My laptop is on the fritz…well, not the computer itself, but the ac adapter. The laptop was plugged into the kitchen outlet and as my child and I began to enter the kitchen we hear a “pop, crackle, crackle”, and then see smoke coming from the adapter. I yank the plug out of the wall as quickly as I can, hoping that I won’t get zapped. As I pull the plug all I hear is a ‘POP’ and am spared the arm-jolting joy of an electrical shock. And then the smell…ugh…the smell of melting plastic, and electrical smoke. We both look at each other in horror. Thankfully, the laptop was plugged into the GFI outlet which I believe prevented anything from happening to the computer and probably spared me from getting electrocuted. Since the laptop is only seven months old I immediately call HP customer service. And here is a snippet of the conversation I had with the lovely man at technical support:
TS: “Thank you for calling HP technical support, my name is Saieed, how can I help you today?”
Me: “I seem to have a bit of a problem with the ac adapter for my HP notebook.”
TS: “What exactly is the problem, ma’am?”
Me: “It was plugged in just a few minutes ago and I heard a pop and crackle, and then saw smoke coming from the adapter.”
TS: “Has this ever happened before, ma’am?”
Me: “No, no it hasn’t” (thinking to myself – um, yeah, if it had wouldn’t I have called?)
TS: “Okay, ma’am, we are going to run through a few steps to determine the problem. What I would like you to do now is plug the computer into an outlet.”
Me: “I’m pretty sure I do not want to plug in the computer. I really don’t want to get electrocuted.”
TS: “Oh, do not worry, I assure you that will not happen.”
TS: “Ma’am…no, no, no…please do not plug in the computer. DO NOT PLUG IN THE COMPUTER.
Me: (thinking to myself: “Uh…yeah, ya think? Frickin’ brainchild.”)
Sheesh, for a minute there I thought maybe he’d ask me to lick the prongs on the plug and THEN stick it back into the outlet. Dork.
And that was not the end of my experience with HP customer service. It seems that Saieed ordered the replacement adaptor for me…but he somehow forgot to order the power cord that goes with the adapter – you know, the cord that is NECESSARY to plug the thing into the outlet? I spent another hour and a half, retelling the adapter mishap story to no less than five other customer service individuals. Not one of them could understand what I was trying to tell them so they, in turn, just transferred me to another, more clueless individual. In the end, I was finally transferred to someone in the parts department who understood that I was NOT going to use my old power cord (that possibly had a short) and she immediately put in an order for a new one. Thank you for calling customer service. So sorry that you had to spend half of your day trying to explain your computer issue to nimrods.