Staring at my mobile phoned I shook my head because yet again I seemed to have another issues with the blinkin thing.

“Janice, every time I meet you, you seem to be having some sort of hassle with your phone,” my good pal was quick to point out.

“You’re right Christine," I agreed.

“Me and technology are definitely not a match made in heaven.”

“What’s wrong with it this time?” she enquired.

“I wish I knew.” And before she could answer.

“But for some reason I can’t seem to get on to the internet or facebook, and my maps have stopped working which means when I head to Turnberry tomorrow there is a very high likelihood I’ll get lost without my SatNav.

“Well just phone the phone company and get them to sort it out," she suggested.

“Or even better, why don’t you try a chat line.”

Well….. the only chat lines I had ever heard of were for dating or sex calls.

And I wasn’t interested in either.

“A chat line?”

“How’s that going to solve my phone problems?”

“Janice, it’s called LiveChat and it’s a customer service solution," she explained.

“Rather than you having to hang on the phone for ages, you simply go on to your computer, logon to the company website and start a Live Chat.”

I really had no clue what she was talking about but decided that it must be easier than hanging on the phone endlessly waiting for someone to answer.

Monday morning, I was raring to go and found the Live Chat section no bother.

Clicking in I instantly got a reply on my screen.

“Good morning. My name is Ralph, how can I help you today?”

I typed back.

“Hi Ralph, my name is Janice and I can’t seem to get on to the internet, facebook or maps.”

Then a wee box appeared on my screen which read.

‘Ralph is typing.’

So I stared at the wee box for ages and ages until I got another message.

“Janice, I need to ask you a series of security questions.”

I typed back “OK Ralph.”

Ralph is typing.

“Please give me your user name and password.”

Now, I could remember my user name but had completely forgotten my password.

However I thought I would be smart and jump to the next question I knew from past experience I would be asked.

“My user name is ****** and my mother’s maiden name is Craig.”

Ralph is typing.

I stared and stared at the small box and wondered if Ralph was typing his last Will and Testament because he was taking forever to reply.

“Janice, I will now have to ask you another alternative security question because your answer was out with my routine line of questions.”

Seriously, I thought to myself.

Ralph is typing.

“Janice, what was the amount of your last phone bill?”

“Ralph, it was £16.40 or £16.80, I can’t remember the exact amount.”

And I prayed that Ralph would accept my inaccurate answer because it was close enough.

Ralph is typing.

“Janice we can’t accept that answer, please give me the first and last digit of you sort code.”

Bloody hell.

This is a nightmare.

Next minute I lifted my handbag and spilled the contents out on to my desk in the hope of finding my bank card in amongst the debris.

Eventually “Here you go Ralph. It’s * and *.”

Ralph is typing.

I now deduced that Ralph must be typing with one finger because as much as I stared at the screen…. Nothing was happening.

“Thanks for the information Janice. What is your problem?”

I then went on to explain about my internet and Facebook dilemma and pressed send.

Ralph is typing.

At this point I wondered if Ralph was in Shettleston or Shanghai because I had no way of telling.

‘That’s sad Janice. Let me help you with some options.”

Ralph is typing.

By now I had been on my online chat for twenty five minutes.

“You have used up all your data Janice. But don’t worry. I have many solutions.”

“Thanks. Ralph.” I thought I best indicate that I was still on the other end of this conversation.

Ralph is typing.

“Janice I can offer you a data bundle for £6 etc etc etc.”

Ralph’s list of solutions was endless and confusing for me so I just opted for the first option.

Ralph is typing.

“Janice I hope I have been very good for you.”

Before I could reply.

Ralph is typing.

“Is there anything else I can help you with Janice?”

“No thank you Ralph, I think I have everything I need.”

Ralph is typing.

“Have a nice day Janice.”

“You too Ralph.”

40 minutes after I started my online chat to Ralph, who was probably at the other side of the planet somewhere, I decided that next time I’d just pick up the phone and have real ‘Live Chat!’