So much for customer servise
September 10, 2002 10:02 PM   Subscribe

So much for customer servise A website chronicling one guys journey though tech support hell. I laughed my head off at what the guy had to go through and also that he would go so far to document it like he has. Not a lot of fun (but funny because it wasn't me)
posted by Coop (18 comments total)
Oh nice job...we killed the server.

I got to page 12 and got an HTTP:403.9 error. To many hits.

posted by lasthrsman at 10:23 PM on September 10, 2002

Pretty funny, as Coop said I would hate it if it was done to me.
posted by riffola at 10:32 PM on September 10, 2002

Excellent find, but I have to wonder if he cut part of this letter from a note to/from an SO:
"...You have done nothing for a year and continue to do it. You have told me repeated times that you will call. You never have. I have been expressing my concerns and disgust with you for ten months. And you continue to procrastinate, ignore and do anything but reply, contact or satisfy my needs...
After dealing with Dell recently on warranty issues, ugh, I guess I certainly had it easy...
posted by whatzit at 10:55 PM on September 10, 2002

My favorite is the letter from HP that sounds like it was written by a semi-retarted Ouija board:
"We understand that you had issue [sic] with your computer. Issues with the computers can be upsetting.

"Dave, we see that you went through a lot of issues while using your computer. You stated that your computer crashed. After the servicing of your computer, It again started creating issues. We see that you were concerened with this [sic] issues."
I can't decide what's funnier: the wierd support groupish tone of these paragraphs or the letter writer's issues with not knowing how to use a thesaurus.
posted by contessa at 11:09 PM on September 10, 2002

Looks like Dave met his Goliath. I admire him for not giving up so easily. Two years is a long time to get jerked around. I would have given up long before that.
posted by debralee at 11:25 PM on September 10, 2002

I don't mean to sound like a corporate tool, here, and I don't mean to suggest that Dave was really in the wrong in all of this -- he got dicked around for a couple of years, and that is awful -- but!

But. That's one of the whiniest, most self-righteous piles of shit I've ever read. It's horribly written; it's utterly repetitive (that could have been half as long, or less, if there wasn't so much goddam back-patting and reaffirmation). I was pretty sick of Dave by the time I got through that -- I didn't find it remotely funny or dramatic, multiple exclamation points or no.

I've been on both sides of the tech support line, so I know that he was probably bouncing off of shitty techs at an outsource company. I appreciate that he was getting awful, or, rather, no customer service. And the whole Canada angle might make things even trickier, as the whole 'jurisdiction' bit suggested. To have something broken and not have the company help you out is just plain lousy.

But why in Christ's name didn't he get on the phone in the first week, or the first month (since he is such a patient and angelic sumbitch) and demand to speak to a goddam supervisor? That's how it works: if you're banging your head against the system and not getting the answer you need, you say fuck the system and curse until you get a super. Then you repeat. It might not be elegant, you might feel a little like an asshole, but it works. That is how people get computers replaced (or, more realistically, refunded -- take your business elsewhere, fella) when tech support doesn't think it's justified, or even allowed.

I think he's directly responsible for making the whole deal last a lot longer than it needed to simply because he decided to be bitter and disbelieving.
posted by cortex at 11:51 PM on September 10, 2002

Cortex, that's exactly what I was thinking as I read further and further into his story. Perhaps he's the masochistic type that likes to give somebody more than enough rope to hang themselves by so by every "bad" action they take, he looks better and better in the process. The very fact that he wrote about 5 dozen emails to the generic customer support email shows that his troubleshooting skills weren't quite what anybody could call diligent.
posted by contessa at 11:57 PM on September 10, 2002

Holy crap, that was drawn out.

Good thing I read it all.. otherwise I might have been getting valuable sleep or something.
posted by El_Gray at 12:13 AM on September 11, 2002

After dealing with Dell recently on warranty issues, ugh, I guess I certainly had it easy...--whatzit

Yes, as soon as I can replace my Dell with an Alienware, I plan on taking it out to the rifle range and going all Tarantino on this worthless pile of proprietary non-standard waste of cash. I hate this computer *so* much! Never have I despised a computer like I despise this Dell. Bah! I'd sooner be trapped in a room full of 14 year old script kiddies than buy another workstation from them.

But even with emotions that strong, I couldn't be bothered to write a zillion page web site about it...or work on restitution for 2 years. Good for him that he's willing to do it though.
posted by dejah420 at 12:33 AM on September 11, 2002

He did seem to take it to extremes but after a while it boggles my mind that someone from HP wouldn't make it right just to shut him up and have the page taken down. I am looking for a new notebook (which is how I found the site) and I would hate for people looking to buy from me to see a page like that. It made me drop HP from my list of considerations and a couple of pages and blog entries made me really nervous about getting a Dell.
posted by Coop at 2:36 AM on September 11, 2002

I think that guy has a messed up power supply. Probably jostled it while moving it to his new office and there it went. He also might have had the bad luck for it to suddenly start working again at the most inopportune moments (when he brought it back to CompuSmart and reloaded the registry, thus totally screwing up the diagnosis.) I hate messed up power supplies, they can toaster an entire computer's worth of parts rather quickly, and it's almost impossible to diagnose a broken power supply over the phone. Of course, he COULD have gone to a CompUSA and bought a new, less erratic power supply for 20 bucks, but I do agree that HP's conduct in this instance was horrible.
posted by Veritron at 4:33 AM on September 11, 2002

More than half of his story relates to his inability to move past the problem. They replaced his mother board and fixed his problem. Sure it took time, and annoyed the hell out of him.
Here you go Dave.

On behalf of HP, I am sorry that your computer had problems, I am sorry that it took so long to get it fixed.

posted by a3matrix at 5:26 AM on September 11, 2002

So much for customer servise
So much for elementary spelling. My first-grade son will be a better speller than you a year from now. Why don't you learn how to spell "service" before making a front page post?
posted by Holden at 6:12 AM on September 11, 2002

On behalf of HP, I am sorry that your computer had problems, I am sorry that it took so long to get it fixed.

Who says HP doesn't care?
posted by Bixby23 at 6:13 AM on September 11, 2002

funny because it wasn't me

"The whole world loves a sad song they don't have to sing"
-- X, "Hot House"
posted by kirkaracha at 6:32 AM on September 11, 2002

I had a similar problem with a compaq laptop I bought from Bestbuy. It started malfunctioning... and they were like, "Well... we might be able to fix it, but we'll have to send it to the manufacturer."

(This was after they sold me on the extended warranty and it's "home service" stuff. They also claimed that I damaged it and this it wasn't "standard wear and tear," which apparently excludes any actual damage to the machine.)

So.... after getting into a screaming match with one of the peons there -- he started screaming at me, when I asked "So, what the fuck does the extended warranty cover?" -- I talked to the supervisor and he was like, "You should send it in with us and we might fix it."

When I patiently explained that I couldn't really afford to lose my machine for a week, he was like, "You actually make a living with your computer?"

Hmm... laptop... in the middle of the day... a question that only a counter monkey could ask.

To make a long story short, I bit the bullet and just paid the money to an authorized dealer to get it fixed... and surprise! It was fixed 2 days later. Set me back a few hundred bucks -- but I'd been down for 2 weeks, that would've precipitated a more serious economic crisis.

I mean, that's the thing about this guy. He has a job. He has to work... how did it make any kind of economic sense to spend months screwing with that stuff? If he knew the problem and he was getting paid reasonably, he should've just gotten the work done then put up a bitter message in his blog or something. (As an aside, cancelling the extended warranty pretty much paid for the repair.)
posted by ph00dz at 6:58 AM on September 11, 2002

I work at a big corporation as a consultant. The company buys Dell workstations and laptops. We were continuously getting crappy customer service and bad laptops, over and over again (hundreds of them.) Finally, one of my fellow consultants threw such a fit and kept getting escalated that he finally reached, and spoke to, Michael Dell himself. The true lesson in the importance of escalation...

The company I'm stationed at also uses HP servers and their level of support for a company that has bought $10 million dollars worth of Netservers in the last year is horrible, at best. We even have a dedicated HP rep, who is fricking useless. HP "end of lifed" the netservers and my company has decided to go with Dell servers now because HP's support was so goddamn awful and supposedly Dell's is better. Let's hope being a huge corporation gives us better support than Dave.

Customer support is a joke from start to finish. I think this guy did all this just to see what happened in the end. Just for the sheer "oh-my-god-what-will-they-do-next?" thrill of it all. I thought it was hilarious. Fucking HP. I hate them and their servers are total POS.
posted by aacheson at 11:25 AM on September 11, 2002

Well here's a surprise...Multi-Billion Dollar, Multi-National Corporate fails to live up to it's warm and fuzzy customer service platitudes. Not to mention the fact that any and all "extra warrantees" you have to pay for aren't worth the time it takes to say "No Thanks". Having worked on both sides of the tech support fence I can say that this thing got blown way out of proportion.

First let me lay some blame. Two parties screwed up in this matter right from the get go: Compu Smart and Dave. It took two trips to these backwoods quacks to get the same answer "Uh...i me". Then as a customer you know there is a problem you have specific steps in how it can happen and yet you walk out of the shop both times thinking, "Okie Dokey..."???

Sure HP has to contract with these idiots to get service. But that's gotta happen to get service to all parts of a country that's only got a population of 30 million.

Sure it's a sad tale that that he spent so long trying to get an apology. But this would have and should have never happened if these two parties had worked it out up front.
posted by aaronscool at 5:15 PM on September 11, 2002

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