Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grandparenting.

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Tech support, passwords, and privacy! Oh, my!


I’ve been expanding my technical horizons and reaching out of my comfort zone this week. I’m attempting to design a website and it is challenging me a bit. I also upgraded my cell phone.  That was the real challenge. It’s a password thing.
When my husband returned home from work on Tuesday he found me in a state that he referred to as, “A gibbering idiot!”  And I was …
You see, I usually defer all telephone changes and upgrades to my tech guy – my eldest son. I had confessed to both hubby and son that I was afraid to activate my new phone.  I waited a day and attempted the activation.  My apprehension proved valid. 
The instructions said, “Call this number to activate your phone.” Okay, I did that. Something went wrong and eventually a live person came on the line.
“What is your password?” I gave her my password that I had recently changed because I could not remember the old one.  “That’s wrong.”
“But … that’s my password.”
“No, that’s your online account password. I need the other password.”
“What other password?” I was confused.
“The password for your account.”
“I just gave it to you!” Bother!
“I need the account owner’s password. Is he there?”
Of course he wasn’t there.  He was at work.
“Well, I can’t help you. I need to talk to the account owner.”
I informed her that the account owner set up the account fifteen years ago and that I make all the upgrade decisions, pay the bills, and otherwise manage the account. I left out the part about my tech guy.
“But you’re just the account manager. I can’t make any changes without speaking to the account owner.”
“Okay, well how CAN you help me?”
“I can tell you how to do it online. It’s really easy.”
Great.  Why didn’t she tell me that in the first place? She gave me the instructions and assured me again that it would be really easy. It wasn’t.
When I thought I had completed the activation, I discovered that I had merely turned off my existing phone.  I tried activating the new one – again.
Nothing.
I sent a Facebook message to my tech guy (because I had no phone!)
“I’m at work.  I can probably help you when I am free.”  Cool!  Now I was getting somewhere.
Later … “Okay, I’ve almost got it. You need to remove the SIM card from the old phone and put it in the new phone.”
“How do I do that?”
“There is an oval box on the side of the phone with a small pin hole in it.  Open that.”
There was no such box.  I know he thinks I’m afraid of technology – and I am – but there was no box!  He patiently explained where I would find the box.  It wasn’t there. I even watched the YouTube video that showed the box.  My phone had no such box!
My tech guy gave up.
I waited, becoming more frustrated and agitated as the hours passed. That’s when my hubby came home.
“Kevin, I hate change!  I hate it! Hate IT!” He kind of already knows that.  It’s the same reason that my waterski is 28 years-old and my life vest is following close behind.  It’s the reason I don’t move furniture around. I could go on, but that is a discussion for another post.  This post is about tech support, privacy, and passwords.

Hubby patiently got on his phone and called the provider.

“What is your password?”  He didn’t know his password. How would he know his password? It’s been 15 years!

“What are the last four digits of your SSN?” He gave him those numbers.

“What is your password?” Again with the password question!

“I can give you a hint …” The hint didn’t help.

“Can I change my password?”

“Sure!  What would you like it to be?”

Are you kidding me? I waited all day when I could have grabbed anyone with a man’s voice and had him make a call on his phone?

In the end, I have a new phone. I haven’t added all the apps I’m used to or put any music on it yet. I managed to upload a few random photos from the other phone and I have contact info from people I don’t even know. 

What I don’t have is the authority to make changes to my account with a phone call unless I have the account owner’s password! Guess who chose the password?  That’s right – I did! I feel SO much safer now.

Question: What changes do you struggle with because they don't prove as easy as promised?

Happy Running!

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