Dots right

BlackBerry user is setting up his new device when he calls support pilot fish with a problem.

"The configuration routine includes the user entering his e-mail address and a password," says fish. "This user called to tell me that the instructions didn't work."

Fish walks the user through the process, which has worked fine for others. In particular, fish asks the user to carefully check his e-mail address for any errors.

"Everything looks good," user replies.

But it's still not working, so fish calls the service provider's support line, and puts the tech on the line with fish and the user.

Together, they check every possible problem they can think of and go carefully through the steps of the setup process with the user. That includes checking and rechecking the e-mail address, which the user insists is spelled correctly.

But it's still not working. So fish calls tech support for the BlackBerry vendor, Research In Motion, and conferences that tech in, too.

After an hour on the phone, no joy -- and fish is ready to give up.

"I asked the user one more time: 'Are you sure you've spelled your e-mail address correctly?'" reports fish.

"He replied, 'Well, let me put my glasses on,' followed by a long pause.

"Then: 'Oops, I have two dots before the com part of my address.'

"He's fortunate he's a remote user."

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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