Saturday, 27 September 2008

Technology failure

So... the new Dell charger for my laptop finally arrived. And guess what. It still didn't work. Bah. So I decided to contact their online 'live chat' (after failing to get any progress on the phone and being held in a queue for five minutes on a not free phone line). Eventually, after about 15 minutes, I managed to get onto the live chat... and after another ten minutes it finally connected. The whole exercise took nearly an hour... and included numerous ridiculous exchanges. I'm quite convinced that the people who man the live chat have no technical expertise whatsoever and are merely following flow-chart diagnostic guides. We eventually agreed that there must be a problem with the motherboard (which my rudimentary internet searches had already suggested). As the computer is two weeks (two weeks!) out of warranty I have to pay for repairs, so the agent arranged for me to be called the next day with a quote. £190 - which is about half the cost of the damn machine in the first place.

I instantly started looking for alternatives. Which, to be fair there are. Not only there are alternatives, but it would seem that the equally likely problem could be that the power jack needs repairing/replacing. A much cheaper operation. Would the Dell technicians have checked this or would they have just changed the motherboard and cost me £190 anyway. Sadly the best option for the repairs is out in Harrow (they were the only people I could find who weren't going to charge me just to open up the laptop and see what the problem is). Sadly because Harrow is a very long way from SE7.

I have, however, managed to get an internet connection of sorts (in addition to the desktop). I bought a wireless USB device which couldn't be made to work (of course) but a cable out the back of the router has done the trick and the office laptop can just about manage the job. Back on line... and what a backlog. It's been a busy week at work and I haven't had much time to do anything so I've huge amounts of email and blog to catch up with.