It started out like any other day.  As I was leaving Tai Chi, I tried calling my husband to tell him that I was stopping by Kroger’s. Because  he’s handicapped, I like to let him know if I’m going to be a little late.  I hit our home number and waited for the ring tone.  Nothing. Dead silence.  Tried again. No sound at all, even though my phone said it was calling that number.  When I got home, my husband said he hadn’t received my call.  That’s when I started tearing my hair with tech support.

It's frustrating to spend several hours on the phone with tech support

Called our wireless  provider, Spectrum, got connected to the usual automated voice message where you  have to tell them who you are, where you live, what’s on your mind, etc.

Once the robot found no outage in our area,  I was connected to a real live tech support person  with a strange accent who talked so fast that I had to ask her to repeat herself.   First, she checked to see if my home  landline had my cell number blocked.  No, it didn’t.  Techie said it was probably something wrong at AT&T.

To reach a real live person at AT&T, had to go through numerous steps :  enter forgotten pass code, get a new one, identify myself in  various ways. After about 30 minutes, got a support person  who got impatient when I asked  her to  speak clearly, and slow down.  First question:  was cell phone number blocked?  No, Spectrum had assured me I had no numbers blocked.  AT&T used their cell phone to call my home. It went right through, so they said it wasn’t their fault, but they would run some tests and get back to me.

Next morning nothing had changed.  Cell couldn’t call home.   I wondered if something was wrong with my Apple iPhone.  Maybe the settings were wrong. Again, Apple had me enter user name and pass code, long forgotten.  Took about half an hour to receive numerous e mails,  find  user name, put in a new password, etc.  First question:  Did my home phone have blocked numbers?  No.

Apple said to refresh my software.  This meant I had to sign up for I Tunes in order to save all my data.  It was a lengthy ordeal, but after about an hour, my phone had been completely updated.  Great!

Now, tried to call my landline again.  Still didn’t go through.  Apple said it was probably AT&T’s fault.

Called AT&T back, went through all the rigmarole to identify myself.  This time, got a person who spoke plain English.  I told her everything that had happened, and she said to go to phone settings.  There was an item at the bottom of the list, SHOW MY CALLER ID.  She asked me if that button  was on or off.  It was on.  She said to turn it off.  Voila!  My call to my landline went through.  One tiny little setting had been  causing the whole problem.

Called Spectrum back and asked why they had assured  me there were no blocked numbers on my phone.  They sputtered around and said, well, your landline didn’t  have a list of blocked numbers,  but yes, there was a block on all calls with no caller ID.   Whoa, Spectrum, why didn’t you tell me that yesterday? They could not explain, but did apologize.

Total time invested: 5 hours

Next day, had a problem with blue ray settings On TV.   Another few hours before that got fixed by Sony.

 Anyone over eighty should take a tranquilizer before they call tech support.

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