The following transcript is from an on-line Support Chat between a friend of mine and a tech support person in a foreign country.  This is pretty typical of foreign based tech support.  Can you guess why I posted it here?
First a little information.  You will see the phrase IP Addresses followed by some numbers.  For those who don’t know…every computer on the Internet has an IP address.  This is how computers know one another.  For example when you type in your computer then asks another computer to look up the phrase and connect your computer to CNN which is at, which is the IP address of CNN.  Think of it as a telephone number.  Remember when Sheriff Griffith would ask Sarah the operator to connect him to somebody?  Same idea.
The customer’s question has nothing at all to do with email addresses!  And this took over 40 minutes to get nowhere!  He needed to know the IP addresses for remote access of his PC:

Chat Transcript

info: Welcome to Earthlink LiveChat. Your chat session will begin shortly.

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info: ‘Kate N.’ says: Thank you for contacting EarthLink LiveChat, how may I help you today? Hello! Just upgraded to Earthlink DSL after 11 or 12 years of Earthlink dialup…. I understand that I get 8 static IP addresses with this account. How do I determine what the IP addresses are?

Kate N.: Okay. I will assist you with the same.

Kate N.: Please give me a moment please. sure

Kate N.: Thank you for your patience. In order to determine your IP addresses, you can follow the link below:

Kate N.:

Kate N.: This is the IP address of your account. What are the other seven?

Kate N.: Have you created the seven additional email addresses under your Primary account now? Are IP addresses associated with email addresses?

Kate N.: No. It is related only with the computer that you are using. So, what are the other seven IP addresses? I get on all of them.

Kate N.: IP address will remain the same for other additional email addresses as well. If you are using the same computer to access all the email accounts that you have. How are email addresses and IP addresses related?

Kate N.: Do you have any connection issue? No

Kate N.: IP addresses and email addresses are not related at all.

Kate N.: Since the IP address is related to the Operating system that you are using. IP addresses, operating systems and email addresses have no relationship. How do I find the eight static IP addresses that Earthlink has assigned this account.

Kate N.: To best assist you, you need to speak with a BroadBand Customer Service Representative.  Please standby while I transfer you.

info: Please wait while I transfer the chat to the best suited site operator.

info: ‘Stian K’ says: Thank you for contacting EarthLink LiveChat, how may I help you today?

Stian K: Hello, I see you’ve already been chatting. Please give me a moment so I can read the previous chat and pick up where you left off. can you review the conversation with the previous rep?

Stian K: Thank you for staying on hold.

Stian K: I apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you.

Stian K: I will assist you with the issue.

Stian K: Please let me know the security word on your account, which appears to be mother’s maiden name, for verification purposes. Thomas

Stian K: Thank you for the account verification information. I was able to verify your account.

Stian K: Could you let me know your Father’s middle name to update the security word on your account? Lee

Stian K: Thank you for the information provided.

Stian K: I have updated the security word on your account.

Stian K: Please be informed that you can have 8 email addresses on your account. Please reread my questions.

Stian K: As informed earlier there will be only one Ip address.

Stian K: Let me inform you that on this account your provided with the 8 email address.

Stian K: These 8 email address are provided free of cost on the account.

Stian K: Not to rush you, but I haven’t had a response from you. Are you still there? I understood there were 8 IP addresses. Was I missed informed?

Stian K: I am sorry for the miscommunication provided.

Stian K: as informed earlier along with your DSL services you will receive 8 email address free of cost but not the static Ip addresses. Okay. That answers the question. Thank you.

Stian K: I appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

Stian K: Is there anything else I can help you with? That’s it. Bye

Stian K: Have Blessed Day!

Stian K: You are welcome.

Stian K: Thank you for using EarthLink LiveChat.  If you would like a copy of this chat emailed to you, you may choose that option upon closing this window.  In the survey that appears, the second to last question will ask if you would like this emailed…choose Yes.  In the last box, enter your email address…the entire chat session will be automatically sent to you.  Should you need any further assistance, please feel free to return to EarthLink LiveChat.