Daily Archives: September 12, 2011

Tech Support, Ken and Barbie Style

It had become necessary to drag ourselves into the 21st century, computer-wise, and get wi-fi connectivity installed.

 We had, up to that point, done very well with an old DSL modem but nooooo we have to go wi-fi like the other cool kids.

 I called our service provider, and within a matter of minutes I had a 5-port router/modem on its way to my house.

 It arrived the next day, and imagine my joy when I opened the box to find the modem and a four-step process for setting it up.

 Four steps? Really? Why I’d be cruising the ‘Net from every room in my house in no time at all.


 I didn’t have any issues hooking up the hardware, but when I opened the browser (as instructed) to install the modem I kept hitting the same brick wall.

“No PPP login”, the screen said, accusingly.

I went through all the troubleshooting steps to no avail. I did it again and again, still nothing.

I dreaded it, but I knew what I had to do next.

 I had to call the 800-number and talk to…..(que “Twilight Zone” theme)….….tech support.

 The wait time for my call was 8 minutes.  During this time I kept hearing ways to prevent viruses, keep my kids safe online, and how most technical issues could be resolved by going to the carrier’s website and clicking on their link for a live chat tech support session – which after the elebenty-hundredth time I’d heard it sent me into fits of giggles, because if you are unable to connect to the Internet, how are you supposed to initiate this miraculous cure-all chat option?

 I guess what happened next was a combination of the endless hold/wait loop of messages, and my naturally skewed view of the world.

 Herewith I give you my conversation with tech support:

 Tech: Hello, dis is Ken.  Tank you ver cawling (company name) tech suppawt. May I halve you name, pweeze?

 Me: Hi Ken, I’m Barbie.

 Tech: Hello, Bawbie, how may I hap hew?

 And that is the last clear communication we had. From this point on “Ken” sounded like he was in the bottom of a well, fighting tigers, water pouring down over him, while a string quartet played in the background.  

 Tech: Okay, you half burch-smelt wiff doss upchaw?

 Me: I have a WHAT?

 Tech: You half burch-smelt wiff doss upchaw.

 Me: Umm…okay.

 Tech: Good.   (Great, I have something and apparently it’s good…too bad I have no idea what it is)

 Tech: Now, type in famiss-brocks dis…

 Me: Do WHAT?

 Tech: Speaker-foam?

 Me: Speakers?

 Tech: You halve speaker-foam?

 Me: Speaker phone? Yes, but you are not on speaker phone.

 Tech: Take off speaker-foam, pweeze.

 Me: You are NOT on a speaker phone.

 Tech: Okay, type in famiss-brocks dis…

 Me: I’m having a VERY hard time understanding………

 Tech: That’s bee-crawz you half speaker-foam!! Take off speaker-foam!


 This went on for twenty-minutes, but through fits and starts I got the instructions I needed to set up the new service, even though “Ken” kept insisting he was on “speaker-foam” until I finally asked if he could hear me alright and when he said “Yes” then I told him that the problem was on his end.  Of course, by then I was having a difficult time hearing anything he said between fits of giggles.

 We tried and tried to get the service set up, but never could get it to work.

 Finally, after about thirty minutes “Ken” decided he’d had enough.

 Tech: It appeawas you half bilge-dip provost kook.

 Me: Is that a bad thing? (By now, I’d given up trying to understand individual words and was listening for key words like “not working” “no service” “do you want eggroll with that?”)

 Tech: Well, you swould twy back tomowwow.

 Me:  Because?

 Tech: You sewvice, is bilge-dip.

 Me: Wow…um…okay, thanks Ken.  Good-bye.

 Tech: Thank hew foh choosing (company name).

 I hung up the phone and laughed till I cried.  My husband popped his head into the office and said, “Any luck?”

 “Well, either we have to try again tomorrow or there’s going to be a rather large delivery of Chinese food to the house in about 20 minutes.  Could be either one, honey.”

 He laughed, I laughed, and oh yeah…four days later and I still didn’t have wi-fi despite repeated calls to tech support.

Eventually, they sent someone to the house and he figured out the problem in about thirty seconds.  It had to do with the modem configuration and was something that could only be resolved by a tech on site. 

At least, when he left I understood what had gone wrong and we were up and running with the wi-fi.

Yeah, and the bilge-dip never did show up again.  Thank goodness, right?