Dead on the table

Smoke and melted plastic

My computer had been having trouble getting online wirelessly lately, so I took it to a local Apple dealer where we’ve bought four Macs and much else. Although I’d had to make an appointment to have it looked at, they wouldn’t say how long the look would take, which would have been the tip-off if I weren’t such a trusting soul. Two days later I called and a technician said that he’d been meaning to tell me that my computer had died on the operating table. Those weren’t his words. His were more like “… smoke … internal cable … melted plastic and ….” My axe didn’t chop no more.

It was so bad he couldn’t tell what all was wrong and he’d be in classes the next day, so he couldn’t know more until Friday. Fine. That my laptop hadn’t had a problem since the battery slowly blew up three years ago didn’t mean that one of the hundreds—thousands? I don’t know because I don’t care—of components hadn’t given up the ghost.

No call Friday. For the first time in 18 years, I didn’t have a computer, and without a miracle I wasn’t going to have one for a while. Not having my computer was like camping out, except I’ve got a column, a blog, and a website to deal with, and while I can write by hand, there ain’t no paper websites. I should perhaps mention that I had a cold, too, which is partly why I didn’t call the shop until Monday. The other part is I was starting to like not spending hours a day staring at a flat surface two feet away.

The fellow who answered the phone said twice that he was going to fetch my guy, and then he put me on hold forever until the connection broke. I called the next day and was told that my four-year-old laptop could be repaired for $1,000. It’s only in a coma.

I said I’d come get it, and he said it would be reassembled the next day and my guy would call me when it was ready. That didn’t happen either. I’m writing this on Day Fifteen.

The manager denies any responsibility for the damage that occurred in his shop—I’d brought it in for a problem, so it wasn’t functional to begin with. That it worked when they got it and now won’t do anything doesn’t count. I’ve been a mystery shopper, and from a customer-service standpoint, this incident takes the cake even without the attitudes and arrogance. Next time, Best Buy. If only it didn’t stink.