On Friday, March 28th, I called Circuit City, did I mention that's where I brought it to be repaired, to the Fire Dog people there? Did I mention I brought it in on March 18th because I thought it would be quicker than waiting for the warranty people to send me a mailer and for me to mail it back to them because I was going out of town? Did I mention that on March 18th, they promised they'd have a diagnostic answer for me by March 23rd and would call me?
Okay - so on March 28th (yes, ten days after I brought it in), I called Circuit City and spoke to Dennis. Dennis wasn't sure about my machine but said he would go "in the back" to look for it and try to call me back within the hour (when he was leaving), if not I should call him back on Sunday. Well, the hour came and went and I never heard from Dennis.
So on Sunday March 30th (yes, 12 days after I brought it in), I called Dennis at about 11:30 in the morning. He said a tech had worked on it but didn't note anything on the paperwork and he would track it down and call me back. At 3:00 I called Dennis, having not heard from him, and he told me that after some checking, it appears that a tech did some windows diagnostic and replaced some corrupted Windows files and it was fine and I could come pick it up. I asked why a system restore (remember, I did that twice before I even brought it to them), wouldn't have done that. He didn't know.
So, at 3:30, we (Chris and I) went to Circuit City, to the back of the store to the Fire Dog people and asked for our computer. There we met Dennis. Dennis gave me my computer, that had been resting comfortably on the back ledge all booted up. He said he'd been working with it and it all seemed fine. So I said good and asked though, "Did you ever check the memory or the hard drive like you said you were going to do when I brought it in or did you just do this 'Windows diagnostic'?" To which he replied, well, really, I've only seen your computer in this last hour. To which I asked, "Oh, well, what happens if I get the machine home and it starts crashing again?" He replied, "Well, then you bring it back and it will get priority service." Priority service huh? Does that mean it only takes them seven days to look at it?
I'm getting smarter though in my old age, so I shut down the computer, turned to Chris and said, "You don't mind if I take a moment to reboot it?" He said, "I'm going to look at cameras." Did he notice something in my look that scared him?
And yes, of course, on booting up again, what happens? BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH!!!!!!!!!!
I am not happy.
My face turns a bit red.
Some, may even see steam escape my ears.
But I stay calm.
Dennis, immediately starts to fool around with the machine.
"Dennis," I say, "I'm thinking your windows diagnostic didn't work."
He scrambles and pages the tech who worked on the computer, Yanni, aka John (we couldn't get it straight if it's two guys or one guy, two names). Anyway, Yanni eventually returns from his smoke break and starts futzing with the computer as I stand there.
I say, "Yanni, did you check the hard drive or the memory like it says on my work order you said you would?" He replies, "There's nothing wrong with the memory." I reply, "Well, how do you know if you didn't check it? Also, the hard drive?" He's still futzing.
"Yanni, you've had this computer for 12 days, and you haven't fixed it? Any idea when it will be fixed?"
"Well, let me try replacing this file." He replies, without looking.
"Yanni, there is no reason for me to stand here watching you try to fix this machine. I want to speak with someone who can give me an actual date when I may show up at this store to retrieve my fixed computer or give me a new one (as per my guarantee)." I turn to Dennis. "Dennis, I'd like to speak with whomever is in charge of this department."
Dennis pages Eric, who is with a customer, but eventually arrives as Yanni talks to someone else.
I explain to Eric, this long saga that I just regurgitated for you above. Eric calls Yanni back over and tells him to run a hard drive diagnostic. Yanni tells him it will take about 40 minutes. "Eric," I say, "there's no reason for me to sit here and wait. When will you call me to tell me what is wrong with this machine and when it will be fixed?" Eric swears, after I express my cynicism, that Yanni will call me tonight (aka Sunday night), but give him two or three hours. "You swear, Eric?" "Yes I do."
Are you with me? Are you seeing a pattern? Can you guess what happens next? Yep, we leave the store, go about the rest of our day, and you're right, no call for Eric or Yanni on Sunday night.
Ah, let's fast forward now to Monday. I call Circuit City again, about 5:00, and ask to speak to Eric. "He's not in today." "Okay, how about Yanni?"
After 10 minutes on hold, Yanni picks up. "Yanni, why didn't you call me last night like you said you would."
"Oh, I had to leave, and I told the tech here to call you when it finished but he forgot."
"So, what's wrong with my computer?"
"Uh, I don't know, let me track down the tech and call you back."
"No, Yanni, I'll wait."
Eventually as I hear him talking to other people he gets back on the phone, "He's not here. I'll call him and call you back."
"Wait, Yanni, what time are you leaving today?"
"Yanni, whether you speak to the tech or not, I want a phone call from you by 6:00, understand?"
"Yes, I will call you either way."
Come one everyone, let's do it one more time. At 6:00 has the phone rung?
So I call Circuit City back again, and ask to speak to Yanni, after 15 minutes on hold, the switch board picks up and asks who I'm waiting for? I say, "Yanni but I'm tired of waiting, could I have the store manager please?"
Five minutes later, Pat picks up. I explain to Pat my tale of woe, and for the first time I receive, "That's wrong. I'm sorry this has happened. Let me look into it and I will get back to you."
"Tonight?" I ask.
And lo and behold, about an hour later, the phone rings. It isn't Pat but it's John (who I think is also Yanni), and John says they are getting a new hard drive from another store. He will be in at 11:00 tomorrow and will install it and reinstall the OS, which they're not going to charge me for (huh - don't get me going), and he will call me later in the afternoon to tell me the status. There's no guarantee that it will fix the situation because the hard drive diagnostic didn't show errors but that doesn't mean there aren't any (you think), but they're hopeful. If this doesn't work though, they'll have to send it out.
So two weeks later, they're finally agreeing that it's probably a hard drive problem.
Does this sound at all familiar to any of you? Can you say, Chrysler Sebring Oil Pump?
More to come later.