Don’t cry over spilled soda

A little bit of explanation as to why people haven’t been able to get ahold of me much lately…

Last week was a crappy week, and I won’t get into all the details of it, except for one part that’s needed for this little story. I was at work, with my laptop sitting next to my monitors, and I was dealing with some annoyances. During this, I had my earphones on, listening to some music on my Rio. I stood up for a second, I can’t remember why exactly. Since I had my earphones on, the cord of course pulled up with me. What I wasn’t aware of at the time was that it was wrapped around a full, newly opened can of Mountain Dew, which proceeded to spill over my keyboard.

This didn’t ease the day any. I cleaned up what I could, knowing that the keyboard was going to be sticky in a couple of days. The next day, I called IBM, whose tech support was superb from past experiences. I told them that the keyboard was sticking and also that my monitor is leaving these vertical light streaks. They sent me a box and I sent it back to them with the laptop.

So I was without a laptop for a few days. My desktop computer wasn’t even configured for a dual-head X session, didn’t have anything except a default Ubuntu desktop on it, and barely any non-base packages. I essentially made my laptop the main computer. Rather than deal with configuring the desktop fully, I decided to relax during the nights and play World of Warcraft and such.

So on Wednesday, I got a call from IBM about the laptop. They said they detected a spill inside the laptop and would have to replace the keyboard and motherboard. They said they would have to bill me $700 for this. I was in shock. It was under warranty and I certainly didn’t expect a fee like this. I asked if it was necessary, and they said liquid could short circuit it later. BS, I thought, it was working for days. They could just wipe whatever off, and there wasn’t that much that spilled in. However, they informed me that either they fix everything and I pay the money, or they don’t fix anything and they just send it back. In which case, my warranty would be useless. After a bit of grumbling, I gave them the billing info.

Today, I received my laptop. I looked at the check list. Replaced the plastic, the motherboard, and ran a virus scan. Huh, virus scan.. I didn’t leave a hard drive in there. Oh well. Wait, nothing about the screen? I had to check, so I performed my usual test. I powered it on and opened up a window. Streaks. Great. I used it a bit longer and realized something else. The right-hand side of the laptop’s plastic is warped. If I put my hand on it to type, I can hear and feel it creak. Too annoying to ignore.

So once again, I called up IBM and explained my frustration. They wanted me to duplicate the problem on Windows, thinking it was a Linux problem, but I assured them I already went through all this with the last person and we confirmed it was the LCD. They’re going to send me a box and I’ll be sending the laptop back to them, again. They tell me I won’t be billed for this one, so I’m going to hold them to that. What was interesting is that they claimed that they were going to escalate my problem to a higher priority division where it would get better care. They’re probably just saying that to ease concerns, and I hope that’s the case, because the idea of them having a division that would handle hardware better than the default level worries me.

I won’t be online much again for a week after Tuesday. This means no Galago, notifications, etc. development, unless I get things running on my desktop box (which is the plan). I will be checking e-mail while at work. If people want to send patches, please do 🙂 Otherwise, I’ll get back to development on stuff when I have a working system put together.

One thought on “Don’t cry over spilled soda

  1. Google for “IBM repair”. My blog entry about my bad experiences with IBM is in the top ten hits…
    The funniest thing is that they sent me back the laptop the second time as “unrepaired” (my phone wasn’t working any more, and they apparently have never heard of email), but the problem is gone now. Looks like by replaing the main board a second time they fixed it.

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