My parents recently invested in an Ipad so that they can become technology friendly and also in the hope of being able to contact me more easily. I received a call from my mother asking me to help her with setting up a Hotmail email account and was very confused as to how to start or where to go. I was out at the time and not at my computer and found it very difficult to take her step-by-step through the screens in order to do this and she became increasingly frustrated and annoyed.
The problem with the elderly is that they haven't been brought up on computers and smart phones and the technology totally evades them, they actually find it quite frightening and I was proud that my parents, being over 70, had decided to take this step. However, as she became increasingly frustrated, I did too, and it ended up with her giving up, in a foul mood and upset that this simple task had beaten her.
Research has proven that It's difficult to teach over-50's new tasks, especially those linked with technology. Physiological degeneration contributes to the fact that the older generations are flummoxed by new things. They struggle to adapt to new ways and prefer their routine. Trying to get to grips with a new TV remote control can also be a struggle for some of us, but particularly so with the elderly.
There are many potential problems with setting up a new email account; the actual installation or set up (as my mother was experiencing), error messages, account hacking or forgetting and resetting your password, and there doesn't appear to be any quick fixes, support or helplines available from Microsoft.
I was wondering how best to help my mother with her problem before she threw the IPAD out the window, and was thinking hard who lived nearby to help her out. There wasn't really anyone I could think of, who was computer savvy, that lived close by, and I didn't really want to ask one of my friends to go and visit as they all lived too far away. So how could I help her?
For most of us who are tech savvy we can usually work problems out via trial and error, we're more confident on clicking different options, searching online for solutions and usually find the answer, but of course my mother wasn't. She was scared to click on anything on the screen, and when she did, it often took her out the page to somewhere else which just increased her confusion and irritation.
I then considered calling an IT company or IT specialist out to help her but when investigating these, which were very limited, they all charged a costly call out fee, and it was such a simple task, that I didn't think it warranted the charge, plus my mother's not keen on letting strangers in the house, given her age and fraility.
So what now?
How do you contact Hotmail customer service? I therefore went online myself to see how contacting Hotmail helpline was set up, but was surprised at the lack of advice and support available. I discovered that as Hotmail is a free service their customer service is far from effective and mot readily available.
When I did find some information on how to contact them it was via logging into your Hotmail email account to the help section, which of course my Mother wouldn't be able to do as she hadn't managed to actually create one yet.
However, when I did log in to the Help section myself, all it gave was a contact form to fill in which you then had to wait for Hotmail support to respond to, I was starting to give up myself. As far as I could tell, after searching for an hour, there wasn't a customer service phone number available to call for a quick response or quick instruction, and when I did find one based in the USA, it also advised that it wasn't the best way to reach them.
What is then?
I then found a “Contact Windows Live Hotmail Support” page which sounded quite positive, but when I went there the list of instructions to actually get in contact was quite ridiculous, not even myself, let alone my 70 year old Mother would ever make their way through these - take a look:
Contact Windows Live Hotmail Support
To contact Windows Live Hotmail and Hotmail tech support:
- Check Windows Live Hotmail’s status for current issues.
- Microsoft may already be aware of a problem with Windows Live Hotmail and working on a resolution.
- Go to the Windows Live Hotmail forum on Microsoft Answers.
- Click Sign in in the top right corner if you are not yet signed into Microsoft Answers.
- If you are not logged in to your Windows Live Hotmail account:
- Enter your Windows Live Hotmail address under Windows Live ID:.
- Type your Windows Live Hotmail password under Password:.
- Click Sign in.
- If you cannot sign in to your Windows Live Hotmail account, you can try to recover your password or create a new, temporary, Windows Live account.
- If you have not created a Microsoft Answers profile yet:
- Enter the name you want to appear with your posts in the Windows Live Hotmail forum under Display Name:.
- Type your Windows Live Hotmail address (or another address where you want to receive optional notifications of replies to your question) under Email address:. Make sure I accept the Answers Code of Conduct is checkedd after you have read and accepted the code.
- Click Sign Up.
- Click Ask a question.
- Type the headline of your questionâ€”ideally a short summaryâ€”under Post your question to the community.
- Click Ask.
- Look under Before you post your question… tab to see potentially helpful answers to similar questions.
- Fill in your problem and question under Details:.
- Include as much information as possible. If something comes to mind (a change at your internet service provider’s network infrastructure, for example, or a web site that prompted you to install a program) and you think it must be insignificant, do list it.
- Make sure Hotmail, Messenger & SkyDrive is selected under Forum.
- Now make sure Hotmail is selected under Product.
- Pick the most appropriate category under Topic.
- Choose Yes Mobile under Mobile version? if your problem is with Windows Live Hotmail on the road; otherwise, make sure Not Mobile is selected.
- Leave Notify me when someone responds to this question checked to receive notifications at the email address you entered earlier.
- Click Submit.
How insane is that…
So how pleased was I to find out about this new, innovative start up that offers remote support offered by MyHelpster and the best past is that they only charges you after the session IF they've solved the problem AND the customer is satisfied.
No costly call out fees and no strangers entering the house.
My mother was thrilled and will definitely be using this service for all issues in the future, which I'm sure will be many!