Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bad Start to a Busy Weekend!

My weekend started out with the news that Mr. Eva had a virus in his computer.  (I'll admit I'm thankful it was the computer that had the virus, and not him, because a virus in the middle of chemotherapy would not be a good thing!)

I checked his computer, and when I opened his Anti-virus program, I immediately noticed three things:  the program icon was not on his tool bar; there was a notice that his anti-virus was inactive, as was his identity theft protection.  This did not bode well.....I clicked where it said "click here to activate," and a window popped up which stated the software could not be activated.  Then the computer froze up.

I called the 800 number for the Virus Protection software and of course was told, "All lines are busy now.  Your call is important to us.  Please hold and someone will be with you in a moment."  Cut to annoying music.  The preceding message was repeated 30 seconds later, and every 30 seconds for about half an hour--I know it was every 30 seconds because I thousand one, one thousand two, etc., and only made it to one thousand 30 between messages.  It is VERY annoying to be told every 30 seconds that someone will be with you in a minute for 30 minutes!

Finally, a man named Lloyd came on the line and took my name, my phone number,  my date of birth, my shoe size, my eye color, etc., etc., and then asked what seemed to be the problem.  I explained the situation, and he said, "I'm sorry I can't help with that, you will need to speak to someone on the help desk."

"This isn't the help desk?  It said on the software to call this number for assistance; is that different than help?"

"I'm going to transfer you to someone who can help you.  Please hold."  And then I was back with the annoying music and the repeated "your call is important to us" messages every 30 seconds for another 20 minutes.

I forgot to ask Lloyd where he was, so when someone finally answered and told me his name, I asked him where he was, and promptly forgot his name.  I did remember that he told me he was in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.  First he took my name, my phone number,  my date of birth, my shoe size, my eye color, etc., etc., and then asked what seemed to be the problem.  I explained the situation, again.

He was very pleasant and tried his best to help.  He tried to uninstall the anti-virus protection program so he could re-install it.   Uninstalling took about 15 minutes or so, then re-installing took about 30 minutes.  In the mean time we chit chatted about  like, our grandkids, what to do if you encounter a  bear in the woods and other valuable bits of information.  By now it was about midnight.  The installation of the anti-virus program failed.

"I'm going to have to transfer you to a 'tech budy.'  Please hold."

Back to music and moronic messages for 20 minutes.

"Hello, my name is Alfon.  May I have your name, phone number...."  And once again I gave all the pertinent information and some that probably wasn't so pertinent, but I was getting the hang of this, now.  When I explained what had transpired so far, Alfon said he wanted permission to take over my computer;. (at this point I would have paid him to take the darn thing and park it where the suns rays are not seen!)

The anti-virus protection we have on our computers is free.  We've used the same  protection for years without difficulty.  However, Alfon announced,  "I have very bad news.  Your computer is severely compromised by several of the absolute worst viruses, and for me to be able to solve the problem, you will need to upgrade to our premium plan."

Naturally, there was a cost for the "premium" plan, and after giving Alfon the necessary credit card information, I watched him navigate my computer , fascinated with today's technology.  By now it was 2:15 a.m.,. and I mentioned to Alfon that he was keeping me up considerably later than my usual bed time.

"If you want to go to sleep, go ahead.  This is going to take me a couple of hours.  If I need you, I'll call you."

So I trudged of to bed, gratefully resting my head on the pillow and was asleep within minutes, I'm sure.  Then, as I was dreaming sweet dreams, I was jolted awake by the ringing of the phone on my nightstand.

"Eva, I need you to shut down and restart your computer manually;  I seem to be unable to do so from here."

I trudged down the hall in my nightie and proceeded to do as he asked, yawning all the while.  "What time is it?" asked Alfon.

:Four a.m., I answered."

Oh, gee, you're in Maine!  I'm sorry.  It's four o'clock in the afternoon here in the Philippines!"



Kristina P. said...


Sue said...

I can't believe how hard it is to get any kind of customer service on the phone that is still in the US. It's gotten kinda crazy.


PS. Did he finally get it fixed, though?

Ruth said...

I am way to paranoid to allow someone remote access to my computer and I'd be so pissed I got woken up so early.

River said...

We have the same kind of trouble over here. It seems to be a world wide thing. I'm sure those help desk people are in cahoots with the phone companies and have competitions to see who can hold people on hold the longest.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Oh man, damn outsourcing. :) I've dealt with the usual Indian help desk situation many times and talking of the Philipines, I booked a flight through Orbitz a couple of years ago and had to change my return flight unexpectedly while on my trip, so I had to call them from overseas. I call their Chicago prefix number and end up talking to this really nice girl who helped me with my claim. It was winter so I was all "Man, it must be brutal in Chicago right now" and she sort of laughed and said, "Yes" and so on. Small talk, small talk. Then we were chatting while the airline was doing its part and I asked her about Lake Michigan or something and she said, "Look, ma'am, I'm not supposed to tell you this but I'm not in Chicago, I'm in the Philipines. It's warm here, I'm by the sea and it's 1am currently."

So you know, I don't know where I'm going with this, but it just shows how many companies you call aren't where you expect them to be, you know?

Hope your computer's doing ok now? And Mr. Eva too, of course. :)

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

May I begin by saying I read, "Mr. Eva had a virus...." and my heart actually froze for a moment because I thought "health problems, he doesn't need". Then I read on and relaxed.

Help desks - part of the hazing of humanity.

Brian Miller said...

ugh...i can not stand help is an oxymoron. at least he hopefully got you fixed up...verizon is the worst....

David Allen Waters said...

help desk peeps SUCK :(

Midday Escapades said...

Oh NO, they did NOT! Reminds me when I call the insurance company and the rep says in a foreign voice, my name is _______, but you can call me Adam. Really?

Helene said...

Wow, you are so much more patient than I am. After holding for even 10 minutes, I would've screamed into the ear of whoever picked up the phone next!!!

Kristy said...

This kind of stuff is the most frustrating stuff to take care of!! Good luck!

Bersercules said...

This is why I never call help lines!

rosaria said...

That sounds about right! Fortunate for me, I pass my computer problems to Hubby who decides when and how to get help if and how and wherefore of everything tecky.

So, is the computer fixed?

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

Wow, I'm impressed you stuck it out - that sounds like a nightmare!

Al Penwasser said...

"Hi, this is Peggy. How can I F up your system so bad that when you reboot, you pee yourself? For a small fee?"

Eva Gallant said...

Veg: Yeah, you just don't know where these help people are...maybe it's so you can't show up and wring their necks! Mr. Eva's computer is cured, I think.

Besercules: That's a smart thing; me, not so much.

rosaria: Lucky you! And yes, I think it's fixed!

Megan: Being retired, it was easier for me to hang in there than it would be for some!

tsonodablog said...

OH Eva, I would have felt compelled to buy a plane ticket to the Phillipines so's I could shove the pc where the sun don't shine...for reals.
Wow, what a mess.
Have you ever seen that commercial where someone calls tech support and it's a scruffy guy somewhere overseas. He calls himself Peggy. Hilarious. This kinda reminded me of that.
Is your computer ok now? Hope so!

Eva Gallant said...

Terri: I love that Peggy commercial! lol My computer is fine, it's hubby's that had the problem. I think it's okay now.

ipenka said...

Interestingly enough, being colonized has given India and Philippines two major advantages to get outsourcing jobs.

I think those are the few cheaper labor countries where people actually speak English fluently.

Eva Gallant said...

ipenka: It was helpful to speak to someone I could understand. Sometimes the accent is just so thick that it's really difficult communicating!