I’ve tried to post a couple of times, but blogger kept wimping out on me and freezing up, Neil’s too. So I’m going to type in Word and paste it over to blogger. Hope it will work. Maybe it’s just my computer…
Which wouldn’t surprise me in the least. If you look back on my previous postings, you’ll remember that about two months ago, Neil won a CD on Headspace from weqx and we made big plans to make the trek to Manchester, VT (it’s a haul from here, at least a couple of hours) and retrieve it. Which we did. To a point. We piled in Nick’s Civic and made the drive, got to EQX land, met some guy who worked there, who rummaged through envelopes and boxes for ten minutes, only to tell us he didn’t have the damn CD. Our day wasn’t completely ruined; we made a trip to Burlington and took pictures all the way with Mikey’s digital camera. We had fun.
Until Mikey and Neil decided to hook Mikey’s cam up to my computer to download the pictures, simultaneously blowing out all my USB ports. Meaning my keyboard and mouse no longer worked and I could not longer get into Windows. Menaing I had to break down and call Gateway “tech support”. It is my opinion that the techstaff at Gateway are the most useless fuckers on the face of the planet. I mean, really. They really, really are and it’s really sad because I’m sure with proper training they would really be able to do their jobs well and actually help people. So I called, sat on hold, listened to the wheels turn of the poor pitiful girl who answered the phone, listened to her instructions to download a USB cleaner from the gateway website. But, c’mon. A USB cleaner is to clean old printer drivers out of your USB ports…I don’t have a printer. How can this help me? So I just downloaded it. And it runs from Windows, and in case you missed it, I can’t get into windows and my mouse doesn’t work, so clicking or anything is just bad news. So I called again, got this poor guy who I talked to for two hours straight, listened to him try so hard to be helpful, listened to him tell me to hit escape and tried to explain to him for the thirtieth time MY KEYBOARD DOESN’T WORK. Finally, he had a solution. Take the battery out of the PC and hope it resets. I’d done this once before with my roommate from Hell at UNH, so I pretty much knew what I was doing. He didn’t. Took the battery out, put it back in, booted up the computer. It started in BIOS, which requires typing, which I couldn’t do because, again, my keyboard doesn’t work. He suggested I send it in to be serviced, a good idea since he’d just rendered the damn thing totally useless and now I couldn’t even attempt to back up my writing. I asked him, point blank, if reformatting my hard drive was going to be necessary because I had two years worth of writing on my computer, not backed up on floppy or zip disk. (A word about backing up my files: I know I’m supposed to. It’s like flossing your teeth or getting an oil change. You know you’re supposed to do it, it’s just easy to forget. Seems kind of tedious until you have a cavity or you car breaks down. Or your computer dies.) I asked him if it were possible to have someone call me before they reformat, just to see if there’s another option, or at least to see if they could save my stuff. He assured me one of the friendly Gateway service technicians would be happy to call me, to just enclose a letter pleading my case.
So, folks, that’s exactly what I did. Spent $27.00 to ship my computer to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where the deer and the antelope and the Gateway service techs play. Called them and asked a very confused girl to have the computer shipped to my work, so that it wasn’t sitting on my porch, waiting to be stolen. She haltingly obliged but I think she was still trying to master the whole typing with both hands thing. Waited a week, no phone call. Elation. They didn’t have to reformat. My mom called me to say that Gateway had delivered the computer to their house. Slightly annoying. I had specifically asked that it be mailed to my workplace in Keene. What if I didn’t live 30 minutes away? What if I lived in, like, Portland, Oregon? They would have shipped my freakin’ computer all the way across the country and I would have had to have paid to have it shipped from New Hampshire to Oregon. But I didn’t dwell on it. I had my computer back. I brought it home, opened it up, pulled out the service order and burst into tears. On the very top it read “REFORMATTED HARD DRIVE”.
Everything is gone. Two years worth of writing. 150+ mp3s. Over 300 picture files for that-song.com. All gone. All irreplaceable and all gone.
I pulled myself together and called Gateway, listened to their “eclectic music mix” (read: VH1 reject crap) and then listened to some little bitch in customer service tell me that I should have backed up my files, that they had a lot of computers coming in, that they are just very busy and that their technicians don’t have time to call people back.
Please reread that sentence again.
If I had ever, EVER told a client that I was just too busy and didn’t have time to call someone, I would have been fired. Or worse, been the subject of a staff meeting, when Bob uses a hypothetical situation, but everyone knows that it’s you. I, at the very least, would have been screamed at for a while and lectured continuously.
My beef (no pun intended) with them is that they put themselves out there as a small-town company. They put that friggin’ talking cow and the longhaired hippy dude in their commercials, they make it seem like you’re going down to your local weed dealer’s place to buy a `puter. They did those commercials a while back about how close their company was, but the sad, frightening this is they are just like everyone else. It’s the same corporate culture bureaucratic bullshit that they seemed to work so hard to avoid. Once you make your customer feel like just a number, you’ve totally lost sight of what customer service means. And they lost a customer. When this old girl kicks the bucket, I won’t be getting another Gateway. Period.
Whew. That took a while. I guess I just needed to get it all out. Nick said I should write a letter to the longhaired hippy dude president guy, but I’m not going to. Because what good would it do? They can’t compensate me, which is what that stupid girl from customer said. Point blank. “We can’t compensate you.” You’re right. You can’t compensate me. You can’t give me two years of my life back. Then again, Bob said, after I told him the story, they can damn well try.
So, if you’re still reading this, I’ll fill you in on the rest of my life. I am still living in the same apartment, still at the same job. I bought a brand spankin’ new car in March; a 2002 Ford Focus, after much searching and deliberation. Her name is Natascha and she’s my baby. I love my car and I know it’s just a car, Nickolas, but I still love it.
Other than that, I think that’s it. I’m moving in July (whoo-hoo!) with Neil and Mikey into the coolest house. I’ll have to take pictures. Anyway, off to get ready for work now. Thanks for listening.