Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bored much?

My computer has died. My Spanish teacher has suddenly found herself pregnant (unplanned) and is having complications that require her to be in bed for weeks, cancling all our classes. Blood tests reveal that I am suffering tissure damage on a massive scale and it points towards my liver.

Shocking no one.

HP is willing to fix my laptop for free, but only inside the US. See, they bought these cheap ass motherboards that are failing all over the world and will replace the motherboard, even out of warrenty, because it is such a pile of crap. They have sent a box to my house in Vermont and all I need to do is ship my computer there, have Doug put my computer into the box and ship it to HP. It comes back fixed, he repackages it and sends it back to me in Spain.

Cost to ship my computer home - $207.00.
Wait time for shipping and repair - hmmm, maybe a month.
Cost to ship computer back to Spain - another $200 plus.
Import taxes from the thieves at customs who will think it is a new computer and I´m importing it to sell it - I´d guess another $200.

So, over $600 to get my computer fixed for free.

We called HP Espana and they won´t swap the motherboard for free, but are aware of the problem and for $400 they have a company that will pick up the computer, fix it, ship it back. So, we´re going that route and hoping it takes less than a month to get my computer back. And doesn´t cost more than $400.

The ¨bored much¨ titled comes from the conversation with the nice Indian woman I had trying to get my computer fixed in the states. This was done using all online support chat.

[An agent will be with you shortly.][You are now chatting with Vanga .]

Vanga : Welcome to HP Total Care for notebook computer, my name is Suman. Please give me a minute while I quickly review the issue description.

Vanga : Hello Jamie,How are you doing today?
Jamie Wakefield : Good, and you?
Vanga : Great and Thank you for asking.
Jamie Wakefield : Do you mind if i paste in what i have done already to try and resolve this problem?
Vanga : Not at all james.
Jamie Wakefield : I have reseated the memory a bunch of times.I have tried starting the machine with only one memory module in for both modules in case one was bad.I have held the power button for 45 seconds with the battery out but plugged in a bunch of times.I took the cmos battery out and powered the machine on a bunch of times to try and reset the bios.I have tried powering the machine on with battery out but pluuged into a wall and vice versa.No change.Product
Vanga : Okay Jamie.
Vanga : I regret the inconvenience caused. And I will assert my best efforts to resolve this issue by the end of this Chat conversation.
Jamie Wakefield : okayVanga : Thank you for the information.
Vanga : Jamie,Restart the computer and after restarting press f10 continuosly.
Vanga : Then let me know what do you able to see on the screen?
Jamie Wakefield : okay
Vanga : Thank you.
Jamie Wakefield : screen remains black and F10 starts to make the computer beep every time I press it.
Vanga : Okay Jamie.
Vanga : Please give me 2 minutes while I research on this issue and help you in a better way.
Jamie Wakefield : no problem
Jamie Wakefield : I´ll just play some pac man on my iPhone.
Vanga : Thank you for being on hold.
Jamie Wakefield : no problem
Vanga : Jamie,As our laptop is not entering into a blue screen when we press f10 then it should be taken for repair?
Jamie Wakefield : okay
Vanga : Jamie,It will be free of cost for you.
Jamie Wakefield : excellent
Vanga : Jamie,May i know where you bought the laptop from?
Jamie Wakefield : i bought it online from the HP site
Vanga : May i know the shipping address
Jamie Wakefield : 62 Ossie Road, Middlebury Vermont 05753
Vanga : Okay.
Vanga : Jamie,If i hope i am not disturbing you,May i know your hobbies?
Jamie Wakefield : I used to play a card game called Magic the Gathering, a lot of video games, comic collecting, read a lot of books and practice mixed martial arts.
Vanga : Jamie,You look like a multi talented.
Jamie Wakefield : I try. :-)
Jamie Wakefield : What do you like to do?
Vanga : Jamie,I like to play sports and travel alot.
Jamie Wakefield : Where have you been?
Vanga : I travel to most of places in india.
Jamie Wakefield : Is there any way to get this repaired in Spain through HP? I am visiting my girlfriend for a month. If not, the US address is fine. That´s where my house is.
Jamie Wakefield : I´ve always wanted to visit India. I´ve been to a few places in Europe and South America and all over the US but never India.
Vanga : Jamie,Sorry to say you that Iam are authorised to take the laptop for repair in spain.
Jamie Wakefield : no problem. The us is fine
Vanga : This time when you get a chance you definately visit india.
Vanga : Thank you.
Vanga : There you can find some good places to see.
Vanga : You can see different people with many traditions and cultures.
Jamie Wakefield : Have you read the very famous book "Eat, Pray, Love" An American woman visits India for four months. Excellent book.
Vanga : No Jamie.
Vanga : Jamie,It seems you have an hobby of reading books?
Jamie Wakefield : So, what are we waiting on Vanga? An RMA number? Yes, I read a ton.
Vanga : jamie,I will create a case ID for you and your laptop will be taken for repair and you will get it within 7 to 9 business days.
Vanga : Jamie,Thank you for sharing your views with me.
Jamie Wakefield : No problem, it´s been nice talking with you.
Vanga : Thank you.
Vanga : I will try to buy the book and read it.
Jamie Wakefield : I´m sure it´s been translated. What do you play for sports?
Vanga : Jamie,Its pleasure assisting you.
Vanga : I love cricket,Tennis.
Vanga : Jamie,Iam i disturbing you?
Jamie Wakefield : Not at all
Vanga : Am i*.
Vanga : Jamie,Thank you.
Jamie Wakefield : My goal today was to get this computer on the way to getting fixed and I have an appointment in 3 hours and I´m happy HP is going to repair my computer for free. I have heard they had a problem with this model and might do that, so I am very happy.
Vanga : Jamie,Is there anything else i need to assist you with,today?
Jamie Wakefield : Nope. Just need to know what happens next. I assume you send a box to my house and I put the computer in it and ship it to you?
Vanga : Thats it.
Jamie Wakefield : Excellent. Thank you Vanga. I don´t need anything else but it has been a pleasure talking with you.
Vanga : Its my pleasure too.
Jamie Wakefield : I´m sorry, not Vanga, Suman.
Vanga : No problem.
Vanga : Jamie,I would like to provide you with an Activity ID. Though I am confident that the issue is resolved however, in case the issue re-surfaces/re-occurs, please feel free to contact us with the same reference id/number to help you in a timely manner. Activity ID: 18080.
Jamie Wakefield : okay, thank you Suman.
Vanga : Jamie,I am really happy chatting with you.
Vanga : Thank you for contacting HP Total Care Real-Time chat support. For any further assistance, please contact us again at:
Chat support is available 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

Jamie Wakefield : Thank you Suman. Have a good rest of the day.
Vanga : Jamie,You are welcome and take care.

It was very pleasant chatting with her, but that last part lasted thirty minutes. As you can see, I finally had to ask ¨Vanga, what is the next step? What are we waiting for? She then stated she would open a case file and gave me a number to reference in case I needed it. Then I walked around Madrid trying to find a place that I couls ship my computer home and found out it was $207 and came home, the whole thing being for nothing.


  1. Computers are evil...and I get paid to work on/fix/troubleshoot/yell at them daily.

  2. Why didn't you just buy a new one? You can get a laptop for very cheap nowadays, at least in the states.. Maybe it's different in Europe

  3. Jamie, can you email me soon? You rather dropped the liver thing, and I have questions (like it's ALL of my business ;-). I can't seem to find your email address in my files right now....odd.

    Love, Tanya

  4. Hello...Liver damage? Hope you are ok. Nancy and I just got back from Cayman this morning, we passed our open water tests and are now certified divers. I will be back in to work tomorrow and check if I have any emails from you. I almost finished Earth Abides last night on the plane, have to talk to you about that.

  5. Yeah Jamie - you kind of glossed over the "Liver damage" part...

    - Ben