Every once in a while, a very strange problem occurs. In our case, I couldn’t access my Fonality account. Was it a password problem? Was it a server error? Was it our own computer? Well…we couldn’t figure it on own. So, that meant calling Fonality tech support.

Fonality’s tech support number, just as an FYI, is 866-366-2548, (FONALITY), and their sales number is 877-FONALITY. Easy to remember, also easy to get mixed up. The wait time in the morning is very short, and I spoke with Marlon, whom I had actually spoken to before. Marlon was very helpful, and a pleasant demeanor, even in the face of an extreme situation. Before I tell you what was wrong, it’s worth going over just what the two of us went through to find it.

As I mentioned, I couldn’t sign on, not as an admin or as an extension. The HUD and the phones worked just fine, but I had reviews and videos to make, and I couldn’t do them without signing in. The problem was that it wouldn’t let me log in. I would click the “forgot password” link, and I’d get the same password I already had, not a new temporary password. Then when I went to log in, it would ask me to reset my password. I tried this half a dozen times, and each time I picked a password, it said the old password was invalid. I thought maybe it was a problem with the saved password in Firefox, but even though I typed up a very long password in, (several times) it still wouldn’t work.

When I finally got to calling Fonality support, Marlon and I connected on “Find.Me,” and he was able to see my screen. He told me how to erase the Fonality cookies to erase the password and reset it. We did this a few times. Then he told me where to find the saved passwords in Firefox. For my security, he disconnected from the screen share, but stayed on the line, waiting very patiently as I wrote out long and complicated passwords into a notepad. About two or three times, he had me wait on hold for a minute or two to check the server. I imagined him as Han Solo, banging on the Millennium Falcon and making the lights go on and going to warp speed. In real life, I’m sure he was checking, either on his own computer or someone else’s the status of our server on an LCD screen with lots of code.

Eventually, he asked permission to take control of my mouse. That experience was somewhat anticlimactic because all he did was copy and paste the same password. He asked me to forward the last email that I received from Fonality, which was the old password, to him, and he was going to see if he could replicate it himself, in case maybe it was a glitch on our computer or browser. He placed me on hold.

It turned out that something in our server was afoul. The glitch was so serious, they had never seen it before. The Fonality Tech Team had to go to the back end of the server and override the system end in order to reset the password. When Marlon got back to me, he gave me a temporary password, which I then changed to a real password in both the admin and extension settings. We were in. (Insert image of me wearing sunglasses and walking in slow motion here.)

What was the overall impression of this experience? In terms of time, it took an hour start to finish. That gives you an idea of the severity of the problem. But things go wrong in business and with technology. Any part that can move is a part that can break. I found the experience quite bearable. Marlon was friendly, answered all my questions, and he was quite apologetic any time he placed me on hold. To boot, the hold music wasn’t so unpleasant either. And, I must commend PolyCom for making phones with quality microphones and speakers so I could keep both hands free.

It’s unfortunate that something went wrong. Network reliability and technical support are complementary to each other. But Fonality really went the extra mile for me today, and I have to thank them for that.