My mum lives in a caravan (yeah, I know - trailer trash) so doesn't have a land line installed and therefore hasn't been able to get on the net.
Well I've seen plenty of ads for mobile broadband and thought I'd see what it's about, how much it costs, etc.
It appears that because she's a '3' customer (), their deal is much cheaper than anyone else's so I put her on to them and she ordered the dongle.
Over the weekend I re-configured my baby-puter for her, bought her a webcam and other bits and bobs and my brother donated his old LCD screen. She bought herself a little desk and chair from PC World.
So everything's almost finished when the dongle turned up Tuesday afternoon and it seemed to install OK but wouldn't connect.
So last night I called their technical helpline and after 40 minutes on hold (I kid you not) eventually spoke to an Indian representative.
Eventually the guy had me create another connection profile in the hideously childish looking bundled software that worked.
Two hours later (I'd rebooted a coupla times and left it unconnected) and it wouldn't connect, with error code 618.
After piddling around for a little I gritted my teeth, phoned them again and got an answer immediately! Wow!
Not so fast, though, as the conversation started like this...
"Hi, I called earlier because the modem wouldn't connect, another guy helped me change some settings and got connected but now it won't connect again. I keeps giving me "error code 618"
<thick Indian accent>"OK if you could click the two little arrows and tell me the exact error code..."
I told him not to waste my time. To put on someone that knew what they were talking about. To give me the cleaner or security guard, just as long as it wasn't him.
The upshot was that this guy was actually from Customer Services because the technical dept was closed.
I think that's a really nice touch; not telling customers the technical guys have gone home and just shunting it through to CS.
After dinner this evening I braved the technical number again and only had to wait a mere 15 minutes before getting someone that eventually talked me through the AT codes for a normal Windows connection.
Wahay! Working internet without the shitty program.
Until later, that is.
I watched both this weeks' Waking The Dead (such fun imagining how low the IQ is of the dubbing mixer and whether it's actually lower than the script writers) and went back to the old girl's puter to find it dials and fails with error 619.
Ho-hum, back on the phone and I knew it wasn't gonna pan out as it was again answered immediately.
After the usual explanation of the problem then pissing around with giving them the phone number of the sim in the dongle and waiting for their system to 'bring up the account', I was asked which dongle we'd been sent. I told him it's a 169G and that I would have thought that would be on the account details and he could read it there.
There then ensued a couple of minutes of him telling me that because I'm not the account holder he couldn't discuss the account and me arguing that that's bullshit because he was "waiting for the account details" and only need read them, before I told him to just forget that and get on with the problem.
Next question: "Is it connected?"
Ready for him: "Connected to the computer or the internet?"
"Yes and the blue LED is flashing."
Long pause, like at least 20 seconds while he finds the next item on his crib sheet...
"And it's error code 619?"
"Could you try disconnecting the dongle and plugging it in to a different USB port?"
"Because it cannot connect."
"But it's connected to the computer, the LED shows blue [connected] and it's dialling but not connecting."
"Do you want me to try another step?"
"Yes, I think that's best."
Another lengthy pause designed to make money from the call...
"I'm going to contact another department to check the APN is correct, OK"
"Why? It was working earlier."
"It might have changed."
"Is that something they do often? If they do then how is anyone supposed to connect?"
There was than another long pause during which I told him I'd have the old girl cancel the agreement and go elsewhere, then hung up.
Suffice it to say, I was seething. Then I realised that after all build up, mum's gonna be very disappointed if she doesn't get connected this weekend.
And it's all my fault.
I built up her hopes.
I really feel low, now.