Friday, July 1, 2011

"It's Really Easy, You'll See"

I love Verizon FIOS, I really do. I've been using it for two years and it's been mostly reliable. It's very fast. The customer service over the phone has been great. But today I'm thinking I may not be the customer they need me to be.

My internet went down for no apparent reason. They worked with me on the phone, but bounced me back and forth between a couple of departments, including one young woman who couldn't find my account, said she couldn't put me through to a supervisor because she couldn't find my account, and hung up on me when I told her that sounded crazy.

On my next odyssey through the phone maze, I got to a sympathetic young man who helped me get my internet connection back on my desktop. My in-house wi-fi remained DOA . In the hierarchy of home technical needs, internet connection is #1 because it's crucial and everything else depends on it. I, however, have no less than four devices that require wi-fi.

I had no idea I had become so dependent on my laptop, TiVo, Roku, and iPhone. It's like Reefer Madness. These things were introduced to me by my kindly and well-meaning husband, and now I'm hooked. I'm having withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, even though I'm technology-dependent, I'm not very technology-savvy. I need someone to tell me what wire to plug into which cable and what obscure string of numbers to enter into the gaping, blinking fields on set-up screens.

The nice Verizon guy decided I needed a new router. He ordered one for me, gave me a tracking number and told me it would be here in a day.

"Who's going to set it up?" I asked.
"You are."
"You're kidding."
"It's really easy, you'll see."

Yes, well, you know what that means.

In the meantime, my internet connection went down again.

The new router appeared on my doorstep. I remembered that Verizon guy told me I just had to plug in the new router the same way the old one was, and then put in the magic "In Home Agent" disc and follow the instructions. I plugged everything in, turned on the router, and inserted the disc into my computer. I got an immediate error message. Driven by my addiction, I bypassed the message and got into the first screen of the disc. The instruction sheet told me I would get a an "install" screen and would be given step-by-step instructions. No such luck.

OK, back to prehistoric methods. I dialed the FIOS support number and navigated the two different phone trees with four choices each, and finally got to a female Cylon voice that said, "Due to technical difficulties, we are unable to process your call at this time."

Still desperate, I tried opening Firefox because I saw the internet light was lit on the new router. Viola! Enough internet to write in my blog but no wi-fi to watch TV. (Wait, it just occurred to me that there really isn't a downside to that!)

I could be feeling really inadequate right now, except that I'm really proud of the brilliant job of attaching the router to its cheesy little stand that I did without any help from anyone. It took real brain power, I tell you; I had to figure out how to use a screwdriver from the backside to push down two little tabs....

Holding on to this little point of pride, I'm taking my frustrated, cranky self to bed. Things are bound to look better in the morning, especially if I can bypass Cylon lady and get through to sympathetic young Verizon guy. The return of my wi-fi would, at that point, just be gravy.

Wish me luck!

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