Thursday, October 16, 2008

Laptap headaches

I purchased a laptop this summer...and after a month of use, the battery would not charge. I contacted the company that makes this particular laptop. Their online technicians had me complete a variety of steps....the last of which was a battery check.

Why don't they have you do this step first???

When the battery check was complete, a nice little message appeared on my laptop screen. It basically said...."you're screwed, this battery is junk, buy a new one."

This seems like the obvious FIRST step...yes???? Not the last. Oh well!

So this computer manufacturer says it's under warranty and they'll send me a new one. Two weeks go battery received.

After another lengthy conversation with said computer maker, another battery was shipped....and received. I put it in the laptop, it charges, holds a is good.

Most of my laptop use is at home, in the living room, on the coffee table. One afternoon, I wanted to go out on our front porch and work on some miscellaneous projects. I unplugged my laptop and took it with me.

7 minutes later, the laptop shut down. It went from 100% charged to 3% charged in 7 minutes. 7 minutes??? I'm thinking that's not normal.

About a month later (last night), I finally break down and contact the computer maker again. Notice how I rushed to contact them. The online support is great...but it takes quite a while, and sometimes the communication barrier is interesting to say the least.

Nelson was kind enough to pull himself away from his coffee and donut break and come online to help me. He began rattling off different steps he wanted me to complete. I was writing them down....but the list of steps kept getting longer and longer....and longer.

I gave up writing down the steps, sat back, and waited for him to complete the novel. All the while thinking - step #1 is me unplugging my computer and taking out the battery. If I don't have the computer on, I don't have the steps I need to complete in front of me. And, I don't have a printer hooked up to my laptop.

(Mot - does our printer have wireless capabilities?)

Anyway, back to Nelson. He finally finished, and asked if I had any questions.

Boy, did I!!! But there was no way I was going to ask Nelson. #1 he takes forever to answer #2 his grammar makes me want to pull my hair out (yes I know, pot calling the kettle black) #3 all of these steps were the same ones they had me complete with the first crappy battery...I was convinced it was going to do anything!!

I copied and pasted all of the directions into a file, quickly memorized all the steps I would need to take before turning the computer back on, and then began.

Nelson's steps improved the issue. At first.

I went from 7 minutes of battery to 18. And then it shut everything down at 3% battery charge.
Argh!!!!!!! Take note - NONE of the steps were a battery health check.

I got back online with a support technician. It's 9:05, I'm frustrated, and now sleepy. But damn it, I want this thing fixed...and I've already started, I may as well keep going.

My second support technician for the evening took even longer than Nelson to join the chat...what is with those folks??

Kamron was very helpful. He took a few minutes to check over all the activity and correspondence with Nelson. His first question - did you perform a battery health check?

I explained to him that Nelson wanted me to complete all of these stupid steps first, instead of getting right down to the nitty gritty. Kamron seemed to feel my pain.

Wouldn't you know it, the battery health check said the same thing as last time...."ok doofus, you have another crappy will NEVER get to use your laptop away from an outlet in your wall....muhahah."

I asked Kamron what the odds of having two bad computer manufacturer supplied laptop batteries were...and he didn't answer. I took that as one of two answers #1 it happens all the time and we're not supposed to talk about it #2 lady, we never get this, you're jinxed and I don't know how to break it to you.

Either way, I knew what was coming next.

"we need your credit card number just in case you don't send up back the faulty battery...we can't take it online, only via the phone....we'll call you in two to three days...and then it will take another 7 YEARS to receive your replacement battery that probably won't work either"


I asked Kamron if the issue could be my laptop, and not the batteries. He responded "Yes, that could be the case...if this third battery doesn't work, we'll schedule a free maintenance service."

They called me asap this morning to get the information, so they could ship the battery. (I wonder if my frustration level was noted on my account?) I couldn't understand the woman who called me. I'm sure she was either living, or had lived most of her life, in India; and I could barely make out what she was asking me. But, after 10 minutes, we got everything straightened out, and my battery should be on it's way.

When she gave me my confirmation number, I had to laugh. The first letter was S. Not S as in Sam, or S and in snake....she said S as in Sienna. How many people sit there wondering how to spell sienna???? My laughter must have thrown her off. There was a long pause before the next letter.

I'm not holding my breath with this new battery arrival. I was hoping to take my laptop to Oregon with us in a few weeks....but hate to drag the thing around if we can't even use it in the airport to amuse ourselves between flights. If the battery doesn't work, I'll just take a pen and paper to log my journey, and post them when I get back.

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