Saturday, January 12, 2008

Another technical irritant

Bear with me...this is a long story.

Regular readers will know of my views on support services.....

PC's are generally much better these days than they used to be - despite my previous post about Vista's start up time. I remember the days when you bought a PC and had to install the operating system from scratch via floppy disks.

Now of course you open the box, plug it in, fire it up answer a couple of questions and away you go. But what if your shiny new purchase goes horribly wrong? Where are the floppy disks to start again? Well of course we don't have floppies these days, but the PC smugly reminds you (well it did remind me) that I needed to create a set of recovery DVD's. How clever I thought. It also said, this job can only be run once - presumably to stop those nasty softaware pirates out there creating multiple copies and flogging them on that well known online auction site. I'm not one of those people. I just want a robust backup solution because I've been there when a PC dies on me with no backup, and I know how painful it can be.

So I set the process off and at the predetermined point, the system said something like "This job requires two blank DVD's. Insert your disc 1." So I did. At least I though it was blank disc, but the application said there was something already on it and ejected the disc. As I only had one more spare DVD so I had to go and buy some more, but the application said it woiuld continue the process from where it left off next time I started it.

So, got some more DVDs, fired up again, and the system said commencing job from where it left off (clever or what?), but then I was aghast as it said "creating disc 2 of 2"! What happened to my disc 1 of 1 that had aborted? Now I'm completely stuffed. The system is going to create me a recovery set with only the 2nd of a 2 disc set, and I can't create another set because you can only run the job once! "Flippin' 'eck" I thought, or words to that effect.

Hunted down HP's support site and sent them an email crying for help. Got a pretty quick response that said, and I'm paraphrasing here....

"..Sorry to hear about you problem. I'd love to send you a set of recovery discs free of charge, but I can't because we're hardware technical support. Phone this number (a premium rate line at 60p a minute) and they'll sort you out. The email said this line was open Mon - Sat as did the web site. So I rang it, and the inevitable automated voice said, "We're open Monday to Friday" and then cut me off.

"Flippin' 'eck" or words to that effect I said again.

As I don't want to ring this line from work - which strangely is where I am between Monday and Fridays) - as they might baulk at me ringing a 60p minute line, and I'm not ringing them on my mobile I'm stuffed again. "Dash it all" I thought (or words to that effect).

So I've fired off another somewhat more robust email to HP support asking them what else they can do to sort me out.

This sort of thing really annoys me. Hardware support we'll give you free - software? That'll be 60p a minute sir.

Flippin' 'eck.

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