27 September 2006

Fry's Electronics

The best prices and the worst service. I actually heard this from a guy standing at the next cash register while I was buying an external hard drive.

My N3010 Fujitsu notebook computer died. Before it died, it gave me messages and crashed. It was giving me several similar -yet different- blue screen error messages. "IRQL Not Less Than or Equal". "Driver Failure at 0000XAD22432". I took photographs of these screens and did online research to update the drivers. That stabilized the machine for a little while. It would only crash after returning from sleep mode, while connected to our wireless 'network at home.

While attempting to backup the data, it finally died. Specifically, the Toshiba 40G hard drive died. Again. Bought new January 15th 2004, at Fry's for a great price, I also bought a 3-year extended warranty for $250. In August of 2005, the hard drive failed and the total repair price was $287. Covered.

Each time, they cannot locate my extended warranty in their computer. They find that I bought a N58, but cannot find the N3010. I tell them I bought the N58 and returned it for the N3010 because they had a better deal about 3 days after I purchased the first one.

That wasn't exactly true. Apparently, Fujitsu placed a N3010 into a N3010 box and labeled it so. Then, Fry's put a N58 label on that box and that is what I bought. In their computer records, it appears that I own a N58 when everything else correctly says N3010. PITA.

August 30th 2006, Toshiba 40G hard drive failure again. Two weeks sitting at Fry's, with no progress, I continually asked about it and finally, the hard drive was repaired September 15th. About $287 again. Covered. So far, that extended warranty was a good purchase.

I p/u the repaired computer and take it home. I fire it up and almost instantly, I get the same blue screen message. I capture and save that image and provide it to Fry's service team.

By this time, I have learned the personalities and capabilities of nearly everyone in the service dept. of the Campbell store. Anis is the mgr. David is the only caucasian. Atabak is competent. Ian is a complete idiot and cannot pronounce the words "I don't know". Chris DiPietro is technically competent and walked me through the store to complete the entire process, getting an external HD, researching online which mfr. actually produced the drive inside the case, cutting in line at the cash register, etc. - just like at Nordstrom. Philip replaced the HD, but I never had contact with him. Chris Rios is the dept. supervisor and is only useful when Anis is not there. I prefer to start at the top with Anis.

So, after they "fixed" the computer but didn't test it, or didn't see the blue screen error message that I did --- I was asked if I was taking the machine to another Fry's since they didn't do such a great job the first time. No. Now that I have taken the time to learn each employee's aptitude, why start all over again at another location?

Now, the computer has either a bad motherboard or bad memory. Only those two things. When I bought the machine, it had 256 or 512 of memory. I can research this later. I bought 1G of RAM for them to install - and paid Fry's to do this to preserve the warranty. At that time, the memory aisle of that store was laid out differently. I remember the service technician guy walking me over to that dept. and selecting the correct memory for the computer. Something to do with the speed has to be the same. I was looking at the 1G RAM package and the specs on my computer and they don't have the same speed. Now, the manufacturer is going to see the "aftermarket" memory is not the correct speed. Crossing my fingers that the mfr doesn't blow up over that.


Post a Comment

<< Home