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Comcast Stupid?
Who wrote these instructions
Marshall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4533803 posted 10:52 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

So Comcast sends me a new modem to install which controls my internet access and VOIP. The instructions basically say:

"Replace existing modem, go online or call to activate new modem."

What's wrong with this picture?

A Comcast Do'h!

Marshall

 

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4533803 posted 7:28 am on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

My router's instructions were written by the same people. They go into exquisite detail with copious illustrations ... on the manufacturer's web site.

Old_Honky

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4533803 posted 3:33 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I find most instructions for everything to be less than adequate. I believe that they are re-written from the original Chinese by people who have no technical experience, have never seen the product, and don't give a toss.

It is bad enough when the end user is someone who like, I would guess most people on these fora, is fairly technically literate and can work things out for themselves. Imagine the problems that can occur when you are selling to the "technically challenged".

As an agent selling Chinese made goods in the UK for an Italian company I learnt a long time ago that it saves much time and effort in the long run if I re-write the instructions on every product so that they are as "idiot proof" as I can make them. When I first started doing this the Italians said "you are wasting your time - no one reads instructions anyway..."

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4533803 posted 4:15 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

You are wasting your time. It is impossible to make anything foolproof, because fools are so damned ingenious.

I recently bought a cheap vacuum cleaner. Turned out the price was low because (a) there was some assembly required (I should have figured this out from the size and shape of the box) and (b) there were no instructions. In any language.

On the whole it didn't take any longer having to figure it out for myself. Well, apart from the two leftover screws. I'll never know if these were spares-- somehow I doubt this-- or if I missed a couple of vital reinforcement points. If it ever falls apart, I'll look for little holes.

lawman

WebmasterWorld Administrator lawman us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4533803 posted 4:33 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

It is impossible to make anything foolproof, because fools are so damned ingenious.


Haha, I've read that before. I never get over its simplicity and veracity

Old_Honky

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4533803 posted 1:14 am on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

It is true that you can never underestimate the general public but if you make the instructions in the correct language and as easy to follow as possible you can dramatically cut the time you spend on the helpline explaining the blindingly obvious.

GaryK

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4533803 posted 1:40 am on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

It is impossible to make anything foolproof, because fools are so damned ingenious.

This reminds me of a quote I like:

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.

Rick Cook, The Wizardry Compiled

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4533803 posted 2:12 am on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

On the first page of some One2One mobile phone instruction books here in the UK in the late 1990s was written:

"If your phone is lost or stolen, call us free by dialling 121 from your handset."

lawman

WebmasterWorld Administrator lawman us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4533803 posted 3:13 am on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

The manufacturer's warranty for the DUI breath testing device used in Georgia and other states reads in part: There are no warranties . . . of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4533803 posted 8:53 am on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

So Comcast sends me a new modem to install which controls my internet access and VOIP.


That's your first mistake, getting VOIP as your primary phone. I've had a copper-pair landline my entire life and with a couple of minor exceptions, the landline basically never goes down. However, the cable service and more importantly the internet aspect goes offline a lot. More frequently than any device tasked with being the basis of making a 911 phone call should ever go offline. Granted, in the last few years the internet has been more stable than ever before, finally, but I still wouldn't trust it as my only line of communication.

My father-in-law always wants to switch to get the cheaper VOIP rates but only calls to kvetch about it when his internet is down, to which I constantly point out that he wouldn't have a phone now either :)

Being in an earthquake zone I know the hard way that when they strike about the only thing left working is the landline as once the electricity goes offline, so does your routers, modems and VOIP phones unless you have a UPS on all that gear, which I have. Don't know if the cable company supplies their own power like the phone company does, but eventually the landline phone is always the last utility left running. Even the cell phone towers need power, assuming they're still standing, and your phone battery will eventually die unless you have a car recharger and who knows how long the cell towers stay online in a long term power outage.

Just something to consider that you may be giving up your only real lifeline.

Marshall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4533803 posted 2:47 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

That's your first mistake, getting VOIP as your primary phone.

I have a land line as my primary phone for the same reasons you cited.

Marshall

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4533803 posted 4:29 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

You know how much typing you could've saved me had you said that in the first place?

Marshall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4533803 posted 5:22 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

You know how much typing you could've saved me had you said that in the first place

Bill, you love it :)

But back to the OP, if a person does not have a land line or cell, the instructions are truly a Homer Simpson Do'h moment.

Marshall

thecoalman

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4533803 posted 11:33 am on Jan 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Being in an earthquake zone I know the hard way that when they strike about the only thing left working is the landline as once the electricity goes offline, so does your routers, modems and VOIP phones unless you have a UPS on all that gear, which I have.


The VOIP modems come with a battery backup that is good for a few hours. We live in an area where if the power goes out it's going to be out a for a while. After hurricane Lee 5 days, during hurricane Sandy it never went out but about one mile away it was out for 2 days. We have a generator so the power issue becomes irrelevant.

The other thing to consider is lot of modern phones for landlines require power to operate even if it's a base phone. The one we have will operate without power but you lose all the extra functions. We also have an old phone with ringer that requires no power at all except the current on the phone line which the VOIP modem does supply.

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