A Tale of a Hub . . .

BT Smart Hub

A few days before Christmas BT notified me via their Home Page that there was a new contract available to which I could subscribe if I so desired. Having peered at the small print of this for some time I could see no snags so decided to go for it. The deal included a new smart hub (the name BT gives to its router) and a repeater thingy to improve WiFi reception in remoter parts of the house. I duly signed up and was told that the kit would be delivered on the 27th December (which I thought was a bit optimistic being so near Christmas) and that it would go through the letter box and did not need to be signed for so it would not matter if we were out. And to top it off, the progress of the delivery could be tracked.

Well, (you guessed didn’t you ?) we waited in all day on the 27th and no parcel(s) arrived. Using the tracking facility BT themselves now said that there would be two parcels one of which would go through the letter box, and the other of which would need to be signed for. But when we clicked through to track the progress of the parcel one got taken to the Royal mail facility which worked OK, but could tell us no more than that the parcel(s) had reached a Royal mail depot on Tyneside on Christmas Eve.

On the morning of the 28th or cheery Postie arrived with two stout cardboard boxes wrapped in a vacuum packed jacket which definitely would never have got through the letter box. I told him that I thought one of the boxes ought to be signed for, which caused a certain amount of agitation, but he could see nothing on the labelling to indicate this, nor on his handy dandy electronic gadget. So I bade him not to worry, and off he went.

Having got the boxes out of the vacuum packing (no mean feat in itself) I wired up the new router, but all to no avail. Like Scrooge’s old partner, Marley, it was dead as a doornail. So I reverted to the old kit and began some systematic testing on the new to see if I could find out what might be wrong. To cut a long story short, the three pin power pack plug supplied is one of those universal things which comes without pins and the customer slides in a pin set appropriate to the country’s system. It was this that was not working, and I guess that when the three pin bit is pushed in, the electrical contact tabs don’t meet up correctly. So going back to the new router, and using the old power pack, it fired up immediately and was soon working.

But, given the emphasis there is these days (quite correctly too) on security, I was just a bit surprised to find that my laptop was working fine whilst telling me that I was connected via the now disconnected old router and without requesting any new password for the new one ! Quite how this could be when the old router was in the box ready to be returned for re-cycling I do not know. Eventually the WiFi connection wizard found the new router by name, I was able to click on it and insert the new password and all was a bit more conventional.

Quite what would have happened to a customer without much idea of how to check for faults or connect up WiFi (the instructions made it seem all so easy) I don’t know.

About Ian Sheppard

Born 9 December 1933. Former Royal Air Force person. Retired Church of England Clergyman. Father. Grandfather, and now, Great Grandfather. Trainee immigrant. Fervent Remainer.
This entry was posted in Christmas, Comment, Computers, Technical Stuff and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.