Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Memoirs of a Warranty Holder

Do you want to hear it like it's girl meets tech and the rest is history? I'm going to tell it like a flashback story.

I type to you now from my new Lenovo S10-3. It is smaller than the one I purchased in 2007, and features an LED screen, larger memory, full sized keyboard and bluetooth capabilities. It also runs Windows 7 Starter (which has some downfalls). The casing is surprisingly a checked red.

I did not pay a dime for this netbook.

This all started in early 2010 when my netbook acquired a rootkit virus. I then had Brandon and my then roommate Garrett take a look at it. Brandon reinstalled Windows as a separate partition, but the kitroot was still in my computer. Garrett tried to use a USB thumb drive to install Ubuntu, but instead deleted all the partitions to my laptop. He then reinstalled Ubuntu on to my laptop. I used Ubuntu for a few months, but in May I was able to send in my netbook to be reimaged. I also asked to have my USB ports looked at, because the connection was loose.

I got back my netbook within a week with a newly reimaged hard drive and no change to the USB ports.

In November, my power cord started to lose connection. I received a replacement soon after reporting the failure; only, the replacement I received was half white and half black. I called in the discrepancy after realizing that it bothered me so much. A week passed, and I received nothing, so I called again. They told me it should be here, and they were sending another power cord. Three days later at a thrilling 8 AM, UPS called and asked for a current address. Lenovo had sent two sets of power cords to the address I lived at in 2008. Both sets of cords were delivered that day to the proper address. What I thought was funny (and not funny haha) was that one set of cords was the correct type and a solid black, the other was for a laptop I didn't own. I sent the mismatched cord and the incorrect cord back to Lenovo the next day.

This December, I was watching Confessions of a Shopaholic. I had reached the scene where a line of shoppers waited for entry into a sample sale. A second door was opened and the women ran screaming into the sale room. My computer froze in the middle of a high pitched wail. I held power button hoping to god to make it stop.

I called Lenovo reporting the hard drive failure as well as my USB ports being loose, and received a box to ship my laptop in for service two days later. I received it back right before New Years. The hard drive was replaced, but the case suffered cosmetic damages including scratches and cracks to the exterior. The machine also ran hot.

I contacted Lenovo about how I received my netbook, and was told that I would be contacted by a Customer Service Representative that handles incidents like this. Instead I was contacted by a Lenovo executive who sometimes handles these calls personally to hear about problems first hand. We took about two and a half weeks to talk to eachother, mostly because of my new sleep schedule.

He told me that most likely the parts and shipping costs for my netbook exceeded the price of a new netbook. He was sending me out a new netbook, and I was to send in my old netbook once I received its replacement.

And, here I am today new netbook in hand sharing the best advice I can give: If you own something of great value (at least to you) always renew the warranty. I renewed my warranty twice for $69.95 a year, have sent in my laptop twice and needed to replace a part. Knowing that the company I buy a computer from will do what they can to solve my netbook ills is priceless.

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