Mr Grumpy: well-connected

“You’ve got an old modem, we can give you one that’s much faster,” said the rather pleasant salesman who’d knocked on my door to try and lure me away from my electricity, gas and phone/internet provider. “We’ll give you twice the internet speed at a cheaper price. We’ll even throw in a new Samsung 49-inch TV.”

Without internet access, my productivity decreased dramatically, not helped by the fact that I was spending a lot of time talking on the provider’s helpline.

I didn’t need a TV but faster internet was appealing. I signed the dotted line. The modem and TV arrived. I connected the modem. Internet speed varied from ultra-slow to not even a heartbeat.

My new provider’s helpline was easy to access and the half-dozen or so technicians I spoke to were pleasant and positive, although most suggested my laptop was faulty. I responded by saying that it was a massive coincidence if my computer had developed a fault the moment I had plugged it into their new modem. I tried not to be too grumpy. No one cautioned me for using inappropriate language (that has happened in the past).

Without internet access, my productivity decreased dramatically, not helped by the fact that I was spending a lot of time talking on the provider’s helpline. Finally, a technician suggested that I plug in the old modem. It worked perfectly.

The two cardinal rules with computers and other electronic devices are:

  1. Try switching it off, wait, then switch it on again (I’ve had a 75% success rate with this).
  2. If it is not broken, don’t upgrade it. (The same rule applies to cars and relationships.)

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