The long and short of it is this: I called, exchanged pleasant banter with the operator and was dispatched a geek, who I was promised would show up on an agreed upon day within a four-hour window. For this, I was charged $169.99 plus taxes, which totaled $184.23. What would I fetch for such a hefty sum? I was told the geek wouldn’t leave my home until the problem was fixed and that his work would be good for 30 days.
The geek arrived right in the middle of the four-hour slot dressed in the requisite white shirt and black tie. He was very nice and professional, which helped to assuage my fears of getting stuck with one of those Geek Squad perverts you might have read about in the news. Of course, with the geek present, my laptop and printer were in an amorous mood and playing nice with one another. Though I’m sure he’d heard it from a thousand poor saps before me, I said it anyway: “I swear this wasn’t working before you got here.” Though unable to duplicate my troubles on my main computer, I fortunately have an older Mac laptop that was exhibiting the same problem. The geek went to work, and I excused myself to catch up on some DVR.
An hour later, the geek emerged to tell me that the problem had been fixed, albeit via a workaround that’s not really worth explaining here. Point being: The problem was only half fixed. Before charging me full price, however, the geek offered up his professional opinion on my choice of printer, which boiled down to, “You should have gotten an HP.” An hour and 185 bucks later, that’s what I’m left with. And as a nice little prologue to the story, my computer now crashes every time I try to print. That’s new.
What I’m getting at here is the fact that even the so-called solutions in place to diagnose and fix tech problems are flawed. Not only that, they’re expensive. I paid $129.99 for this stupid printer, and nearly $200 to be told I should have bought a different one. And therein lies the problem with Geek Squad and services like it—technology has never been more disposable than it is today. When your TV used to bust, the guy down the street could do some minor surgery and have you back up and running for a reasonable price. Nowadays we throw the TV out and buy a new one. Not that we’re spoiled—manufacturers have made it more difficult and expensive to repair their gadgets, and far easier to buy the latest and greatest version. iPod anyone?
So, here’s my solution: Befriend the office IT guy. I don’t care if you have to dust off your Dungeons & Dragons skills or wear a multi-cell phone utility belt to work. A friend in the IT department is a friend indeed. The next time something electronic of yours puts up a fight, invite him over for dinner. Let it slip during casual conversation that you might possibly maybe could be having just a teeny tiny bit of tech trouble and if it’s not too much trouble maybe he could pretty please take a look.
Do you have any other choice?
Been Ping-Ponged back and forth between customer support lines? Had a tech problem that’s never been fixed? Got a better solution than mine? Share!<?i>single page
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