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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy cydewaze's Avatar
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    I'm pullin' my hair out here (vent)

    Ok, so I have this one web customer who was my first actual paying customer, so I've had him since something like 1997 or 98. He has a very simple site with a paypal shopping card (he's a musician and sells his CDs) and he has one email account.

    The thing that has always driven me nuts is that he is completely, 100% computer illiterate, and most likely always will be. He just never seems to learn anything, and he is no better today than he was in 1998. And to make matters worse, he has... AOL.

    The AOL coupled with his inability has been a sore spot since day one. If I use his AOL email address in his paypal shopping cart, he loses sales because AOL somehow blocks the emails from paypal (spam filters?). If I set up his paypal to use his domain email, that requires him to log in to webmail, and no matter how many times I show him how to do it, he never remembers, so I get a request for instructions about once a week.

    I tried setting his home email client up to check his webmail, but the AOL email client won't do it, so I have to set it up in Outlook Express, and of course he never remembers to check that, so I get another email asking me how to check his messages again.

    It makes me want to HANG myself!!!

    </vent>

  2. #2
    Non-Member fickyjersey's Avatar
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    hello

    i this is the first time i come here .

  3. #3
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    Well I feel your pain buddy, but really I think you have to lay it on the line and print out a huge poster (preferably a flow chart) of what to do to access email Go around his place and seriously nail it to the wall.

  4. #4
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fickyjersey View Post
    i this is the first time i come here .
    Welcome

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Make written documentation. Have screenshots in the documentation with arrows pointing to what you are describing or circles drawn around the item. Revise the documentation as necessary until it is clear to them.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy cydewaze's Avatar
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    I've done Word docs a few times over the past 10-ish years that detail the webmail procedure. He always responds by losing them in around 2 weeks. I can't email the doc to him because he would need the instructions to log in to fetch them.

    Once I tried a Word doc that sat on his desktop. He deleted that too. We're talking about someone who browsed his hard drive in Windows Explorer, saw a bunch of unfamiliar stuff in his /windows/ directory, thought, "Hey, I didn't put that there... it must be a virus" and deleted the contents of the folder, rendering his machine unbootable.

    He's done that twice in fact.

  7. #7
    HAHA!
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    get a trained monkey who will log into the email for him. It's cheaper and the monkey will understand your instructions.
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Guru dojo's Avatar
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    .. I think this is actually a good idea. Or maybe I can give him my dog, he should be able to handle this better than the client

    Print the instructions and put them in a frame or something .. or just let him solve the issues. Make one last printed page and tell him that IF he loses it again you don't want to hear about it anymore. Maybe he'll be more attentive.

  9. #9
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
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    Once I tried a Word doc that sat on his desktop. He deleted that too. We're talking about someone who browsed his hard drive in Windows Explorer, saw a bunch of unfamiliar stuff in his /windows/ directory, thought, "Hey, I didn't put that there... it must be a virus" and deleted the contents of the folder, rendering his machine unbootable.
    I kinda feel sorry for the... um... cave man...! BUt i HATE how some people get deluded into thinking EVERYTHING is a virus!

    Why dont you just create a shortcut on the desktop which directly takes him to the webmail account and as the desktop background put, in very big writing, "DO NOT DELETE THIS EVER!" - and then put an arrow to the icon...
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  10. #10
    HAHA!
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyPaddy View Post
    I kinda feel sorry for the... um... cave man...! BUt i HATE how some people get deluded into thinking EVERYTHING is a virus!

    Why dont you just create a shortcut on the desktop which directly takes him to the webmail account and as the desktop background put, in very big writing, "DO NOT DELETE THIS EVER!" - and then put an arrow to the icon...
    lol that's good. You should install a backdoor to his computer so you can play a sound file with instructions everytime he tries to do something stupid. Btw if it's just the webmail that is the problem and you have the login and password?
    Why don't you just use Mail2Web
    and prevent him from screwing up? Print the stuff off for him, archive it and hand over photocopies in certain intervals.
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  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy cydewaze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyPaddy View Post
    Why dont you just create a shortcut on the desktop which directly takes him to the webmail account and as the desktop background put, in very big writing, "DO NOT DELETE THIS EVER!" - and then put an arrow to the icon...
    Yeah, I have his webmail bookmarked in his AOL browser (I can't get him to use IE or FF. He says, "but the websites I go to aren't on IE, they're on AOL!") but that still (of course) prompts him for a username (his email address) and password, both of which he forgets. He doesn't forget his email address, mind you. He just forgets that his email address is his username.

    Then, in the rare event he manages to log in, the next screen is a cPanel screen with a few icons: Read webmail, change password, set auto-responder - none of which "make any sense" to him (those are his exact words). To make matters worse, if he DOES accidentally pick the right icon, the webmail will often lock up the AOL browser, so he calls me telling me his webmail is broken, and to fix it.

    Of course this is the same webmail that my wife and I use regularly in both IE and FF with no problems.

    The monkey idea is sounding better and better.

  12. #12
    HAHA!
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    erm usually you can bypass cpanel by just going to xwww.hisdomain.tld/webmail
    where you will only get a login form and will land directly in the email interface (Horde, Squirrel, Roundcube etc.) which will take one more "confusing" step out of it.
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Crazybanana's Avatar
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    if you keep on pulling your hair out like that, you will soon need a wig, and who's gonna pay for it.. yeah, who? you? him?
    Yeah, most likely you have to pay for it yourself
    Who's to doom when the judge himself is dragged before the bar


  14. #14
    HAHA!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazybanana View Post
    if you keep on pulling your hair out like that, you will soon need a wig, and who's gonna pay for it.. yeah, who? you? him?
    Yeah, most likely you have to pay for it yourself
    very helpful and well thought through point Mr Banana!
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  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy cydewaze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hostpitable View Post
    erm usually you can bypass cpanel by just going to xwww.hisdomain.tld/webmail
    where you will only get a login form and will land directly in the email interface (Horde, Squirrel, Roundcube etc.) which will take one more "confusing" step out of it.
    Yeah, that's what we're doing, but on this host, you're taken to a cPanel sub page of sorts, where you get to choose between Horde, Squirrel Mail, or RoundCube, as well as having icons for things like changing pw, etc. But the three mail clients are clearly marked as "Read mail using..." and I've explained to him dozens of times, both verbally and in writing, that he can pick any of them.

    In fact, I walked him through it once, sitting next to him, and he decided he liked Horde best, so I tell him, "When you get to this page, click Horde!" but he only remembers it for a few hours.

    I swear he's not mentally challenged. Or at least I think he's not. He's a great musician - he just can't do computers.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Crazybanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cydewaze View Post
    I swear he's not mentally challenged. Or at least I think he's not. He's a great musician - he just can't do computers.
    oh God, that made my day haha

    but (haha) I'm not completely buying this "can't do computer" thingy.. maybe he feel unsecure and is afraid of deleting his stuff and needs to be calmed down and explained to that this will not harm his files..? and maybe show him what it takes to do such a thing...

    just a thought I got as the description you gave can fit many of those I know here
    Who's to doom when the judge himself is dragged before the bar


  17. #17
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    Sounds like this guy could do with Opera Mail client all set up to go no passwords to enter once set up - bingo If only he didn't use AOL

  18. #18
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
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    Not trying to be age'ist here... but how old is this guy? (not that age had anything to do with computer literacy )
    James Padolsey
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  19. #19
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    No of course, but some people are resistant to technology.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy cydewaze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyPaddy View Post
    Not trying to be age'ist here... but how old is this guy? (not that age had anything to do with computer literacy )
    He's a bit past 50. And yeah, the AOL thing is a real problem, and I've been unable to get him to switch providers. He doesn't understand the difference between a service provider, a web browser and the Internet. "But my website isn't on Verizon... it's on AOL!"

    He seems to think that if he doesn't have AOL, or uses a non-AOL browser, he'll be getting a different Internet than he has now, and all his favorite sites will vanish.

  21. #21
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    An Idiots guide to the internet could come in useful.

    1. The internet exisits whether anyone views it or not
    2. You website exists for other people not on AOL
    3. Your website will still exisit when you view it without AOL
    4. AOL are ripping you off. They are causing you to loose sales
    5. If you stay with AOL, your lifespan will deplete and you heratige will cease if you do not look at your website once every 5 minute.

    Be Creative

  22. #22
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
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    You'd think that sitting him down and setting everything straight and true would be easy... but some people will never understand some things...

    Like me... I will never understand the intricate art in doing my own laundry
    James Padolsey
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  23. #23
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    It all depends on how you look at it If you see it as a chore then it is. If you look at is as an experience you can enjoy then it's no longer a chore. You can learn to love doing anything.. even cleaning the toilet

  24. #24
    HAHA!
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyPaddy View Post
    You'd think that sitting him down and setting everything straight and true would be easy... but some people will never understand some things...

    Like me... I will never understand the intricate art in doing my own laundry
    that's no rocket since either However if you need to go by the universally accepted temperature recommendations on the tags and my house has a washing machine with settings cold, warm, hot it becomes guess work at times. Sometimes causes unexpected results
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  25. #25
    Keep Moving Forward gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by cydewaze
    Ok, so I have this one web customer who was my first actual paying customer, so I've had him since something like 1997 or 98. He has a very simple site with a paypal shopping card (he's a musician and sells his CDs) and he has one email account.

    The thing that has always driven me nuts is that he is completely, 100% computer illiterate, and most likely always will be. He just never seems to learn anything, and he is no better today than he was in 1998. And to make matters worse, he has... AOL.

    The AOL coupled with his inability has been a sore spot since day one. If I use his AOL email address in his paypal shopping cart, he loses sales because AOL somehow blocks the emails from paypal (spam filters?). If I set up his paypal to use his domain email, that requires him to log in to webmail, and no matter how many times I show him how to do it, he never remembers, so I get a request for instructions about once a week.

    I tried setting his home email client up to check his webmail, but the AOL email client won't do it, so I have to set it up in Outlook Express, and of course he never remembers to check that, so I get another email asking me how to check his messages again.

    It makes me want to HANG myself!!!

    </vent>
    Drop him and move on with life.




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