I haven’t posted a blog for while due to some computer problems. And if you’ve ever had a computer you know that there’s always something that comes up. It is usually a virus brought to you by some program you downloaded while trying to perform a task. I’m sure that’s what happened to me. So I began the long journey of contacting tech support for help with my problem. In my case I am unable to download any program from the Internet. Since I thought this was a virus I went to the Internet and purchased an antivirus program to download into my computer to get rid of the virus. In my mind I was buying a CD that I would put in my computer. Instead I received a card that gave me a product key to use while going to the Internet to download the program into my computer. The problem is that my computer will not allow me to download any program from the Internet. So I started the journey of trying to find out what the problem was with my computer. I’ve had the computer for a long time. I started out with Windows XP then to Windows 7 and finally to Windows 8. It was after downloading Windows 8 that I began to notice the problem. I was sure that after downloading Windows 8 I did not have an active antivirus program in my computer other than what window 8 provides. That is why I went on the Internet and purchased the antivirus program. But no matter how many times I tried, I could not get it to download and install on my computer.
So I started with going to the Microsoft website for Windows 8. After having to read several pages of advertisement for Windows 8, I finally found a way to contact their office. The first option I tried was with the chat line. This would allow me to type in my question and the tech would give me an answer. After talking to the tech for several minutes he wanted to download a program into my computer so that he could look at my computer from his site. But the problem that exists, my computer will not allow a download from the Internet. I then had to call the 1-866 phone numbers for windows. After about a 10 minute wait I was able to speak to a tech. I was surprised that the tech I was speaking to did not have any kind of heavy accent as if he were from a foreign country like India. He spent about 45 min. on the phone trying to find a way to solve my problem. When there was no success he suggested I call the antivirus program company’s technical support. So again I went to the Internet and spent several minutes to find a way to contact tech support. This time I called the 1-866 number and waited for about 15 minutes to talk to a technical support person. The person I spoke to had the heavy accent and after a short time he revealed that he was in India. Undeterred, I spoke to the tech and after several times of asking him to repeat what he said he disclosed to me that he was unable to fix my problem. During both the conversations with the techs, they suggested several manual ways to look at my computer. And so I spent approximately 8 hours; that was four hours a day for two days, researching Internet websites to find an answer to my computer problem. Of course there were several times when I saw a website which appeared to be a by Microsoft Windows or the antivirus program company. And the person that answered my phone call sounded exactly like the person from Microsoft. But before long I would find out that they wanted money to fix my problem. On one of those occasions I went to a website and used a chat line. After about 20 min. chatting to a technician he said he could fix my problem for $249. I promptly told him I cannot afford that, thanked him for his help and hung up the phone.
I know that I am not a computer technician, but I’ve been using computers for years and years. With more and more companies and information being provided on the World Wide Web, Internet, I thought things would get easier. But that is not necessarily so. There are a lot of companies out there who disguise themselves as being a part of a company like Microsoft and after you spend a lot of time talking to them you find out they are not associated with Microsoft. I can remember while I was still using Windows 7 I spendt a lot of time trying to download a file only to find out that there was a fee for the help. If this was a company in my town or state I could report them to the Better Business Bureau or to a local or state government agency for misrepresentation. But most of these companies are not in our country. There are no laws to keep them from doing harmful things to the computer user. I know that most people think that senior citizens are not tech savvy. But many of us are, it was our generation that really started the ball rolling by starting to use computers. But what bothers me the most is that it looks like there’s a lot of wolves in sheep’s clothing out there on the Internet. Given the chance they will fleece you of your money. The two companies that I did speak to that were legit, like Microsoft, take a lot of time to get on the chat line or on the phone. And it seems like the people who answer the phone are not truly experts. They had been schooled on how to answer frequently asked questions. There were many times while talking to that first person on the phone they had to put me on hold to call an expert. This is disconcerting because I thought they were the expert.
So while still frustrated I will continue to search for the answer to my computer’s problem. I do not want to sit down and wait for 15 minutes or more for someone to talk to me. I am guarded about contacting the Internet to find the owner of the program that I’m having trouble with. I know that the simple answer for me is to get a new computer. But I found out one of the problems in getting a new computer is that I also have to buy new programs. Most computers will come with operating programs and I can always copy the existing files in my computer. But I have at least 20 programs including the one I’m using to do my blog (dragonfly) and I have to repurchase each one of those programs for the new computer. So even though the price of the actual computer is not extreme the price of buying all those programs are expensive to put back into the computer.
My thought for today is to just keep working on the old computer and exhaust all efforts to get it up to date and working properly. Now that I live in the country I use my computer and the Internet to purchase a lot of items that are delivered to my door. I have to travel at least 30 miles to find some of the basic stores that I use. I Have to travel about an hour to find the big-name stores. Therefore I save money by purchasing the item online and having it delivered here. I use Amazon a lot and I’m happy with that service. But when my computer does not work it throws my whole world into a tizzy. So even though I know I can survive without the use of the computer I still want to try to make this computer work, as I cannot afford a new computer let alone all the programs that go with it.
I’m sure many of you have experienced the same frustration when confronted with a problem in your computer. And if you can afford to have someone else fix it that’s great. But if you are like me you have to try to make what you have work.
As I used to say, just keep on trucking.