Monday, October 14, 2013
My husband wanted a new laptop. And he thought he would like one with a touch screen. So off we went to look at computers. He "needs" a large screen so that eliminated many of them. He decided on one that he liked. We have bought many computers in the past. And we have always bought the extended service contract. And we have never once used it. So this time we decided to pass.
We brought the computer home and put it on the dining room table so I could set it up for him. My husband is not techno-savvy. Not because he isn't clever enough but because he chooses not to bother with such detail. The plan was for him to go through his "favorites" on his old laptop. Then I would copy them and send to myself in an email. After that, we would set up a new email for his new computer and email the links back to the new computer.
My husband periodically played with the new laptop, marvelling at the screen resolution. Until one day when he opened the computer and pressed the "windows" icon. The screen went black. The power light went off. The computer would not turn on.
We tried various combinations of unplugging the power cord, letting the computer rest, plugging in the power cord, moving to another outlet, moving to an outlet in another room and nothing worked. The computer just sat there, clearly not getting any power. My husband fretted that he might have done something. I reassured him that we could have put a two-year-old and let him bang on the computer and it should not have resulted in a total shutdown.
I remembered that we could return the computer within 14 days of purchase. So I looked at the receipt. Sixteen days! You are on your own with the manufacturer if you did not purchase the extended service contract. Bummer.
I grabbed a phone that was fully charged and began the ordeal of calling customer service. I was on hold forever. I finally reached a customer service representative with a heavy accent and soft voice. He asked for the serial number. I had to remove the battery and try to read the serial number which is in very small white print inside the battery compartment. He asked all sorts of obvious questions and sent me though all the same maneuvers. I spent fifteen minutes on the phone with him and another representative only to be told that he would send my call to the supervisor. The supervisor finally answered with a heavy accent and soft voice and asked the exact same questions I had just answered. It was a harrowing ordeal for both of us.
So the manufacturer will send us a box with a FedEx pre-paid label and we will send back the computer. They will either repair or replace the defective laptop. So how many customer service representatives do you have to talk with when your computer dies? Three And how long with the call take? About 40 minutes.
Do I regret we didn't purchase the extended service contract? Not really. The laptop is under manufacturer's warranty. Had we taken it back to the store, they would have kept it for a week or more trying to identify the problem before fixing or replacing it. We will probably get a new computer as quickly.
Do I regret all the time spent on the phone? Not really. That's what "customer service" has come to be. You have to start out with that in mind.
Here's what I really regret. It wasn't until I finished the phone call that I noticed the side of the box the computer came in. There in big bold black easy-to-read letters is the serial number!!!