I’ve always been a big fan of both CarMax and Compaq/HP. They’re both losing my faith quickly.
CarMax has had a tough time fixing our broken power window. I called on a Friday to see about getting it fixed, since we were leaving on vacation early the next Thursday. They said to come in first thing Tuesday morning. So, we loaded up the kids, took both cars (so I could get home) and dropped it off. I made it very clear that I needed it back sometime on Wednesday. “no problem”.
We ended up getting it back around lunchtime on Thursday (thus making us late leaving on our trip), but the window hadn’t even been fixed! They had changed the oil and done some other things, but never had time to do the window.
The HP story is even better. Many of you know that I got a shiny new HP desktop a few months ago, only to have the hard drive die about 45 days later. HP and Circuit City handled it pretty well, and the PC has been doing well since then. This story is about my three year old Compaq laptop.
This laptop has been great. It’s been on a half-dozen youth retreats as well as various trips to south Georgia, Kentucky, Florida and Michigan, and it’s held up very well. About a week ago the screen went dark. You could still faintly see the text on there, but the backlight was shot. I did some research and determined that it was likely the inverter board that died. I pulled the laptop apart and got the inverter board out so I could order a new one. It didn’t have any info on it that would help, so I decided to call Compaq. Here are parts of that conversation:
Me: My screen has gone dark and I suspect it’s the inverter board. How can I order a new one?
Him: You mean the motherboard.
Me: No. I mean the inverter board.
Him: Oh. The inverter board? Let me talk to my technical supervisor. I”ll be right back.
Him: My supervisor says it might not be the inverter board.
Me: Ok, great. What else might it be?
Him: Well, it could be the USB cable for your floppy drive.
Me: What? That makes no sense, not to mention I don’t have a floppy drive.
Him: Or maybe it’s the hard drive in your monitor.
Now I had to stop and think. Did he really say that?
Me: Did you say the “hard drive in my monitor”?
Him: Yes, the hard drive in your monitor might be bad.
At this point, I let him have it. I’m not an expert on inverter boards, but I know when I’m dealing with a complete moron. I asked for the technical supervisor. The conversation pretty much consisted of me asking for an inverter board and her telling me that they don’t exist and/or I can’t order one. Telling her that I was holding it in my hand didn’t help convince her that it was a real part.
So, I got her supervisor. He simply said he’d transfer me to their parts department and I could order it there.
Sometime during the transfer I got disconnected. I found one on eBay instead. It should be here tomorrow and we’ll see if it solves the problem.