I hate you.
Or at least strongly dislike you.
Ok, I’ll tell you why. Less than 1.5 years ago, I bought a VAIO laptop. Spent a LOT of money on it, because it would also function as my home computer. DVD burner, 60 GB hard drive, 512 MB RAM, 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 (or something like that), blah blah blah. I didn’t buy the cheap model.
After owning the stupid thing for less than 6 months, a crack developed around the AC adapter port, and no, not from being dropped. Just from being a crappy piece of machinery. It looked like just a tiny little crack, and nothing was wrong with the computer. Other than the fact that I couldn’t run the Wi-Fi without the fan running constantly and that the battery lasted about 20 minutes unless I only ran the program “Notepad” and typed very slowly; then the battery might last 1.5 hours, if it was a good day, and if the sun set at exactly 7:47 p.m., and if the Teapot constellation could be seen in the late night sky. And if I happened to be wearing red.
Ten months after I bought the computer, the little crack started causing problems. Now I had to fiddle with the AC adapter if I wanted to charge the battery (though why I bothered is a mystery). I knew I should get the machine into the shop, so I took it to Circuit City, where I purchased the machine, and guess what. It was close to Christmas (yep, still under warranty, that computer was), and they would have to send the machine to Sony. Ok, go ahead. Well, the service center shuts down for inventory right about now, so we can’t even send it in until the 18th and you’ll get it back around New Year’s Day.
Tough luck, as I was packing up to move to Florida and just couldn’t let them have it for an entire month.
So then by the time I was all settled in here in sunny Florida, where the battery life isn’t any better and the fan still ran constantly, my warranty was up. No problem. I figured it’s just one teeny little part and can’t be that expensive. When things settle down, I’ll be glad to jump through whatever hoops need to be jumped through to send off my computer and get it fixed.
After trying a few times with your worthless website, which first off told me that my fancy schmancy super charged expensive laptop was no longer supported (mind you, this is only 1.5 years after I bought it), I dug around and found a phone number to call and talk to a live person.
Except not. I called and tried first to talk to your worthless voice response system, which reaaaaalllly has a hard time with 3-word street names. So whatever you do, never live on Treading Trodden Trail, especially if you expect that you’ll ever need to talk to Sony’s virtual idiot. You know it’s bad when the virtual idiot tells you for the third time, “I’m sorry. I do not understand your street name,” and you reply with, “that’s because you’re an idiot.” One of the first things I learned from Virtual Dufus is that if I want to talk to a real live person, it will cost me $19.95. And that in order to get me through to a real live person, VD is going to need my credit card billing information. I guess it does pay to live on Treading Trodden Trail after all, because I got to talk to Skippy the Wonderkid for free.
By this point in the grand scheme of rotten laptops, it’s very hard to even get this machine to stay charged/connected to power for long enough to open up Notepad and type “SarahK + Sony = Hate 4Ever! XOXOXO”. Much less back up the entire system. Remember that point for later, because it’s important in my world.
Skippy the Wonderkid, who reads his pre-printed Sony material to me word for word in robotic voice, tells me that Sony has a pricing structure for all non-warranty repairs. For minor parts replacements, that will be $249 + 16.60 shipping, which is a total of $295.60, ma’am. I, of course, have quickly done the math in my head (because I’m an auditor, that’s why), and I tell Wonderkid that the math doesn’t work out. “That’s only $265.60,” I say and then think, holy cow, did he say that minor parts replacements cost almost $300? While Skippy has me on hold so he can punch the numbers into his calculator before agreeing with my audit math, I start wondering how much a brand new Dell would cost.
Skippy returns and tells me that if I have a major repair, it will cost $14,000 plus tax. And if it’s just something tiny, it’s $104 plus parts. Okie dokie. Now Wonderkid already knows why I’m calling, as I’ve explained it to him in detail. So after he tells me the entire pricing structure so I can rejoice in the great deal I’m getting by having just a minor parts replacement, he says that my repair falls in category #1. Yay for me! I’m having a hard time containing my joy and thankfulness to Sony.
So I tell Skippy that I’m going to discuss this with Frank and why don’t you give me all the instructions for sending in my computer and if I decide to do it, I’ll do it. Skippy tells me that I have to include a list of accessories that I’m sending in the box with the machine. Hmm, Skippy, I’m not even sending you the whole machine. I’m going to take out the harddrive and keep that here, so why would I send you any accessories. (I say this nicer of course.) But then Wonderrobot tells me that I have to send the harddrive and I should back up my files first. The technicians will need that so they can comment on how lovely it is while they work on a part that isn’t connected at all to the harddrive. Okay, no thanks, I’ll send it without the harddrive. Skippy finally says ok, send it without it, and they’ll fix the computer if they can, but really you should just back up the computer first. “I can’t get the computer to stay on long enough to back up the files, and I’m really not a fan of the idea of sending you my only copy of everything.”
The rest of the conversation was more of the same, except I laughed when Skippy read my tracking number to me. “W as in whiskey…” I giggled. I guess Sony has driven him to such things, and I can see why.
Anyway, Sony, I hate you, and I’m not going to pay you $12,247 to fix my computer. Dude, I’m gettin’ a Dell.