Rose Parade

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Friday, April 21, 2006

What we have here is a failure to communicate

Okay, this is officially turning into an ordeal. Or a fiasco. Or both. The other night at Beast Buy (heh, that was a typo I decided to keep) the guy "helping" me asked me to look for a disk (CD, actually) that should have come with the laptop that he said would be helpful in returning the Vaio to working order. He tapped the mousepad as he said that, making me think that he was referring specifically to the mouse function. Now, with my old desktops, I do remember one coming with a diskette that had something to do with mouse installation. I didn't remember anything similar coming with the laptop but told him I'd look, which I did and I didn't find anything. So last night I get a call from yet another genius-level tech asking if I'd found it. I told him that nothing of the sort had come with the laptop. A short conversation later I realize that what he's really looking for is the OS restore disks. Which I was supposed to create when I got the thing. I do remember this, I passed on it when the instructions indicated that it would require about ten CD's of a very specific type. I figured I'd get to it some other time. Stupid, I know, and yet another lesson learned the hard way. So Mr. Geek Squad tells me that what I need to do is call Sony and get the restore disks, because they aren't so much helpful to the repair process as they are necessary. He tells me to get a pen and paper and proceeds to rattle off the laptop's model and serial numbers, along with a toll-free number for Sony. He tells me that when I receive the restore disks I need to bring them in and then they will be able to do the repair. He also tells me it should take 3-5 business days to get the disks, which means at this point I'm probably looking at at least another two weeks before the laptop comes home to provide me with hours of writing and surfing enjoyment. The only good news is that they were able to backup My Documents and my writing files. He said the docs are on their hard drive, which doesn't thrill me. I'd rather they back them up to CD or a jump drive. But whatever. Still, I have questions about all this:
  • If I had created the restore disks back in the day, could I have re-installed the OS myself and saved a lot of money and aggravation?
  • If they were assuming I had the restore disks, why didn't they suggest I try re-installing it myself before charging me $200 to have them do it? As far as backing up my files is concerned, I told them repeatedly that saving the files wasn't crucial as I had backed them up right before everything went to hell.
  • And the one that's really bugging me: if they had all the info needed to get the restore disks, couldn't they have just called Sony themselves as part of the service? It would have saved a step. He gave me the exact info he would have given them, plus the disks would be sent to him directly, possibly getting the machine fixed and back to me (the valued customer) a day or two sooner.

Again I say: Customer service. Truly a lost art.


  • At 4/21/2006 01:18:00 PM, Anonymous lizriz said…

    Although they may be doing a few other things to your computer, it certainly sounds like they're just reinstalling the OS. You have to remember, the average computer user isn't tech savvy enough to do this themselves (believe it or not), so they probably just assume you wouldn't do it yourself (or they don't care).

    Of course, now they're holding all your documents.

  • At 4/21/2006 05:50:00 PM, Blogger Melinda said…

    I don't think it would bug as much if they just seemed more on the ball. I still can't believe they called me to pick it up without addressing the whole system crash thing and that it took so long for them to "get" that. I'm just a stickler for competent customer service, it's one of those things that just sets me off.


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