A Spot of Bother by Trevor Plumbly
For some time now I’ve enjoyed the music application Spotify. As I’m somewhat blind, it saves the hassle of identifying and playing discs, but about a month ago, for no apparent reason, the music died, right in the middle of ‘Myfanwy’ by The Morriston Orpheus Choir (it’s a must!). Now these guys can sing a bit of ‘churchy’ stuff so there was no way someone up there would have pulled the plug, so I concluded it must be the machine. Naturally I sought help, and in the process I discovered that most of the world’s population are full of knowing, but fairly useless advice when computers conk. After much fiddling, it was decided that the problem lay in the broadband connection; what I needed was ‘fibre optic broadband’. Apparently there are oodles of this stuff under the pavement and lots of folk want to sell you some, so it was duly installed and had no effect whatsoever. Next up was a series of on screen messages informing me that, ‘Spotify has been paused because your account is being used somewhere else.’ Not being one to leave a chap on the ground without a kick, Spotify followed up by deciding that my name was really ‘Hugh’ and proceeded to address me as such.
Missing the Spot
It soon became obvious to me and my army of experts that we needed to go to the source if we were going to crack this thing, and that’s when the problems really started. When trouble calls Spotify speaks not, he has no phone and exists only in an area in www land. Not daunted by their bashfulness, I zapped them off details of my problem. No.1 replied with a couple of simple solutions, neither of which had any effect, but, to be fair, he did wish me all the best with ‘a friendly smile’ which was nice. I had high hopes of No.2 who wanted to know things like email addresses and so on, then made great suggestions about ‘cleaning’ the machine and changing my password (presumably to defeat the evil Hugh). Sadly, he joined No.1 in the ineffective solution ranks. I then received an email thanking me for my patronage and politely asking for my comments on the quality of their support network. I had plenty of comments but I noticed there was a note attached to say they could not respond to any comments made. What a team! First bashful, then courteous followed by downright cunning.
Out Damned Spot! Out I Say!
No.3 also thanked me and wanted a check on my email address. Having already provided that I felt a bit short-changed, but my better avuncular feeling prevailed and I wished the lad all the best in finding someone he could really help. No.2 re-entered the ring and suggested I switch off the airplay to test the device (no good), he then went on to hint that I might have allowed this problem to enter via another device, at the same time inviting the dastardly Hugh into my cyberlife. Nice try mate, just not possible. He ended with kind regards and another friendly electronic smile (they must get them in bulk). By this time I was beginning to suspect that James, Sonny and John Louis weren’t real people in Cambridge UK, just three computers operated by a latter day Torquemada. Despite my efforts to correct things, I am reluctant to listen to musical hiccups and remain haunted by the vision of ‘The Morriston Orpheus Choir’ frozen in cyberspace on a high C note while somewhere else that bloody Hugh is listening to Spotify without any problems and probably calling himself Trevor.
On Sunday, Ben came round and decided drastic was the way to go, ignoring the cyber-solutions offered by the Cambridge trinity. He took a sort of electronic axe to the problem by cancelling my entire account, opening a new one with a different credit card, user name and password. Ten minutes later, ‘The Orpheus Choir’ has returned, seemingly unscathed, along with Iris DeMent, Julian Bream and co. I have Spotify in all its easily accessible and uninterrupted glory, along with 30 days free trial! In addition, I have received an email from James, Sonny and John Louis assuring me that they’re real blokes and that their electronic smiles are virtually hand-picked. I’ll sort of miss you guys, but surely you should be devoting a bit of time to hunting down the insidious Hugh; thwarted presumably by my newly installed barriers, he’s out there infecting some other poor sod.