Tales from Tech Support

I should really start this post by re-stating that I am not a xenophobe. Granted, my pet peeve doesn't do much in the way of confirming it, nor will this entry, but I am not a xenophobe. Onwards.

A few weeks ago my laptop took a small bump whick caused the power jack to burrow dep into the laptop body. So deep in fact that the charger jack no longer makes contact, making battery charging and battery-less operation impossible. It is my understanding that the jack is directly welded into the motherboard, so replacing it should probably be left to the professionals. As it happend, however, said professionals happen to be extremely rare, and I don't mean undercooked. My only way out was to resort to the brand tech support.

Where matters of warranty and sending back products are concerned, I'm always a bit weary. This is swampy grounds for me. Usually this just means my stuff will be "at the shop" for months only to return partially repaired or deemed unsuitable for warranty repair. Still, never would I imagine this.

My first call to tech support was awkward enough. Even though it was a business day and not 17:00 yet, I got no more response than a recording commanding (not politely asking, brutally commanding) that I called Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 17:00, with a very thick accent (Italian, I guess), and hung up. How wierd is it when a machine hangs up on you? Still I tried again the next day. Making myself clear before the operator (whose accent wasn't quite as thick as the on on the record) took most of the call. After some wasted half hour struggling to make myself understood, she tells me the system is down and she cannot process my request.

So let me get this straight, fellows. You make computers, but your computer isn't working? Oh, yeah, that's guaranteed to impress even the most skeptic consumer.

I called later that day with the same results. I called the other day, and the operator had the nerve to hang up on me. I called again, and finally my request was granted. I was assigned an RMA and told to ship my computer over to their tech support labs... in Spain. At least DHL would do it free of charge for me. Still, packing and padding were my responsability, which I'm thinking it shouldn't be. Nonetheless.

At least the good people at DHL gave me no grief of any sort. The operator, bless her heart, was more than helpful with packaging guidelines, arrangements for pickup, etc. She was even polite. How often does that come around these days?

So sure enough they pick up my laptop at the arranged date, and a few days ago I got a text (in Spanish) telling me my laptop was ready and being shipped back (or at least that's what I figured). Indeed, just yesterday the good people at DHL delivered it straight to my door. However, the contents of their delivery couldn't be more ghastly.

The repair report was written in some melange of languages I could barely make out. My name was mispelled and not even capitalised. Even the problem wasn't propperly stated. It was "battery can't charge." While this is true, it's but a result of the problem, not the cause. And sure enough, the geniuses at the repair labs shipped it back with a new battery (which I have no intention of giving back. For my greivancve). They didn't even bother turning the damned thing on, even though they claim to have updated my BIOS from v. to v0.3.1.22, a major change.

So come Monday I'll be going through the motions to send it back again. Only this time I'm sticking some post-it notes around the little power hole, with pointing arrows stating "look here" and "reapir this".

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark wonders why the hell there isn't a better solution. What happened to those Knights of the Soldering Iron who'd clearly state that your warranty will be void, but the job will get done? Because these wops aren't pulling through, you know...


Sintra said...

The bios update made me LOL!

Maybe you should send an essay, explaining in boring and very detailed language what's wrong.

ArabianShark said...

Maybe I should...