Monday, October 8, 2012

win some and loose some

While I was in the nursing home I managed to get an appointment scheduled with outside physical therapist. Actually I had a lot of help from the Social Worker on staff at La Jolla Nursing center. If you remember, the people at vocational rehabilitation (Voc-Rehab) arbitrarily decided that my handicaps were too severe for me to return to work and told me I needed a doctor to over rule their decision. Well as it turns out, my primary care at the VA says she's not qualified to make that call and wrote a consult for me to get evaluated by a licensed Physical Therapist. And at first glance the guy was confused when I told him what the VA was saying. So he did an assessment where he measured strength and range of motion and asked some questions about my endurance in the wheelchair and pronounced me fit to return to work. Oh yea, he did ask questions about what line of work was I trying to pursue and when I told him "Computer Security" and not dock worked or space shuttle pilot, he was all for it. Not bad for a guy with a current diagnosis of quadriplegia, huh?

I was hoping to write my blog from the keyboard of my new HP Pavilion 7000 that I got for my birthday. But NOOOO!
That would be too easy. It started like this. On August 12, I decided that I wanted a new laptop for my birthday and went shopping online, first at Amazon and then, just looking for model names, at And wouldn't you know it? HP was having a sale and the computer I wanted was discounted $150.00 below what it cost on Amazon. So on August 13 I made the order. And on August 14 I went to respite care. I had made the decision that we were not going to celebrate my birthday while I was in a nursing home, in my mind it was just a little too creepy. So we put it off until I returned from the care center and on Sunday 30 September   we celebrated my birthday. But when I turned the computer on it said "No boot device detected, install an operating system." Several attempts to restart lead to an error that said "Smart drive detects an eminent hard drive failure, contact HP tech support" and that's what I did. When the rep came on the phone I described the problem and told him that I wanted to return the computer to exchange for a new one that actually WORKED.
But it had been in my possession for more than 21 days and the rep kept repeating
It was like he was chanting his mantra,
over and over, again and again
I told him
I have a policy too ya know.
So on we went for 10 minutes shouting our policies at each other, when I asked to speak to his supervisor. Another few minutes go bye and I'm explaining the problem again to another person, who systematically responds with
it appears this is a corporate mantra at Hewlett Packard and not merely that of the service department. Because I asked to be escalated to that person's supervisor and he knew the mantra also.
And despite my employing the
They all just kept reciting it over and over until it was now my mantra as well.
I was shouting a the top of my voice at my iPhone and all they did was recite the mantra.
And finally I asked "What are you going to do for me?"
He gave me the number to their sales department and told me to call them on the next business day and see if they could waive the policy because he could not. The sales department knows the mantra so well I'm convinced that they wrote it. The lady was very patient but adamant that I was to  blame for waiting so long to open and test the laptop and even insinuated that I might have broken the computer and was trying to get a new one to make up for my error. That sent me into a long drawn out string of profanities, most of which were probably lost on the lady on the receiving end. And after awhile she told me I needed to talk to the service department to resolve the warranty problem I was experiencing. So I went back to the service department, fully schooled on the corporate return policy and started troubleshooting with the techs. They determined that the hard drive was defective and should be replaced (Really?). And all I had to do was give them my credit card number to ensure I would return the defective hard drive and they would put a new one on the truck immediately. This was an affront to all I held dear. I was going to be held up for more money to pay for a computer that didn't work. "Are you serious? Do you know how unfair that is?" I shouted at the tech, and hung up on the call. You see I was home alone and had no way to access a credit card even if I wanted to. But my stupid ego wouldn't let me say that to the guy. Besides, my medical problems are none of their business. About 20 minutes later my son came in and gave me my visa card and I called HP tech support. Problem was, no one made a tack of the progress of troubleshooting the laptop hard drive so I started from scratch with a brand new rep and a half hour later I was being held hostage via my credit card to pay for an old broken harddrive to get a new one sent.

Two days later and the new drive arrives and fortunately there happens to be a certified PC repair tech standing in my living room. And with his assistance we install the new drive physically in the laptop. But unlike the original which should have booted to a startup sequence. So we have to install the OS from a series of recovery discs. The system boots from the CD-ROM and promptly reports that there is no hard drive in the computer. WTF? So  we open the case again and connect the drive to  the secondary controller and try again. This time the CD-ROM finds the drive and goes through a 68 minute ordeal of putting the computer to factory original, and when prompted, I click continue,  the CD ejects, the computer restarts and comes up with an error "No boot device detected."

Another round of calls and explaining to the techs, who for some reason have no idea that they
and more frustrations until they agree to send a box for me to return the laptop  so they can repair it and send it back to me.
In my mind this feels like being forced to pay full price for a refurbished computer all because they
The box was taken to  FedEx by my lovely wife and they told her it would be in Texas at HP in 2 days.

 on top of that, I upgraded my iPhone to the new iOS6 and it died completely. So I'm doing a complete restore of that right now.

How's your day going?


MsDarkstar said...

I know where at least 1 HP facility is in Texas and you'd think they had hoardes of gold in there for all the security they employ.

Hope they resolve the issues and get you a working computer.

(And I could graphically describe to them what they can do with their POLICY)

Ms. A said...

Oh my! Well, my day is going better than yours did. We just went through some issues with a TV that lasted four days. Thank heavens it wasn't the kind of ordeal you went through!

Charlotte said...

Kurt, the next time I think that I'm having a bad day, I'm just going to re-read this post!

Karen said...

Holy crap.. my day was better than yours.. and I went to the Dentist!

Cloudia said...

YOU are infinitely more important that the tech - as annoying as it can be. It is beneath you, and I know you will get it squared away.

Step at a time, you are already one of the biggest winners I know!

Warm Aloha from Waikiki,

Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

momto8blog said...

I think I know that whole dept.
good luck getting everything working!!!

Heidi said...

Oh my gosh! Super frustrating. I' m thinking you maybe give Hewlett Packard a little trick as a Halloween treat. I think we can come up with something. Congrats on getting the go ahead from the doc. Here's to you rockin' out the Computer Security world!!

Cloudia said...

how are you, my friend? hope you enjoy your week!

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

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