Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Laptop Annoyance Rant Number 1

When I got my new lappy, it had what looked like a crease in the thin plastic veneer that surrounds the screen.

Not a big deal, cosmetic, not noticeable. Last night the corner of the screen applique fell off in my hand. So, a crack, not a crease, then.

I attempted first to use the manufacturers website to initiate the warranty service for this obvious manufacturing defect. Lest you suspect me of throwing the machine around and chipping bits off it, an examination of the case will show even the most suspicious person that this machine has been coddled, carried everywhere in a padded briefcase purpose made for the business of not damaging laptops, and that it hasn't been dropped or had something dropped on it.

I wasn't concerned I could be held culpable.

The website had many links. What it didn't have was a "Warranty Replacement" link, so I attempted to email the problem to them using a link it took only ten minutes to find. The link didn't launch any sort of email client or page, but did pop up a JavaScript-driven window to collect the service tag number, which was duly filled in. However, on clicking "next", nothing happened.

A quick examination showed the dreaded "JavaScript error on page" message in the status bar, so I attempted to re-do it all using FireFox just in case it was an IE flavor of JavaScript issue.

Imagine my joy when a message informing me that the JavaScript "applet" would "only run properly" in IE. More ammunition for my grass-roots web experience improvement movement GROUJN1 right there then.

So it was off to the tech support chat page, which wanted to download an active X control and we all know that is a path to three hours you never get back, so I bit the bullet and called the phone number listed.

And dealt with the ultra annoying "helpful" recorded messages telling me I could probably fix my problem faster by using the webpage to email or chat it away. And waited. And waited. And got through only to have the call dropped the moment a human being spoke.

So I called again, was annoyed by bots again only to be told there were extended delays due to call volumes. So I gave up.

This morning I went through it all again, with the added frisson that the infuriating phonebot couldn't understand my "rapid response number" and so directed me into a five minute maze of irrelevant Q&A before connecting me to the recorded advice about webpages and emailing again.

And Got through, and was redirected to another recorded voice telling me to reboot the computer and see if that would fix the problem (unlikely, but I was getting to the point it almost made sense to try).

And got through to a "technician" who insisted I run a hidden low-level diagnostic that showed me colored bars and asked me if I could see them, and then made some loud beeps so that everyone would know what I was doing, and finally ran a twelve minute memory test.

I asked, bewildered, why we were going through this. The technician said "Believe me, it's necessary".

The test completed with a query as to whether I wanted to run 35 minutes more of memory tests just as he came back on the line and told me he had spoken to his supervisor and I was to return the computer. I asked again why the tests on the memory and disks had been "necessary", and inquired if it was because they thought I had dropped the computer. The technician said that it wouldn't matter if I had since I had paid for a warranty that was good for damage due to dropping.

So the necessity of the test was to give me something to watch while he did whatever he was doing.

And now I won't have my computer just in time for an event for which I would probably be using the computer more in those three days than in the three months since it was delivered.

This reminds me of the Jeep I once owned; whenever the weather was of the sort that four wheel drive was actually necessary as opposed to merely being extra weight to be lugged around at 12 miles to the gallon, the damned thing was in for repairs.

  1. Get Rid Of Useless2 JavaScript Now!
  2. I realize putting "useless" and "JavaScript" in the same phrase is redundant

No comments: