Computer ‘games’

By Peter Lammert | Aug 23, 2012

The wonderful FedEx delivery lady brought my computer back to me this past Monday. It was being returned from Grapevine, Texas, where it had been “repaired” by “Tuyen” who noted that the unit “Arrive (sic) with bios information incorrect causing unit not to boot up but reboot. Reset bios setting to fix problem. Pass test.” Just peachy. Now I have to find out what “bios information” is and will this problem happen again.

The trip to Texas started about three weeks ago when I was working away at the computer and it just shut down. Wham! No notice, no warning noises such as a brake dragging with the accompanying stink of heated brake pad, no “ticky ticky ticky” sound as you worked on, just “blink” and the monitor gave me the old “No Signal” notice.

Restarted it the following morning and it fired up just long enough to allow me to get my email on screen and then “Blink” another “No Signal” notice.

Over to the shopping center, where I purchased it last October, it went for a look-see by the on duty computer “Wizard.” After plugging it in and getting the now famous “No Signal” notice on the store screen, we started down the slippery slope of having to return it to the manufacturer as it was still under the one-year manufacturer warranty.

The store “Wizard” gave me the computer company repair phone number to call and I decided to place the call while I was still in the parking lot just in case I was asked a question that only the company or a company tech could answer. For the next 58 minutes and 8 seconds I was talking to a man that gave his name as “Anthony” and who spoke English with a sing-song tone of someone from India or Pakistan who has learned to speak English in their home country and not here in the states. He informed me that he would schedule a home visit by an approved computer repair technician who would have the four “modules” that were most likely causing the problem. A day later the repair tech called to schedule the repair and the following morning, on my dining room table, he was performing replacement surgery on the computer. None of the four parts he brought along fixed the problem so back to square one.

The repair tech called the company to inform them that the replacement “organs” didn’t help the problem and he then told me that the person on the phone wanted to talk to the “owner” of the computer. This time I was talking to a sing-song voice by the name of “Bruce” and I related to him that the repairs didn’t work. After his “So sorry” comment, he said he would send me a shipping label that was supposed to be affixed to the box the computer was packed in for its trip to the repair shop. I asked him how I was supposed to get that info if my computer was locked in the “No Signal” mode. In his sing-song voice he informed me that I should “just go over to your neighbor and have them print it off for you.” I was also under the impression from my conversation with the computer store wizard that FedEx would be bringing a box complete with packing materials with which to pack and ship my computer. So I asked “Bruce” when the shipping box would arrive and he informed me that I had to go to my friendly “local” FedEx shipping facility and that they would pack and ship the computer free of charge.

Well, as far as I could find out, the ONLY qualified FedEx facility where this could happen is on Whitten Road in Augusta, or so the computer tech in the store informed me. I did get him to print out the email from the company so I had an address to ship it to if I ever got it to a FedEx facility.

Back on the phone to the computer company and this time I was connected to a sing-song voice that goes by the name “AB.” “That’s right, Mr. Peter Lammert, just like the first two letters in the alphabet” he said in his sing-song voice. I asked him who was going to pay for the 88-mile round trip to Augusta plus the two and a half hours the trip would take and he sloughed that off that I must be “badly” informed as to the location of the FedEx facility.

I repeated that there is only ONE FedEx facility that would do what he claimed they will do in the whole state and I informed him that he needed to ship a packing box to me. He said “that cannot be done.” I then asked for his supervisor and he would not transfer me.

At this point, people in the parking lot were looking at me as I was up on “screech” talking to Mr. Sing Song, so I struck it for Camden to find the Global Packing and Shipping Company, which the store tech told me did business with FedEx.

Eight miles, an hour’s time and $15 bucks lighter, I left the aforementioned store with my computer on its way to Grapevine, Texas, swaddled in enough bubble wrap and foam peanuts to cushion it if in fact it fell out of the FedEx plane. I counted up the days I had been without the computer since I first unplugged all the cords from the rear of the desktop and started hauling it back and forth and to the best of my reckoning, it was 11 days without the “Net.”

Two days later, when I got home that afternoon, sitting on my porch was a brown packing box of the same size as the one that my computer was packed in when I took it to Camden. The return address label was from Grapevine, Texas. It was empty! Inside the box were packing materials and instructions on how to pack the desktop. Go figure. My instructions to “AB” about his having to go and find a glass bellybutton must have hit home. But that is another story.

It was a week plus six hours since I shipped my computer from Camden, when the FedEx lady hove to, outside my home. With her magic wand reading a bar code on the box, and my signature on the famous “black box” I had my computer back.

Then, in conversation with her, I found out that the info she had on brands of computers sent for repairs was better than Consumer Reports.

She told me that of the different kinds of computers that FedEx returns after repairs, the one I had was the one they deal with the most followed by the brand that has just two letters for a name. She named others and if mine has to be replaced, I’m buying the brand that she has never had to deliver after repairs! She also told me that I had the right to talk to an American-born and English-as-the-native-tongue repair person. She also told me which state agency to contact about problems with the computer company. She was just a wealth of helpful knowledge. She is the same FedEx agent who delivered my electric wood splitter last fall but that’s another story.

It took me just 15 minutes to hook up all the wires and I haven’t found the green one yet that will only plug into its receptacle in one position. I have no idea what that is but so far so good with the computer company repair. I have about three months left on the factory warranty. Then on to the three-year warranty I bought with the computer.

Ah, progress!

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Comments (5)
Posted by: Eric Thurston | Aug 31, 2012 11:18

Press [3] for Hindi ...

Posted by: Sumner Kinney | Aug 30, 2012 06:50

Great read Pete. 

Posted by: Joanne Lee Richards | Aug 28, 2012 09:36

So Pete, call me and tell me which one she ever sees going back for repair as I am in the market for a new computer.


Posted by: Todd Gustafson | Aug 25, 2012 09:12

It's interesting that the Tuyen just changed a setting and fixed the computer when both the store "wizard" and repair tech didn't figure that out. 

Posted by: Carleton Ingerson | Aug 25, 2012 05:35

And, of course, you had to PRESS 1 FOR ENGLISH!!  This is the United States, we should not have to do this...I just went through the same "Run Around" recently with a cell phone. Finally after three tries I got someone who could speak enough english to accomplish what I was after.  Glad you got everything straightened out.

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