"Hello, my Internet connection has not been working for hours," I tell the service provider hotline guy, after being warned by a computerised voice that this call is being recorded for quality and training purposes and I am to be part of the education.

"Ok...please provide me with security details....thanks...ok, may I call you by first name?..." he rattles off.

"Anything, just get this working."

"So what is the problem actually?"

"The internet..."

"You want to subscribe?"

"I told you it is not working and when it does work it is very slow."

"I understand. Am really sorry for the inconvenience. How many bars are showing?"


"Four," I say, squinting my eyes to make sure I don't miss out on any bars and mislead the training and quality.

"That's good. Now try browsing."

"That's what I have been trying to do, and it is not working."

"Oh, so sorry to hear that. Did you try switching it off?"

"I have done all that is possible. Switched off, on, removed batteries, put them in, taken the phone/tab for a walk..." [last bit not said aloud]

"Maybe you don't know the settings..."

"I've been using this before you were born." [not said aloud]

"We'll try it manually...go to home page, then to settings..."

"I have been there for a couple of hours..." I had also cleared cache, history, geography to make it light as a feather.

"Now add this...then this...type google...G O O..."

"I know how to spell."

"Now click save..."

"There is no save...it auto saves."

"IPad is Apple?"

"No. It is orange." [said softly because call is recorded and training might not be fruity]

"I will have to transfer you to my technical department..."

"And who are you?"

"I am hotline help. Transferring now...[music] Sorry about the long wait..."

[It's been 30 seconds only]

"Okay, transferring the line to Shahrukh Khan [not his real name]. SRK will now help you..."

"Even if Idi Amin does I'll be happy."

[obviously, I did not say it aloud]

"I understand you have a problem. Have you tried switching on and switching off?" asked SRK.

"No. I have no clue how to do it. Because I am not a machine."

[I did not say this latter bit aloud]

The wonders of life. The line got cut off. I resigned myself to being unconnected. A few minutes later I got a text message. "Were you happy with the help?"

I switched off. So, yes, the help worked in unintended ways.