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Find the right Geek

10 September 2008

I am a technologist, straight and simple.  Every family has someone they go to for help making things work and I’m usually the one.  But, what do you do when your OWN equipment starts having issues?  I am notorious for abusing laptops… almost as bad as I treat my mobile phones.

So, a couple of years ago I bought a multi-year plan on a laptop from CompUSA… I figured I bought a system at a significant discount and could afford to pad the price back upwards by a couple hundred and still feel like I got a good deal.  Turned out to be a good investment.  The power plug came loose one day and the good technicians at the (now closed) local CompUSA location indicated that the laptop would need a new motherboard and would have to be sent back to the manufacture for replacement.  14 days later I was up and running… they even encouraged me to detach my hard drive and use it in an external enclosure (best advice ever!).

Then, last October when I needed a new laptop for my entrepreneurial efforts I bought a Sony VAIO from Best Buy.  I paid an extra $100 or so to have a 1-year fixit contract.  The biggest thing, or so I thought, that it would buy me was replacement of a broken LCD panel.  Needless to say, the computer was never “quite right”.  I was never able to create any “recovery disks” (which should have been my first clue).  Finally, I concluded that it was a hard disk problem… probably had been since the day I bought it.

So, I brought it in to my local Best Buy for service under contract.  First thing they asked me for was the “recovery disks”.  They said that they had a replacement hard drive waiting on the bench, so hurry and get my disks from Sony.  I contacted Sony and ordered my disks, paying an extra $30 or so for expedited shipping.  Once they arrived, I ran the disks into Best Buy and was told the Geek Squad would have me up and running in a few days.  I waited a week and never heard anything from them.  So, giving them another couple of days, I dropped by while out on another errand.  “We have everything but two drivers from Sony.  We’re waiting on a response from an email and will let you know once we have it working and fully tested” was the answer I received.  Then radio silence again.  I waited another ten days and went by the store late last night to check on the progress.

This time, I was able to talk to “Senior Counter Intelligence” Geek Squad agent Skylar Sumners.  He took my paperwork into the back and emerged with my laptop and disks.  Sadly, the disks had NEVER BEEN OPENED; they remained encased in the plastic as received from Sony.  There was NO extra hard disk.  It was as if I had only dropped the laptop off the day before.  Thankfully, I had a receipt given to me by the original (inept) Geek showing that I had in fact dropped it several weeks before.  Agent Sumners, however, promised that he would have it working by noon the next day.  He called about 11:30am and told me it was ready for pickup… hopefully it will be ready.  Now, I just get to spend the rest of the week reloading software and migrating data from my external drive back to my laptop… oh such fun!

Moral of this post… Stay after them.  Don’t wait 10 days for communications from any vendor.  Or, just find the right Geek in the first place.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 10 September 2008 6:51 pm

    I’ve gone through three laptops in three years.

    1. I gave to my mother because it was suppose to come with wireless installed. It didn’t. (DELL)

    2. Stopped working cause….. I don’t know. (HP)

    3. Still working mostly fine. Have few complaints except that I can’t hear music or audio for DVDs. It sucks. (Toshiba)

  2. 14 September 2008 6:54 am

    Next time give Lyons Computers (251-5977) a call.
    Out turnaround times are MUCH shorter, we carry spares,
    and are much more responsive.

    Tip for Zackery — remove your device (system->hardware->device manager in XP)
    and add it again. If that doesn’t fix, update your driver. It is also possible that
    on your Toshiba you are running on “Energy Save” mode which dulls the LCD and turns off sound.

  3. Andy permalink
    29 September 2008 7:12 pm

    Dude. Not to be ugly, but you’re the go-to guy in your circle of family and friends, and you don’t know how to purchase a hard disk for your laptop, format and reinstall Windows?

    That’s bad enough. But entrusting your laptop to the Geek Squad. Come on. I almost have no pity for you. You shoulda known better.

  4. 29 September 2008 8:10 pm

    Andy… you’re not ugly, but I have soooo many other important issues in my life including family and launching a new company that it’s not a good division of labor to do my own hard-core computer maintenance.

    It’s not a matter of knowing better, but I should have expected better.

  5. Skylar permalink
    8 June 2013 12:14 pm

    So I was narsasiticly googleing my own name and found this post. I am glad I was finally the right geek. I have long since moved on for that job and you are absolutely correct about the work of the geek squad. Most of the staff in the stores are just glorified sales staff you really only get a couple of guys in each store that know what they are doing.

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