22 January 2008

The Next Hiatus...

…may actually be coming rather soon, although it's hard to say for sure. The hinges on this laptop have both broken, and as a result the screen is, shall we say, flaccid. It's very annoying and very difficult to use, but it was not the reason for the recent hiatus. It may, however, be the reason for the next one, as I think I may get someone to come out here and fix the thing. It's tough to say.

When I bought this machine 25 months ago I bought the 3-year extended warranty, mainly because I'd had such bad luck with my previous laptops. This one has been trouble-free up until this little incident. Well, the extended-warranty company, Service Net, didn't want to fix it. What did I pay $380 for if they won't fix it when it breaks? The first person I spoke to said they would only fix mechanical issues and this wasn't mechanical because the computer still worked. She also said the warranty didn't cover "physical" damage.

That's like your insurance company saying they won't pay you for your stolen car because the car still works… you just can't use it.

After reading the warranty contract info word for word I determined that A) there was no definition of "mechanical" in the contract, B) the word "physical" never once appeared in the contract, and C) the contract limitations failed to cover hinges specifically or movable apparatus generally.

I called back. I got another person, who said it certainly seemed the hinges would be covered, and I talked with a technician who said he would write up a trouble ticket and they would send someone out. Then I waited. Finally last night I got a call from somebody—four days after they were supposed to have called to set up the appointment—saying that they wouldn't cover the hinges after all because they were "cosmetic" (another word that does not appear in the contract limitations, or anywhere else). I said that was hardly the case and clearly nobody there actually knew what a laptop was. He put me on hold, came back and said they could only cover a hinge if the screen didn't work or failed to stay open.

Many of you have laptops. If both hinges broke, would the screen stay open? Would anyone—even a very dimwitted person—with even a casual knowledge of laptops, say the kind you'd get from visiting a Best Buy once in your entire life, not understand that when the hinges are broken, it means that the screen won't stay open?

He promised he'd find somebody to agree to fix it and call me back, which he did, and today I'm supposed to get another call to set up a time for a technician to visit and fix the thing.

This may or may not actually happen, but if it does… well, I'll let you know what happens. I'll even take some pictures.

1 comment:

Lucky Bob said...

Their insurance company must be part of an HMO or something. Money grubbing bastards, or maybe they are just incompetent. Remember to give everyone the benefit of a doubt, and never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity or indifference. Good luck on getting it fixed. I'm glad my Lenovo laptop has steel hinges now. Well that and the University does all the warranty repair work.