone with Rogers Technical Support?

So, Rogers offers great Internet service. Right? They have a good market share. Many clients use Rogers internet because the speeds are difficult to match up to from other internet service providers.

Long story short, Rogers has been suspending my Internet every 3 days.

I’m the techy person in the house, and when a problem like this happens, it falls on me to figure out.

So what exactly is the problem? Well, according to Rogers I have some kind of “email spam bot” running on my network. After the first few suspensions, all I was being told was “it’s a bot,” not an email spam bot. Rogers techies have no idea what to do. They are poorly trained. I was told to go online, and search up “what is my ip,” and somehow, miraculously, I’d be able to …. I have no idea what this information is going to do for me, really. Nothing. Rogers techs didn’t know the difference between and external IP and an internal one. If you talked about a 192.168 network to them, they have no idea what you’re talking about.

Every time the connection was suspended, I’d ask Rogers: can you tell me what is the problem. Can you tell me what computer on my internal network is having the problem. Can you give me the IP of the affected machine internally. Can you tell me what port the traffic is happening on. Can you give me a log file.

Long story short: Can you share ANY information at all that can help me? The answer was always: no. The technicians would put me on hold. I spent hours on hold. There were typically no managers who would take the call. If I asked for a supervisor or manager, I’d be put on hold indefinitely or transferred somewhere after an hour long call. Typically I’d get transferred to a non-existent line that would tell me, this line is not in service, or etc. and simply I’d then be disconnected.

Customer Service > Technical Support ?

I actually found that the reps who worked in customer service were smarter, had better training, were more technical and were generally able to provide SOME level of information, while the guys who were in the technical department were horrible. English was not their first language whatsoever and they were extremely difficult to understand.

Anyways, fast forward ahead I’ve been suspended 5 times now. I’ve been told to “try Googling online for spam bots and try the troubleshooting steps.” Rogers does not have any particular anti-virus suite they recommend. They will also tell you to take the PC to the Geek Squad, obviously they have some kind of back-end deal signed up with Geek Squad and will refer you there. They really have no tools or ideas of what to do to troubleshoot on the phone. At the very least, they should be able to tell me: can you see the network activity that you’re talking about, happening on my network right now. Can you tell me what device is the problem. Can you even give me a log file to show me the problem. I did not get anywhere, just in endless holds and loops while trying to get support from them.

The whole issue I’ve experienced makes me feel like they do this on purpose to provide some revenue generation to their partner Geek Squad, and if they shared any kind of information with me in regards to the supposed event(s) they are describing, then Geek Squad wouldn’t get the business they so need or desire.

I called Geek Squad, they told me to try scanning with Malware Bytes as well as the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool. I had already done this after doing some Googling on what programs to scan with. The windows tool took 3 days and found nothing. The malware bytes tool also took about half a day. Nothing really found. Geek Squad told me I could bring in the PC but if I already spent 3-4 days scanning and found nothing, there was really not a point. I agreed.

I was told at one point, after much waiting on hold and asking many questions, of the times of the “infractions.” I was told that a “problem was detected at 11:36 AM on Thursday,” however I was at work at that time and my PC was off. Same thing on Monday, I was told a problem was detected at 8:30 am. My PC was off and I was at work.

I started asking questions like, is it possible this is not a problem detected in real time? No one could tell me anything. Finally, after the fifth suspension, I was told I would be emailed a log file. No log file ever showed up in my email. We verified the address the email was going to multiple times.

Here we are now going on 5 times being suspended, getting no where with Rogers technical support at all, and pretty much now being forced to cancel my Internet connection with Rogers and look for another provider at this time. Rogers is doing such a poor job here, basically suspending my connection and cannot provide any real data as to why. I can’t believe people would pay for a service where they are cut off every 3 days.

What I finally did in the end after getting no support from Rogers

I’ve now done the following after the fifth suspension and I have no idea what else to do. I’ve spent 20+ hours on the phone with Rogers technical support after 5+ phone calls with no real resolution, no data; not even a breadcrumb to point me in the direction of where the problem lies.

  • Completely formatted the only PC on the network
  • Changed all the wi fi passwords, router login passwords, set the router firewall level to medium from low
  • As I changed wi fi passwords, I used Angry IP scanner to check every IP address on my network. I checked that I recognize all the IPs and devices as I slowly re-added the wireless devices to my network (Smart TV, iPad, iPhone, etc).
  • Even replaced the hard drive in my computer as I reformat and reinstall Windows so there is no possible way that any virus can remain.

Through troubleshooting this problem, I think I’ve learned more than what most Rogers techs will learn in a lifetime working there (probably because they’re not mandated to actually solve the problem). Some of them would even try to upsell me to a higher tier Internet package, saying that more speed should help with the issue. Absolutely and completely clueless. If you can’t fix the problem, why the hell would I pay you more money for a service that obviously isn’t working for me as a consumer?

On top of that, my service also stopped working on Sunday for about 2 hours due to an outage. I am extremely unhappy with them at this time as my ISP and as mentioned, am being forced to look elsewhere now for Internet service. I simply cannot understand how they can play games with their client base like this and still expect us to be paying customers.

How Managed IT Partners help with more than just IT

It’s true – your Managed IT vendor, or partner can help with more than just IT needs at your business. So what are the other things that a Managed IT Partner can help with?

Competency & Skills – Having a managed IT partner means your organization has access to a much larger skillbase, and on short notice. A Managed IT partner can scale up resources, or scale them down quickly. As the old adage goes, “no one is good at everything, but everyone is good at something.” This certainly applies to the IT world as well. It’s not always possible to have one person that does everything – and having a team of skilled resources still needs leadership and management at the end of the day. Having the capability to utilize these additional resources when needed is a huge asset to the business.

Knowledge transfer & upgrade – Every environment is different. The IT environment you have within your business is unique and different than all others. In order to support this environment, proper documentation needs to be kept. Training needs to be done with each new rep as they are hired, so that they know how to support the environment.

Managed IT partners have processes for doing the same thing over and over. Keeping information about how your business functions and operates, documenting it properly and passing it from resource to resource is important in order to keep knowledge and supporting documentation up to date.

Patch schedules, schedules in general, organization – A Managed IT partner brings with them organization to the chaos. A little scheduling can certainly go a long way. Using practices learned from over the years, your managed IT partner can implement schedules for when the servers should be patched. While you may have resources that are scheduled to work the old 9-5 stick, a managed IT partner will have resources working at different times of the day and night.

Compliance – depending upon the area in which your business operates, there may be compliance needs. Does the company data require backup daily? Does compliance stipulate where the data needs to remain when at rest? Does your organization have a need to store data only in Canada? Being in tune with the compliance needs of the organization is important in today’s economy.


What does iByte do?

iByte primarily provides Business to Business services. offers IT Services, to assist with the day to day operations and management of your company’s IT environment. This includes consultation, assessment (both onsite and offsite), remote support & helpdesk support, staff augmentation services, procurement services, disposal and more. iByte operates locally in the South Western Ontario (SWO) region.

Computer Repair – Hardware, Software, Operating System Issue/Blue Screen, Viruses, Re-Format, Re-Install Windows

If you are looking for some simple repair options, we can help. We are flexible and can work to your budget. Give us a call, and we’ll advise over the phone an estimate of what your repair costs will be. We charge time and material for repairs. You have two options, either we can come on-site to your business and fix the problem there, or take the machine off-site to repair it. Repairing the problem in real time at your location will incur a higher cost, as opposed to repairing the machine at the shop.

Note: We cannot work with ransomware. Valid software licenses required

Server Repair – Hardware, Software, Operating System Issue/Blue Screen, Viruses, Re-Format, Re-Install Windows

We can work with both new operating systems as well as Legacy Windows Operating Systems. Note: at this time, we do not have in house experience to work with Linux systems. For issues related to Linux or other Server Operating Systems, please use the contact us page to reach out for additional information.

Help Desk & Remote Support Services

Provide the base level support to your staff by providing a support line, ready to take their calls 9 AM – 5 PM, Mon – Fri. Business hours can be altered/established for the support line, to suit your business hours.

Per call basis or set number of calls per month can also be established, to provide a small amount of call time as opposed to unlimited (reduce cost, provide predictability of cost).

Fractional Resource Services / Part Time Engineer

If you are looking for a technician on site a once, twice, or a few times a month, or even once or twice a week, we can help. We’ll work with you to establish when you need someone, and provide introductions to your chosen resource before they start. It’ll be like hiring someone, except you don’t need to do it – you pay a fraction of the cost for someone who’s responsible, on-time, but only needed fractionally on a set schedule.

Networking Problems, Internet Slowdown

If you’re having issues with slow Internet, or the network is slow for whatever reason – slow transfers, problems accessing resources – we can help. Our engineers will visit your business, and start with speaking to your staff and management team to understand your concerns. Speaking with the people, and then taking a look at the technology, we can provide a full report and recommendations on how to move forward. iByte’s team of professionals can also help you to source new connectivity, if required. Options are available from different telco providers, and we will show you all of the different options in the area.

iByte is meant to be a “I can do it!” kind of website. We offer reviews, helpful resources and ideas for the IT professional. There are a ton of different solutions on the market today – for everything. You might be looking to setup a simple data backup solution. You want to (or need to) store data off-site – but is there a way to try different solutions before making an investment? How can you determine what works and what does not, without having to start investing money?

Offsite Assessment & Consultation, Remote Probe Assessment

Having a second set of eyes look over your environment cannot hurt. Working with a consulting firm can provide positive results, such as an idea of where slowdowns or bottlenecks lie within the networking environment. Being able to find the root cause of systemic or recurring issues can save your company thousands of dollars in downtime and man hours spent.

You may be having some problems within your environment, or it may be very old. For example, there is some really old networking equipment in the environment – we call this legacy. All the equipment is outdated, and throughout the day and there are a number of problems within the environment that occur. Some users report that a 3 o’clock everything gets so slow, they can’t even browse the Internet. Your Internet connection could be very slow also. One of the challenges in any business, especially if you don’t have any IT people, is knowing where the problem lies. The Internet might be really slow, so you call it the Internet service provider and you have the line upgraded. This cost the business ask more dollars per month, and it doesn’t solve the problem. This is just one example of an issue that many businesses can face, because they don’t have a good handle on their actual IT environment today.

So how do you map out your current environment, find the bottlenecks, and start looking for solutions to everyday problems? The first step is to draw a map. If you know what you have in the infrastructure, you can start mapping it out. If you don’t you can go into the server room and start writing down the make and model of the different equipment. The next step would then be to understand how all the equipment is configured and connected together.

This may sound daunting for someone who is not an IT professional. If you have some IT background you might be able to do this. However, being able to explain to someone else what’s currently in place, how it set up and how it’s configured might be challenging. Also, being able to understand where the bottlenecks are, what slowing down the network-this is something where you will need help.

There are many solutions on the market today called probes. A probe can be installed to your network, and will obtain a number of answers back about your current environment. A probe can quickly provide a report of all the network peripherals, computers, servers, databases, virtualization, and more about the environment. These probe scans can then be exported to report format.

What is an IT Consulting Firm and when should one be engaged?

If you are looking for IT consulting, you could be looking for a variety of different things. You could just be looking for help with computers, systems, databases or applications within your business. Or, you could be looking for a company that can help you to find work in the fast-paced and growing IT industry. Or, you could be looking for a Managed Services company.

Let’s break down all the different forms of IT consulting and how different businesses listed here can help.

1. You own a business and you need help with your IT environment

This is a common need. As businesses grow, they tend to grow ad-hoc. There isn’t always a strategy as it relates to IT from the beginning. Businesses start small, adding staff and computers here and there. Eventually, a new printer gets purchased and configured, a new server might be needed to run an application. As things get added over time and just as needed, this is called “ad-hoc.”

Once the business gets to a certain point, executives and decision makers need to start looking at having a plan in place for the future. Adding things ad-hoc gets to be costly and can cost the business money in terms of downtime and lost productivity.

If you are having issues in the business like slow connectivity, viruses, inability to support staff from an IT perspective, and your staff is constantly complaining about how they can’t get work done – it may be time to engage a consultant. Look for one that offers a “health check” or assessment of your infrastructure. You can usually have it done for free. The assessment will provide a report back of your current infrastructure, and recommendations to improve the current network.

Providing improvements to the environment may require new hardware, such as new networking gear, new servers and/or new computers for staff. Look for a partner that provides un-biased recommendations. For example, if you just bought new computers and you’re being told to buy new ones again, look for a second opinion. Also, look for “root cause analysis.” This means if you are provided recommendations – why. What is the reason you are being told to replace equipment. If there is sound reasoning behind the recommendation, that’s a good sign.

2. You want someone else to manage your IT (Managed Services)

Having an external company manage the resources of your IT environment, can free up your people to do other things. One of the challenges in any business, is that the IT people become more like firefighters, and they are not able to focus on important business initiatives. For instance, staff can become accustomed to walking up with their computer problems, instead of following a set process like opening a support ticket. Corporate governance is not something that is always easily enforced, and you don’t want to pay soft your executives by not providing the level of support that they need. Sometimes, working with an outside company can solve this problem by assigning different support criticality to different issues/different personnel. For example, you might have it set up with your managed IT company that if a critical server goes down, they must have a back online within a four-hour period. Because the support and management has been outsourced, you can hold your IT partner to this agreement. However it’s difficult to have in-house resources follow the same strategy. Often times, in-house resources will just troubleshoot what they know about, with no criticality or prioritization assigned within the environment.

Another reason you may look at having your IT outsourced, is to save money. It costs anywhere from 50 to 100,000 dollars to hire a full-time IT resource. This is just for the cost of one resource. A managed IT company can provide a set or group of personnel to be constantly working within your environment, for a fraction of the cost. Most work will be done remotely, which works fine most of the time. If you feel that you need an on-site person, the IT partner will often provide an on-site resource once or twice a week as part of the managed services offered.
Network Architecture & Design

Architecture or re-architecture of a network environment requires expertise, experience, and skill. Building a new network design is much like an engineer building a bridge. All of the underlying fabric, if you will, needs to be looked at during the consultation process. A network engineer cannot enter a business and put together a new design and plan without proper planning. Proper planning means looking at all of the following variables during the consultation process:

  • The number of users within the environment,
  • the number of computers within the environment,
  • the speed at which the network communicates both internally and externally,
  • the load, both in terms of communication in and out, and the compute required within the server environment,
  • the application stack running within the environment, both from a client and server perspective,
  • the business impact, or future goals of the organization, as it pertains to the current environment,
  • the long term plan, the objectives that need to be reached throughout the course of the plan,
  • the current problems, headaches, challenges or other issues that are faced on a day-to-day basis.

This is really just some of the things that a network architect needs to look at within the environment. A legacy environment refers to an infrastructure which is utilizing very old equipment. It doesn’t even need to be very old equipment, but anything that is older than 3 to 5 years is probably deemed legacy at this point. In technology, things change so fast and it’s important to stay up on the most recent developments. For instance, many businesses today still run a network environment which communicates at 1 MB or 10 MB per second. In today’s technology, computers and networking are able to now communicate at speeds up to a gigabyte per second, with fibre runs enabling speeds of up to 10 GB per second.

It’s important to know when you need to upgrade within the environment. It’s also important to know what needs to be upgraded and why. Finding a network bottleneck is not always an easy task, and understanding how to resolve it once identified can be an even greater one. The challenge in this is knowing what works from previous experience. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel or try something completely new, as there is significant investment involved in replacing outdated technology, as well as configuring new technology to run its place.

How to troubleshoot and document IT issues & challenges

Consultation & Assessment

When having a problem within the IT environment, it can be difficult to pinpoint the issue. There are many problems you can face within the environment. Being able to find the problem sometimes mean checking multiple avenues: is it a storage problem? Network problem? Being able to figure out what kind of problem you are facing, can actually sometimes be difficult. Knowing where the problem is originating from, or what the root issue is, is the first step in the assessment process:

  • Identify the problem. Is it a systemic issue happening across the entire environment, or it’s only isolated to one computer, one system or one particular area within the environment? Try to determine first: what is the issue? Start looking at the particulars:
  • Is there a certain time of the day when the issue occurs?
  • Is it a problem that repeats every day? If not every day, which days does it happen?
  • How long has the problem been happening for?
  • Was there a change within the environment that caused the problem to start happening?Once the problem is identified, start troubleshooting:
  • Is this a known issue?
  • Have you tried searching/Googling for the problem online?
  • Have you checked online forums for the issue?
  • Log the troubleshooting steps you take in a ticketing system so you can check the steps you did later
  • Document the steps with screenshots and other notes for advanced step by step
  • Are you able to resolve the problem through troubleshooting?Helpful tips:
  • Test, test and document – make sure you’re making changes to a test environment, not to production
  • Only roll out changes to in-production systems during off hours, and after extensive testing
  • Extensive testing should provide the confidence needed to make the necessary changes to the production environment – again, only once long testing periods are completed with documented results
  • Observe the results and report
  • Is the issue completely resolved?
  • What is the impact to the business? Does resolving the problem help alleviate other problems? How so? Document the outcome
  • Now that the issue is resolved, is there next steps or recurring steps that must be completed?
  • If so, what is the optimal, or automated method in which to ensure continual resolution?
  • Is there preventative measures that must be taken?