Toonbots message board: Laptop, the sequel

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Michael Wed Feb 11 01:02:42 2004
Laptop, the sequel

The plot thickens:

>hp e-mail support
>webform_submit_time : Tue Feb 10 11:22:31 EST 2004
>webform_url :
>remote_host :
>language : English [en]
>template : hpq_pc
>product_name : Compaq Presario 3000 notebook series
>first_name : Michael
>last_name : Roberts
>country : United States of America [US]
>accessory_items :
>other_accessory :
>cddvd_installed : CD/DVD originally installed on PC
>error_message :
>model_number : P3105USP240X660WC51E
>operating_system : Microsoft Windows XP
>other_operating_system :
>problem_area : hardware
>problem_description :
>This is a long story, so bear with me. I'm
>writing email because no record appears to be kept of phone
>interactions, and I'm having the worst customer-relations experience of
>my life. I am not happy.
>The story starts some two weeks ago. My laptop, which I love dearly,
>stopped turning its fan on, and started overheating. The actual fan is
>fine -- it turns on when the power is turned on, and switches off
>(perfectly normally) when Windows takes control. It just doesn't turn
>*back* on when the laptop overheats. Diagnosis: temperature probe in
>the APCI module.
>I started considering sending it in for warranty repair, but naturally
>wanted to put this off. 12 days ago, though, the laptop suddenly
>stopped turning on at all (yes, logically a further APCI failure.) So I
>called 800-OK-COMPAQ, and was connected with something laughably called
>HP "Total" Care. Yeah. I got your total right here.
>The remarkably humorless rep walked me through holding the power button
>down for three minutes. No joy. He said they'd send FedEx for the
>laptop. Cool. Apparently he wasn't listening to the whole problem,
>though, as we'll see later.
>Two days pass. No FedEx. I call to see why. They're perplexed that
>the original rep didn't ask for a proof of purchase. Send us that, they
>say, and we'll get FedEx right over. I go to Circuit City and get a
>duplicate POP (I'd lost the receipt; I've never actually *needed*
>warranty service on any computer I've owned -- fortunately, if this is
>typical.) They fax it. I call to confirm receipt. They say it'll be
>24 hours while they verify. This is Friday, so I assume the weekend is
>Monday, nothing. Tuesday, nothing. I call. The rep is perplexed that
>the record wasn't updated, says he'll look into it, and call back.
>Predictably, no-one calls back.
>Wednesday (day 8) I call *again*. The rep says it shouldn't take that
>long. This is true on so many levels. This guy sees that the proof of
>purchase was verified -- and it only took you five days to do this| --
>and the date on the warranty was wrong, but what the hell, you're at
>least acknowledging your warranty responsibility, so good enough.
>While you have my laptop, I say, fix the keyboard (a persistent
>problem). No problem, he says, and notes this down. Ha. Or so he
>Thursday, DHL brings the box. Friday, as you seem to have failed to
>call in the pickup (although Wednesday's rep said this would be done) I
>take the box to DHL and it gets sent.
>Today, Tuesday, I get my laptop back. Miraculously, it turned on when
>you had it in your shop. And it still is doing so now. Your techs say,
>hey, must have been the AC adaptor. You unbelievable boneheads. Do you
>think I didn't try another adaptor? Do you think I didn't check that
>the battery was at 100% and it didn't turn on? Did you think, hey, we
>have this guy's email address and phone number, let's ASK him? No, you
>sent my laptop back, untouched.
>Did you think to run a diagnostic on the APCI module? No. Did you
>check to see that the fan will now work? No. Did you check the
>keyboard? No. In fact, you did *nothing* that I was told you would do.
>Nothing at all. You just assumed I couldn't tell whether my AC adaptor
>worked or not, completely ignored all the symptomology I reported, and
>sent my laptop back. Now I'm 12 days in, my main work machine, this
>laptop, is *still* not fixed, and I'm back to square one.
>I'm not going to spend another half-hour on the phone working through
>your voicemail system and explaining the problem to yet another rep who
>doesn't care whether I live or die.
>Are you going to do something about this situation, then? And I want an
>answer from somebody who (1) actually cares whether this gets fixed and
>(2) will take just a tiny little bit of responsibility. That's all I
>ask. Just do the job you get paid for.
>Here's the case number: 703 473 4600
>The CSO number was NV3034-01
>purchase_date : Apr/2003serial_number : 1J31LLN1647B
>tech_skill : advanced

Yet another rep!

>Dear Michael,
>I regret to see the inconvenience you have been through in getting the
>system repaired.
>I checked our database for the case number you have provided, 7034734600
>with the order number, NV3034-01 and found that a Mail-In box has been
>delivered to you on 02/09/2004 at 16:03 PM.
>If you have received the Mail-In box, please pack the system and proceed
>with sending the system for repair. Please get back to us with the
>status of the Box, so that we can explore further avenues in resolving
>the problem.
>In closing, I once again sincerely regret the inconvenience you have
>experienced in this regard.
>HP Total Care
>"Our advice is strictly limited to the question(s) asked and is based on
>the information provided to us. HP does not assume any responsibility
>or liability for the advice given and shall not be liable for any
>direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages in
>connection with the use of this information. Always back up your data.
>For more information, including technical information updates, please
>visit our Web site at"

Sandra, this is a nice effort and I appreciate your sympathy, but if you read further down the litany of despair I have recited, you will note that I mention receipt of a box on Thursday, which would be the 5th, and that I sent the laptop to you on the 6th. It would have arrived on the 9th, and been sent back to me on the 9th, and I received it on the 10th, and it is now the 11th of February, Day 15 of my Total Care Story.

I already *sent* you the laptop, you see. And your techs were kind enough to return it without actually *doing* anything. If I had a box right now, and if the laptop had not already visited Houston, I would only be partially apoplectic. As matters stand, however, I consider this insult added to injury, and I'm really somewhat irritated that after I took the time to tell you the whole story, you don't seem to have read it all.

At this point, I must admit, the laptop is functioning perfectly (well, except for the keyboard problems which it has always had, and which I specifically mentioned to the last rep I spoke to, and which he allegedly noted as a further problem to be fixed as long as you had my machine, and which were apparently not actually *noticed* by your allegedly literate technicians.) The problem is, though, that if the APCI module has fixed itself by being jarred once, it will almost certainly *un*fix itself through jarring. And this is, after all, a laptop, and gets jarred periodically. And the *next* time it happens, it will probably be out of warranty. (Or it may be five minutes from now, which doesn't decrease my stress level at all, you see.) This is why I had really hoped that you would, you know, address the problems I'd described to you. Which was my basic motivation for describing them in the first place, and the reason that I am somewhat at a loss to comprehend the fact that this description was fully ignored by your helpful "total" care technicians.

If you send me another box, and I send you the laptop for a second attempt, do I have any assurance at all that a technician will actually comprehend this situation, or will the laptop simply be turned on, and the technicians all chortle, "Gee, must be fixed, hyuck," and send it back to me again? How am I supposed to assume that *anyone* in your company will actually care about this? So far you're all batting about zero. Yeah, I get some sympathy from you, but so far, no actual *repair*.

Maybe I need to list some short bullet points for people who don't like to read a lot:

- The laptop overheats occasionally.
- This condition is getting worse, in that it happens more frequently.
- Two weeks ago it wouldn't turn on at all for a day, at which point I called you.
- The keyboard has always had a problem with sticking at odd moments.
- At the moment, things are fine, but they won't stay that way.
- I'd really like somebody to fix all this while the laptop is still under warranty.
- Since the warranty only has two months left to go, I'm not even sure you'll understand my problem by then.


Presario Notebooks Support wrote:

mouse Wed Feb 11 18:42:08 2004
Re: Laptop, the sequel

my father told me a story once: he had a bad experience with a large company, so he wrote a letter to the president of the company, which started: "as a dissatisified customer...". he received a response, and compensation, almost immediately.

*sigh* these days you're lucky if you can even figure out who the president might be, let alone actually get a communication to him. which is probably why no one in the trenches cares if they get it right.....

mouse Wed Feb 11 18:44:49 2004
just to show _i_ pay attention

your last post ends:

> Presario Notebooks Support wrote:

so i think we may not yet have the whole story (painful as it is)...but one _does_ want to know if we should be mailing you cookies in prison, or anything...

Michael Thu Feb 12 13:11:32 2004
Re: just to show _i_ pay attention

> your last post ends:
>> Presario Notebooks Support wrote:

Ha. I rearranged the posting so it went in chronological order, and that line got left in place. Oops.

> so i think we may not yet have the whole story (painful as it is)...

So far, no-one there has deigned to reply. Or has considered themselves capable of doing so. But so far, my laptop seems to have benefitted greatly from its sojourn in Houston, because it's working flawlessly. Fan and all.

I must say: I knew I liked this laptop in comparison to the other machines I have available -- but I didn't really know how *much* I liked it until it came back. It's a very nice machine, when it turns on. (But Linux still rocks.) (But I'm not installing it on my laptop.)

mouse Thu Feb 12 17:39:03 2004
Re: just to show _i_ pay attention

> I must say: I knew I liked this laptop in comparison to the other machines
> I have available -- but I didn't really know how *much* I liked it until
> it came back. It's a very nice machine, when it turns on. (But Linux still
> rocks.) (But I'm not installing it on my laptop.)

probably just as well - if you do, and send it back, you will probably confuse them even more.

well, maybe it just wanted a bit of a change, and it will behave itself now - unfortunately, that seems more likely than tech support actuallyl getting it's act together.

i've decided it's all done to improve sales - everyone figures either a) it will cost more to fix it than to replace it or b) it will be so irritating/time consuming/whatever to fix it, it's not worth my time. besides, the new ones look cooler.

Jenn Fri Feb 13 09:03:26 2004
Re: just to show _i_ pay attention

The little man had a series of laptops at the last place he worked. He became renowned for breaking them. He broke 4 in a row. They finally just gave him a different brand. This has nothing to do with anything, except that it includes the words 'broken' and 'laptop'. I'm training to be a service rep.

Michael Fri Feb 13 18:08:16 2004
Re: just to show _i_ pay attention

> I'm training to be a
> service rep.

And a fine one you'll be, too.

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