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Your lifestyle, your quirk
I’m getting really, really tired of this.
Last week, I backed up everything on my computer, reformatted, and then reinstalled Windows 7. I haven’t put anything back on it; just used it for video meetings and some light emailing.
It crashed again. Viva la bluescreen.
You know what? I give up. All of my personal stuff is off it. It’s as empty as a computer can be. You win, HP. I’ll put it in a box and ship it off to you, even though you tried to cheat me out of my warranty (why did mine end in July when I bought the machine in August? What a mysterious world we live in!) and then tried to sell me new computers instead of fixing the defective one.
Their “dispatch center” is supposed to call me to make shipping arrangements. This has not yet occurred. I’m waiting, HP.
Before you ask, yes, I do have computer-loving friends who would probably be perfectly happy to rip into the machine and fix it for me…but that would void the warranty. And oh, HP is going to honor that warranty. Yes it is.
While all this was going on, I decided I needed a new battery for my laptop.
Long story short: my laptop (the one that’s taken on the bulk of my duties) came with a crummy battery (two hours, max, even when new). It’s now down to ten minutes. I contacted HP telling them I wanted an extended life battery. First they sent me to a parts page, apparently expecting me to decipher which part I needed on my own (they were not conveniently labeled with “battery” – no, they had weird names like WD14740 and such). While doing this, they suggested I get a new machine. I told them I wanted a battery, not a new computer, to send me the link to the part I needed. They sent me to a 6-cell. I said I wanted extended life. They sent me to the same 6-cell and said “I could get as much as four hours” out of it, and this was “an appropriate battery” for my computer.
Do they just lack basic reading comprehension, or is an extended life battery inappropriate for this machine? We may never know.
Increasingly irritated – remember, I’ve been dealing with the desktop – I went online with a chat agent and explained my problems. He showed me a 12-cell that might get me seven hours. It’s $150 bucks. It says on the page that it’s compatible with all HP laptops.
Hallelujah, I guess.
Well, it’s cheaper than a new machine and it’s a write-off for next year, so I’m doing it. It would be nice to not have to worry whether Starbucks will have an outlet for me.
The moral of the story? Computers are crap.
Let someone get the wrong idea…HP isn’t alone in this asshattery. Pretty much any PC manufacturer will treat you the exact same way. I’ve always liked the bang for my buck that I get with HP machines – my family has bought HP for years, and overall, they’ve been everything I needed. If this mess with the desktop and the laptop battery happened while I was still working 9-5, it wouldn’t be a big deal. These days? I don’t have the time. I want the machines to work. And I don’t want to have to ship them away for weeks at a time to get diagnosed, or spend hours on the phone with India or the Philippines to get them to work, or sit here going back and forth with sales people who lack basic reading comprehension skills, saying NO I WANT AN EXTENDED LIFE BATTERY, WILL YOU PLEASE JUST READ MY EMAIL, YOU DRONE?
Which brings me to Apple.
Apple is not necessarily the magic bullet in all this, no matter what cult members say. I used Macs extensively at my magazine job and yes, they’re wonderful machines. But they do have problems, and they do break down, just like any other computer. The difference here is that if I get a Macbook Pro and Something Goes Wrong™, I can haul it off to my nearest Apple store and beg the Genius Bar to look at it. There’s a real human element involved, even if they do end up shipping it back to…wherever Mac computers go to get fixed if the Apple store can’t fix them.
It’s that element of giving a damn that attracts me.
My HP computers have been good, solid machines. But I’m not at that stage in my life anymore where I can take countless hours to puzzle out what’s wrong with them…nor am I willing to put up with BS from sales associates and their so-called “tech support.” Thus, my next computer will not be a PC.
There. I said it.
Maybe a Mac will help curb my slider tendancies.