Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tech Support

We have a Toshiba laptop that we purchased in October of 2005 - right before we attended the geek fest :). Since the main purpose of the computer was to be taken on the road with Jeff, I purchased an extended warranty - which included End User Abuse. Usually the warranty is voided if you do something to affect the performance of the unit, like.. drop it, spill something on it, sit on it, whatever you can do to it that is not a normal use for a computer. So, since it would be traveling a lot (as laptops usually do) I wanted to get the coverage in case it was dropped or something like that.

So far, there have not been any major incidences with the unit; only two incidences prior to the past week: broken keys on the keyboard and the AC Adapter cord not working. Both times it was relatively painless to get the parts replaced. Since the company I work for is an Authorized Service Provider for Toshiba, I only have to bring it into work to have any type of work performed on it.

It was in November of last year that I had the AC Adapter replaced. I ordered the part number, which ended in -2ACA, and received the same part number, but the new one ended in -1ACA. Since manufacturers often have replaced certain parts with some new part number, but it is still compatible, it was not questioned. I did notice it, though, because we had to send the defective unit back to them when we received the new one.

So, over the weekend, I had to install some new software on the laptop and when the battery got low, I plugged in the AC Adapter. Nothing. I won't bore you with the diagnostics, but basically, it needed a new AC Adapter.

Not a problem, I simply went online while I was at home and put the order in our system. It was rejected by Toshiba saying that the part number requested was not compatible with the unit. What? They are the ones who sent it!

OK, no problem.. order the old part number - the one that came with the unit. Rejected again - this time because the AC Adapter warranty was only good for one year and was not covered by the extended warranty.

I found this unacceptable since they had sent me the wrong part while it was in warranty. Sometimes it helps working for a service provider - I can get through to some manufacturers more quickly than others. But I did not use our contact information. Most of the time a consumer has a better chance of getting a manufacturer to recognize that something needs to be done about the problem for customer satisfaction purposes.

So, I looked up the consumer number online and called. *Shudder* Yeah, now I remember why people complain about tech support so much! Flashbacks to the days when I had to call Dell on a regular basis... they are the absolute worse when it comes to any type of phone support. Anyway, so I have this horrible hold music and I put my phone on hands free so that I can continue working while listening for them to pick up.

I finally get through to someone and have to explain the situation several times. How Toshiba sent me the wrong AC Adapter cord when it was still covered under the warranty. I swear, they kept trying to throw the blame off to my company.

Tech: "So, the service provider you used gave you the wrong part."

Me: "No... Toshiba sent the wrong part to the service provider. The correct part number was ordered, but Toshiba sent a substitute part number - the wrong one apparently."

Tech: "Please hold while I look up the correct part number.."

Hold music... (how do people even play this kind of music? who listens to it??)

Tech: "OK, I show the battery of that unit to be part number..."

Me: "The battery isn't the problem. It is the AC Adapter."

Tech: "Oh, yeah. If you just wait one second while my computer pulls up the information on the AC Adapter... it's working on it no-ow... it will be any second now.. I apologize for the time it is taking for the computers to get the information on your part, they are running a bit slow right now.. but it should be any time now.. "

OMG! Do they tell them not to let a moment of silence pass while they are on the phone?? I swear she was giving me a play-by-play! It was killing me!

back to the tech... "... oh and here is the part number - blah,blah.." (I don't remember what she said, but it was not even remotely close to the part that came with my unit.)

Me: "That is not anywhere near either of the part numbers that I have."

Tech: "What part numbers do you have?"

I gave them to her.

Tech: "Oh, yeah, that first one is a universal AC Adapter and should work with your unit. The second one should not be used with that model."

Me: "Then why was that the one sent to me?"

Tech: "So the second part is the one the service provider gave you?"

Me: "It is the one Toshiba sent them in exchange for the one they ordered."

Tech: "I'm going to send you to our customer care center and they will be able to help you. Now, you will need to stay on the line because sometimes it takes a long time for me to get you through to them."

Me: "OK."

Tech: "It could take a while, just do not hang up from the call. I will give you a reference number to give to them."

I write down the number.

I get transferred, and get the same awful hold music. I put it on speaker again and continue working. I hear a silence, and then a ring, so I pick up the receiver. Transferred to more holding... back on speakerphone.

It was about 45 minutes before someone came on the line. I made the comment to my coworker that I could have gone to lunch and been back before they picked up. It was nearing 2:30PM and I still had not gone to lunch. I finally told her that I was going to leave it on speakerphone and she could let me know if they ever answered while I went to lunch. As I was gathering my purse and coat, a man picked up the phone.

Thank goodness I did not have to explain it again because he had the notes of the case in front of him. However, he did say, "So the service provider you used gave you the wrong part."

"No. Toshiba sent the service provider the wrong part in place of what they ordered." Sheesh - do they have to place blame elsewhere or what??

Anyway, they sent me a new AC Adapter. Know what else? They sent me the one that they said didn't go with my laptop. *sigh*

I googled the part numbers and according to every source they are interchangeable. So, I will keep it - I do NOT want to have to call them again. Next time I will just make our parts person do it on my behalf because he has better connections than end user support. I hope anyway.

1 comment:

Barb said...

I feel your pain!!!
The last time I had any trouble with anything I had to speak to somebody in India.........thick accent - feel my pain??