I'll start this by saying I dislike computers for the most part. I much prefer to speak to people face to face or over the phone. Unfortunately, it seems more and more that the internet is the only way to get in touch with people to solve any sort of problem.
I had a very specific problem in that my main computer got infected with a virus that no amount of anti-virus scanning or quarantining could fix. I need that computer for work and having it out of commission was inconvenient at first and fast became annoying.
Being a Sunday evening, there was nobody I could call or speak to too help me with this problem and I had no choice but to resort to my laptop and the internet. Several hours of searching later I was no closer to an answer and about ready to throw my computer through a window and contact the supplier with a annoyed email stating I wasn’t happy that my relatively new laptop had been subject to a virus.
What annoys me the most is that even on the internet, every time I came close to an answer I'd get a warning that I had to pay to view it, or pop up saying that to get an answer I needed to enter my credit card details and pay a ridiculous amount for a simple answer. I couldn’t see why I should enter my credit card details when in turn I would probably be scammed out of more money as the sites had no reviews or my security software didn’t suggest entering them.
It was pretty much desperation that landed me on thehelpline.com. I clicked through to my problem, expecting at any minute a pop up or warning that I needed to pay for the information I needed- so it was actually a rather pleasant surprise to find myself on a page that listed step by step the answer to my problem. Half an hour later, my main computer was virus free and I was able to clear my backlog and continue using the device to its full potential.
I'm actually quite impressed at this website- it didn't just have information about computers, but pretty much covered everything, including cookers, and all of it is sitting there for free for anyone to access. From what I've read, the website was created and is now being constantly updated by a group of tech support guys who've dealt with these sorts of problems in their careers. The handy thing though, is that they also provide the direct contact details for the relevant companies- the same companies that we pay for services that constantly go on the blip, and the self same companies that make it so hard for people to get in touch with them.
The information provided to solve the solution is in easy to understand language and step by step guide and images to assist you in solving your problem. I encountered a lot of forums in my attempt to find information for the virus that used long complex jargon that just looked like a load of letters and words that made no sense what so ever to the everyday person like me. The helpline didn’t do this they provide a written solution but also a visual aid so you can make sure that you are clicking on the right boxes without ending up in more of a mess. I was able to confirm I was on the right box and clicking the right option when overcoming the virus on my computer.
For example- I have an ebay account- it's not something I use very often but when I went to use it a while back, I couldn't remember any of my log in details, and when I tried to reset my password, all my security checks were rejected. I thought getting in touch with ebay would have been easy. Obviously not, and I wish I'd had this website back then because everything I needed was there. All I had to do was go to the auction websites section and presto: everything was there for me. Live Chat, email, phone numbers. Everything I'd spent ages looking for on the Ebay website itself.
I have spent a little time going through the site. It can be a little confusing at first, but they do provide help and contact details for pretty much everything. Just a glance at the main menu shows the range of products they give support for: MP3 players, computer parts, email accounts, even home security systems. A few clicks and the answer is on the computer screen and the problem solved.
I don't usually pay much attention to things like this, but I have to admit, I now keep this website in my bookmarks simply because it is so helpful. Even if the problem is not listed in any of their files, there is a fantastic little “Ask a question” section. I haven't used it yet, but from what I can gather, once you ask your question you get a phone call from one of the tech support people- an actual human on the other end of the line ready with your answer. That's the sort of customer service I would expect from a company or product I gave my money to, not from a website that receives no money at all for the help it provides.
All in all, I think this is a nifty little place and would certainly recommend anyone to go their first- what are you going to lose? A few minutes as opposed to hours of frustration and searching and coming no closer to find the answer.