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[personal profile] awmperry
My wife has a Compaq 615 laptop. Compaq is owned by HP, and thus shares its tech support structure, although for reasons that will become apparent the word "structure" may be a misnomer.

Anyway, Tasha's been having trouble with her laptop; the power supply is erratic, caused partly by a faulty AC adapter and a loose power socket on the motherboard. It's a warranty repair, but the one-year warranty expired in February. Simple enough; buy another year's warranty, right?

Now, all my family's other computers are from Dell; there, to extend a warranty, one just calls them, gives them credit card details, and the warranty is immediately registered on the service tag. Five minutes, max.

With HP, it's another matter. First, one must navigate their godawful website to find the "care packs", of which there are a multitude even for individual models. Then one orders the care pack, waits for it to be delivered (by post), then registers the code to one's computer's serial number. In theory. In practice, it's even more laborious; a dispatch notification arrives, and a week later one calls them to ask where the parcel's got to. They get confused, stumble around for a bit, and finally activate the pack manually.

Anyway, "care pack" finally activated, we called for the repair. No trouble at all with the mobo - they sent an engineer, he arrived ten minutes ahead of the designated time on a Monday afternoon, replaced the motherboard, job done.

The AC adapter, though, was a different story. "No trouble," they said; "We'll send you a new adapter, it'll be with you before Friday."

Friday morning came, and Friday afternoon I called HP.

"It's showing as delivered," they said. "But here's the parcel ID, so you can call DHL and track it."

I did. DHL said the tracking number was invalid. I called HP again, but they'd clocked off for the day.

I called HP again this morning, and I got the real tracking number (in theory). I called DHL.

"This was delivered on Friday... it has your wife listed as the sender, and it's addressed to HP. Was it a return?"

No, I said - it was supposed to be a replacement part sent to us.

"There is another parcel reference here, from them to you, but it hasn't been handed in to us yet."

So I called HP again. The guy I spoke to reckoned someone in dispatching must have simply been asleep when he filled out the form, and got the "from" and "to" boxes muddled. Either way, he's sent off a new adapter, that should arrive here tomorrow.

In theory.

UPDATE (2011-04-19): It didn't get here today. But HP gave me the right tracking number on the first try, DHL found it, and it even had the recipient listed as the recipient. So I've booked a delivery slot, and it should arrive tomorrow between 1400 and 1600. Which is nice.


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