Sunday, March 18, 2007

Tales from the Land of Terrible Support Services

Lets first start by saying that my aunt purchased a Gateway computer back in 2000. Our house computer also is a Gateway. It was purchased around the same time. Ours is a tower and has never had any problems. It has Windows 98 and functions fine for what we use it for, to surf the web or to type up a Word document.

My aunt's computer came with that horrible operating system, Windows ME--don't even get me started. Anyway it didn't come with a floppy drive--which was strange for computers from that time period, not so strange now--as who really uses floppy drives now anyway--besides those still caught in yester years?

Okay so now that we have covered all of the background info, lets get into the meat and potatoes. Well my aunt's modem is on the fritz. This diagnosis was made by AOL and I believe seconded by Gateway. She called up and spoke with a Gateway tech who ordered the modem for her.

So I go over on Friday to install the modem. This was after she'd told me that she didn't see how the modem would fit. Now mind you this was supposed to be a quick installation of the modem and then I was supposed to go out to dinner with my mom, my aunt, and my cousin Tyanna. Well you can guess that didn't happen.

I look at the PCI modem and then at the mini-tower and say it doesn't fit. There are three grooves to the Modem and 2 in the slot. So my aunt calls Gateway. She was heated. Lets just say that she was a tad bit hostile with the rep, due to her frustration with them sending the wrong part. The rep would put her on hold, talk to tech support, come back and give some ridiculous diagnosis.

So I'm starting to get annoyed. I tell the rep that I'm a network administrator and the part doesn't fit. So guess what, please hold. Did you figure that out? LOL. Well she comes back and says my supervisor said all modem's are the same size. At that point I'd taken over operations as my aunt and this rep were verbal jousting. We knew we were getting the run-around.

We asked to speak to the supervisor. Never happened. I wanted to talk to the man who was speaking out of his ass. Oh I forgot to mention that my aunt said send me the correct part and lets get this over with from the very get go. The rep told her that she would be billed for the new part and she would get a credit 7-10 days later. My aunt lost it. She was like wait--I paid for a part--you sent me the wrong one--and now you want me to pay for a new part and wait for a credit--please check on that. So I'm assuming the supervisor is an idiot anyway. He wouldn't take the call, as he was on a 28 minute call. However, he seemed to have time to give a tech diagnosis about something he had not the foggiest idea about.

So anyway I digress. We are still on hold, it's over an hour at this point. The rep comes back on the phone and says she has the same diagnosis from two other techs. Now I'm irritated. This has gone on far too long. My aunt was really pissed off, so I took over, as she was now shouting--as dinner was backed up severely already.

I tell the rep listen, are they even looking at the model of the computer? This modem would fit in just about any computer. I have installed quite a few modems. It doesn't fit. It's too big for the slot and it has three grooves. I then said my diagnosis is based on the older model of this machine and the fact that she has an internal modem it is more likely that you'd have to replace the entire motherboard to correct the issue.

Boy you could really tell that she was listening at this point. She puts us back on hold. When she comes back she says hold on they are taking a look at the picture for the motherboard now. Guess what, oh yes, the IT person--being me--was correct. We are sorry the particular modem that she would need is no longer available based on the model of the machine...and the fact that a new PCI modem would not fit in her machine...LOL...don't you like the fact that they spit back my diagnosis at me.

My aunt is like miss lets wrap this up. We have plans. So she says we'd need an external modem. I then say to her can you just charge her the difference. The rep says yes. Voila--modem order is processed--after some difficulty with the rep putting in the credit card number correctly.

After the whole deal is over I say to the young lady I feel sorry for you. Your boss let you be the sacrificial lamb. The techs were lazy and should have looked at the model and taken the call instead of leaving you in the line of fire. She said to me you are absolutely right, I'm not technical. She told me based on their procedures and the order she had to take the call. Clearly there is a change in policies needed. She mentioned something about returning the part and I cut her off and say she has 10 business days to return it. She says yes. I tell her that I have to return parts all the time. I thank her and tell her to have a great weekend.

Phew--and then we finally went out for dinner, LOL.

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