Life Rebooted
An experiment in starting anew

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Monday, July 22, 2002

Have you ever played an Infocom game? *in old guy voice* In my day we didn't have fancy schmancy 3D graphics, we only had text, and we liked it! Back then, Douglas Adams collaborated with the Infocom folks to create two very twisted games. The least known of these is Bureaucracy, a truly demented look at everyday life. You start out giving your actual address. As I recall, the powers that be munge your address and your paycheck ends up at the next door neighbor's house. A series of corporate screw ups and frustrations with getting them corrected leads you on a truly bizarre adventure. I had an experience with my web provider last week that reminded me of that game, only far less entertaining.

Apple recently started charging for email addresses and I had that address as my billing contact. It wasn't long ago that @home went under and I changed it to the one, and here I was changing it again. I went to their site and found a support email address. I sent the change and instantly I had mail. Wow, how efficient! The first sentence sounded promising: "Your email to support has been received." But, unfortunately the message continued: "However, all issues or requests must be submitted through our online form at [web withheld] Email requests will not be addressed or answered." Doh!

Ok, so I go to the website, but my usual passwords aren't working, so I click the "email my password" button. The response: "Your password has been sent to [withheld]" Gah!

Fine, we'll take care of this the old-fashioned way, by phone. A friendly operator asks what she can do for me. "I want to change the email associated with my account." "OK, what's your username and password." Arrgh!

I quickly recount my story and explain why I do not have the password. She seems understanding and I hear a reassuring bout of furious typing. "OK, here I have you down for..." *beep-beep-beep* Disconnected!

I dialed the number again and was greeted with a recorded voice: "Welcome to 1-800-###-#### All Chat All the Time!" I was at work, so I panicked and reflexively snapped the receiver to the cradle as quick as humanly possible.

After racking my brain for a while I finally managed to remember the password. Once I was in the system, I was able to change one out of five addresses attributed to me. I could see no way to change the remaining four. I left a desperate message in the support system:

I was able to change the address under Accounts with this interface, but I don't see any way to change Contacts. As I recall billing looks at the Contacts page, so it is important that it be changed.

Initially when I logged in I could not remember my password, so I tried to have it emailed to me. Unfortunately that is still set to [withheld] I managed to remember it after pounding my head against the keyboard a couple times, but it would be nice if I could avoid injuring my forehead in the future.

10:35:56 PM    comment []

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