image A temporary technology failure is when something you use breaks but you really, really need it working in order to get something done; the standard thing to do here is to use your backup method as a temporary workaround. However most people simply don’t have a backup, and that’s where you get figuratively stuck in a corner. If you don’t understand what I mean by this, you will as you read through this list.

Here are 3 ways to avoid getting stuck in a corner from temporary technology failures.

1. Having your cable company’s phone number in your cell phone’s contact list

You: "Oh, drat.. the internet is out. And my cable TV is out too. Guess I’ll ring up customer support to let them know. Oh, wait.. my digital phone is connected via cable, and I don’t know what the customer support number is to ring them on my cell phone. Uh-oh.."

If you have all your TV, internet and phone connectivity connected via your cable service (as many people do in the US with a "combo" package deal), in the instances where the service goes out, you can’t even call to report the problem…

…unless you do it from your cell phone, and this is why you should have your cable company’s customer service number in your cell phone contact list. The cell phone obviously operates completely independent of the cable’s network, so if everything connected via cable for connectivity busts all at once (which it usually does), you’ll have to grab your cell phone to report it. But you can’t do that if you don’t know the support number.

2. Having your wireless carrier’s customer service number written down somewhere, and/or knowing where the nearest cell phone store is for your carrier

This is the exact opposite problem of #1 above for the unlikely instance where the carrier for your cell phone has a problem. The phone itself is OK, but there’s a network issue and you have to report it. Well, if the network is not working, how do you do it? The answer is you have to either ring up support from another line (most likely your landline), or drive on down to your local wireless store for your carrier to resolve the problem.

Having your wireless carrier’s support number written down somewhere and knowing where your local wireless store is for network-specific issues is pretty much mandatory, so have that info at-the-ready just in case you ever need it.

3. Having a "simple" backup email address

You: "I sent you an email a few hours ago, did you receive it?"
Recipient: "No."
You: "Is it in your spam folder?"
Recipient: "No."
You: "I’ll try sending it again."
(15 minutes pass..)
You: "Did you get the mail from my second attempt?"
Recipient: "No."

There are times when some email just absolutely will not get to the intended destination. You’ve sent it 2 or 3 times, received no bounce-back failure notices and the intended recipient has confirmed the mail is not in their spam folder. The mail is just somewhere out there in cyberspace. Where exactly? Nobody knows. But you know it’s not getting to where it’s supposed to go.

In instances like these you need a "simple" backup address to get the mail out, and what I mean by simple is "mail not from a major webmail provider". For a simple backup account, you have three options:

1. An ISP-based email account

This would be [email protected] You visit your ISP’s web site, login with your account credentials and create an account. As far as I’m aware, as long as you’re a subscriber to the ISP, the email account never expires and you can use it in the instances where some mail simply won’t send.

2. A HushMail email account

Ordinarily, people use HushMail for security purposes, but the added bonus is that it’s a very simple email service that has very fast and reliable email delivery. Free HushMail accounts have a 25MB limit and you have to login once every 3 weeks to keep one active, but even with those limitations, it’s good to have one.

3. A FastMail email account

FastMail lives up to its name as it’s very fast and reliable like HushMail is, and has the added perks of IMAP connectivity. Free personal accounts have a 25MB limit and you have to login once every 120 days (4 months), but this is also an excellent backup email account solution. Use this one if you prefer to use an email client over the browser when you use email.