In the capitalist world, it is said that the companies survive on the hyper-consumerism of the people. The highly competitive economical scenario results in an environment where (as they say) consumer is the winner, but not without a fight.
A few weeks back, my Compaq Presario Laptop 2575us went bad. Well, the laptop is 2 yrs old and it has already been serviced twice so I guess my patience thresholds have diminished over a period of time. But this time around a person with even immense patience could have lost his mind. So here’s what happened. My laptop’s S-video port had been dysfunctional since the time I can recall but I never had so much time to let my laptop go out of my hands. This time when I sent it for repairs my laptop almost disappeared from the face of the earth for almost 25 days. And when they returned it to me to a wrong address I had a premonition of difficult times. The “repaired” laptop even failed to start.
This really infuriated me coz my 25 day wait had gone down the drain. So I called up the customer care and they asked me to ship the laptop to service center yet again. But this time around they wanted me to wait for 3 days before I could FedEx it to them. It was completely unacceptable to me. So I spoke to the supervisor and became as adamant as a stone. I continued to ask him for next day shipping and he continued to repeat that he could not do that. A 2hr45min sparring continued on the phone and it resulted in him being the loser as he disconnected the phone. He kept saying that this discussion is going nowhere as we cannot reach an agreement and I kept insisting that the call had multiple destinations : 1. To the HP supervisors and 2. To the BBB .
This guy called himself Nick and he also refused to give me his employee number. I knew very well (because of past experience that Compaq uses words like “You have no proof for your requests” etc.) so this time I needed some real strong evidence of my conversation. So I requested the permission from this Nick guy to allow me to record the conversation. I think this made him a little wary of my intentions. But still he did not give me his details. I think he was really scared because he felt that my wrath could result in him facing the music from his bosses in Palo Alto, CA. There were a few interesting discussions, for example, he said “I am Nick and you can identify me with this name alone.” to which I retorted by saying “Well…I know that Nick is a common name in U.S and you guys might as well redirect my call to NY Knicks judging by the way things are going.”.
So the next day I called up the HP Customer Care Service Manager’s Line at 1-877-917-4380 , code 94 option 1. This time I spoke to a guy called Douglas Gilmore who was equally tough with me (if not more). He refused to acknowledge any of my concerns initially. But later as the conversation progressed, it went on from being just a plain discussion to a heated argument. However, I did not utter even a single foul word because I knew that he could use my language as a pretext to disconnect my call which I was not willing to risk at all. So throughout the discussion I kept my head cool and tried to explain the things to him. But after going through the history of the whole thing, he realized that I had suffered a lot because of this laptop and that the attitude of the Customer care was rather cold. So he finally agreed to give me a replacement after much requests. This was probably my best argument till date and I think that it was some good thinking on my part as well as some codial behavior on the part of the managers that I could get what I truly deserved: a replacement to my defective laptop.
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