Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thank you, Hernando

Of course, that might not really be his name.

But I digress.

Seven years ago we had the opportunity to switch from dial-up to DSL. There wasn't any hesitation on my part and I jumped on the modem/router bandwagon and never looked back. But seven years is two or three lifetimes in the tech world, and my equipment was beginning to show its age. While the router was stable, the modem, supplied by the phone company and paid for by me, had decided to wink out on occasion and need to be rebooted. Maybe it would be a week or two between incidences and then maybe it would opt to nap all afternoon.

Obviously, something needed to be done to upgrade the reliability of Internet access in this house. Reluctantly, and with all foot-dragging possible, I called the phone company tech line. George (maybe not his real name either) was appalled that such equipment was still viable and hastened to send me (free, he said) a new one piece modem-router. Sure 'nuf, it arrived on schedule. But it was near the weekend and one of my friends had had an awful time setting hers up... and more foot-dragging on my part ensued.

Finally, on Monday, with all my excuses played out and nothing pressing on the agenda, I called tech support and gave them my sad tale: old equipment unreliable and I KNEW NOTHING about setting it up.

(In my defense, I had read and even printed the online manual of how-to. Oh, puh-lease. It was an August 2007 edition, and so technical, I was out of my depth by page 3 or 4.)

Lucky, lucky me--I had reached Hernando! He was patient and detail-oriented. We had problems, some on his end ("the system isn't reading the new equipment" and my favorite, "we have a bad connection, I'll call you back"--we did have a bad connection. Was I not talking to the phone company?) and some problems on mine:

H: "You need to pull the phone line from the back of the modem now."

Me: "Okay." Pull. Pull. Break: the wire comes out of the plastic thingee and no amount of fingernails are going to unclasp it. "Just a sec while I get the needle nose pliers."

(Thank goodness they work because by this time, the old system is totally disengaged and I will be big time outta luck, until they can ship me a new unit.)

It took 90 minutes. An ordinary citizen couldn't set this up. It had to be configured. And re-configured. Twice.

Then he did some sort of magic and took over my computer and finished the job. I would not let him go until I'd entered my brand new password into all the other gadgets we have which run on wireless.

And when customer service called yesterday to see if I was pleased, I praised Hernando. Or whatever his name really is.

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