The Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HomePNA--www.homepna.org) has announced that it will launch an online customer-service program with an interactive frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) section to assist consumers with their home-networking installations.
Available at the organization's Web site under "Technical Support," the e-mail system asks consumers about their PC and the particulars of their installation, while also giving them the option to "ask experts" by sending a text message describing their specific questions in detail. A team of engineers from HomePNA member companies staffs the Web site and delivers answers on product, configuration, and home-topology questions via e-mail. HomePNA says responses usually come within 24 hours of the initial request.
One of the systems' features enables users to find specific lists of troubleshooting procedures based on a particular problem or question. The system includes an interactive troubleshooting feature supported by FAQs and an archived database of responses.
"When consumers hear the word 'networking,' they think of their IT manager at work trying to solve a problem, and it scared them," says Steven Strauss, secretary of HomePNA's board of directors and chair of its technical committee. "HomePNA's objective is to simplify the home connectivity experience by providing personalized assistance from technical experts who take the time to answer complex questions thoroughly, and in terms easily understood by the average customer."