Sorry, it’s a Friday afternoon vent! The good news is that my ISP, Bell Sympatico, has added a “service status” page to their web site, so you can check it before calling (shudder) to talk to their tech support. If you are lucky, the status is correct and a yellow or red light on the E-mail section when you are having e-mail difficulties indicates they know there is a problem and are working on it.

The bad news is that more likely, you’ll get happy green lights indicating everything is fine, fine, fine, even if it’s not, not, not. One day, a red light showed that network service had some problems in the Toronto area, although they thought e-mail service was “available.” From my end, it wasn’t very available. I could sometimes log in and fetch my mail; sometimes when I tried to open or delete a message, it threw me to a screen that said “ERROR. Due to an internal error your request cannot be processed. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please try again later.” So for most of the week, I wasn’t entirely confident the mail was getting through either way.

You’re wondering why am I telling YOU this instead of Bell. Well, I did try to tell Bell using an online form that I had to fill out twice, and which forced me to include “other comments” even though I wasn’t going to add any.

I later received an e-mail from Siva, telling me he/she understood my concern and suggesting things that involved deleting, recreating or disabling — in typical fashion, assuming the problem is on MY end. This is exactly what all their tech support people do over the telephone, and I refuse to call them any more. Come to think of it, maybe that is their sinister plan; if tech support calls drop in dramatic fashion, fewer people are needed to answer.

I feel better now! Plus, as far as I know, there are green lights all around.