Arrogant SOBs

Jane Galt has been having trouble with Sony VAIO customer service. I’ll admit that they make some interesting products, but I’ve been staying away from purchasing any of them since they hacked their customers’ computers.

My own customer support nightmare involved a sound card/CD drive combo that I purchased as an add-in to my desktop PC, back when it was a Windows 3.1 486/33 box. One morning, the CD drive spontaneously ejected the tray. Putting the tray back into the tracks would cause it to retract fully, then to be spit out again. It was obviously a hardware problem, most likely a limit switch or photosensor.

By that time, however, I’d installed a beta version of Windows 95 on the thing. Every time I called, I was told that I had to wipe my hard drive and reinstall Windows 3.1 before they would help me. It was obvious that they had a script, and weren’t allowed to deviate from it. Finally, I disconnected the hard drive, installed their driver software on a floppy, and booted from it. After going through the front-line support person and script, I got to a supervisor and explained the situation. He said, “We can work with that.” I thought, “Finally!” His next words, though were that I needed to reattach my hard drive and put Windows 3.1 on it, because they not only didn’t support Windows 95, but had no plans to support it.

I’d had it with them by then, and asked to whom I’d send a complaint. He said that I’d have to send it to him. I couldn’t believe that nobody else got to see complaints about him, and told him so before I hung up. I then looked up the company’s info in Dunn & Bradstreet, and sent a letter addressed to the company’s president, explaining the situation, and my shock that complaints about support personnel would be handled by those same people.

The letter was returned – moved, forwarding order expired.

I bought a different CD drive, and stayed with Windows 95. I kept the returned letter for several years, for various reasons. I may still have it, tucked away in a box somewhere, but I’m not certain.

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