My sister went and organised wireless broadband for herself. She came home armed with her wireless gateway modem, a CD, a quick start guide and the assurance from the salespeople that you just plug it in, turn it on and you’re away.
Luckily she also organised me to come round after work one day to set it up for her. I have some technical support background and sheer pig-headedness on my side to get these things set up. She is a bit of a computer luddite.
I rocked up to her place after work one day last week and plugged everything in, went and turned on the computer and things weren’t working as they should have been. I rang up technical support and after nearly a two hour wait I finally spoke to someone. We fairly quickly established that a wireless adapter was missing from the computer – a very essential part when connecting wireless broadband. We also worked out that to get the right settings on the wireless gateway it would be easiest to plug it into a computer that had a network card which my sister didn’t have.
I do have a network card on my computer so I took home the wireless gateway and the ethernet cable and my sister bought herself a wireless adapter. When the gateway was plugged into my computer I rang up technical support – blessedly quiet over Easter, so I didn’t have to wait too long – and a different person basically said I hadn’t needed to do that really, that I could set it up at my sister’s place.
So, on Easter Sunday, off I went to my sister’s place, found the easter egg stash, armed myself with chocolate, put Free Willy 2 on the DVD for JJ to keep him occupied and installed the wireless adapter into the computer. I plugged everything else in and rang technical support again when there was no wireless connection forthcoming.
Yet a different technical support person brought up the settings on the gateway using while connected to a network card. I told him that when I was all connected in this way at my place that one of you guys told me it didn’t matter. I got step by step instructions from him what to do when it was connected to a network card and all I had to do was change the wireless setting to mixed from disabled. I had been told this the first time after the two hour wait but failed to write down proper instructions and failed to take this improperly written instructions with me.
Off I went home again – luckily only five minutes away – changed the setting, went back to my sister’s and finally got everything working with just one slight hiccup that a new piece of hardware (the bit between the phone jack and the modem/landline) will fix.
I’ve taken a while to tell this tale and it could have all been avoided with CLEAR instructions.
The quick setup guide didn’t have a vital ‘What you need to do/have first’ section. This section could have outlined that we needed a wireless adapter, and how to find out if you have one. This section could have outlined that you might need to connect the gateway to a network card to change the wireless setting. This section could have saved me a few hours and many phone calls and needless stress. This section would have only taken up a tiny bit of space. This section would have also saved a lot of technical support time from the ISP.
Not so hard I would think.