Computer heal thyself

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 June, 2016, 5:26am

A couple of years ago, I got to know Ken in Xiamen very well. Ken was the technician on the end of a tortuous hotline for an American personal computer manufacturer and the only person in the company who was in any way helpful through 18 months of frustration, when almost every element of my new PC - except the mouse - failed.

To be fair, after many wasted hours with Ken, the firm did send me a 'gift' by way of apology - perhaps inevitably, it was a mouse. I was reminded of this recently because my wife is going through a similar farce with another US maker of PCs. She has only had the machine for six weeks but already requires a second home visit by a company technician.

Trying to coax one out to the New Territories is proving difficult; one of a series of phone calls made to arrange the visit was 45 minutes long, mainly because the company representative was insisting our village did not exist - despite the fact a colleague had visited not two weeks previously.

I suspect deferral is part of company policy for these firms - they have your money; why go to more trouble for no additional gain? An owner may even try to fix the problem themself, thus voiding the warranty.

There is danger in playing this game, though. When I did finally extract a refund, I invested it in a Mac, which - touch wood - has yet to break down.