If I ever needed computer help, it's now. Nathan, where are you?
I can't have a small problem with my computer, because I never know how to fix it, and it becomes a major problem. For instance, I have Outlook Express as my e-mail provider. I've used it since 2002 and have been happy with it. One morning in May it disappeared from my computer screen, but I was leaving town and had to wait a week. Charter (my cable Internet provider) found it and put it back for me, although I was assured they don't support Outlook Express. Where had it been?
Today I decided I wanted to be able to log onto Charter.net, but I couldn't create a password that worked. A very helpful lady with Charter gave me a temporary password. Then I discovered my Outlook Express no longer worked. Late this evening I shut myself up with the computer and phone and decided I would get this thing to work.
First I called Charter, who assured me it was an Outlook Express problem. That Charter gentleman gave me the toll-free number for MSN. The man at MSN told me they only support Microsoft Outlook, which I thought was correct in the first place. However, he did give me the toll-free number for HP, as my computer is an HP. This is where the fun really began. The HP rep said this type of service is not covered under my extended warranty, as it has nothing to do with the computer. That's true. They wanted to charge for helping me. They would "guarantee" they could help. You know you're in trouble when you hear that word guarantee. I agreed to pay money. I needed help, and there is no one else here to help. I talked with a tech, who finally turned me over to his supervisor when he was unable to help me. The supervisor did get one thing through to me. When I got a new password for mail at Charter.net this afternoon, it did away with the password I had been using for Outlook Express. He said they had to both use the same password. The lady at Charter failed to mention that. The HP tech and I never got the new password to work while we were talking. I had 8 minutes of paid time left when we hung up. Another fun part of this was the difficulty I had understanding both of these men. While one was waiting for something to come up on his screen, I asked where he was. He was in India. No wonder I couldn't understand them. If they had been here in the US perhaps I wouldn't have had to ask them to repeat everything they said and would have only used half as many minutes. Of course, there is no guarantee of that. (Pun intended)
After I finished the last call I did manage to log on to my mail on Charter.net and had incoming mail there. I also was able to get on Outlook Express (just because the man told me the passwords were supposed to be the same), but had no incoming mail. I was able to send mail on Outlook Express though. I can see me using one for incoming and the other for outgoing.
I love working and playing on the computer. It's a great tool, and I have become quite dependent on it, but problems really upset me. Obviously I need to hire a tech for more than a phone call.