Native Tongue

One day not so long ago and not so long after I bought both my two new computers I had a problem, not a small problem either. Indeed no, it wasn’t a tiny problem that I could simply reboot and solve, were that it I would have done so. This was an ugly and profound problem, a problem none of us wants to see and especially with a brand spanking new and very expensive computer.

What the hell!

I had built this lovely from the ground up. Extra everything, it was turbo charged, built for speed.

What the hell!

I had also paid a pretty penny to have all my software loaded, the latest and greatest from Bill Gates, not just the basics but also all those business applications I need for my work. Things most people don’t need and perhaps hadn’t even heard of, pre-loaded and send me the CD’s just in case.

What the hell!

There I was though on a Friday morning, in a panic. I wasn’t sweating bullets yet; all my work was backed up. I hadn’t lost my work. Nevertheless, there I am on hold, waiting for Customer Service to come on the line to tell me what I need to do to recover my brand spanking new computer.

Did I mention I had dual hard drives? Oh, well I had dual hard drives yet still there I was, with;

What the hell!

Finally, Prem came on the line. He was very helpful he told me I had two hard drives and could I please boot my system so he could remotely log on.

Really? I explained I was unable to do so but would be happy to try if he would explain to me how I could do this.

Prem got very frustrated at my stupidity. Clearly the failed hard drive was my fault.

I asked to speak to his supervisor. Prem hung up on me instead.

What the hell?

I called back, when I finally got another customer service person on the line I explained the problem and asked to speak to a supervisor. This person was reluctant to pass me to a supervisor, but after a five-minute conversation did so.

Fasid, was very polite and explained to me he could not find Prem’s notes thus could not find any record of my previous conversation. I would have to start from the beginning, would I mind very much if he took control of my computer to discover the problem?

“No of course not, except my main Hard Drive has failed and I cannot boot up. The hard drive needs to be replaced. The computer is under warranty and I want you to send out the part with a technician to fix it. That is what I pay for.”

Fasid explained to me that he wasn’t authorized to do that, but he would send the request to another group who would call me back when they were in the office in two hours.

So I waited. What the Hell!

David Chen called me back late that afternoon; he was from the ‘Customer Care’ department. He wanted to know why I had lodged a complaint. Really?

  1. I have a business account with your company
  2. I bought two computers from you less than 6 weeks ago for a total of $4,900 including hardware, software and warranty
  3. One of those computers has failed, it is my primary computer for work
  4. I spent the better part of 4 hours on the phone this morning with people who would not resolve the problem, who hung up on me, who were not authorized to fix the problem or who did not speak the language well enough to understand the problem
  5. I have waited more than 6 hours for someone to call me back, meanwhile my computer still does not work

David was very conciliatory. Well I guess he had to be he was in customer care. He confirmed my hard drive had failed and he ordered the part and the service. Initially he tried to tell me this would take at least a week, but I reminded him I had paid the extra warranty. I also reminded him I lived less than 15 miles from one of their plants, I could walk there faster than he was proposing to have the part. He also proposed I could replace the hard drive myself, again I read the warranty to him. Not only would he send the technician to replace the part, they were responsible for making certain my hard drive was operational.

Then we talked about my unhappiness with the customer service experience. I obviously was unhappy with that morning. I was especially unhappy with Prem, who had hung up on me. Prem had another problem though, he could not speak English very well and he spoke very softly. I was continually asking him to repeat himself so I could understand what he was saying. I get it, organizations have outsourced and off-shored their tech support. There is no turning back from this and all the complaints in the world are not going to change this trend, it is here to stay. But can we at least set the standard, please. Can we at least say if you are servicing English speakers you must have conversational English, servicing French speakers you must have conversational French, and so on. Is this too much to ask?

Apparently, this particular computer company has found another source of revenue based on the complaints and feedback on this issue. David suggested I sign up for the added benefit of Native Tongue Customer Service at the low cost of $35 per year.

What the Hell !


  1. Gee wee…I hate computer issues and dealing with customer service. I really have to get in the mindset for being on the phone for a long time and get extra patience. and aren’t they always trying to find ways to penny pinch? A Native Tongue speaker? What next?

  2. It used to be the customer was always right and keeping a customer kept your business going. Nowadays, everything is the customer’s fault and any way not to service a client must be the mantra now.

    Sorry to hear you had such a terrible time. Love the song. Perfect fit.

    • It was that or Another One Bites the Dust, at the end of the day, well I just though this one fit.

      The computer failure actually happened some months ago, but has been sticking with me for a bit. I found the notes so I thought I would drop it into my Red Hat series on Customer Service and how things use to me. You are right, it did use to be the customer was right, now they spend all their time trying to convince is not only are we wrong but we are idiots.

  3. And you’re not even going to tell us the company???????? Oh I guess it is every company these days, isn’t it. Have you noticed you can generally not even find a number where you can file a complaint? Or send a letter? Makes me crazy.

    If I could have walked there I would, with a hammer in hand!

    Glad you’re back up on line. I remember this happening to you a while ago.

    • This did happen a while ago, this is actually that tale of woe. You are right, not telling the company it is every single last one of them. I just so loved the $35 for Native Tongue I thought I would add the insult to injury. I think the reason for me spilling this last bit is my main warranty is up in October and they called to ask if I wanted to extend!

  4. Hello Val! I’m sorry to hear of your computer problems, and of your terrible customer service experience. I bet the company boasts of its excellent customer service team though, especially as they are offering a value for money Native Tongue service. I’ve never heard of anything more ridiculous, if I’m honest. I bet they will still keep you on hold for hours at a time and then not be able to help at the end of it. I used to work in customer services a while back when things were much better, when you dialled a number and went straight through to someone without selecting 1, 2 or 3. Technology hey? It’s like one step forward and two steps back sometimes.

    Hope your computer is sorted very soon and you have no further problems with it.

    • Tom, Hi

      Oh it was sorted out some time ago. The Red Hat series is really all just a compilation of all the things that have changed over time, usually with Customer Service. This little story happened a few months ago and I happened to run across the files about the same time the vendor called to ‘warn’ me my warranty was about to run out. They wanted to know if I was planning to extend it (like wow yes they do such a good job with their warranty service).

      I am more than certain I will have problems, but not for at least another year. When I do I suspect I will take it to the Geek Squad who seem to do a decent job of maintaining all my technology for me.


  5. “Native Tongue Customer Service”? Really?!

    I empathize with you 100%. I have been in that situation, and it makes one feel so out of control and so frustrated. And when you need the computer in order to do your work, it can really boil the blood. And the fact that it was a new system is mind-boggling. I hope it all works out for you soon.

    • Thanks Carrie. This was actually an older story, but I am rather anal about documentation so I had all this in a file, names and all. Since I go on periodic rampages about customer service, I don’t know this one came to mind.

      You are right though, it does make you feel out of control. It worked out mostly.

  6. Val sorry to hear about your PC troubles. I had a similar experience with my phone it took two weeks back and forth through the overseas and back again long saga. But I totally agree with you. Oh and I’m commenting vis phone today so probllem now now solved I just need 200% extra vision to see whAt write :). So excuse the typo errors xx hugs Sue

    • Sue I am only guessing here, you were probably much nicer than I was. Me? I was sarcastic and mean. My issue remains always the same. Customer Service simply doesn’t live up to its name.

      • Especially because they already had your money…

        • Indeed, except for that $35, wasn’t about to give them that, would rather say over and over again;

          “I didn’t understand a damned think you just said, could you repeat that.”

          • It is epidemic. They get you to pay for service in advance (warranty) and then feel no compunction about not providing said service despite having already been paid for it. Ugh.

            Remind me to tell you about the paint job. 😉

  7. Sorry to hear about your PC problems Valentine. That, and the associated service headaches, is something I’m very familiar with. Great, GREAT song!

    • Oh they are solved now! This was a couple of months ago. Had to Ghost the hard drive and rebuild it, twas quite painful actually. I love that song too, thought it was quite appropriate given the subject matter. I pondered hard, it was either this one or ‘Another one Bites the Dust’.

      The Red Hat series is simply on-going. All the treasures of ‘it didn’t use to be this way’ as we venture into customer service land.

      • I think that song fits the bill just perfectly for so many things, but especially for a case where you’ve paid your hard earned cash and only want the deal you made to be honored. I am glad you got the resolution you needed.

        In the case of my PC, there wasn’t nearly as much money on the line since it was a gift from my son, but it did involve added hassles deriving from the fact that I wasn’t the actual purchaser. Oh yeah, and my problem has never been resolved either. You might get a laugh from what I wrote about my final attempt to do so: Is That You Peggy? 😀

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