Drop A Letter, Drop The Service

, , , , , | Working | February 12, 2020

(This story takes place in the dark ages of dial-up before the modern ISPs take hold. My family has service via a local company.)

Tech: “Hello, thank you for calling [ISP]. How can I help you?”

Me: “Hi, our dial-up isn’t able to connect to anything. It’s been out for about a week now.”

Tech: “I’m sorry to hear that. Let me walk you through a few things to fix that.”

(What follows is about an hour of fiddling with the dial-up settings. In between these sessions, I have to hang up, test the dial-up, and then call the technician again to tell them it still isn’t working.)

Tech: “I honestly don’t know what to say; we’ve gone over everything. Why don’t you give me your password, and I can try it on my end and see if it’s a problem with the account, instead?”

Me: “All right, it’s [nine-letter foreign word]. Let me spell it out.”

Tech: *after I’m done* “Oh, I see what your problem is!”

Me: “You do?!”

Tech: “Yep, your password is too long!”

Me: “What? But… we’ve been using that password since we got your service.”

Tech: “Yeah, but we recently updated our system so we can only accept eight-letter passwords. Just drop the last letter off your password and you’re back online!”

(And she was right. I thanked her sincerely since she’d been very helpful and patient throughout this nonsensical adventure. About a year later, the ISP shut down. They informed their customers of this with an email which was sent out AFTER they’d shut down the service.)

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