The laptop saga (Part One)

The last three days have seen the conclusion to my ongoing laptop misery. I think the battle’s over, and all that remains is to count the casualties:


Two casualties: my old laptop and my sanity.

This is going to be a long post. I’d advise you to go and make yourself a cup of tea, or just keep on browsing. There’s no writing info in it and quite a bit of swearing. Read on at your own peril.

For anyone who missed it, the downfall of my laptop is recorded here.

I find my final comment particularly amusing. Specifically the line:

“I’ll be able to fix it without too much fuss”

Guess what?

I couldn’t.

I managed to free most of the keys by running it under the hot tap, but the last four just wouldn’t budge. I even tried removing the keyboard and soaking it in a pan of boiling water, but no dice. The S, E, R and F just wouldn’t work. Which I find quite ironic, a serf who won’t work is worthless.

You may be thinking any man who runs his laptop under the hot tap is not quite right in the head, but I’d rather think of myself as innovative.

About a week after the incident, I had to face facts: the only person benefiting from my attempts to fix the keyboard was the water board. Damn that water meter.

So repair isn’t working: phase two – replacement.

I phoned Philips, asked them for a new keyboard, the ‘customer service’ guy denied they sold laptops.


I tried to explain I was looking at one, but he didn’t believe me. I offered to drive round to his place of work and show it to him, but he still didn’t believe me. I offered to drive round to his house and shove it up his fucking arse, and he hung up.


I tried parts companies, repair companies, PC World who originally sold it to me – nothing. They all admitted the laptop existed, but none of them could supply a new keyboard. The last guy I spoke to told me they wouldn’t even take the laptop in for repair because they had so much trouble getting the parts.

Which left me no option, I had to claim on the house insurance.


You see, the laptop was only six months old, the result of another insurance claim when I dropped my last one. I was very happy with the new laptop, so I sent it off for repairs. At least my £60 excess will probably be less than shipping a new keyboard from halfway around the world – if I could find one at all.

I had to wait a week before they got back to me and offered me a replacement.

“Eh? What? You want to replace the laptop? You want to replace an £800 laptop rather than install an £80 keyboard?”

“Yes sir, it’s cheaper.”

“In what fucking universe? How much do you fucking clowns charge per hour? There’s one fucking screw holding the fucking keyboard on you useless fucking phone monkey.”

Surprisingly, he hung up.

When I managed to get back through the torturous phone tree, they offered me a new laptop – the Samsung Q35:


The one in the shop has nasty plastic, silver keys. It’s slightly better than my laptop, but it’s just not quite as pretty. I tried to explain this to the tech guy, but he didn’t really get it.

“It’s exactly the same specs, but with a bigger hard drive.”

“Yes, but it’s not as pretty.”

There was quite a long pause at this point, before the reply:

“It’s got a bigger hard drive.”

More ranting, more being hung up on, more phone tree negotiation and I asked if I could have this one instead, the Philips x59:


This one really is exactly the same as my Philips x53, but with a slightly bigger hard drive. It’s cheaper too. That’s right, I’m trying to save the insurance company some money. That’s how nice a guy I am.

But they won’t have it. I have to speak to someone else, who isn’t in. He’ll ring me back, but when he does, my phone is off. He leaves a message, I ring back, I get through to reception again. He’s busy, he’ll ring me back. He rings me when my phone’s off, leaves a number, I ring him back, it’s reception again.

“Just give me his fucking phone number.”

And they hung up on me, again.

All this time I’m popping into PC World and mooning over the laptop which is exactly the same as my recently departed one, but with a slightly bigger hard drive. A thing of beauty.

Unlike the one next to it, which is exactly the same, but is inexplicably pink:


A pink laptop, Why? There’s pretty and there’s gay and that’s crossing the line.

Eventually we reach an agreement: They’ll give me vouchers for PC World and I can buy whichever fucking laptop I like.

And this is the good bit: they’re going to give me vouchers to the value of the one they’ve offered me, which is £150 more than the one I want. I can get the laptop I want and keep myself in ink and paper for a year! Hooray!

Except, no. They think the Samsung costs £840! I’m going to end up with an extra £240 worth of vouchers. Happy days! I can get a new printer, a couple of webcams, a new keyboard for my desktop and still have money left over for ink and paper for months!

It was all I could do not to laugh at them and call them names.

So I marched down to PC World: grinning like an idiot and clutching a fist full of vouchers.

“A Philips x59, please my good man.”

“Sorry mate, we’ve sold out.”


( … to be continued … )

Categories: Random Witterings | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “The laptop saga (Part One)

  1. Piers says get a Mac.

    I say, resist the Kool-Aid.

  2. I’ve tried using a Mac, but couldn’t get on with it. I spent the day asking questions of the enthusiastic owner along the lines of:

    “How do you get it to … ?”

    To which the response was invariably:

    “You can’t. Macs don’t do that; but at least they don’t do it badly like PCs do.”

    “Yes, that’s very useful.”

    I’m afraid, I don’t get the Kool-Aid reference. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Is that some hip street slang? Is that how ‘the kids’ talk these days? Or is another slice of popular culture which has completely passed me by?

  3. One word, Phill: Jonestown. Are you REALLY so culturally deficient??

  4. The Kool-Aid reference is an Americanism, a reference to the infamous (at least in America) Jonestown cult massacre from the 70s.

  5. Drinking the kool-aid, to become part of a cult, from Jim Jones poisoning his cult followers with poisoned kool-aid. So there you go.

    Also, I don’t know how much you were exagerating for comedy, but people who answer the phones at companies will tend to hand up on you if you say ‘fuck’. Whatever the problem is, it’s never their fault, and they’re paid very little.

  6. Gordon: yes, yes I am.

    Christine: in that case, I shall resist the Kool-Aid.

    Oli: I’m not exaggerating for comedy, I’m lying for comedy. I never swear at call centre workers. I never even raise my voice.

    Except this one time with Sky, but she fucking deserved it.

  7. Lizzy

    Being an American I have to say I’ve never heard anyone refer to Kool-aid as anything but something your parents forced you to drink to keep you away from caffeine…weird yeah? Parents..not the Kool-aid.

    Can’t say when I laughed as hard as I did reading your laptop saga….but I like to think you’re swearing at these companies…someone has to and you seem really good at it! You’d never ever catch me swearing at anyone…..nope. Our phone company NEVER hangs up on me every single time I phone them….

    Have a great week Phill!

  8. Good for you. Perhaps an overreaction on my part, but my girlfriend takes calls like that all the time. Most people are only too happy to swear at someone they can’t see.

  9. Pingback: Indelible Freckles » Blog Archive » Flat Out

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