Saturday, July 31

The tech idiot

My Internet connection via satellite has failed. I called the provider, HughesNet, for technical assistance in getting it back up. Unfortunately I got their village idiot. This guy with a very heavy Indian accent spent one hour and forty-five minutes chasing down the problem in an entirely wrong way. He was concerned that I was using a WiFi router. That had to be the problem, he thought, so he had me unplug the Ethernet cable from the satellite modem to the router and plug it directly into the computer. This disables the LAN (local area network) and makes the connection direct. He kept asking if the LAN light on the modem was on, and I said no. He didn’t realize that by connecting the modem to the computer, the LAN simply no longer exists. He had me switch ends of the cable, then try using another cable thinking the cable was at fault. Since the computer was getting the troubleshooting data from the modem, I saw immediately that that was not the problem, but he couldn’t quite get his head around such an obvious fact. I suggested that since the main symptom was low signal strength from the satellite (20 out of 100) and that could be the problem, he reminded me that there was a definite troubleshooting protocol that I couldn’t possibly understand, and he had mastered. When he got no result from his bumbling approach, he finally consulted a person of higher intelligence and training (probably the janitor). He came back on the phone and had me go to a page in the system menu where I changed the satellite’s frequency and some other techie stuff. The signal got worse. That two or three-minute procedure is what he should have started with.

He finally concluded that the modem or the transmitter or the receiver was at fault—an equipment failure. After reading me the whole list of things that would invalidate any claim I could ever come up with regarding their equipment, he said I would be liable for $150 for repairs, but only if I had not done anything to the equipment covered in the list of stuff he had read to me. Then, the shocker. “A technician will come to repair the fault in five days.” FIVE DAYS!! Don’t they know FIVE DAYS is an ETERNITY in today’s Internet world? I could be DEAD in five days. My computer could be obsolete! The whole Internet could be last-century-passé in five days. Even the magical iPad could be old news. Good grief. I am going to have to fill my days with endless games of mindless computer Solitaire to keep my skills sharp since my only alternative is to use my dial-up modem plugged into the telephone jack and suffer download times that are measured in whole … minutes. And that, my friends, is a fate worse than…

…Words fail me. There’s no way to describe that fate.

3 comments:

HHhorses said...

I bet they have more than one village idiot at HughesNet.

麗王王珠 said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

John said...

Just came across your blog and have been reading for a whole half hour! Nice that you left the front door open and the fire burning, so to say. Here's a hello from The Netherlands. Next time I'll bring some marshmallows along too...