Friday, June 30, 2006

History of Support

Say you have a notebook.

From day one it seems hot, but it is a thin notebook and everything runs fine. You write that off.

11 months later the notebook barely functions because it has become so damaged from heat that it has trouble staying on for any period of time.

You send the notebook in for repair. They state the fans were not working. They replace the fans, the motherboard, the LCD.

The notebook you receive works just under a week and starts overheating all over again. Not only that but the graphics card or LCD stops functioning correctly - you now have a pixel soup of pink and green from the moment you turn the notebook on. You send it in for repair.

The notebook comes back. The pixel soup is still there. They state they replaced the LCD. You send it back in the next day. Sometime during the repair cosmetic parts have been broken; the case has new scratches, the latch cover is snapped in two.

The notebook comes back from the 3rd repair. Pixel soup is gone! However, the rear USB port is now non-functional and three days later the hard drive overheats so bad you have to leave the computer unplugged, without battery, for 30 minutes before it will turn back on. How do I know this time it was the hard drive? Prior to the crash a warning popped up stating the hard drive is 75 degrees celcius, and then the computer froze into a pixel soup.

During the process of getting setup for the 4th repair you get put on hold for almost 10 hours, combined, hung up on several times, told that custom relations is too busy to accept the call and you must call back later, told that the problems you are having are the result of your own actions, speak with a tier 3 technician who has a 3 second delay and says you are arguing when you are trying to tell him what is going on, then cuts you off and states that you should stop bugging him and he will just put in his notes that the notebook needs repair.

So somewhere in all the holds you get told a new address to send the notebook and that actual technicians at headquarters will look at the machine this time and repair it. They give you a FedEx account number, so you know at least it won't go to the UPS repair depot this time, tell you who to address it and inform you that you provide your own box.

What would you do?

2 Comments:

Blogger SimonGodOfHairdos said...

Oh crap. I am about to read the rest of your blog, but with a sinking feeling in my stomach. My problems are different than yours: constant crashing and blue screens of death, but the laptop was not repaired correctly during its first trip to the Depot, and I am now about to send it to Irivne via their FedEx account.

I have a feeling that I won't want to do that after I read your blog.

Shit.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

I have a Toshiba Portégé M200 that the president of my company uses. The right mouse button would intermittently stick and we had a Toshiba authorized dealer tell us the motherboard had some corrosion. I called Toshiba support (we have same day service) and they were arguing with me about my System Guard and Service Express. Without doing any diagnostics whatsoever, they said I need to update the driver and refused me support. After some arguing, I agreed and hung up. There was no update to the driver!!!!
I called again and said the driver was updated and they finally agreed to send it out for repair, thinking this would be easier than an onsite technician since they would have the parts readily available. After 5 days no box came and I called them back exasperated. The technician refused to overnight a box, even though we have same day service and said it "would take a couple of days and stuff happens". I immediately demanded a supervisor and he stared yelling at me that he didn't care for my attitude and that I was being unreasonable for expecting the level of support that we had purchased because “stuff happens”.
I was transferred to a customer support representative, instead of a manager, who told me that "UPS doesn't have next day service" (what ????) and was arguing with me over the warranty without even checking to see what type we had. OOPS!!! The support representative had to agree to send me a box the next day. I sent it out the next day, got it back two days later with a note saying it is a software issue, even though I sent it without the HDD. How do they know that? Did they look at the motherboard? Common sense would dictate that if a mouse button starts sticking after no problems for over two years and that an onsite technician told us he saw corrosion it’s due to a hardware issue.
Finally, I spent another hour on the phone (about four total) and they would not service it without the HDD. I told them that we could not send the HDD because it was a high level person’s laptop with his data because of legal and security issues. We would have to erase the HDD, so why couldn’t they just use there own instead of making me take the time to image it?
It’s their policy! Well, luckily the original dealer agreed to fix it without the HDD. In over ten years of being a tech and having dealt with IBM, Dell, HP\Compaq and Sony, I have never experienced such atrocious service. While Toshiba products are pretty solid, I highly recommend not buying their laptops if you require good support.
We had a laptop that was out of commission for weeks that needed to be used and had to purchase another to replace it (this was for the president of our company who is also an software engineer). The lack of common sense with their support wasted several hours of my time.
I finally had to send it out to the original authorized dealer who initially diagnosed the problem with corrosion on the motherboard who agreed to fix it without the HDD.

10:14 AM  

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