Customer Support Response Times/VPN WILL NOT CONNECT!!!

edited November 7 in General VPN Support Posts: 8
Is there an average Customer Support response time? How has/does the "unexpected support load" they're experiencing affect their response times? I purchased a yearly subscription about 25 hours ago, and within the first hour had to contact Customer Support. (VPN won't connect and is useless on my PC). I submitted a ticket a little over 24 hrs ago and thus far haven't received a response other than the initial auto-response. I want to gauge whether it's worth trying to work with Customer Support to resolve my issue within 7 days, or should I get a refund. If each response is 24-48 hours, then keeping PIA is a gamble that I'm not willing to take as it could easily go past the 7 day money back guarantee. Thoughts? Thanks!
Post edited by p4031536 on

Comments

  • PIA needs to bring the live chat back as it was so simple to get in contact with the support team.
  • Posts: 265
    Hey there,

    Yeah there is a lot of tickets and the queue is sadly still a bit longer than that. If you give us your ticket number I can get @PIAAustin or @PIAKaneesha to look at it right away.

    Don't worry about your redund tho! Due to the special circumstances we'll honor the 7 day money back guarantee from the date you opened your ticket, so if anything goes horribly wrong we'll still refund you no problem.


    In the meantime, you can also explain your issue here and we'll do our best to answer your question here on the forums!

    @mission156 I think there's plans to reconsider this when the ticket queue is back to a reasonable length. Live chat requires a lot of resources and right now we pretty much put all of our energy towards answering tickets. Email is currently the most optimal format for us to answer everyone as quickly as possible as its delayed nature allows us to sort, prioritize and group questions. We have an IRC channel in the meantime however if you really want to chat!
  • edited October 26 Posts: 8
    Thanks for the responses! @Max-P, my ticket number is 469336. 

    The issue is with the Windows PIA client; it will not connect. Within the first (approximately) 3 hours after initial install I was able to connect twice. After it stopped connecting the first time I uninstalled and reinstalled the PIA client, left all settings at default, selected connect, and was able to connect. The reinstall may have helped, or I may have been doing something wrong. (Initially in settings I’d set the region to US California, I live in Nevada,  and had tried selecting connect, connect auto, and connect US California) When I was finished for the night I disconnected.


    Today I haven’t been able to get it to connect. I tried all steps listed for Windows/Mac OS/Linux at https://helpdesk.privateinternetaccess.com/hc/en-us/articles/219059608-Why-is-the-VPN-connection-not-working-or-slow-with-the-PIA-App- (Why is the VPN connection not working or slow with the PIA App?), and NONE of them worked. Between the first and second successful connection last night, I noticed the TAP-Windows Adapter V9 wasn’t connected. So, I watched it during all of the steps/tests on the page I linked to, and the adapter had a red X and said, and still says, "Network cable unplugged." I have another VPN that works; the adapter doesn't have a red X and says "Unidentified network" instead of network cable unplugged. So the issue seems to be with the PIA app and the TAP-Windows Adapter V9.

    I also tried reinstalling the TAP Driver, last night I think, but it didn’t help. Anyway, I think that sums it up, but at this hour my mind isn’t as clear as it is during the day/evening, so I hope I didn’t leave anything out and was clear enough.

    @Max-P, thank you for your helpful reply and willingness to help; it's greatly appreciated.


    I initially took that screenshot last night, and edited it (added numbers in the arrows) before posting it here. When trying to connect this is what I see: 1. TAP-Windows Adapter V9 showing cable unplugged 2. PIA icon indicating it's attempting to connect.
    Post edited by p4031536 on
  • Posts: 265
    Hmm, I see from your screenshot that you have McAfee running as your antivirus. This antivirus is known to do weird things with PIA, but usually whitelisting the app so McAfee doesn't mess with it does the trick. Here's the exceptions that needs to be added: https://helpdesk.privateinternetaccess.com/hc/en-us/articles/219455127-Antivirus-File-Exclusions-for-the-PIA-App

    Once that's done, you might need to do a full reinstall to ensure everything is there and no files have been deleted/quarantined: https://helpdesk.privateinternetaccess.com/hc/en-us/articles/219498647-How-do-I-uninstall-reinstall-the-PIA-app-on-Windows-

    If that doesn't work, then I think it will be easier to go with a debug log to see what's really going on. Follow this guide to generate one and let us know what the ID is (only the support staff can access those): https://helpdesk.privateinternetaccess.com/hc/en-us/articles/219459157-How-do-I-create-a-debug-log-for-the-PIA-app-desktop-laptop-
  • Max-P said:
    Hey there,

    Yeah there is a lot of tickets and the queue is sadly still a bit longer than that. If you give us your ticket number I can get @PIAAustin or @PIAKaneesha to look at it right away.

    Don't worry about your redund tho! Due to the special circumstances we'll honor the 7 day money back guarantee from the date you opened your ticket, so if anything goes horribly wrong we'll still refund you no problem.


    In the meantime, you can also explain your issue here and we'll do our best to answer your question here on the forums!

    @mission156 I think there's plans to reconsider this when the ticket queue is back to a reasonable length. Live chat requires a lot of resources and right now we pretty much put all of our energy towards answering tickets. Email is currently the most optimal format for us to answer everyone as quickly as possible as its delayed nature allows us to sort, prioritize and group questions. We have an IRC channel in the meantime however if you really want to chat!
    I am glad to hear it might be coming back @Max-P I have never had to use customer support luckily I am more of an advanced user but it seems now we have average computer users coming to use VPN services due to the increasing surveillance in many countries. 

    Of course I help as much as I can on the forum <span>:smile:</span>
  • Posts: 8
    Max-P said:
    Hmm, I see from your screenshot that you have McAfee running as your antivirus. This antivirus is known to do weird things with PIA, but usually whitelisting the app so McAfee doesn't mess with it does the trick. Here's the exceptions that needs to be added: https://helpdesk.privateinternetaccess.com/hc/en-us/articles/219455127-Antivirus-File-Exclusions-for-the-PIA-App

    Once that's done, you might need to do a full reinstall to ensure everything is there and no files have been deleted/quarantined: https://helpdesk.privateinternetaccess.com/hc/en-us/articles/219498647-How-do-I-uninstall-reinstall-the-PIA-app-on-Windows-

    If that doesn't work, then I think it will be easier to go with a debug log to see what's really going on. Follow this guide to generate one and let us know what the ID is (only the support staff can access those): https://helpdesk.privateinternetaccess.com/hc/en-us/articles/219459157-How-do-I-create-a-debug-log-for-the-PIA-app-desktop-laptop-

    An update:

     Truth be told, that first link is mildly confusing.  The title, "Antivirus File Exclusions for the PIA App," sounds like I'm supposed to add the listed files to the anti virus whitelist/exclusion/ignore list. And then, just before the list of files, it says "These are the following files that must be added to your security program's whitelist under Windows," which sounds like I'm supposed to add the listed files to the firewall (McAfee's firewall). I opted for the later, but had a (Windows) issue: from within McAfee (LiveSafe) you have to click a browse button in order to add a program. Clicking on the browse button opens a (Windows) File Explorer type window. I was able to find and add all files except: C:/Program Files/pia_manager/pia-openvpn.dll and C:/Windows/system32/DRIVERS/tap0901.sys. If I opened File Explorer, not from within McAfee, I can find the two files. The issue is that the files are hidden and aren't shown when I try to find them from within McAfee (browse button).

    After getting frustrated (pissed off) with not being able to add the two files I decided to uninstall/reinstall using the instructions on the second page you linked to. The "good" (more like promising) news is that after the install was complete the VPN connected. I'm not going to celebrate and consider the issue fixed because this has happened. I mentioned it in my second post above: after initial install it worked, I disconnected, tried to connect, and it wouldn't connect. after an uninstall/reinstall I was able to connect. next day, yesterday, I couldn't connect at all.

    So that's where things are. As I type this PIA is connected and things seem fine. (I can't get over the speed difference compared to my last VPN.) I'll post again when/if something changes or if it keeps working. Thanks!
  • edited October 31 Posts: 8
    To illustrate what I was talking about in my last post regarding an issue of not being able to see files while in McAfee, I've attached some pics.

    Attached pic PIA 1.png illustrates what I see when trying to add C:/Program Files/pia_manager/pia-openvpn.dll to McAfee, and PIA 3.png illustrates what I see when trying to add C:/Windows/system32/DRIVERS/tap0901.sys to McAfee. The attached pics PIA 2.png and PIA 4.png is what I see when I open File Explorer and navigate to the exceptions/files locations. Note: In PIA 2.png (C:/Program Files/pia_manager) you can see that both pia-openvpn.dll & tap0901.sys are there, but according to the list of exceptions/files (https://helpdesk.privateinternetaccess.com/hc/en-us/articles/219455127-Antivirus-File-Exclusions-for-the-PIA-App) only pia-openvpn.dll should be there.


    Post edited by p4031536 on
  • Posts: 8
    Well, the success I had yesterday did not last. When I was finished for the day last night, I disconnected and put my PC to sleep. A few minutes ago I woke my PC and....the damn thing will NOT CONNECT! The entire time, while it's indicating it's in the process of connecting, the TAP adapter showed "Network cable unplugged." Oh...not sure if it matters, but the VPN still will not connect if I turn the (McAfee) firewall off.
  • Posts: 8
    Final update:

    The issue causing my connection problem was a conflict with my security software (McAfee firewall).
    I'd been having a problem with the file exclusions https://helpdesk.privateinternetaccess.com/hc/en-us/articles/219058338-I-am-having-TAP-driver-issues-installation-errors-on-Windows. The problem was 2 of the files being hidden and not visible (in McAfee) while trying to exclude them. Since I couldn't see the files and knew they were there, I tried typing their names in the file name box and clicking on the open button (see Pia 1.png & Pia 3.png above). The 2 files then showed up in the McAfee firewall. I then did a full uninstall/reinstall https://helpdesk.privateinternetaccess.com/hc/en-us/articles/219498647-How-do-I-uninstall-reinstall-the-PIA-app-on-Windows-. Since then I've had 9 successful connections in a row since 10/27 at 9:52 PM and today at 7:55 PM (no failed connections). Thanks for the help Max.
  • Posts: 265
    I'm glad you were able to solve it! I'm sorry I haven't given much attention to your thread, I kept coming back and thinking about it but I didn't know what to make out of it. We hate antivirus software so much in support for that, so many issues lately from practically every vendor :/
  • edited November 7 Posts: 8
    New update SAME PROBLEM:

    As sometimes happens in life, the fun didn't last. Things worked from Oct. 27th until an hour or so ago. As far as I know, nothing has changed. I disconnected to watch some Netflix, and when I tried to connect again....nothing. Same symptoms as before. I opened a second ticket and await the fun of fixing a product I should never have purchased.
    Post edited by p4031536 on
  • Posts: 218
    @p4031536, I have responded to your new ticket.
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