So I’m paying my Chase bill on line, and I log in with Firefox, as usual. It takes me to my account page, but any attempted link from that page (e.g., to actually pay the bill) yields a timeout error indicating that the page has gone too long without activity. Which is nonsense, because I only just logged in. After wasting a long time getting through to someone in tech support on the phone, she asks me who my ISP is.
Me: What difference does it make who my ISP is?
Her: We need to know to diagnose this.
Me: [scratching head] Ummm…OK. It’s Bell South.
Her: So what browser do they use?
Me: ?? What browser do they use? They don’t use a browser. They’re an ISP. I use a browser.
Her: When you log in to Bell South, what browser do they make you use?
Me: Log in to Bell South? With a browser? Why would I do that?
Her: How do you log in?
Me: I don’t log in. I have a permanent connection. It’s called DSL. It’s called broadband. You should try it, I hear it’s all the rage.
Her: Well, do you use a browser?
Me: [long silence, as steam slowly starts to waft out of my ears] Why yes, yes, I do use a browser, funny you should ask. Someone told me once it’s how one accesses stuff on the World Wide Web. I find it handy, occasionally.
Her: What browser do you use?
Me: I usually use Mozilla. Why didn’t you ask me that in the first place, instead of giving me the third degree about my ISP and how I log into it, which is a subject as far removed from the problem, as far as I can see, as the price of beef jerky in Tibet?
Her: I’ve never heard of that browser. Do you have Internet Explorer?
Me: Yes, I do. I tend to avoid using it, unless someone is sufficiently user hostile as to create a web site that doesn’t use standard HTML. Should I try that?
Her: Yes, go ahead, I’ll wait.
Of course, it works fine with IE. I issue a complaint.
Me: I’ve been paying bills for years with a Mozilla browser. You seem to have broken your site, since I can no longer do so.
Her: Oh, we don’t support any browsers other than IE and Netscape.
At this point, I’ve wasted enough time on this, thank her, and hang up.