Shopping is not a hobby or
"sport" for me. Sure, I watch American Pickers, and use
eBay, that's not shopping, that's gambling. But sometimes you do have to
We needed a new
website/email host. The little fish Chicago company I grew to love had
been eaten several monster fish ago. There were no more dinners, no
Wolves games or Ravinia* outings. The Tech Support people answering my 2
a.m. calls no longer knew me, or spoke English. At least I don't think they
All I wanted was a host new
enough to have fast, roomy, 1st generation gear, small enough to be hungry,
big enough to have deep pockets, easily accessible 24 hour
support by eMail, Chat, and phone, a Top 10 ranking, a
management software suite I knew and liked, with fair prices, and
Vendor guarantees mean
nearly nothing. Try to exercise even the simplest guarantee for the
most insignificant amount it's "No habla Ingles.".
But guarantees may tell something about the company and seemed
worth the read. What struck me about one company was it's
"Real People" Guarantee.
"We guarantee that you
will be able to reach us and speak with a real human being, someone who speaks English
and can answer your questions, fix your problems and help you resolve your
Wow. That would be sweet.
English. People complain about outsourcing to India. These
guys put it right out there. Sassy! There's another way to avoid
the language barrier in dealing with Indian Tech
Support, without learning Hindi, call someone else.
You don't have to call the
Tech Support 800 number associated with where you live. It's not like
they're coming over. Practica tu Espanol? Call the 800 number for
Barcelona's Tech Support. Spanish is not an Official Language in
India, English is. Not everybody speaking English outsources either. Call
England, they speak English, it's a free call. Call Australia, they
speak English too.
Problem is, I have come to
find I do not speak English. I speak American. My host, with a lovely
Data Center in Chicago**, has it's offices in Fareham England,
South Australia, and Glendale California. All speaking English, but
none speaking American.
"Ollow. May I help
you?" "Yes, I'd like to add some features to my
package." "Features to your package you say? Have a hold
will you? Sorry love." God save the Queen. Change
"Ollow" to "G'Day" and that leaves California and
I have no idea what they're saying, ever.
Actually, I get along just
great with my new host and am learning English while they learn American.
Our common language is technease and they are very knowledgeable. I'm
also learning something called IntellAgent.
IntellAgent is interactive
computer you chat with. In the typing sense, not the talking
sense. If you want a real person, who speaks English, use the
phone. IntellAgent takes what you type and using all sorts of magical
computer stuff searches knowledgebases to give you it's highest
rated most likely answer. If you don't get what you want just rephrase
the question and try again.
If you Google you know it's
an art to get what you want sometimes. Some searches, like with
knowledgebases, give you a rating of "relevance". Bing
tries to weed out the low ranking results of your searches. Computers
are on game shows now. Why not IntellAgent? It just does the searching for you
in the most effective way programmable. IntellAgent will not
get snippy with you, and, unlike humans, will get smarter and smarter
right before your eyes.
Sometimes you can tell when
you're chatting with IntellAgent, sometimes you can't. It's a
dead giveaway when it asks for more input, data to search on. Responses
like; "Your question is not clear to me. Would you restate it in
greater detail?". But sometimes you just don't know if it's a live
agent or not. Maybe you could ask "What are you wearing?"
and see what kind of response you get. Then again, computers don't wear
anything, and some smartypants programmer could have anticipated that
question, and how foolish would you feel flirting with a computer. That's a
little different than talking to the lawnmower when it won't start.
"What are you
wearing?", or not, that's your call, and that's Cocktail