Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Poor Little Laptop v3.0

You might remember past problems I've had with my laptop. In the summer of 2005, the screen fluttered, then flashed brilliantly and then went black. And stayed black no matter what I tried. I had to ship the laptop off to the States and then fight with the service manager to do something about it . Two months after the catastrophic, laptop-life-ending event, I received a refurbished unit with my old hard drive inside it.

Then, in the summer of 2006, the same damn thing happened. And by same damn thing, I mean both the technical problem and the subsequent crappy service follow-up. I think this time they maybe improved to six weeks for getting the refurbished unit to me. This time, sadly, it was with a new hard drive so I lost a few things.

I was in Dublin this weekend and I came home on Monday to two not-so-nice suprises. #1 - The boiler wasn't working so I was without both heat and hot water. #2 - My laptop wouldn't turn on. Luckily, I had Peter's backup PowerBook with me so I wasn't completely in the laptop lurch. Not-so-Nice Surprise #1 was remedied this afternoon by the very nice boiler repair man who found that something I think he called a stat had shorted itself out and shut the boiler down. Not-so-Nice Suprise #2 doesn't look like it's going to be that easy to remedy.

This time, it looks like the laptop may have gone belly up in a whole new way. When I got ready to go to Dublin, I turned the laptop off, unplugged it, and put it away. When I came home, I got out the laptop, pressed the power button and nothing happened. No spinning hard drive, no lighting up icons near the mousepad. No signs of life at all. In previous breakages, the laptop would respond to the power button but the display was just fried. If I plug the laptop in, I get the battery light, but the power button still has no effect.

When Peter rang me to commiserate about this latest laptop difficulty, he asked me if I'd rung Sharp yet. Honestly, I would rather walk to Japan in my bare feet, steal the laptop components in moves taken from MIssion Impossible 3 and put the laptop together myself. At least that would be faster and involve less hassle. But instead, Peter is going to very kindly ring Sharp for me tomorrow.

If anyone out there is laptop shopping, think twice about Sharp (strangely, they don't make my model anymore) and if you have to go with them, do buy the 3-year extended warranty. I did and it's more than paid for itself.


At 13 March 2007 at 20:58, Blogger laurie said...

what an enormous pain. though any pain that produces a delightful paragraph such as this...

Honestly, I would rather walk to Japan in my bare feet, steal the laptop components in moves taken from MIssion Impossible 3 and put the laptop together myself.

...is worth it.

we have a little iBook that doug bought a year ago. the first one we had shut down unexpectedly and frequently, and if you hadn't saved something (which was usually the case), you were left fuming and text-less.

we had to mail it back and wait for a new one, but the new one has been no problem. good luck.

At 14 March 2007 at 05:36, Anonymous Primal Sneeze said...

I'm very wary about these sales guys trying to push extended cover on you.

I recently tagged along as advisor to a friend who was laptop shopping. I got her an extremely good deal on a Toshiba Qosmio. Worth €3000. Paid €1550.

Then the extended cover talk began. The deal on offer was 5 years' cover. The snags were that it had to be paid within 10 months; it didn't cover all faults; and it would cost €800.

We said no. Within 10 months she would have half the price of a new machine. Within 5 years the laptop would be obsolete. And most of what what covered is already covered by her house (contents) insurance.

At 14 March 2007 at 06:51, Blogger -Ann said...

Laurie - Thanks - if you can't have a sense of humour about it, you'd go mad. I am going to sic Peter on them - hopefully he can sort things out. I am so sick of sending it back and then waiting - I lose 2 months at a time.

PM - Yeah, sometimes extended warranties are a big scam, aren't they. I should have qualified my statement. I only paid $300 for the extended warranty, which covered parts and labour up to and included complete replacement for all technical failures. The coverage lasts for 3 years and the laptop originally cost $1600. I bought it online and then bought the coverage two weeks later, also online. Had I not bought the coverage, I think the laptop's warranty was only something like 3 months. And I would have already had to buy 2 more laptops.


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