Saturday, June 13, 2009

Trying To Get My Laptop Fixed: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

I have a PC laptop that has served me faithfully for nearly four years. It's the first laptop I've ever owned and -- like my first vehicle (a 1991 Ford Ranger -- black with racing stripes) -- it was with me through the many ups and downs of my early grown-up years. When I got my first apartment, all I had for the first few days were:


A TV tray.


And my PC laptop.

And damn it: We were happy. :-)

Recently, however, my laptop fan went out, rendering it temporarily unusable. Now I know nothing about computer repair, but I was told by several people that replacing a fan was a relatively minor and painless exercise, one that would go pretty smoothly.

Were they ever wrong.

I first went to the people at Best Buy, where I initially bought the PC laptop. Now my warranty had long since expired, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to try and get it repaired at the place where I bought the thing in the first place.

Besides: They had the Geek Squad.

Unfortunately, when I met face to face with the Geek Squad:

Geek Squad: Sorry, we don't do on-site repair here.

Nev: Oh OK. Well, what do you do?

Geek Squad: We send your computer to our main headquarters in Chino Hills.

Nev: Oh. And?


Geek Squad: And what?

Nev: And what else do you do?

Geek Squad: Well...we have a lot of products and accessories available.

Nev: So you sell stuff?

Geek Squad: Right.


Nev: How does that differ from the rest of the Best Buy store?

(no response)

Nev: OK, so you can't fix my computer. How will this work?

Geek Squad: Well first we'll ship it to our headquarters in Chino Hills. That's a $35 shipping charge.

Nev: Of course.

Geek Squad: And then they'll run a $50 diagnostic.

Nev: What? Why the hell would they run a $50 diagnostic?

Geek Squad: To find out what the problem is.


Nev: Dude, when I turn on the computer, it says "Fan Error." When I turn on the computer, it says "Turn it off and check your fan." You told me that when you turn on my computer, the fan doesn't move. Haven't we determined by this point that the fan is the problem?

Geek Squad: Yes sir, but a diagnostic will verify that.

Nev: For $50.

Geek Squad: For $50.

Nev: Of course.


Nev: OK, so we ship it to Chino...

Geek Squad: Chino Hills.

Nev: Right, Chino Hills. We send it there, they run a diagnostic, and then they fix it?

Geek Squad: Right. If they can find the part.

Nev: Wait, they don't have the part?

Geek Squad: No sir. No Geek Squad or Best Buy has the part.

Nev: How can none of you have the part? You guys sell computers!! It's a laptop fan!!

Geek Squad: But it's a PC laptop fan. And we don't sell PC laptop fans.

Nev: Why not?

Geek Squad: (shrugs)

Honest to God, he shrugged.

Nev: So let's review: You want me to pay $35 for shipping and $50 for a diagnostic I don't need, just so some guys in Chino -- wait I'm sorry, Chino Hills -- can determine what I already know and call someone to find the part because they don't have it themselves. Did I cover everything?

Geek Squad: Yes sir. But the good news is, if they find the part, they can install it.


Nev: Well yim-pin f-----in yi-min-nee!!!!

Needless to say, I declined.

Then I went to Frys.

They had on-site repair.

But not the part.

They called their parts supplier.

They didn't have it.

Now I'm typing up this blog on a laptop Mac that my work lets me use.

Just for fun, I was in the mall the other night and dropped into the Apple Store.

Nev: Excuse me, but do you guys have laptop fans for your computers?

Mac Guy: Of course, sir. We have tons of them.

And he showed me rows and rows of laptop fans.

Every color of the rainbow.

Nev: And you fix stuff here?

Mac Guy: Of course!!

And now:

I heart Macs.


And now, after a brief one-week absence (because a lot of you yelled at me for taking it away), here is not one but two:


SOTS # 1: Like everyone who watched American Idol this season, I wasn't shocked at all that Adam Lambert was gay. But did you see that cover of him on Rolling Stone magazine?

With all due respect to my gay friends and readers -- and you know I love ya -- this is why I wanted the straight guy to win. :-)


SOTS # 2: Did you know that there are reusable menstrual cups?

I'll leave it at that. :-)


Mike said...

Great post, Nev. Jeni and I had what might have been the worst retail experience EVER with the Geek Squad. Jeni had a laptop that had issues from pretty early on. We took it to the Geek Squad, and after almost triple the amount of time they said it would take, they DIDN"T FIX IT! They didn't have to ship it anywhere, but also couldn't figure out how to fix it. We spent a lot of money for absolutely nothing other than aggravation, and ended up having to get rid of the laptop. I've always twitched just a little bit every time I go into a Best Buy after that experience.

Anonymous said...

Another one converted from pc's to macs. :)

Greg said...

eeeh, Macs have hardware failures too, and in 4 years will they find a fan for a broken mac fan? It gets tough to find a computer part outside of 2 years (though not impossible).

Next time hit up the internet for a fan that matches the one you need, buy it (it'll be cheaper than any store, maybe $10 for a fan) then find a local geek to do the work for you. Or just ship it here and I'll take care of it :-)

Another Suburban Mom said...

Sorry to hear about your laptop.

Yes I know that they make reusable menstrual cups. Didn't everyone?

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