I promised an update on Computer Meltdown 2008:
It appears my motherboard is fried. For anyone familiar or who has had something like this happen, it’s uber-expensive to fix, and under a purchased extended warranty so you would think I’d be ok, right?
Not in the least.
There is no local Best Buy to us here in Fort Polk, LA. The nearest is a store in Lake Charles, LA, an hour and a half away. A store, I’m told, that will take my computer and ship it off to Kentucky to determine my mother board is fried, and then decide upon whether or not to fix it or “junk it” and get me a new one.
Sending my computer off… somewhere.. with my pictures, documents, LIFE on it. Say wha?
They don’t repair computers right there at the Geek Squad. They send it off. Sending it off will force me to have to drive three hours twice in order to bring it there and pick up either a repaired computer or a new computer. I spoke to COUNTLESS people up and down Best Buy and Geek Squad yesterday, the day before.. to avoid the needless driving, to try to find some other resolution. They will not budge, it has to be sent off. Ugh!
This leaves me in a bit of a pickle. I just can’t not have what’s on my computer for the however many weeks it’ll take for them to make that determination, to fix or not to fix. Not to mention, they told me that they don’t guarantee I’ll get my info back in one piece. Anything could happen. My files might not make it back in one piece. Whoa. Not cool.
(Makes me wonder what is so special about this service contract to begin with. What good is getting my computer, fixed, returned to me, if my information wasn’t safe on it?)
During this ordeal, a very kind man from Best Buy Corporate is sending me a $100 gift card to purchase an external hard drive to get all of my information off of my computer to have access to while it’s fixed, but it won’t be here for 7-10 days Oy. I can’t not have access to that info for that long, either.
Now, there is a highly reliable computer repair shop just outside the gate here, whom we’re told we could take it to for it to be fixed and be reimbursed for our expense, but the reimbursement payment would not come for 3-4 weeks, after Christmas likely (and recall, fixing a motherboard is just as expensive as a new computer itself). Not something we can just afford to do, anyway.
I have to tell you, I have no idea what we’re going to do here.
Tomorrow when the local computer place opens, I’m going to call and explain the situation and get their rates about downloading info from a computer onto disk, without the external hard drive…. yet. But I do think I’m going to invest in one of those in the future. This will make desktop #2 with a fried hard drive, and would come in handy as to not have me in this situation anymore.
So, in order to make light of a really stinky situation, I’m passing along some wisdom to you fine people. Things I had to learn the hard way in all of this:
- Know what warranty you’re buying. My warranty was a “Carry In”, which means when it breaks, it needs to be brought to the store to be fixed. Wasn’t a problem when the nearest store was 10-15 minutes away, but now being an 1.5 hours away, that poses an issue.
- Know what the warranty covers. My warranty covers repair, but not information lost. So if, in the repair, they erase and lose my info, that’s not their fault. Another important reason to back up, don’t assume your warranty will cover it or do it for you under your warranty!
- Know the store’s policy on repairs. Just because they have tech guys on site (Geek Squad) doesn’t mean they fix it on site. Best Buy sends all repairs to Kentucky to their “Geek Squad City” to be fixed. You will be without your product for an undetermined amount of time, shipping it out of their store, to them, and back again.
- Also found out, Best Buy may not replace your item with a new one, even if the cost of the repair is more than the cost of a new computer. So I was told, after 4 repairs, they will replace with something new. This being my first repair… even with the expense of the repair, I might not get a new one out of this (which is ok, I’d rather my computer, but hate the expense associated, along with how long that will take).
- Just because the problem is not one that normally would get fixed (motherboard being costly to replace) don’t assume they won’t attempt to do it. Most computer repair guys will tell you it’s practically a waste of money because it’s the price of a new computer to repair it. With your warranty, though, they will probably attempt to repair it, so don’t assume (as I did) that you would show up, they would take a look and say “nope, too expensive to fix, here’s a new computer for you.” While that would be the most economical option here, the people who drew up their rules don’t seem to understand that.
- IMPORTANT: Just because you think your surge protector should protect you, doesn’t mean it will. We purchased our surge protector after computer #1’s motherboard became fried, purchasing it to protect computer #2’s motherboard, to hopefully thwart this from happening again. Not so much. Apparently, once your surge protector has encountered a surge, it needs to be replaced, so I’m told. Not only that, but just because it has a handy dandy “light” to tell you when you’ve had a surge, don’t think that it’ll work. The same way that a surge will cause an appliance to not work, the same applies to the cute little light. It could go out during a surge, so instead of notifying you there’s been a surge, it blows out. Nice to know, huh? So my $40 surge protector was useless. Fantastic.. only not. One guy told me he has a surge protector for his surge protector, so if there’s a surge, surge protector #1 will be replaced, protecting surge protector #2 and attached appliances. I can hear my piggy bank breaking, can’t you?
There might be more to that list. I will add to it as I think of more.
So, keep those positive thoughts and prayers coming, as I still need it for a positive resolution to this mess. It seems this borrowed laptop will have to be what I work on for the time being. Definitely not good for what appears to be carpal tunnel in my left wrist. More on that another time.
In the meantime, if you haven’t yet, please vote for me in The Mother Letter Project button contest! And I do promise to post my Mother Letter for you all soon.