July 10th, 2006

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Gateway Annoyance

This is my first entry here, and hopefully my last. When it happened it was annoying and stressful; now it's just kind of amusing.

I have been out of the work force for several years (quit my job to go to grad school) and having trouble finding work due to a lack of current experience. I am currently temping as a computer support person and hoping to get an offer for the position I'm in. I started on June 1. That day I had to make some calls to Gateway to get hardware repaired under warranty. This was pretty easy. I had one new LCD monitor that had problems and a laptop with either bad RAM or a bad hard drive.

It started when I called Gateway's tech support line. Since we're part of a university we have our own account and PIN number and we call a different support line than home customers. I got through, entered our PIN and spoke to a human being in record time. I explained the problems and the rep said he'd send replacement parts ASAP. He looked up the address on our account and I confirmed it and gave him my name, phone number and email address as the contact person. Easy. No problem.

I should be so lucky. Monday, June 5 arrived. The hard drive and RAM arrived for the laptop, so I slapped them in, packaged up the old parts and sent them back in record time. No sign of the monitor. Worse, the hard drive on my computer was dead when I came in on Monday. My predecessor (who moved to another group in the same department) said she'd been having problems for months. I tried to reformat/reinstall, but the drive was dead as a doornail. Since Gateway had been so helpful and speedy before, I called them. The computer was under warranty and I was told a replacement drive would be arriving soon. Yay.

Tuesday June 6. Still no monitor. I'm having trouble working without a computer, but trying to be patient. I have a backlog of hardware and software work so I spend most of the day scurrying around fixing things.

Wednesday June 7. Still no monitor. No hard drive. In the afternoon the boss issues me a laptop to use temporarily. I check my email and see confirmation that the monitor was sent out June 1 and the hard drive on June 5. Then I look at the actual pdf forms and realize there's a problem.

Since we're a university, our address is something like this:

Myname
MyBuildingName, Room number
Street address

If they just bring it to the street address, there's no way to get it to me. There are several offices in the building and nobody accepts packages for anyone else. Without a room number or department name, the package won't be delivered. When I checked the email file sent to me by Gateway, I immediately saw that the hard drive had been sent to the building but the room number had been left off. I immediately emailed Gateway and let them know this. I included the complete address in my email.

Now, on to the monitor. Remember, I placed the order for the monitor and laptop hard drive/memory on the same phone call. The laptop memory/hard drive arrived a few days later. The monitor was still AWOL. When I looked at the order confirmation, I saw that it had been sent to the following:

SomeWoman'sName
SomeCompanyInOhio
MyStreet address

I have no idea who this woman is (she's never worked here) or how her company in Ohio got involved. I again emailed Gateway and told them that they needed to include the room number for the package to reach me and asking what was up with this woman and her Ohio company. I received an email response saying that the monitor had been returned undeliverable (duh) and would be sent back to me at the correct address. The hard drive was also undeliverable, and as soon as they got it back they'd resend it as well. The person said that the room number was on our file now so there should be no further problems.

June 20. Still no hard drive or monitor. I check the FedEx tracking info I was given previously and see that the monitor and hard drive were both returned to Gateway on June 12. I email them and ask for an update and a tracking number for the new shipments, which should have been sent to the correct address. I get email back saying that they had not resent the packages because they were returned as undeliverable. I again explained that the room number had been left off previously and gave them my complete address for them to resend the stuff. The Gateway rep replied back that he needed my credit card number.

At this point I started banging my head on my desk. We have a corporate account. This is replacement parts under warranty. I have been waiting 20 days for this monitor, which is making me look bad in front of the boss I want to impress in hopes of getting a real job with benefits. There is no credit card. I responded, using small words, and explained this to him.

Gateway responded, apologizing for the mixup. Then they asked me to verify the address. They again left out the room number, which I have given to them at least four times now. I respond, telling them that they. Need. The. F'ing. Room. Number. I give them the complete address yet again. I receive email again apologizing for the mixup and am reassured that the packages have been resent to the following address:

SomeWoman'sName
SomeCompanyInOhio
MyName
MyStreetAddress

Still no room number. Still no clue how this woman and her company in Ohio got involved. Defeated, I escalated this to my boss. I told him the whole story, printed out all the emails where I kept giving them the address and asking what was up with this chick in Ohio. Then I slunk off to my cubie while my boss contacted a manager at Gateway.

So, the support Manager at Gateway apologized. Since the shipments just shipped would be returned undeliverable due to the lack of a room number, he said he'd overnight replacement parts ASAP. I thanked him. He sent me a confirmation email. Again, no room number! Argh! I called him back and told him that the room number is the critical part of the equation. He assured me that it was a computer glitch - the room number didn't always print on the email conformation. Right. I bet myself $5 that the packages would be returned undeliverable. I waited around until the end of the day - no packages. I patted myself on the back and went home to bang my head against the wall since it seemed to be more productive.

The next day I called the Gateway manager and told him that I still didn't have the parts. He corrected the address and had them sent out again. They arrived by the end of the day, finally, on June 21. The kicker? You know how if you don't send back the bad parts they bill you? The billing address was:
SomeWoman'sName
SomeCompanyInOhio

And the packages were still addressed to:
MyName
SomeWoman'sName
SomeCompanyinOhio
MyRoomNumber
MyStreetAddress

It was the most awful packing slip I've ever seen. And I never did find out how this poor woman in Ohio and her company got dragged into this mess. Luckily for her I promptly shipped back all the bad parts. I just hope they arrived and Gateway didn't bill her, or she and her accountants are going to be very confused.

Know what's funniest about this? The boss buys Gateways because he had a bad tech support experience with Dell a few years back.
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Grrr....

My brother and I wander into Sears Hardware looking for a new battery for his drill.
He goes up to the batteries and they are in a glass case, locked.
Turns around and wanders up to the counter and asks for help.

Wanders back to look around near the case.

And we wait.

And wait...

And well you get the picture.

20 minutes later we walk up, the store is pretty much empty, no lines or customers, the girl is talking her head off to another co-worker.
We match eyes, she goes back to talking.

And we walk past her out the door.

Good that we did- we went to a place called Batteries Plus and saved $15 dollars.
Tiger Tiger

The Secretary Sucks, Not The Nurse

Blood test clinic.

One nurse.

Four 11:30 appointments with this one nurse.

I realise that people cancel appointments. I do. But do 75% of people cancel?

Please don't leave fasting patients sitting in the waiting room for an hour after their appointment time. This is your fault, obnoxious secretary, for overbooking the nurse. I heard her tell you to stop last week, when I was sitting in your waiting room for another hour.

It now says on my medical record that I presented queasy and shaking, which may skew my eventual diagnosis. Of course I presented queasy and shaking. I'm training for a damn marathon and I hadn't eaten or drunk in 16 hours.