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Monday, August 22, 2005

Adventures with tech support

See UPDATE below

Well, I guess we'll find out soon just how good Sony tech support is...

In recent years, I've had mixed results getting product support from various big name computer and peripheral manufacturers. No names, but [OPINION!] HP's tech support really stinks. heh Dell, once ya get through the maze of voicemail and call back a few times to get someone who speaks intelligible English, is not half bad.

Called Sony this a.m. about Violet, Lovely Daughter's Sony Vaio notebook. Not an auspicious beginning... She registerred it online the very day she bought it. They had no record of it. Not only that, their automated call system had "identified" the caller ID-blocked number I called from as someone with an open incident on a Sony TV.

So far, so bad.

Got her registered... sorta. Although she bought Violet in January, and thus was within her one year parts/service warranty, they wanted $250 to repair Violet. Said she wasn't in warranty.

Almost strike three. Asked the umpire to check his glasses, AGAIN informed tech support of the purchase date in January and was told to fax the reciept to get clearance for service.

OK, faxed. Now, "wait 2-3 hours for it to show up in the system and call back."

Oooooo-Kay. We'll see. The 8-month-old reciept is virtually illegible. If they hadn't lost her original registration, Violet would already be on the way in for repairs under warranty.

We'll just see.


OK, happy ending. Rest of the story? Well, since you ask so nicely, sure.

First of all, had to call tech support because the documentation with the comp is extremely skimpy, NO tech specs, manuals or FAQs on the Sony tech support site referencing this comp (although there is a full library of driver and patch downloads). So, had to call tech support just to get info on whatever quirky fault could have caused the issue.

Called back at appointed time. Went through the voice-actuated auto-voicemail thing. Got connected to a tech who promptly called me by someone else's name... cos the automated voicemail system had shuffled me to someone along with someone else's trouble ticket (although it had read back to me my own TT# for verification). I think they need to work on their automated system.

When the tech finally located my TT, he verified that the fax had been recieved and that Lovely Daughter and Violet were registered and covered under warranty. Then he had me run through the same procedures I'd already tried on my own, then with the tech this a.m., and... Violet started right up.

It was the dreadlock wig and chicken bone rattle, cos I did not one single thing different to this a.m.'s sessions—the one before calling tech support and the one after.

We were both puzzled. So, "...reset the BIOS?"

"OK, let's do that."

"How? It's not in the docs."

He gave me the secret handshake, I reset the bios, we did a buncha other nonsensical stuff to make ourselves feel all techie and Violet just flat didn't care. But Violet's such a lil lady, she kept right on booting right up through it all.

The techie did try to blow some smoke on causes of the initial non-booting issue, but although my B.S. detector was blaring in my ear I just shut up and let him feel cool. Just glad Violet decided to be cooperative. Finally figured she just needed to sleep in a lil longer and didn't wanna wake up.

Girls' day in.