The Special Challenge of Helping Parents with Computer Issues--from Afar!


Bless my parents--they are in their 70s and are trying--but computer problems continue--and no one is nearby to pop in to reset anything. Helping from Texas? Impractical. They are all the way in Florida, and when I talk to my stepdad, he says computer problems are the only things that make him feel dumb. He is almost eighty--I do not want to make the poor guy feel bad. Here is the thing--he says, 'My WiFi doesn't work.' When I ask what's wrong with it, he says he has no idea--he does not even know what kind it is or how old the equipment is. So, I told him, because I really cannot fly out there to reset it, to get on the phone to the provider, and have them come to the house and bring them new equipment. Sometimes it is time to actually make some demands of the people you have been paying money to for so many years.

I think that he, and so many of us think that the company is somehow doing us a favor by providing us a service, because they make it seem difficult to get really good customer service. So, it may take a little time on the phone for him, he needs to get them to have someone come out there and get them all set up with a new system, new router, and set up his laptop so it is not a paperweight. I really think that could be a business for some young entrepreneur. Get themselves bonded so older folks can trust having them in the house, and they can be like rental grandkids--come over and set up or fix your Netflix, or your laptop or phone or printer. You could get cute cards made up and have a nice website. A nice young person would probably get repeat customers--maybe sometimes just for the company.

I digress. Hopefully I will be able to talk them through this on the phone. Hopefully Dad got the internet provider to come out to the house to get them fixed up. In the meantime, I have the unenviable task of trying to explain the concept of using the Hotspot on the iPhone to provide WiFi for the laptop until the Internet service people come out. I will likely be on the phone for a few days. Send snacks...