*For some reason I'm feeling especially chatty this morning.*
I work in a small, independent computer repair shop.
All day long I am on the phone or face to face with customers.
By far, the biggest problem that people have is connecting to the net.
Keep in mind that I am talking about average computer users- your Mom, your neighbor...just your average klutz with a PC.
To look at ads from ISPs, connecting to net is as easy as plugging in a wire and shazaam!- you're hooked to a wonderful world of info, email and porn.
What might seem easy and straightforward to you or me is bewilderingly complex, well nigh impossible, for many.
When they call with a problem I always ask what their provider said.
Oddly, it never occured to the majority of these folks to even ask their ISP for help, we seem to be the default option.
If they did call, it's never a problem on the provider side...they inevitably claim that it's the user's PC at fault.
Most of the time (over 90%, easily) when they bring in their machines ( I refuse to spend all day on the phone trying to troubleshoot for free someone's machine, FFS, most of these folks can't even navigate to the Control Panel without help), the PC jumps right on the web through our network.
Pisses me right off.
ISPs are very happy to take the public's money, but loathe to provide any support whatsoever.
Here in Denver the two worst examples are AOL and Comcast.
These morons don't seem capable of conveying the necessary info to their customers at all, so in essence, we become their first line of support.
I'd like to say I feel better, but in 45 minutes we open and I'll bet big money that the first phone call will be some grandma who can't find her email or some equally stupid problem.