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 PostPost subject: Computer repair stories?        Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 6:08 pm 
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Just a little curious about this, but...

What's your best and worst stories of having to deal with sending in a machine to the manufacturer for repairs? I'm looking for both sides of this - the good and the bad stories.

My HP story now:

For a few weeks now, my little $400 (crap)laptop, a Compaq Presario, has been giving me power issues. When using it, it'd constantly lose mains power while being physically connected to the system.

It got worse and worse. My last resort was sending it to the Geek Squad, the crappy computer repair chain in almost every Best Buy, to have them send it under my service plan.

Cue the night it gets unbearable and lost all charging capability. It's about 8:30 at night. I pull out the phone and pull up the "HP/Compaq Support" entry I'd had in it. And then comes the goddamn voice menus.

Ever call a support number, and be told to speak your option, and when it fails to work, you get more and more frustrated? Yeah. That happened. And it'd be nice to be able to speak the full description of the PC in one shot instead of...

  • Computer, mp3 player, printer, etc?
  • Desktop, laptop, or server?
  • Model type (Presario, Pavillion, etc)
  • Model number (C714NR, etc)


I get on the phone with the obviously outsourced technicians. We run through the tests - will it start without a battery, is the power good, is there moisture in the air - and so on. We determine, as I guessed it to be, an issue with the onboard connector.

9:00 rolls by. "Thank goodness, goddamnit, the nights and weekends minutes kick in now."

We begin the painful process of getting my information down.
PROTIP: Know your phonetic alphabet. It'll help you. Especially when you're asked to spell your full name, city, address, and so on.

I started this all on March 17th. I never got notification of where the packaging box is. A call to HP later nets me my tracking information, which was never posted to my support page until today.

March 19th at around noon rolls by. I get a box from Federal Express with packaging materials. I pull them out, box up the laptop and battery/adapter, and fill out the problem form given to me.

Less than 20 minutes later with a phone call, the FedEx truck pulls back up, same driver and all, to pick up the box and make its journey from northern New York State to Milpedas, California.

March 20th. They've got the laptop in their hands and are at work with it. No notifications from HP for some odd reason - I DID reconfirm my email and phone number with them in the tracking number call. The tracking page quotes me to get the laptop back on the 31st. Great. Being stuck with an AMD K6-2 box for 2 weeks isn't that fun.

March 22nd. Today. I pull up my tracking page with HP again. I look and all of a sudden I notice a "Track your shipment" icon. And the tracking numbers for my packaging from HP to me, and from me to HP. Then I notice a number for the laptop return package. All I can think is "Well, they must have just told FedEx to expect the damn thing, it'll be here eventually." I pull up the page and my jaw dropped.

Quote:
Mar 22, 2008 @ 10:15 AM
At local FedEx facility in WATERTOWN, NY
Package not due for delivery


"It's already out? What the hell?"

Then I notice the first column on the HP page.

Quote:
Hewlett-Packard shipped your replaced/repaired product to you.


Holy [censored], that's quick, considering over the phone I was quoted 10 business days and online a return on the 31st. This is madness.

Well, now to wait it out and possibly update the story when I get the thing back...


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 6:29 pm 
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We had an Emachines PC with a bad keyboard. We had to send it back, and while it had it's keyboard being replaced, everyone had to use what had recently become my own 486 with the original version of Windows 95 (Build 950) to go online. We were even stuck with Internet Explorer 3.0, instead of 4.01 or 5.0. This was back in 1999.

I also know of a couple of horror stories about having PC's "secretly replaced" without our permission. It happened to us twice. My Grandfather had this 1996 Dell Opti-Plex PC with Microsoft Windows 95 OSR2 installed, that he got for Christmas. The modem wasn't installed, so we had to send it back to the refurbisher to have it reinstalled. When it came back, it was the same system that it we bought from him, but then, one day, it started displaying things in "Black and Blue" (which sounds like a monitor problem). We sent it back to the refurbisher, and when it was "returned" to us, it was a different (But similar) PC. It had Windows 95 OSR2, but it didn't have any of the original data, it didn't have Microsoft Office 95 like the first system did, and instead of having a 3.5 Inch Floppy Disk Drive, it had a 5.25 Inch/3.5 Inch Combo Drive. But when we received it, I was easily tricked into thinking it was the same system, because it was otherwise very similar, and this was back in 2001, when I didn't know as much about computers, but three years later, I finally figured out that it was different, since I was doing things with hardware then, and I thought about why the refurbisher would replace the Floppy Disk Drive with a Combo if that wasn't the problem?

Another time was with a similar system I had, which was a 1996 Dell Opti-Plex with the original version of Windows 98. One time we sent it to be fixed by our "Geek Friend", and when he gave it back to us, it was the same system. But another time, we (or at least we "thought" we did) had to send it back to the refurbisher, and when we went to pick it up, he was "stripping" the thing, and removing all components from it's case, probably to reuse them in another PC, and had us buy a new PC, from 1997, more powerful, but with Windows 95 OSR2, for $200 (I'm pretty sure it was for the same price of the original system). This was also back in 2001. It's pretty scary to have someone "replace" your PC like that. Not that he was a bad person, and I know he meant well, but I'm not the type of person to do that.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:35 pm 
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WinPC wrote:
We had an Emachines PC with a bad keyboard. We had to send it back, and while it had it's keyboard being replaced, everyone had to use what had recently become my own 486 with the original version of Windows 95 (Build 950) to go online. We were even stuck with Internet Explorer 3.0, instead of 4.01 or 5.0. This was back in 1999.


Why send back the entire machine for a bad keyboard?

And... Windows 95 in 1999 doesn't sound bad. I had a machine last year with 3.1 on it that was my daily work machine... had a NIC on it and used it for surfing and such.

And my current backup desktop from 1999-2000 had Windows 98 on it, now running 2000. Hey, 2000's pretty modern, even today. Runs what you need - iTunes, Office 2003, and so on :P


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:48 pm 
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missingno wrote:
WinPC wrote:
We had an Emachines PC with a bad keyboard. We had to send it back, and while it had it's keyboard being replaced, everyone had to use what had recently become my own 486 with the original version of Windows 95 (Build 950) to go online. We were even stuck with Internet Explorer 3.0, instead of 4.01 or 5.0. This was back in 1999.


Why send back the entire machine for a bad keyboard?

And... Windows 95 in 1999 doesn't sound bad. I had a machine last year with 3.1 on it that was my daily work machine... had a NIC on it and used it for surfing and such.

And my current backup desktop from 1999-2000 had Windows 98 on it, now running 2000. Hey, 2000's pretty modern, even today. Runs what you need - iTunes, Office 2003, and so on :P
I know, it's just that it's kind of primitive compared with today's standards, and Internet Explorer 3.0 is pretty primitive. I actually think it's fun and intresting to use old product's like that. And we sent the system back when we discovered it had a bad keyboard, probably because we either had to do it to get the keyboard replaced or because we were "Computer Illiterate".


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:27 am 
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I learnt NATO phonetic for that exact purpose (and Speech Recognition in Vista), it didn't help me much, apart from understanding what the song "foxtrot *niform charlie kilo" from The Bloodhound Gang means.

My worst repair shop episode would have to be when my Compaq laptop broke, mum burst into tears in the store when she was told it would cost about $400 to repair the mobo :\


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:16 pm 
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Hooray, my own personal story comes to a close as today I've gotten my laptop back.

Apparently they ran an update on the system and updated my audio drivers - the offered ones have in the past caused my machine to lose sound - so now the audio isn't working. A quick roll-back and I'm back to normal.

They also seemed to give me a different power adapter this time, but kept the original cable that connects to the outlet from the adapter.

And they fixed a dead pixel I never even mentioned.

Over all I'm pleased with the services.

Image
ZIMA, the Presario C714NR, back from its vacation at the HP Service Center in Milpitas, California


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:54 am 
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I've always had a problem with Geek Squad at the bestbuy. I took my sisters computer there... they fixed one thing but broke something else. :/ I ended up not being lazy and fixed it for her. :P She was pissed that I didn't do it in the first place. :^)


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:37 am 
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>_< Less than 24 hours later...

@#$()%@#&)(%& S.M.A.R.T. error on my harddrive. Gotta send it in... *groan* again.

There goes my weekend again.

Edit: For christ's sake, HP, give me my damn tracking numbers. The first time 'round, over the phone, I was given an order status tracking number AND a support ticket number.

This time, using the HP Support Chat with a "qualified technician," I've been struggling to get any form of numbers to track what the hell's going on with my little laptop.

Some highlights:
Tuesday night
Quote:
Simon: Is there anything else I could help you with?
Dakota Courtois: What's the status number to track this order?
Simon: Here is the session ID of our chat conversation ********************.
Dakota Courtois: okay.
Dakota Courtois: I mean the status number I'd use on http://hp.com/go/csostatus.
Simon: That will you will receive to your E-Mail ID.
Dakota Courtois: Okay.


A few hours ago on the phone:
HP says they can't FIND ANY INFORMATION on the repair, nor my laptop, nor myself.
And they create a new ticket number thinking that the order wasn't placed, just in case. Now I've got 48 hours of waiting before hopefully a box arrives... or I RMA the drive to Samsung instead.

5 minutes before this edit
Quote:
Mina: You will get the order number to your mail within 24 hours and recive the mail in box by tomorow.
Dakota Courtois: ... why can't I get the order number right now?
Mina: I can give the confirmation number, once the mail in box shipped to you the order number will be generated.


And the other wonderful thing? They haven't sent me ANY emails about the repair.


Last edited by missingno on Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:02 am 
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I have a Acer TravelMate 4270. After Christmas break in 07, I turned the thing on one day and it has 24-25 stuck pixels, all of different colors. I wasn't too thrilled about that. I filed a online service request on their site and sent it in. It took about 2 weeks to get it "fixed." Well, they didn't fix it. They sent it back claiming nothing was wrong. So I called them, and gave them a description of where the problems were. I wait another 2 weeks and I get it back. Horray, they fixed they replaced the screen, but the bottom was warped and more problems were beginning to crop up.

So, I buy a Apple Macbook Pro after having enough of Acer's crap. It was perfect, until someone spilled water on it in their drunken stupor (no, not me) 3 weeks after purchase, didn't fess up, leaving me to bear the burden of replacing it.

So, I replace it, but the backlight bleed through horribly, not what you espect from a 2,000 dollar laptop. I took it back to get fixed 2 weeks ago (I have owned it for around 3 months) and I got it back today. They apologized for taking so long. Well, they replaced the entire clam shell/lid, like they said would, but the unit was defective. The top casing is warped pretty bad (looks like damage in transit) and there is a very, very, small crack in the LCD itself (about 1.5 mm long in the shape of a eye lash).

So, they ordered another replacement, let me take the laptop back with me and they will call me when the replacement comes. I'm very happy with the service, as I haven't had to argue with them, and they've been very cooroperative. Just bad luck with parts.


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