26 October 2009

I'm just gonna turn Amish and call it a day.

I should go ahead and tell you, I didn't buy my laptop. Nor did my mom, nor my dad, nor anyone else related to me in anyway. It was a gift from a man in Texas whom I've never met. He (Larry) and my mom go back a long ways (I think he was her art teacher in high school or something, but, you know...not in a Mary Kay Letourneau kind of way or anything, despite what you may think what with him buying her daughter expensive gifts and all)(though I'd have no problems if he were my dad instead of my actual dad, because, oh I dare to dream...)*, and while his generosity has served me well this past year in the form of a portable computeration device, it has made FIXING the damn thing a nightmare.

First of all, I found that there is a Toshiba authorized repair center in Raleigh, about 15 minutes away from me. Excellent, yes? No need to waste all that time and money on shipping. So I took it in today (the lady - no joke - said, "It was smoking? Huh, never had that before,") however they were unable to fix it just yet because according to Toshiba, my warranty expired this past June. Now, that's not true because Larry (bless him) also purchased an extended 2-year warranty for me, which lasts through June of next year. The lady at the front desk of the repair shop went to talk to her boss about my warranty situation, and while I only heard bits of what he said, while telling the lady that I'd need to call Toshiba to get my warranty straightened out, I distinctly heard the words, "Tell her to get ready for a headache." And since my life story is based upon things never working out smoothly, you know what I thought? I thought BRING. IT. ON. BITCHES.

And then this is how I was punished for swearing:

Now, I left my laptop at the repair place because I figured it wasn't doing me any good sitting broken at home, and I'd only have to drive it all the way back there as soon as I got things set right with Toshiba. And you know, maybe that's where I went wrong. Maybe that put a hex on the whole thing then and there. Because as soon as I got home, I called Toshiba, suffered through the endless "Press __ for ___" rigmarole only to end up in, apparently, the wrong department because the lady had to transfer me. Only she had transferred me to another wrong department, and I had to get transferred again. Then it was the third person who let me know that it was my manufacturer's warranty that had expired, which is the only thing they accept, and while I may indeed HAVE an extended warranty, it was purchased through the store from which my laptop was also purchased (Fry's Electronics) and Toshiba doesn't accept those nasty, inferior things. Oh, no, no, no. Just....no. I was then told to call Fry's Electronics (heretofore known as FE) to see what they could do, so I did. I called the store in Texas from where it was purchased, I explain the situation, they transferred me to their Service Center in California, and the guy there then told me (after exclaiming, "Wow, smoking?! Really?") that my best bet was to see if there was an FE in my area that I could take my laptop to. Well, there wasn't - the closest one is in Georgia, so I was told to call them and ask if I could ship my laptop there to be fixed. So - called them, explained the situation, asked for an address, was given said address, and just to confirm I asked, "So I can just ship it to you and you'll fix it?" And the lady said, "Oh no, you can't ship it. We don't allow that. We can't be held responsible if it gets lost or damaged in the mail. You have to drop it off here yourself. " You read that right. They wanted me to DRIVE MY LAPTOP TO GEORGIA. GEORGIA. SIX HOURS AWAY. So I said, "Screw that AND you. Okay, thanks," and hung up.

At that point my dad called me, and after telling him the story up to that point, he said to call someone as high up on the ladder as I could go, not just someone at a small store, and demand that someone help me. And that is me, isn't it? Demanding? Haha, yeah no. Anyway, I just grabbed the first 800-number I could find off the FE website, and I called it only to find out that the lady I had reached was only with the online portion of the company and couldn't help me. She asked me for the location of the store the computer was purchased from, I said Irving, TX, and before I could stop her, she transferred me there. Or rather...BACK there. And what happened? I was transferred to the Service department again, where I got the same guy I talked to earlier, and when I updated him on what I was told from the store in Georgia, he said that while it's rare, they DO allow people to ship things to them to be fixed, that someone was obviously being lazy since they "get heavily reimbursed for repairing those things," and that I should either try calling the other FE store in Georgia, the same store and ask for a different representative, or call the Home Office, of which he spoke very highly and PROMISED that they were incredibly helpful and would do whatever they could to help me out. That guy right there was the nicest guy I talked to during this entire experience, he was every bit as sweet as he promised the people at the Home Office would be, and the people at the Home Office? They were not. At all. No siree.

I dialed the number he gave me and I got a woman who said that there was nothing she could do, she didn't deal with my kind of stuff, so she forwarded me to some guy - I don't remember who at this point, I don't even remember if she told me - who proceeded to tell me that the only thing he could recommend was to call the place I bought it from (Texas again) and see wh- and then I hung up on him. I had given the guy the complete story - he knew I had already talked to the store in Texas twice, and I wanted to know where the HELPFUL people were that that guy had promised me! I called the Home Office one more time hoping to get a different person, hopefully a person who had a magic wand to fix my computer, breath that smelled of warm cookies so pungent that it'd waft over the phone and sooth my soul via good old fashion olfactory means, and I dunno...maybe an engagement ring just to top it off. My expectations had been driven THAT HIGH by the man at the Service department, and I so desperately wanted to find the kind service man he described to me over the phone.

SO! In my second call to the Home Office did I find him? NO! No I did not! It was the same woman as before, and I tried to tell her that I was given her number with the GUARANTEE that if anyone could help me IT WAS SOMEONE THERE. She said no, sorry, let me transfer you AND I. LOST. IT. I began SOBBING hysterically trying to explain the run around I was being given, that no one was giving me any helpful information, and that I was pretty sure this whole experience was going to kill me. Because it was. I was going to die. And wouldn't that be embarrassing? Having my obituary read "death by poor customer service?" And that poor woman had no idea what to do with me. She had put me on hold - UNBEKNOWNST TO ME - and I continued blathering on and bawling for a good five minutes before I realized that oh hey! No one is listening to me! Brilliant!

Next thing I know, she transferred me to the SAME guy I had hung up on not ten minutes previous, but it went to his voice mail thankfully, and you better believe I just hung up. So I called the OTHER store in Georgia, hoping someone there would just say, "Yes. Ship it here. Plain and simple, miss." And when the girl picked up, I explained the situation (again! I love the words "explain" and "situation!"), and I asked point blank, "Can I just ship it to you for you to fix pleasepleasePLEEEEEASE." And while she said "Yes," it was quickly followed by "Let me transfer you to our repair department."

At which point I got a busy signal.

So I called her back. She tried to transfer me again. I was on hold for FIFTEEN MINUTES only to finally hear the phone ring ONCE and then get a hang-up signal. OH. MY. GOSH. K1LL. M3. NAO. I then called the store for a THIRD TIME. It couldn't tell if it was the same girl though, so after taking a deep breath, I tried to sum it up, but it didn't go so well because I was only able to get out, "My laptop broke, I'm 6 hours away, and someone tried to transfer me somewhere, and I'm about to stick my hand in a blender. Do you have any idea what I'm talking about?" But she wasn't the same girl I had just been "helped" by, so of course she didn't know what the crazy, suicidal girl on the other end of the phone was talking about. I tried to elaborate a bit (the situation! it was explained! again!), and she put me on hold while she...did something. I don't know what, but next thing I knew she was back and explaining that apparently the lines of the company were down, but she could take my name and number down and the repair department would get a hold of me as soon as possible. (I have no idea what the difference between the service department and the repair department are, just fyi).

Next, I called the local place that has my computer, and before I could even explain a TENTH of the story, the guy interrupted me and asked, "So are you gonna come get your computer or what?" DOUBLE-U TEE EFF, SIR. See, before I had left the place earlier that day, the woman who was helping me had explained that they had dealt with things like this before, where Toshiba had the wrong warranty info down but it all gets sorted out in the end, so I figured that maybe there was something they could do, which is why I was calling. Apparently there isn't anything they can do for my situation, since Toshiba flat-out refuses any non-Toshiba warranties, but I DIDN'T KNOW THAT YET - I thought that there might have been some sort of loophole for people in complicated situations such as mine - and it would have been helpful if the guy had a) let me finish EXPLAINING! THE SITUATION! because I was on a friggin role, b) given me some advice since I was obviously getting no where on my own and he IS a computer expert after all, and c) explained why he was being such a dick. Ooo, I'm gonna slap him when I pick it up tomorrow.

Then finally, as a last resort, I attempted to find the guy who had been nice to me earlier - the guy at the Service Center. Problem was, he was one of the few people I didn't have a direct number for, and I had been way too blinded by frustration to get down a single person's name in this whole ordeal; but I went the only way I had been able to talk to him before. I called the store in Texas. For the bajillionth time. And as soon as the girl answered, I immediately asked to be transferred to the Service Center. And when a man answered, I got so excited. It just HAD to be him. I blurted out, "Toshiba. Dead. North Carolina. HandinBlender. Familiar?" But alas, it was not the same guy. He tried transferring me to the Repair department, only to be met with the same phone difficulties, and after offering to take down my name and number for them to call me back, I politely declined (did that already, remember?), hung up, and screamed into a pillow for an hour. THE END.

Okay, I guess it's not. I've not heard back from anyone, but at the very least the one store in Georgia DID say that I could ship them my computer, they'd fix it, and I'd only need to pay for Seriously Expensive Shipping. So there's that. That's good, I guess. But...well, I still need to pick it up, ship it, have it repaired, returned...that's a lot of steps for more bizarre and unforeseeable things to go wrong. I'll just feel a lot better when the whole situation (the one that has been explained ohmyfreakingeyeroll) is over and my laptop is back home and running again.

^(that was one last venting I needed to do)

*Nope, I was wrong, Larry wasn't my mom's art teacher - I got him mixed up with another man with whom my mother is still in touch with. Her art teacher sends me photography magazines every now and then, though. I wish I knew my mom's secret, that's for sure.


  1. i think i am going to throw up after reading that

    poor girl

  2. Natalie...buy a MAC. This would never happen with a MAC.