Sometime ago, I ranted about complicated tech manuals that require consumers to have a degree in engineering to use. Of late, I’ve had to read a few more of these publications because squirrels demolished the utility wires that feed electricity into my house and my electronic devices got fried. Now I’m studying manuals that came with the replacements. Frankly, I’d rather be headed to the guillotine in a tumbrel.
My landline phone, for example, has a number of new programmable features. Unfortunately the written instructions appear in one section of the pamphlet and the explanatory diagrams in another. I have to flip back and forth between the pages to get a complete picture of the installation. Even when I manage this tedious process, I don’t discover, until much later, why the installation seems not to work. A list of caveats appears on the back cover. For the answering mode it reads: If a message is over 3 minutes long, the handset may not indicate new messages.
Okay, maybe requiring short messages is a good thing. Maybe I don’t want to hear that I’m being audited by the IRS. But the manual for other my new device, my DVD, doesn’t play fair at all: Consumers should note that not all high definition television sets are fully compatible with this product.
Shouldn’t I have been told about incompatibilities before I’ve dragged the product home, opened the box and found the manual? Shouldn’t there have been a “pre-manual” on the outside of the box to alert me about the warning inside?
What can I say? Alice move over. I’ve found a new wonderland.
(Courtesy of studentpayouts.com)