Thursday, July 28, 2005

Just Say No!

First, my Apple Powerbook's hard drive just upped and died. Two years after I purchased the three-year $350 extended warranty I made my very first call to Apple Service. They couldn't find any record of my extended plan. Someone had misapplied my Extended Service plan to a 12" Powerbook instead of my 17" Powerbook. That was Friday. It took until Monday for Apple to recognize my warranty and let me talk to a technician about my problem. After trying a few diagnostic tricks, Apple sent me out a box to send my PB to one of their repair depots.

Then, the phone call. A technician found a "dent" on my Apple case and Apple decided to void my warranty due to "customer abuse." Not so fast, I went to law school, but perhaps more importantly, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck. Up the Apple chain of command I went and about 40 minutes and a half dozen intermediaries later, finally someone without a script said,

"Hey, we don't know if the dent caused the problem or not, but we think so. Tell you what Mr. Harris, we'll split the $975.00 repair bill with you. But we can't take a credit card, you have to send us a cashier's check before we will repair it."

Apparently Apple didn't just fall off the turnip truck, either.

One day later. I put a Linksys CD into my Sony Vaio to install drivers for my new Linksys Wireless Print Server. Nothing. The DVD-RW drive wouldn't have anything to do with the CD. The CD worked fine with my Toshiba notebook and the Sony drive wouldn't read any other CD's either. So for the first time since buying the Vaio 18 months ago, I call Sony pursuant to my $300 three-year extended warranty.

"Mr. Harris, there's no record of your Sony warranty, did you ever register it?"

"Yes I did, online, the day after receiving the notebook."

"That's no problem, we can register it now......oops, it says it's already registered."

"That's what I said, I registered it 18 months ago."

"Well, it's registered with no information, so I can't update it. I'm going to have to send it over to Contract Administration for manual updating."

"What about my broken computer?"

"Call us back in three business days."

So here I sit, two top of the line machines, two top of the line companies, two broken computers, two expensive extended warranties and two big fat ZEROS in customer satisfaction. Next time someone offers you an extended warranty, answer them with their own words when it's time to live up to their end of the bargain:

JUST SAY NO!


A

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

yes, A, there IS a Reality Claus.

I concluded long ago "Extended Warrantee" is really "Extended Cost" in disquise. The store and manufacturer buyers' warrantee for 30, 60, 1 year, whatever it is 90% of the time protects you from "Lemons"...if it lasts that long, it usually hangs in there for quite a while. Your individual situation, however, involves a lot more use than most. With the low relative cost of technology today, and the rapid rollout of advancing technology, it almost pays to just buy new, and better, stuff when things break..........just make sure you back up info frequently.

Gordon said...

Saw the link to your blog on the Gilder forum. There's not a lot of talk about stocks or the market here. What's the purpose of this blog? Would like to hear more about your system trading, even if it lacks specifics. Good luck with your notebook.

Allan said...

Gordon, check out the archives, a lot of stock related blogs, and a pretty comprehensive description of my insider-buys module for day-trading. It's there if you take the time to look.

A

Anonymous said...

Allan,

You are a professional. Why trust your professional computer needs to Sony? I have always used IBM ThinkPads. The product is superior, and the service is exceptional. My last Pentium based unit lasted 8 years. And when it needed repair and was out of warranty, they did it for free.

I updated all my drivers (about 20 of them) in one IBM sponsered download last week. Incredible.

You ought to consider Big Blue for your computing needs.

Ross

Allan said...

Hi Ross, thanks for the idea, but didn't IBM just sell their PC business to China? I'm running five notebooks now, one Apple Powerbook, one Sony Vaio, two Toshiba Satellites, and one Dell. Believe it or not, we could actually use one more as we like to allocate one trading acount per computer, with our browsers and e-mail programs running simultaneously and special proprietary filtering software dedicated to one computer each. A sixth machine would allow us to do some R&D separate and apart from critical applications. I ceratinly will take a harder look at IBM next time.

A

Gordon said...

I'm sure I probably overlooked a blog or two that explains this further, but sounds like the insider buying module consists of buying an "insider transaction" alert newsletter, looking for insider buys and trying to buy before everyone else. I'm sure it is more complicated than that. What additional edge have you added that gives you an advantage over the average Joe Schmoe doing the same exact thing?

What other systems do you have? The biotech pop system sounds interesting. What are some of the trades you made last week. It would be great to get some reports from the trenches.

Good luck with your trading and blog.

Greg Reiman said...

Hi Allan:

Unless you are traveling frequently, why not use desk top PC's? They seem to be more reliable as well as a bit cheaper. In addition to my Dell desk top, I have a two year old HP laptop w/17 inch screen (it's a big laptop), I bought the extended warranty and have needed to use it twice with satisfactory results. Also bought an HP PDA and it died after about two months, I took it back to Best Buy and they just gave me a new one on the spot.

Maybe you just need to take a vacation.

Greg Reiman

Anonymous said...

i was bounced between Sony and CompUSA & ended up spending more trying to repair a VAIO than the machine cost. no more Sony, no more CompUSA, since they didnt provide wervice. i ended up destroying the VAIO and starting over.

Anonymous said...

lol....never have and never will pay for an extended warranty. As some said, it truly is just an opportunity to spend more money on whatever you buy. I figure if the product I buy is high enough quality in the first place, I dont need an extended warranty. If it isnt, I dont want to be buying it.

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