2004-09-15 : It’s the Muppet Show !

Ok, possibly I'm a bit intolerant but one thing that's really getting to me at the moment is how difficult it is to accomplish relatively simple things in this country. There again maybe it's just me. In any case, the frustration just seems to be piling up.

Firstly there's the caper of following up this laptop warranty biz. In the leadup to this delightful episode I had spent about 20 minutes on the phone talking to somebody at the Global Support Center trying to find out what to do with my broken notebook (purchased in December 2003, so still under warranty). Their phone jockey said that I needed to provide the machine's serial number, and the problem is that there *isn't* one on the sticker where there's meant to be one. After trying to explain this, she suggested I take it to an Authorised Service Centre, and gave me the number for them. I then spent 40 minutes on the phone talking to the guy about what the options were, and he very helpfully and obligingly stated that if I could find my proof of purchase (i.e. receipt) then he could follow it up with the Global Service Centre and find out what they could do.

Somehow – miraculously, under the circumstances – my mother found the receipt for the notebook and faxed it over, and gleefully I phoned the Authorised Service Centre back and asked to speak to the guy. Unfortunately, he'd gone on holiday and left no note on their system to indicate that I'd called.

After reattaching the top of my skull, I asked what he recommended I do, to which he replied the best thing would be for me to call the Global Service Centre (i.e. so he didn't have to do any extra work). So back on the phone I go, and brandishing my Call Reference Number I hope to tear through the vacuousness and bewilderment that these calls usually commence with. No such luck. The individual on the other end of the phone asks me for the notebook serial number. I point out that there isn't one, as will be noted on the screen in the call log. She reads the screen, acknowledges that, and then says I'll need to fax over the proof of purchase and the serial number.

Incidentally, it's not easy to nonchelantly conduct this type of phone call in the workplace whilst not drawing attention to yourself by whimpering.

I point out once again that I don't have a serial number, hence why I went to the effort of finding the proof of purchase. She agreed that if I faxed over a copy of the proof of purchase, and a photocopy of the underside of the laptop then that would be sufficient.

Another thing it's difficult to do in the workplace is to photocopy a laptop without looking like a complete tit. When a colleague asked me what I was doing, I said I was taking an image of the hard drive for backup purposes.

I faxed the relevant documents over, but was a little worried because the contrast on the photocopy was AWFUL (owing to the copier lid being mostly open, given that they're not particularly designed with laptop computers as their target medium)… so I figured I'd call the Global Support Centre and see if they received it. Predictably, the phone jockey asked for my call reference and machine serial number (I swear they're making a game of this now), and then stated that my case has been passed on to Customer Relations, and that they will call me to confirm receipt of fax.

I can just tell what's going to happen. They're going to ring me late tomorrow and ask me to resend it, because the contrast on the third page was awful.

I *do* hope I get this sorted out before December, when the warranty expires.

In GOOD news however, I've moved into my new house as of Sunday night (wheeeee!), and it's just dandy. If anyone wants my postal address, drop me a line and I'll tell you what it is.

Gotta run – bus is about to leave.