Older, technologically challenged people may be pleased to hear that the latest version of the Kindle Fire tablet thingy comes with a mayday button.
At the swipe of a digit, a real live tech support person will appear on screen and talk through any problems.
This will substantially reduce the embarrassing reliance on gizmo advice from persons under the age of 10.
You may still require a consultation with a young relative as to how to switch on the Kindle and how to locate the aforementioned mayday button.
The help line will be free as Amazon plans to fund it from sales of Kindle books, films et al. The staff may well be on zero-hours contracts, making it cheaper to run.
There is no reason the mayday service cannot be extended beyond tech support to other aspects of customer service.
For example, if a woman has purchased a frock online and is trying it on at home, there could be access to an adviser who can give an opinion on whether her bum looks big in this.
The mayday button could be connected to online banking where a credit controller can ask if the purchase is really necessary, given the precarious state of the account and previous tendency to profligacy.
NHS 24, if it still exists, could have a video doctor doing an examination and handing out a 13-week sick line. The threat of wait till your father gets home will be replaced with a button that summons pater online to give a jolly good telling-off to delinquent offspring. If the children can be persuaded to turn off their computer games for a minute or two.
There will be a panic button for when things go wrong in the kitchen despite the fact you are following the online recipe to the letter. You may be assured that all your doughnuts will turn out like Fannie's (Craddock, of course). One day there may be a mayday person to tell me how an Ikea Faktum kitchen cupboard should hing thigither and why, just out of interest, it's called a Faktum.
Ryanair has promised to mend its ways and treat customer less abruptly. So I look forward to summoning up a kindly person on my Kindle who will book me a cheap flight with a reserved seat and will not ask if I want to buy a phone card, a Samsonite suitcase, or a ticket for the tourist bus in Barcelona.
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