Cody B. (codeman38) wrote in gatewaysucks,
Cody B.
codeman38
gatewaysucks

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Offshore tech support... aarggh!

I remember when I first got my Gateway laptop a few years ago through my university as part of a scholarship reward; though the company had already entered the large-corporate-entity, store-owning stage of its life by that point, they were still at least somewhat respectable. I actually had to call tech support a number of times that very year because of various driver conflicts I was encountering, and was met on the other end by people who actually understood what I was talking about, offered solutions that worked, and didn't try to treat me like I was an idiot who had no working knowledge of computers whatsoever.

And that continued for another year or so. Despite the fact that Gateway was becoming even more of an evil corporate entity, their support was still quite decent; I had to make a call to support when my lapcow's screen fell off its hinges, and it was still quite easy and painless.

Oh, if only that were still the case. But it's not... and that's mainly because Gateway's offshored their tech support call centers to India.

I recently had to make yet another call to support because the AC jack on my computer had come loose from within; not being able to charge up a laptop is a bad thing, indeed. So I have to call support to send it in and have the part replaced. And after waiting on hold for a Very Long Time, I'm greeted by someone with an impenetrable accent who most likely finds my own accent just as impenetrable.

Needless to say, I had a rather difficult time explaining that I needed a part inside my laptop to be replaced. The conversation went something like this:
(me) "The AC jack on my laptop is broken."
(tech) "The AC jack on your laptop is broken?"
(me) "Yes. The place where the power cord plugs in. It's not there anymore. There's just an empty hole."
(tech) "Just an empty hole?"
(me) "Yes. Just an empty hole. There's no jack there anymore."
(tech) "No jack?"
(ad infinitum...)

Seriously, it felt like talking to one of those AI chatbots... except I had to strain even harder because I couldn't just read the response off the screen, and had to actively parse the tech's rather thick Indian accent to understand what was going on. (Of course, it also doesn't help that I have various issues understanding spoken language to begin with, but that's another rant entirely...)

Somehow, I managed to actually get the tech to put in a request to have the old lapcow shipped off; I myself am not entirely sure how I did it.

But perhaps the worst thing is that this was just a relatively routine call for a replacement part! I can't imagine how much more insane it would have been if I actually had to go through and follow directions to fix something, rather than just requesting that the computer be sent off for service...
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