IBM Carry in Customer Service Sucks (almost)

Mon, Oct 04, 2004

A "personal" Notebook is a Laptop which is very personal and I adore my Notebook however old, slow or bad looking it is. It has all my works, everything that earns my living. I use it more than anything else, not like those hot shot corporate heads who have shining Notebooks just for Word, Excel and Powerpoint. I have more than three servers, an Apache, JRUN for Cold Fusion, FlashCom server and IIS, running on it (one at a time though, 2 max). If you leave me alone anywhere with my Notebook and just an internet connection, I can start earning my living straight away, spawn a mini office right off. And currently I cannot afford to change to one of those sleek and kick-ass T41s though I really would love to; so I have to stick to my IBM R40, which I bought during early days of its release (I think somewhere around January 2003), imported directly from Singapore by my dealer (it was yet to be released in India then).

So, with such sentiments, when one day the screen showed a "Fan Error", I felt sad and knew it's time has come for a check up. I went to the IBM Support Centre in Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai, India and had to sit and wait among the people who all looked like errand boys, peons, carrying Notebooks of their boss. Then the technical guy told me, "keep your laptop with us and come on Monday". "What, that is impossible! I can wait for you to look at it but keeping there, impossible". Finally, I agree to bring it someday when I can leave it for a day, told them I bring in one day before their office opens and take it before their office close, agreed.

I think I forgot to tell you about the lady interacting with me at the reception desk, she was shouting "Floppy, Do you have a Floppy drive". Damn, it took me many flashes of seconds to go to the past and get back, floppy, floppy, floppy, two size, small, big, 1.2 MB, 1.44 MB, my first interaction with a Floppy (big one), how carefully had I bought it, kept it away from dirt, dust, humid during my school days. "Floppy!", she shouted again, "Yeah!, sorry I don't have one (and never had one in almost three years)". "Excuse me, can you please speak a bit softly, you sound like a worker in the leather tannery at Dharavir". Dharavir, Mumbai, India is one of the biggest slum in Asia, may be in the world and is a very dirty place. Well, the lady never talked to me on my subsequent visits to the centre, I am dealing with another guy in the support desk these days. I wanted to upgrade the wi-fi and the RAM too, and all tax additions have trippled the cost here in India.

Then I took my usual back-ups, double check this time to mirror all contents of the Notebook. The datas are extremely important for me. If any thief would take my Notebook, I wish s/he returns the hard disc to me, then I will wish him good luck for his work. I even downloaded an encryption software to encrypt some files. All set and I reluctantly deposited the Notebook at the IBM office only to be released with the problem not solved when I double checked at home. I am not even writing here all the words that I exchanged with the technical support, customer support who all seem to have some guidelines of answering questions and nothing beyond that. When asked what are they, "I am a Computer Engineer!". I was about to say "I failed my High School but I sound better dealing with this situation, you P*****head". I think we Indians are very good with mundane, repetitive works. That is why we are the best place when overseas companies decided to get their works bangalored. The best people doing the best work at the office were the security guards, the floor cleaner, no mistakes, everything perfect doing the repetitive works all day without applying any logic. I almost slipped on the shining circular big floor of the office; girls should not walk on the floor with just skirts.

I finally was able to coax them into getting me a new Fan and the related controller (likely the whole Motherboard) changed. I am keeping my fingers crossed, WHEN that will happen. I am still on the IBM's Three year Warranty.

Well, they say, it pours when it rains. Let me get a bit into details today. First I do not trust many things in the world, so I have back-ups of almost everything save a Girl-Friend (yeah, once my girlfriend asked me "Do you have a back-up girlfriend just like you have back-ups of almost everything.") I have two cable internet connections, two dial-ups, few mouses, keyboards around, almost everything. I had signed up even for two mail servers for my site. Ok, very recently both of the mail servers started freaking out (the host and the external mail server). The technical guy at the external mail server told me to re-install my browser (lol). I slammed the phone down.

Knock Knock! "I have an appointment with you". "What, when did you confirm the timing". That HSBC bank sales guy woke me up to talk to me about opening an account in their bank, all kick ass features but he mentioned the catch in a low careless whisper "quaterly maintenance of $2222 (INR 100,000 precisely) in your account". I told him to call me later and get a time fixed and come again. I have not even woken up to prepare the documents they want. Not to mention the fact that I have not checked my mails for the day, and brush my teeth which is now like a long frustrating religious ceremony every since the tooth-ache.

My tooth-ache was gaining momentum in the midst of all these. My dentist, a nice sweet speaking middle aged lady who operates from a residential colony, told me "Your milk tooth had not fallen off and your wisdom tooth is not growing up". Oh! it translates to you are still a kid and you are not clever enough. Really! I think that is why I wanted to watch "Alien Vs Predator" yesterday but my sister forced me to watch "Dance like a Man" along with her. I told her, it sounds so "old", she told me "say, matured".

All this (and many bad things happening to me recently) and add to it that mail spam and blog spam have tantamounted like hell. And as if not enough, recently a simple and not so much British Pound Wire Transfer from Edinburg, UK took 20 days where the worst cast scenario I had encountered before was three working days from other parts of UK, or any part of US or Australia.

And I think I have left out the confusion over Flash Europe too, where I cannot decide now what to do, visas, tickets, hotels. I think, the last month and this month sucks for me, TV sucks, Cable TV Sucks, Movies Sucks, Computer Sucks, Internet Sucks, Mail Server Sucks, Food Sucks, my tooth sucks, banks sucks, technical support sucks, my website sucks, my notebook sucks, my eyes sucks, the Levis Show Room and the attendants sucks, telephone service sucks, my grocery supplier sucks, the milkman sucks, tele-marketing personnel sucks, almost everything sucks.

My Dentist don't suck, she tells me nice stories while working on the tooth. Friends don't suck, I am tying up with 2 friends on new business perspectives. Books don't suck, DVDs don't suck, ATMs, Debit Cards don't suck (credit card sometimes does). I will try to compile more of what sucks and what doesn't suck.