Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Absolute Answers

We're a bit too quick to come up with explanations for things we really don't have an explanation for.

Malcolm Gladwell
The journey from here to the Oxford Valley Mall is a twisting, turning, bumpy thirty to forty minute bus ride. I made the trip uncertain of my destination but with hope and expectation. It was mid October, shortly after my Internet connection failed and I lost the Windows. I thought it would be fixed at the first phone call. What a shock I was in for!

I still had my Dell at that point and the technicians I spoke with were certain they had the answer. The conversation always began "Okay. I'll get you back on line." Somewhere between 2 and 5 hours later it ended by whoever it was giving up.

But on the way to the mall I thought things had changed. The last technician I spoke with assured me in the most positive terms that the problem was with the Ethernet cable. It was old and threadbare and needed to be replaced, that was all. So I got to the mall, found Radio Shack and purchased a top-of-the-line cable. On the ride home I was feeling joyous and couldn't wait to get it hooked up. When I got there, I plugged it in, powered up, turned on the computer and clicked on Internet Explorer.


For about the next 20 days I heard as many explanations from Dell, Verizon and other experts as to why I still could not get on the Internet. By the time I decided myself that it was no use I had logged in 37 hours on the telephone. Some of the techies I talked with were abusive, insulting types, many were slow and plodding, some were difficult to understand and some were just plain ignorant.

I was made to perform the same processes over and over again including getting down on the floor to read numbers, unplug and plug, check connections and so forth. Getting down on the floor was difficult, but nothing compared with getting on my feet again. I felt like the woman in that old commercial who said "I've fallen and I can't get up." I soon learned that if I crawled over to the sink I could hoist myself up, but some of the techies grew impatient with me. When I finally got back to the phone they would be in the middle of talking to me or they had hung up.

There were exceptions. One Indian gentleman at Dell was determined to stay with me until the problem was solved. He really wanted me to get back on line and tried everything. A day would go by and he would call me up with a new idea. We conversed back and forth for many days and hours. I think he finally realized the fault was in the computer but he didn't want to admit it. He eventually gave up.

The brand new Ethernet cable that was the certain answer is now coiled up with a rubber band around it and sitting in a box.

Calling Tech Support is like jumping off a high diving board with a blindfold on. You don't know if there is any intelligence in the pool.



Gerry said...

I do relate to your not being able to get up easily once down on the floor. I envy all the agile out front who sit on this little ledge, squatting as if I sat down there it would take a winch to get me back on my feet. I am so fortunate to have my son Dan come over to listen to the tech guy when something goes wrong with the computer, especially Doc's. We have hard enough time with just Cox who usually tells us to unplug and plug back in while we are waiting for phone help, which so far has done the trick. But without my son Dan to fix some electrical problem on his new computer that had a short in it from day 1 we would have been in deep trouble. You can imagine Doc on the phone drunk and drunker. I don't approve of Doc's drinking either, but he insists on having his own free will to drink and I can take it or leave it. Great acting ability comes in very short supply among the general run of people. So he has me by the short hairs. Am working on a play now. How about alcoholic actors? Ever run into those?

Arlene (AJ) said...

Oh we have certainly been in your shoes DB, have wasted so many hours trying to get answers when we've had problems with the computer...wait, wait and wait and get no results more times than not, if we can even get someone who speaks our language. So frustrating.

Indigo said...

I had the same scenerio with the cable company. They were convinced it wasn't them. In the end and after a week, almost two weeks they finally sent someone out. Lo and Behold it wasn't us. Thankfully our sojourn wasn't quite as long as yours. Companies seem so removed from the customer anymore. Yet they have no problem demanding money for services. (Hugs)Indigo

Linda's World said...

I can't even imagine how frustrated you must have been. Sunny and 44* here this morning. Linda in Washington

Just Bill said...

Calling Tech Support is like jumping off a high diving board with a blindfold on. You don't know if there is any intelligence in the pool.>>

DB, I just hope that there is water in the pool when I do that jump.
Glad you are back on line and updating.
Any chance you will get Brian over the Mississipi river this week?

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

It can be a challenge dealing with folks over the phone. Glad you did not give up.

Kyle said...

We recently bought a computer and had issues from the moment it was plugged in. I spent hours on the line with tech support over several weeks, with the same problems popping up every time. When our return period was almost up I gave them one last chance to fix the problem and they failed. I returned it, promptly got a refund, and bought another machine from a competitor, Dell. When I looked up the problem on the manufacturers website there were hundreds of people who had the same problem. Some had returned theirs as I did, others had waited too long and were stuck with a malfunctioning machine. I sorry you had to waste so much time, but I'm glad you are back!

Rose said...

I just spent 4 hours talking to India and my nerves are shattered and my computer is worse off now then before I called.

The awful experience would be less stressful if the techs spoke English.

I did learn that Internet Explorer 8 is not compatible with Windows XP. It surely messed up my computer.

Good Luck

Nina P. said...

Oh no techie talk... I'm outta here!!! That's what I feel like whenever I have to talk with someone about computer issues. I know a little to get me by but that's about it... I've had good luck and get some laughs when I tell them I'm a computer illiterate and was born with all thumbs... Glad to have you back and sharing your stories and wisdom with us again. Love and Light, Nina P