Saturday, June 23, 2012

Adventures In Customer Service

My poor laptop lives in a seriously abusive environment - my lap. That includes my sloppy eating habits (you'd think a guy as big as I am would have a far better hand to mouth ratio), and more importantly - a cat. I try to keep it blown out and wiped down, but apparently to no avail. The "L" key was sticking, and instead of doing some research, I just pried it out. Then I couldn't get it put back together. It has a sort of mini suspension system that apparently requires a pop out tool. The last keyboard I took apart did not need anything, one just popped 'em out and snapped 'em back in. I could buy an individual key ready to pop in, but I figured why not just get a new keyboard. So, the first place I found on Google that seemed to have a good stock on hand was LaptopZ.

A search for my specific model number found nothing. A specific search for another model number HP uses turned up nothing. Mine is in the Pavilion G6 series, and a search for a black keyboard turned this up:

Forty two different keyboards. They noted to make sure the ribbon cables matched as well, so I took mine out and copied all the pertinent looking numbers I could find. Let's look at the pictures they have for comparison:
This is a picture of the model G60. It has a numeric keypad on the right. Mine does not. Hmm. Picture does not match. So, I look at the very next model number:

Well, isn't that helpful! It's the exact same picture. Does me a lot of good. Turns out all of the pictures of black keyboards for the G6 line are identical.

Well, let's see about the ribbon cable. They mention how important it is for the pictures to match.

Mmkay, the tag doesn't match what is on my keyboard. Let's look at the next model.

Starting to notice a trend here - it, too, is the same exact picture. Same keyboard. Each and every different part number. That does not correspond to anything on this laptop.

So, they have an online contact page - enter your question and they'll get right back to ya. Ok. I input all the information I have from the back of the keyboard, length and width, the information about the color and no numeric keypad, and tell them all their pictures are the same, how am I supposed to determine which one I need? Please tell me you have information specific to different model numbers as to what models of HP Pavilion G6s they fit!

I got an automated confirmation email right away. Then I got this:
Dear Jeff,

Thank you for your letter.

It is my pleasure to help you. We find the item which can be suitable to you, here is the link, please confirm:

If the layout and connector are the same as yours, it can be fit for your laptop.
We look forward doing business with you in the near future.

Please feel free to contact us if any question.

Best regards
Welp, isn't that special! Josy sent a link to all the G6 laptops, only now we're looking at silver and black ones, not just black! Wow! What fabulous technical help! Guess what? All the silver models' pics are the same, too! Imagine my surprise!

Thank you for your reply, but I have to ask - did you read my question at all? I have already seen all the keyboards that a search for a G6 turns up. Each and every one has the exact same picture of the exact same keyboard - and it has a numeric keypad. Which, if you read my question - I mentioned. Telling me to look in the same place I already looked for something I did not find and does not meet my needs is useless.

Your site says the ribbon cable must be the same. How am I supposed to tell if the picture of THAT is the same thing over and over again. Are you selling only one keyboard model with 97 different part numbers?

Surely you have some information that puts a particular keyboard in a particular model of laptop. This is what I need. I have given you several different numbers from the actual keyboard in question, and none of them match any part number you have, or I'd have ordered one that did.

I still need a keyboard, but if this is the best I'm gonna get from your company, I'll be moving on.

I received their response and responded on the nineteenth. So far, no answer. In the initial email, they gave me a log in to check on my status. So, I just logged in, and everything is there - the initial question, the response, and my response. I'm tagged as PRIORITY  "medium." So, on their page, I entered this response: 

I cannot determine from the information you have provided on your website or your initial answer which one I need. I have given you pertinent information about the keyboard in question. Are you going to answer, or am I going to go somewhere else? I am also going to the social networks and going to blog about this. Your insufficient response on the nineteenth and my subsequent response on the same day have given you plenty of time to respond. Please tell me you actually read these things.
Sure looks like to me I'm gonna be buying somewhere else - but I've not had much luck anywhere else either. Might just be buying individual keys and a tool to pop 'em out and clean. But seriously, putting up the same picture on all the different parts, not giving any more info as to the difference, and telling people they need to match the appearance? WTF???


lotta joy said...

I did the SAME thing with my spacebar. My last laptop had a couple of fish hook wires that clipped it back in. When potato chips got wedged beneath THIS spacebar, I just popped it out, cleaned it up, and......and.....?

Ebay and the toshiba company had all keyboards looking the same and all I needed was a spacebar!!!

So....I got out my aluminum hat and wand and went to work with Quik Tite glue and some wee little pieces of paper.

I made sure to glue the key down so that the little dohikey had contact, then I placed the little pieces of paper just right around the contact....added the Quik Tite, and BOOM!

Unknown said...

LOL! A freind of mine called our local cable company tech support on her cell phone because our local cable company because her services were down. Our local cable company has a "big 3" package to which she subscribed which includes cable TV, internet, & land line phone.

The system was apparently busy so she got a recoded message to go online to find a solution to her outage. Anyone starting to see a problem with this here?

Don't you just love customer service these days? At least her call wasn't transferred to India with someone half a world away that she couldn't understand!

Anonymous said...

Now imagine similar conversation but IN REAL TIME, FACE TO FACE, lasting for 3 (three) hours. In the FedEx office closest to my workplace...maybe I should elaborate. Aftrer all, what the blog is for if not bitching about service industry and those who serve?!

Jeffro said...

lotta joy: My L key is glued on, but it's still sticky. Just bought a keyboard from eBay - but the seller is offline until June 10. Bought it anyways. We'll see what the other clowns say, if anything.

Scott: I read that crap all the time - where the customer rep for an internet provider recommends going online to find the solution, when the problem is not being able to go online. Comprehension much?

Tatyana: You said it, sistah!

lisa said...

Gotta love customer service and online BS! I sometimes get to the point that I don't bother with online if at all possible and it is just as bad if you call, you always get automation BS which isn't any better! What ever happened to real live people!