Anyway...about a month ago, I come home from work and try to turn on my computer. Try being the operative word. Nothing happened. No power light, nothing. I checked all the obvious things like the plug and the outlet, and they were all fine. The last time something like that happened, it was because the motherboard on my laptop was fried, and I'm not really good with the insides of computers. Software problems I can handle, hardware not so much. I had heard all the horror stories about Best Buy and their Geek Squad, so right off the bat, there was no way I was going to be taking it there. Unfortunately, I decided a smarter move would be calling HP tech support. Big mistake.
First I get some woman by the name of "Shakira" who takes all of my information, including what the problem is. She even wants my email address, even though I inform her that that will do her absolutely no good since my computer DOES NOT TURN ON, hence I will not be able to receive any emails. So she tells me that for $50 plus tax, they can troubleshoot over the phone, at which point I would send it in to them to have it repaired, which would supposedly include the $50. Against my better judgement, I agree. I was desperate.
I get transferred to the actual tech support girl who asks me to repeat everything I already told to the other woman. Her astute response when I tell her what's going on with my computer - "Wow, your computer is dead." (Gee, ya think?) So I'm like, "Well, is there something that would cause that that maybe you could help me narrow it down over the phone? I know a bad motherboard can do this. Could that be it?" And her response - "Since you can't turn the computer on, I can't do any troubleshooting over the phone. It doesn't sound like we can fix your computer. You should buy a new one."
My blood pressure began to rise, but I was outwardly calm. "Shouldn't the woman I spoke to previously have known that you couldn't troubleshoot my problem over the phone? Why did she charge me $50 for a problem you can't fix over the phone?" So she tells me that, while they can't troubleshoot over the phone, I can ship it to them and they can fix it for $379. Blood pressure continues to increase. So I'm like, "If you don't know what's wrong with it, how do you know it's going to be $379?" She didn't really have a straight answer for that, she merely said that it would be very expensive, and that since my computer is so old (3 years) I should just buy a new one.
At this point, I very calmy ask for my money back. She said that she can't give me a refund, because she provided troubleshooting over the phone - that it could be a motherboard issue.
At this point, I'm surprised steam wasn't shooting out of my ears. But still, I was cool as a cucumber, and I said, "Uh, no. I was the one who mentioned it might be a motherboard problem. You didn't provide any other suggestions. I am not paying $50 to tell you something I already thought could be the problem. I'd like my money back please." She repeats the same thing again. I ask to speak to a supervisor, at which point I am supposedly transferred to the department that handles refunds.
Once again, I repeat ALL of my information to another woman who claims that they cannot offer a refund since I received troubleshooting. And again, I reiterate that no, I did not. Again, she tells me to just buy a new computer. And then she offers to do troubleshooting herself. Two thoughts are running through my mind at this point:
1) If I already received troubleshooting as you claim, why would I need it again?
2) I thought you couldn't troubleshoot over the phone with a computer that won't turn on?
I state both this thoughts to her, and ask to speak to a supervisor. Again. Gee, all the supervisors are in a meeting. (How convenient for them.) So I'm like, "Ok, then just transfer me to someone who can give me a refund. "
I'm on hold, twiddling my thumbs for a good 5 minutes. She comes back and says the same thing she said before. Again, I ask to speak to someone who can give me a refund. Again, I get put on hold. Lather, rinse repeat. Three times. I'm surprised I haven't spontaneously combusted at this point. However, I was proud of the fact that I never once raised my voice or anything, even though I was getting pissed off beyond belief. Finally she comes back on the line and says that she got authorization to do the refund "even though I received the service". Like she's doing me a favor and I'm being unreasonable by asking for a refund. Riiiight.
Start to finish - that's one hour of my life I'll never get back. I still don't know if I actually got the refund, but if the charge is on there when I get my credit card statement, you better believe I'm disputing the charge.
After all that, I call Best Buy, because now I'm really desperate. The kid on the phone who couldn't have been more than 20 says to me, "It sounds like the power supply is shot. Bring it in, I'll do a diagnostic on it, and if that's the problem, I can have it fixed for you tonight." He sounded so confident, I lugged the whole thing down to Best Buy, and lo and behold it WAS the power supply. He fixed it in half an hour AND only charged me for the part and not the diagnostic. Total cost: $80I wanted to kiss him. I guess maybe they only suck when you have to leave your computer there. Or maybe I just have a decent Best Buy.
tl, dr: HP "troubleshooting" = "That computer is dead. Buy a new one." Refuse to give me a refund, claiming they had provided troubleshooting. I go around in circles for the better part of an hour until they finally agree to give me a refund, which I've yet to actually verify, and in the end, Best Buy not only troubleshoots my problem over the phone, they replace the part in a half hour.
Edited for a typo.