• 48°

Coffee with Mimi

BY MIMI BECKER

It all started out so innocently.  

An email appeared reminding me that our domain name registration would expire in about a month. As this name had been ours for nearly two years and had been successfully renewed a year ago I didn’t jump on the task immediately. Other matters were more pressing at the moment.

Toward the end of last week I had a few minutes to spare between this and that. It was the perfect time to clear up that little domain name task.  

Computer people are so witty. Opening the message, I was cheerily informed that this would take just a moment of my time and would involve just a single click on the RENEW button “to keep the party going.” No kidding. That’s what it said.  

Alrighty. I appreciate the sentiment. Goodness knows, we can all use a simple task to check off the “to do” list. Since the issue involved technology, I was relieved this one was in the books.  So they said.

Maybe I waited too late in the day. I opened up the conveniently provided link to the promised page which would contain that easy RENEW button. There it was. Right where it should be under all the information that accurately identified the page as our account.

Click.  

Well, there were no bells, whistles or balloons congratulating me on completing the renewal of our very own domain name. There were a few questions to answer. Not anything unusual, just name, address, etc. And method of payment.

Well, that is a bit more than just a click, but entirely reasonable. Nothing in this world is free.  So, I proceeded. At the conclusion of the form, there was no hint about how to submit the information. Actually, there was no specific information requested about the necessary method of payment either. I still wasn’t too concerned as, according to my recollection, I had set up an auto pay for another service we have with the same company. That service bill is due much later in the year. The company must have just rolled both fees into my auto pay request. Click.

Nothing doing. No acknowledgement of completed renewal. No movement on the page whatsoever.

Oh, well. I’ll take care of it next week. Plenty of time left on the deadline.  

Half way through the next week, I realize time is moving along and it is creeping up on the holiday weekend. I had really hoped to take a three-day weekend and if that is the goal, now is the time to resolve the domain renewal issue. How long can it take if I really apply myself to the process?

I had been promised it would be little to do and there was to be that party at the end as a reward. I could enjoy that three-day weekend after all.

Who am I kidding? This is technology, and I am me. I had foolishly, lately, been taking pride in my ability to manipulate various bits of information and maneuver through the world of virtual meetings. I was even asked, and could answer, questions about various techniques for obviously simple little applications. Well, pride goeth before the fall.

Back to the domain registration renewal email reminder. Click on the link. Click on RENEW. Fill in the information. I’ve been here before. I must have missed something previously. This time it would work. I’m out of here with time to spare.

I kid you not – two and a half hours later the deed was finally done. The details of this saga would fill a legal pad. The hoops I jumped through to save our precious domain name were ridiculous and surely not just of my making.

I will spare you the details, but they involved more than one call to more than one bank to ascertain how we actually paid for the bill in the first place. At one point, I wasn’t sure we had ever paid for it. The company was so cheerful during the original web design period, I began to think they just let me have the service since I am so friendly. I was becoming somewhat delirious. 

There is a feature on the company’s website that is called “support.” You fill out a little form with your question and submit it and a nice person will call you back and fix your problem. A comedy routine could be written around that portion of the day. No “submit” button here.

Finally, I found the “live chat” option in the depths of the website. Real people answer you here.  The first person sent me to a second person who finally figured out the issue which had something to do with functions spoken in words I will never understand.

We, rather he, completed the registration renewal remotely through multiple layers of links and computer stuff. I just followed his directions operating with both my desktop and cell phone open.

He was such a nice guy, I hope they pay him well and told him so. He laughed and reminded me to wash my hands and stay healthy.