Today's Tech Support Call
I wanted to do some work at my desk today while watching the end of a Columbo episode. So I left the living room TV and logged on to my Spectrum TV Live website. But it kept telling me that since I was away from home, I didn't have access to all channels -- which included the one showing Columbo. Clearly I wasn't away from home, so after testing a few things I waved the white flag and called tech support, which I could tell was somewhere overseas.
I answered a lot of basic questions ("No, this isn't related to Wi-Fi, I'm on my desktop computer), and we tried a few actions. Checked out if I could connect using another browser. (I couldn't.) Rebooted my computer. No help. Rebooted the modem. Nothing. Cleared my cached of bookmarks and file history. (That's always a fun one, since it means have to re-log into to all my password-protected sites.) Nope. Finally after 25 minutes, the tech person gave up and forwarded the call to their expedited tech support level. After five minutes on hold, I was connected.
After explaining the problem, the person immediately said, "Oh, I'm sorry you had to go through all that. We are having a system-wide issue in California that is causing this. Technicians are working on it, and hopefully it will be fixed in 24 hours."
Well...knowing that sure would have made the process a whole lot shorter, including having to re-log all all my passwords. I asked that he please do whatever he could to make sure this message got out to all their front-line tech support people.
He completely understood and did his best to explain what maybe possibly could have happened, that they were very busy, and maybe the message didn't get through to everyone and possibly...this and that and whatever. When he finished, I said, "Well, perhaps, and it probably too there's the fact that you're clearly based here in the United States, and she wasn't." He laughed and said, "Well, yes, there's that, too."
So, for anyone in California (or a couple other states -- he said New York, and some others), if you're having this same issue -- just know that you shouldn't waste your time calling for tech assistance. There, I've just saved you a half-hour and a lot of rebooting...
Another service of Elisberg Industries.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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