Technology Sucks

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Yesterday started out as a pretty good day, then took an abrupt turn for the worse. I just wanted to kick back and watch a movie, but, to make a bad afternoon worse, I ended up sacrificing four hours to tech support. That’s FOUR HOURS of my Sunday…FOUR HOURS of my life, that I’ll never get back. Technology sucks.

Let me first back up to earlier in the week, when I had to get a new modem for my DSL service. I’d been dealing with getting bumped off the internet every couple of days, and finally had made the dreaded call to TDS to see what could be done. The end result of that call was that I was sent a replacement modem, just like my old one. Aside from having to spend about 10 minutes on the phone, all was well. Until I tried to use my ROKU to stream a movie on Saturday night. No go.

So, yesterday I called TDS to see what could be done about this situation. They told me to call ROKU. I called ROKU and spoke with what would be the first of three different tech support people. Let’s call him “Brad”, and let’s just say it was a difficult conversation, and quite lengthy. Brad had me try this and that connection, power cycling, and changes of various settings, and ended up telling me I had to call TDS and tell them to change my DNS settings.

I called TDS back, and told them what Brad at ROKU had told me to do, and they advised strongly against changing my DNS settings, explaining that if I did so, they couldn’t guarantee I would have email and internet service as it was supposed to be. So, I called ROKU back. This time, I got a new tech person. We’ll call her “Stacy”, and she was much easier to understand than Brad had been. Like Brad, she had me try all sorts of different connections, power cycling, and changes of various settings, all to no avail. Stacy took it to the next level, however, and had me on hold a couple of times while she “consulted with her resources” to find a solution. The hold muzak was excruciating at best. The solution was to change my channel, and Stacy assured me this would work.

Having been advised to call back if the last suggestion didn’t solve the problem, I did so, even though I was now about 2.5 hours into this whole ordeal. This time, I got a new tech person again…let’s call her “Leslie”, and I have to say she was the easiest to understand of the three. Leslie, like her cohorts, had me try all of the different connections, power cycling, and changes of settings, this time delving deeper into the advanced settings of my DSL connection.

I get nervous going into the bowels of my computer for any reason, and especially so when being advised to do so by someone I don’t entirely trust as knowledgeable. Although Leslie was a very nice gal, I did not get the feeling she was any more qualified than I myself might be at tech support. She was advising me to try a variety of things, including changing my security settings for my network, changing my password, and eventually, turning off the security altogether. Each of these required me to reconnect to the internet, and then check the ROKU to see if it would connect. Once we started changing security settings and passwords, I got irritable.

Leslie’s bottom line was that I would have to use a different level of security, and a different password that was numeric, or to use no security at all, if I wanted to use my ROKU. I kept asking why this was so difficult if I had the exact same type of modem I had had prior to this, and my ROKU worked just fine. Leslie really couldn’t explain that for me, other than to say it was a compatibility issue. Leslie also suggested I call TDS back, and ask them to fix the situation. I tried to explain to her that TDS had already told me that they don’t do tech support for ROKU, and had told me to call ROKU.

It was at about this time, now four hours into this tech support adventure, that I started to lose patience. It wasn’t Leslie’s fault, necessarily, and she WAS a very nice gal, and I told her this, right before I started a small rant. No, I didn’t want to change my security settings, or my password, or my channel, or my DNS settings. No, I wasn’t going to call TDS back, only to have them tell me to call ROKU back, and end up talking to tech support person #4. By now, I wasn’t going to do anything Leslie or any of her associates told me I had to do. For the moment, I just needed to stew on this, be miserable, and regret having ever called upon the ROKU team of experts.

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