Friday, May 9, 2014

My Day in India, Sponsored by Amazon...

Lately I've been doing a lot of reading on my Kindle. I acquired this means of conveying the written word about a year ago and since, it's made actual printed books pretty much obsolete to me. I'd say I read about 3 or 4 books a month. Yesterday, I was trying to order a book, which is a really simple procedure normally, but for some reason this time it wouldn't work. After several tries, I finally broke down and went to Amazon's website and struggled through the menus. After several minutes, a drop down screen opened up and referred me to a telephone number that started with 855. Frustrated, I dialed the number and was expecting at a minimum, some HELP! A man answered with an Indian accent and I don't mean a relative of Geronimo. I could barely understand him and told him so. He asked me some pertinent questions and then referred me to a telephone number that was to help me. I dialed this number and it was answered my Sony Electronics. I asked the operator if they manufactured the Kindles and she had no idea, but did ask me who I wanted to be connected with. Finally, the phone began ringing again and another lady of American descent answered and I asked the same question. She didn't know either. It was clear to me now that the first Indian gentleman was just trying to get rid of me by giving me Sony's number. I dialed the 855 number again and this time a woman from India answered and I just hung up. Ten seconds later my phone rings and it's the 855 number calling me back. 

I answered knowing fully well that I had been busted for calling and hanging up, but since I couldn't understand much of what she said, I accepted my lecture easily. Then, somehow, I understood her to ask if she could take control of my computer. I said, sure, why not? Suddenly the background color when from blue to black and she was whipping through my files like some computer wizard. At some point out of habit, I moved my mouse a little and was quickly reprimanded me, that she was now in control and to allow her to do her thing. She complained that my computer was too slow and that was a big issue on why I couldn't order a book. She showed me lists of failed tries and underlined things and circled things in red. I felt ashamed of my computer. It was old and needed replacing. She said, no. It will be fine. After about 30 minutes of her taking control of everything, she started talking about how she could make everything better, just like a mom might sooth a hurt child. Suddenly, it occurred to me that this is an awful lot for an emergency tech to be doing for free and I asked if there would be any charge for anything she was doing. She avoided answering me yet, but eluded to a one time charge. 

I'd had enough, just like I'm sure you have and screamed into the phone, HOW MUCH IS THE ONE TIME CHARGE??? Long silence, that frankly I was appreciative of. $259.99. WHAT, that's ridiculous! All I'm trying to do is order a damned book and you're trying to solve the problems of the world! She ignored me and continued on her spiel, explaining that this is NOT a sales call, it is technical support! Now I hope you have read all of this with a make-shift Pakistan accent, because that's what I was hearing. I told her that $259.99 was ridiculous and she dropped it to $159.99 but for a limited time only! I told her that I was going to hang up now and that if she continued to keep speaking to me, she would be on her own. I told her then that she had been of no help to me at all and hung up. 

But what about my computer, she still had control of it! Suddenly all of the colors changed back to what they were originally and my mouse was once again under my control. I looked at the time and about an hour had gone by while I listened and argued. Then I thought, how could Amazon allow someone to invade their website and did Amazon even know about this, but again, everything was so elusive, how would I explain it and to what avail?

I still had no book though. I tried Amazon's chat feature, where you text with a rep online and she (Caroline) explained after taking down my name and reading my ISP number, that the reason that I did not receive the book I ordered was because I had already ordered that same book probably 6 months ago and it's already on my Kindle, but about half way back on my list. She was right! I had ordered the sample of the book, had not liked it and never ordered the book itself. Somehow that experience exhausted me, as though I'd actually been to India!