Thursday, August 20, 2009

Keeping the cord

No, it is not that discussion. I am far from being in a position to be even concerned about that at all. Though I thought it was a cute intro into my post on my laptop adapter woes. Last week, I thought I would be sans my computer for weeks when my laptop adapter decided to be naughty and reveal its wires to the world. Since my computer is less than a year old, I decided to take Gateway up on their warranty promises and give them a call. The call certainly made me miss having a Gateway store in my town where I could speak to a live person. I described to the gentleman on the phone my problem in great detail concerned that the warranty may not cover it as it may be considered excessive wear and tear though I know I treat my baby with the utmost care. Despite my description, the customer service rep insisted on going through his usual schpell(sp?) asking me if it was plugged into the wall adapter etc. While I am sure there are people who are silly enough not to realize they do not have something plugged in, I am not one of these people; and I thought I was clear that I had exposed wires. In my mind, I was pretty clear as they had shocked me several times which lead to a nasty blister which now resembles a hole in my finger and some heart palpatations. On top of that, I grew tired of the is it plugged in question years ago when I contacted another company via live chat on a desktop and the rep asked me if my computer was plugged in. Really now. No, it's not plugged in I am powering the computer with my mind as we chat online. I understand company procedures, but shouldn't people be able to use some common sense.
Finally, he listened and gave me two options for how I could get my replacement part. The first option was to pay for the replacement up front which is approxiamately $90 plus shipping and handling. Then, when I received the new part they would include a box for me to ship back the defective part. Once they received the defective part, they would credit me back the amount I paid. Nice option, but I don't really have $100 to pay out of pocket and wait to be reimbursed. The second option was to mail the defective part off. Once they received it, they would send me the replacement part without any cost to me except what I paid for the original shipping of the defective part. That sounded better, and I agreed to do that. The problem was between our work schedules, there was no way to get that done Saturday morning.
By Sunday, I was going a bit nutzoid having a weekend away from the net especially with my cell phone working when it decides it wants to. I was lonely without the ability to easily contact my friends. This isn't my first Gateway computer though. So, I know how quickly or in their case not so quickly send out parts. I bought my first laptop through them back in 2002. I got the extended warranty on it since I bought it directly from the Gateway store. Ironically, that laptop's adapter died after I had it for a couple of years but in a less dramatic fashion as it simply went kaput which was obvious since the light no longer came on. Back then, I didn't have to send them the defective part, they just sent me a new one since the part had a known problem. However, it took me nearly a month to get my new part as there was some problem with it being on back order. I did know that they told me it normally took about 2 weeks for parts to be received. I even tried the adapter from my previous laptop to see if I might get lucky and have it work for both laptops, but I was not lucky at least not with that. By this point, I knew there was no way I could go that long without my computer. Luckily, I have wonderful friends who offered to help. One friend offered me the use of her universal laptop adapter while I was without mine. Nifty device which I was heretofor unaware. The adapter comes with like 9 different connectors made to fit most major manufacturer's laptops. Yay, temporary fix. Additionally, my dear friend Paul offered to fix the laptop adapter by welding together the wires and properly covering them back up. At first, I was a bit nervous as I was sure this would void my warranty. I didn't want that either since the cheapest universal adapter I found was also $90. He assured me he was trained to do this. So in desperation, I handed the cord over to him. Apparently, I am the only one clueless enough not to know this type of surgery can be performed. Thankfully, my cord is back to me and working fine looking just a little worse for the wear covered in electric tape. Once again, I am grateful for having amazing friends who are both generous and knowledgeable in areas I am not.

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