30 December 2009

Et tu, laptop? (The saga continues)

Oh, remember my Christmas Eve blog? Remember the happiness? The joy? The sound of angels singing through my words as I rejoiced for my laptop returneth?

Well, I've since pried off the delete key and slit my wrists with it.

Figuratively speaking, of course.


Turns out, it was returned to me broken! As in not repaired! BROKEN! In fresh and bizarre ways that were not issues before my laptop went all Vesuvius on me. And it's not as if it was working correctly when I first turned it on after finally getting it back (as you might have thought from my previous excited blog post - because I certainly did!) No, it was broken from the get-go, but I, in all my excitement, just didn't notice.

When I booted it up that first time, there were two unfamiliar beeps accompanied by a blank screen covered in a bunch of little white lines and squiggles that I assume were probably letters which probably formed words, but do you think I paid any attention to those? Ohellztothenoes. I was far too excited to notices words like "FAILURE" and "BAD" and "I IZ STILL TEH BROKEN" blazon across the screen. I didn't even find it odd that I had to press either 'F1 to load default settings' or 'F2 to go to Setup.' Or that I got a failure/error message about my webcam (which I've never used once) as soon as Windows loaded. But who cares?! Not me! LAPTOP! HERE! YAAAAY!

Now, I had only used my laptop for all of two hours before I left for TN, and I didn't have a chance to turn it on again until Sunday night. But when I did, the same errors popped up again, only this time I noticed because it's hard to ignore uncommon occurrences when they happen a second time. Not so fluke-y that time around. Then a few minutes later, it randomly shut off on it's own. And when I tried to boot it up again from hibernation later that evening, it turned itself off then too. Then I noticed that my computer said "plugged in, not charging" and it remained at 61% all day long no matter how long it had been plugged in. THEN I noticed that none of my function keys worked and I couldn't adjusted the screen brightness by them nor via the control panel. And on top of all that, when I turned it on, it often simply DIDN'T TURN ON. Or rather it kinda did, but nothing popped up on the screen. So I would have to hold the power button down till it shut itself off again only to try powering it on again and HOPE that it worked this time around. The process usually had to be repeated about 4 or 5 times before finally getting the screen to work.


Honestly now, after having my computer for TWO MONTHS, you'd THINK they'd have had the chance to maybe turn my computer on once they, ahem, "repaired" it just to, oh...I dunno, make sure that it was indeed, um, REPAIRED? I mean, the very first CRITICAL ERROR appears within 5 SECONDS of the computer being turned on. Not only that, but FE also shipped it to Toshiba for some part of the repair (remember how I couldn't ship it to Toshiba myself? Because they wouldn't accept FE's warranty? AND HAVE I TOLD YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE ARBITRARY RULES AND HOW THEY DON'T MAKE MY EYE TWITCH AT ALL?!), which means that TWO SEPARATE PARTIES had my laptop in their position to check over, and yet neither noticed a job poorly done. And you wanna know the BEST part?! FE had the GALL to make ME pay them to ship back a laptop THAT WAS. NOT. REPAIRED.


So whatever, I got the opinion of my computer-wise cousin, some guy at a local repair shop, and the internet, and I've got a three-way consensus that almost all issues can be traced back to the motherboard.


Did I mention the part where the ONLY THING that needed replacing on my laptop after the smoking incident WAS THE MOTHERBOARD?! One thing! JUST ONE! THAT'S ALL! And they couldn't even manage THAT!

And here's the part where it gets good: the part where I called FE yet again. I mean, we all know how well that went last time. And that's what you have to keep in mind - that that last experience scarred me for life and I can no longer hear the words "please hold" or "let me transfer you" without feeling a sudden compulsion to jab myself in the eye with a blunt pencil - because while I was able to keep it together for the first hour and a half of run around before snapping last time back in October, I barely made it to the third person before completely LOSING MY SH1T.

(And yes, that 1 in there really means I'm not swearing. Hmph.)

I swear, all I did was say how I refused to pay to ship my computer back to them, since they shouldn't have shipped it back to me in the first place in that (NOT FIXED!) condition - but when he said, "That's against our policy," well, that's all it took. I mean, REALLY now - I don't think it's too much to ask of them to either reimburse me for the senseless shipping I already paid for or for paying the shipping for me to send it back to them to fix it like they should have done the first time.

Anyway, like I said, I basically had a nervous breakdown. You know that kind of crying where your voice keeps getting higher and higher to the point to where there wouldn't be enough room for all the ledger lines on a piece of sheet music to document the pitch you were speaking at? And you start to sound like you're speaking in tongues from all the words running together? And you start to get carried away because you've never, EVER directly told a person what you think about him in your entire life and now you're making up for lost time? Oh, that doesn't even BEGIN to describe what I was doing. I was screaming and sobbing as though he had just murdered my dog and burned Disney to the ground. Like my laptop, I was oddly broken too. I might have to pay for shipping again, but I'm damn well sending FE my therapy bills.

And you know what he did? He put me on hold! Not that I blame him - I sounded utterly psychotic. But 45 minutes later AND STILL ON HOLD, I was ready to cut a b1tch (again, TOTALLY not swearing). At that point, I was beyond tears and just a dead, dead person inside, completely without hope for humanity, for America, for my own soul, for Tyra Banks to stop annoying the bejeezus out of me. So I hung up. And tried again. Persevere, I will. I ended up getting the same first two people I talked, and the second woman said, "You talked to me earlier and I transferred you to my supervisor - he was just talking about you." (Yes, I'm sure he was). I mentioned the 45 minute-long hold he put me on, for which she apologized for (thankyouverymuch), and then she said that her supervisor was the only one who could help me, but that he was on the phone with someone else at that moment, and that as soon as he got off, she'd give him my name and number and he'd call me back.


TWO POINT FIVE HOURS LATER and nothing. Not a single phone call. So I called back, only to get a man this time, and he said that everyone who was working during the earlier shift (the one I called during) was gone for the day (oh, of course they were...why would anyone take the time to call an upset customer back when they're not scheduled to work another minute), but that I could explain the whole situation to him. Which I did, and since I had just had two and a half hours to calm down, collect my thoughts, and take half a bottle of prozac, I was able to remain calm and not flip my lid this time around. Although, I'm sure my voice cracked a time or two. I'm not perfect. And it helped that he was at least willing to "see what he could do" instead of telling me, "that's not our policy," when clearly there isn't a precedent for this given that I'm pretty much their only out-of-state customer. He called me back a few hours later to give me an update on what my options are (because remember, they had my computer for 2 months, but I'm leaving for Florida in 20 days, and I NEED my laptop by then because I'm taking classes ONLINE. So...my laptop? KIND OF IMPORTANT HERE).

And that's basically as far as I've gotten. I could pay to have it repaired by some local guy, I could send it to FE and have them repair it for free since it's still under warranty and just HOPE they can cut their repair time down by 80%, or I can just curl into a ball, hide under my covers, and never, ever, EVER come out again. I'm leaning towards the last one.

By the way, I later reenacted my nervous breakdown for my mother (only there wasn't much "acting" - it came from a real place, since I still had a lot of residual craziness and frustration within me), and I swear to you she laughed so hard she didn't stop for 2 minutes and SHE FELL OFF THE COUCH. Like, literally ROFL-ing. I didn't know people actually did that! But the thing is, when I start sobbing hysterically, you really have to let the "hysterically" bit encompass all meanings, because when I lose it, it's not pretty, it's not dignified, it's not artfully heartbreaking. It's disturbing and entertaining all at once, and honestly, I wish I could witness someone break down like I did today, because OH THE BLOG CONTENT.

Which reminds me, there's a good chance this guy (who works in a ELECTRONIC store) has either facebook, twitter, a blog, or AT LEAST INTERNET ACCESS, which means that more than likely his "lunatic customer encounter" today will more than likely be mentioned in one or more of those mediums and spread for the world to see. Keep an eye out for me, eh?



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