When your dial-up doesn’t

This was quite a busy weekend but it finally ended on a note of frustration. On Friday we did a courier run to Lewes and on Saturday we travelled down to Havant. We were supposed to visit an aunt of Tigger’s but she became unavailable at the last minute.

As we had already bought the train tickets, we decided to travel down anyway and spend the day exploring, as we usually do. For me, one of the highlights of Saturday was finding a collared dove’s nest on Three Bridges station with two young birds in it. To judge from the way they were enthusiastically beating their wings, they will soon be flying.

On Friday and especially on Saturday, the weather was hot. I think we both got a little overheated during our travels although we enjoyed ourselves greatly. On Sunday, we thought we deserved a restful day. After a late breakfast at Pane Vino in Chapel Market, we dragged our wheelie shopping bag to Sainsbury’s and did the weekly shop. How’s that for firm resolve? Actually, it was nice and cool in the supermarket…

We spent the rest of the day unashamedly lounging with the fans going full blast. So where was the frustration I mentioned at the beginning?

Error 691

On Sunday morning I got up and started work on my blog post about Hayling Island. When I tried to connect to the Internet, all my attempts failed and I kept getting error #691. I didn’t worry about this at first because service from this provider has sometimes been a little rocky lately but has always eventually sorted itself out. Today, however, my instincts said it was something unusual because it has never produced this error message before.

I decided to call technical support. Do I need to tell you what fun that was? “Fun”, as in the sense of “not fun at all”.

To judge by the woman’s accent and various other clues, I surmised that our technical support adviser was miles and hours away in sunny India. To be honest, she did her job thoroughly. It was such a pity that this produced no useful result!

First we had to go through the Idiot Initiation phase. This is where you, the caller, leave your knowledge, technical savvy and plain intelligence at the door and submit to being grilled as if you were an idiot. By now Tigger had joined me because with my hearing problems I was having difficulty understanding Ms Bangalore. Tigger took charge of communications and passed on the instructions to me.

At first our helper was puzzled and wanted to know how we could be talking to her on the phone if we were at the same time trying to connect. (We are still on dial-up, you see.) We explained we were calling her on my mobile and trying to connect with the landline. At last Ms Bangalore twigged this novel situation and the ritual could begin.

Under her instructions we clicked here, we clicked there, here again, there again; we typed in our user name and our password, we typed in an alternative version of our username; we clicked here, there and everywhere again. All to no avail.

“Why isn’t it working?!” exclaimed Ms Bangalore, letting her mask of icy calm slip for an instant.

Recovering and returning to the script, she took my telephone number and informed me with admirable confidence that “The fault will be repaired within three working days.”

Then, endearingly, she enquired: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”

“No,” said I. “That is quite enough for one day.”

I started writing this piece while the connection was still broken. When I returned home at 5 pm from meeting Tigger from work, the connection was working again. Imagine my emotion.


About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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2 Responses to When your dial-up doesn’t

  1. Chris says:

    You have my sympathies. Dial-up used to be dead slow when we had it. And if someone phoned up while we were online, the connection would just stop and we would have to connect all over again. With the number of spam phone calls we sometimes get, we’d be lucky to stay online more than five minutes if we still had dialup.

    Broadband, on the other hand, has suited us just fine. It might be relatively expensive, but when we add up the amount we would have to pay in taxi fares if we went to town every time we wanted to do some window shopping and for various other reasons, broadband has probably saved us a small fortune.

    Best of luck if you have to deal with ‘Miss Bangalore’ again.

  2. SilverTiger says:

    We don’t use our landline for anything other than the modem. If people insist on having a phone number, we give ’em the landline number. They’ll never get through…

    Dial-up is certainly slow and getting slower but it doesn’t matter that much unless you do a lot of downloading. If I do want to download something big, I let it run while I’m out or I’ll go and read a book. (My account has a 6-hour cut-off.) The slowness of loading Web pages is the worst aspect.

    We will get broadband “soon”. We had one abortive shot at it. Getting the new PC will give us a further push in that direction.

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