Longing for BC

sometimes i’d like to go back to a time bc. nope, not a time of dinosaurs or tribal rule or the beginnings of pottery or farming, hunting and gathering. some days i’d like to go back to pre-computer days – especially when my computer takes a dive.

remember when you didn’t have to think about protecting a piece of equipment from malicious intruders? remember when you didn’t have to download updates, recharge batteries, unplug in thunderstorms, backup drives, add memory, delete old files, etc., etc., etc.… on top of all the other life stuff you had to think about?

if you’re as old as me, you do. most of the time i think very little about my home computer, mostly because i use my ipad at home (unfortunately i am the tech person at work so i spend my days dealing with computer issues).

for no particular reason, my laptop decided to brick itself. it turned on and booted up but refused to do anything more than just that. i wasn’t too worried because i don’t use that computer for a whole lot and everything on it is backed up via a cloud based backup service and the files are also backed up on flash drives. still, the taxes were done and sitting on that computer waiting for me to file. i figured i was willing to pay about $200 to fix the issue and if that wouldn’t fix it, i’d just download the tax software again on another computer and pull in the file from the cloud backup then shop for a new laptop.

so, off to the computer repair place around the corner late saturday afternoon. after hearing my description of the issue, the guy assures me that they can clean up the problem and it will be ready by monday. he also gives me a price of $150 – $180. i tell him fine.

monday comes and goes and no phone call from the computer place. most of tuesday comes and goes and no phone call from the computer place. i call them. good news: there was nothing malicious in the system, just an issue with some corruption in the windows 7 operating system. they’ll wipe the drive and reinstall the operating system and i’ll be good to go by wednesday morning. but they’re only open from 9 – 5 so i can’t pick it up until late friday or saturday.

turns out c is leaving work early on thursday so he’ll pick up the computer on the way home. i call the computer place and let them know that he’s coming to pick up the computer and to please allow him to take it (because i think maybe they would be concerned about security and liability and all that). they’re not terrible concerned.

then they tell me the price for the work is $489. um, what?! no, no, no. we talked about $150 – $180. computer guy starts to argue with me and i argue back. he says he’ll call me back. when he calls back he tries to tell me that he talked to c about the price and i tell him that he’s full of shit since the only phone number they had is my cell phone #, which is with me all day.

half hour later, a different computer guy calls me back and he’s got a head of steam on him. he launches into recounting the conversation we had and how i talked about all the extra work i wanted done and how i gave him the go ahead and… i stop the guy and repeat that we never had a conversation because if we had, i would have told him that i would never have paid $489 for repair work and instead gone out and bought a new laptop.

a series of phone calls and conversations later, it turns out that the computer boys were talking to another woman with my same first name, my same laptop with the same windows 7 operating system issue plus plenty more issues. and she needed them to do a whole lot more set-up work than i needed. she was going to pay $489. or, she would have paid $489 but she had taken her laptop to a different computer place altogether on the same street (there are 3). yep. so they did more work on my laptop than authorized or necessary based on someone else’s say so.

they apologized profusely but then danced around telling me how they did all this work on my computer and it was a lot of time and… basically, they kind of wanted me to pay a higher price. you can imagine how that went over.

after some negotiating, we struck a deal that i would pay a little bit more for a small amount of extra work and they would stay open late for c to pick up the laptop.

computer guy said he had never had anything like that happen in the 20 years he’d been in business. i recommended that he institute some kind of receipt of ticket system rather than his current system of only taking down a name and phone number. funny thing to have to recommend to a guy who’s in the information technology business.

still, i’m thinking about sending the bill to microsoft for payment since i’m pretty sure that their operating system update caused the problem to begin with. i’ve even got evidence of another hp laptop with windows 7 that experienced the same problem at the same time. .. if only i could track down that other marge with the hp laptop.

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4 Comments

Filed under advice, communication, computers

4 responses to “Longing for BC

  1. Diana Card

    Argh!!

    Diana

  2. Well, wait. A few things:

    1. Computers are a pain in the butt! That’s my professional opinion.

    2. It’s ridiculous that they tried to Presbyterian you up on the quoted price after the mixup was discovered. They are horrible business people. Please email me and tell me who they are so I can make sure I tell anyone who asks me for a recc not to go there.

    3. You may be right about that update. Microsoft did pull an update recently that was bricking systems. Of course, I have never ever known anyone who has had a good experience with HP computers. So, not sure it’s definitely MS.

    • 2. I’ve never heard the term “Presbyterian you”. While I agree that they were lousy businesspeople, I won’t tell you the name because this is the 4th time we’ve used them and we always had a good experience before.
      3. You can stop saying that you don’t know anyone who has had a good experience with HP computers. We have had 5 or 6 of them over the years and they’ve been fine themselves — issues were with malware or other outside junk. We run HPs at work and have never had a single issue.

      I’m still mostly suspicious of and MS update.

      • Father Guido Sarducci from SNL used to say “Presbyterian him down” instead of “Jew him down.” Good thing I wasn’t drinking anything the first time I heard that — I would have sprayed the TV!

        Glad to hear about your HP experience. All of the bad ones seem to find people who come to me for help. Hardware and software, horrendous technical support.

        MS Update is famous for stuff like that. That would be my first guess…

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