And 10 Things I've Learned after 2+ Weeks of Updates gone Wrong and a day Wasted Waiting on hold between being shunted from one Call Center to the next.
Lamentations of a Man who Thought the Problem had been Fixed.
1. Tech support is a misnomer. Tech savvy they're not (9 times out of 10).
2. You can never get a straight answer but will learn to either endure their "agents" (when did "operators" go out of style?) trouble shooting "checklist" or defenestrate your phone.
3. MSN as an ISP when it comes to "update" time means one hour/day you can connect, the next you can't; just as one hour/day when you call tech support you're assured your OS is supported but the next day/hour you're told it isn't and you should upgrade to VISTA/ XP/ whatevah. (see #2)
4. It takes 1-5 minutes to actually get passed the stupid automated call center, whether you try to annunciate clearly or not doesn't matter. You can recite poetry, play heavy metal, put the phone down and watch paint dry, you just have to endure those 1-5 minutes until the automated call center forwards you to the live call center.
5. While waiting to be forwarded to the next live "agent" you'll be inundated with canned info blurbs (spoken by a woman that sounds suspiciously like Demi Moore) informing you that all your problems can be fixed online. 'Did you know. .' the voice will begin, and repeat over and over and over as MSN rapes your ear hole with nonsense you couldn't care less about.
6. It takes a minimum of 1-5 minutes to give the people in the live call center your information before they'll actually TALK to you about why you're calling.
7. It will take 5-10 minutes of explaining your problem to the "tech support" people before they forward you to a "specialist", who you'll have to explain everything to all over again.
8. If you call "after hours" (meaning anytime after 12 noon EST) your call has a 50/50 chance of going to a call center where everyone has Indian or Pakistani accents. (The chance goes up to 100% after 5-7 o'clock EST.)
9. People with strange accents that may or may not be in a call center in India or Pakistan do not comprehend "M-E" as a operating system, but if you tell them "millennium" (and give them a minute or three to put you on hold while they consult their call center manual) may recognize it as a OS that Miscosoft has tossed into the dung heap, along with anyone still unfortunate enough to have a machine running it. (Don't laugh. It was okay as an crappy iMachine for internet usage, until a couple weeks ago.)
9. When dealing with call center people with the hard to place accents no matter how many times you explain simple concepts, like explaining what your OS is or your current browser version, they'll stick to their "check list" and never quite grasp that "I'm on DIAL-UP" means you can't A) connect while you are talking to them, B) are calling them because you can't connect thus you can't DOWNLOAD updates, and; C) if you're lucky their trouble shooting "fixes" don't do anything to make your problem worse. If you're lucky.
10. When the tech support guy with the funny foreign accent says all you need is to upgrade to the most current version of the proprietary browser software and everything will be fixed; it'll only make the problem worse. (As in NOTHING WORKS after.)
11. Finally- yes, like Spinal Tap, I can't count too well- it took one heck of a talk, explaining re-explaining, questioning with confused frustration, for someone to finally hem and haw around the truth, which I suspected all along (despite being told otherwise in what amounts to bold faced lies): My OS is NOT supported. Microsoft has apparently (I'm guessing; see #2 above) instituted a new 'framework' update designed to cut off all OSes older than XP and Vista. Why I couldn't have been told this 2+ weeks ago is beyond me. My best guess is MSN wanted to get one more month of FEES out of me. I am not amused. I am not a happy camper. I will NOT be continuing with MSN. Where I'll end up, with whom, or if I'll be back any time soon only the Fates can augur.
P.S. I knew I shouldn't have posted that message about eugenics and the apocalypse. ;-)
Expect me when you see me my friends!