Friday, November 30, 2018

Wasting Time on the Internet

Remember those good old internet days of yore when there was something called "customer service."  There was a button and a link and it took you to a phone number, or an e-mail where you could actually contact a real person.

Now it takes you to a list of possible problems to click on and then a list of possible solutions, none of which, of course, fit YOUR specific problem.

If you search very thoroughly, you might be able to find a link to a chat room, hidden away at the bottom of the page, which, after a long time, I finally found on Amazon.

My problem was that my meat thermometer battery died and Walt, having gone out to look for a replacement for this non-common battery, decided it would be easier to just buy a new thermometer.  So I ordered a new one, going for the cheapest ($10).

I was delighted when it arrived today, only to discover that apparently THIS one also had a dead battery (same kind as the previous thermometer) as well.  That will teach me to buy cheap.

So I started out trying to find SOMEONE to complain to.  As I said, I eventually found a place where I could chat with, as it turned out, someone named Chandramani.  Here is a sample of our conversation:
CHANDRAMANI: How may I help you with this order?
Me: I ordered this because the battery in my old thermometer died and we could not find another. This one arrives using the same battery -- and it appears to be dead too. I need either a new thermometer with a working battery....or a working battery!
CHANDRAMANI: I understand that battery of the thermometer were died [sic]
Me: yes.
CHANDRAMANI: And to find the solution of this, you ordered this order which you have given.  I do understand that the thermometer which arrived is also not working. I apologize for the inconvenience.
All of this took a long while, but eventually Chandramani said a new one had been ordered and I would receive it.  No request that I return the non-functioning thermometer.

In the meantime, I had started downloading 2 books from Audible and when the first was downloaded, I moved it to my iTunes library, as I have done for many years and it said that the book could not be loaded onto my iPod because it was not compatible with the device  The same device I have been downloading to for many years.

So I went searching for customer service THERE.  It was a little easier and I eventally connected with customer service, but the person I connected with could not help me so passed my complaint along to her supervisor.  I explained that I had six credits and was trying to finally download a few books.

The supervisor asked if I could download music, which I have not done in years.  she asked me to download one song and when I tried to do that, iTunes told me that my iPod was corrupt.  Which may explain the problem

I had the account put on hold for 3 months so I'm not paying for essentially nothing and went to check out the price of new iPods, wondering how, if possible, I can transfer over the hundreds of files (books and music) that are on the now corrupt device.

In the meantime, I went to look at the thermometer again and discovered something I had not seen before -- a little plastic strip which covered the battery and when I removed that, the thing worked just fine.

Scruples tell me I should cancel the order for another one, but it's just too complicated and since the thing only cost $10, I decided it would not kill Amazon to send it anyway, and I'll keep it as a back-up thermometer.

But I don't know what to do about the iPod.  I could try to transfer a book onto my iPhone, but of course the iPhone does not have an ISB connector slot, so I had to order one.  I don't know if that will work after I get it. 

[Later:  As I was proofreading this I looked over at my phone, which is always connected to my computer through an ISB connection.  It seems to download books to the phone just fine.  Sigh.  I'm so stupid.]

I love my gadgets but I'm such an old poop that I don't keep up with advances because I have no need of them, but when something doesn't work the way it has for many years, I'm up a creek because I don't know what to do and it turns out that the upgrade is expensive and gives me tons of options I have no use for!

But everyone needs a hobby and I guess mine has become "wasting time on the internet."  All this essentially took all afternoon, and in the end, none of it was necessary if i had thought about it more.

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