Being Catty about customer “service.”

Warranty, Night and Day you Torture Me.

I’m wondering if the spirit of one of my ex-husbands (turned poltergeist)  is inhabiting the laser printer from hell.  

I purchased an extended warranty for it–at least I thought I did.  For the past few months I had been emailing back and forth about it–until other problems took precedence. Here’s the email string in a nutshell:

  1. email the proof that I bought the damned thing.  
  2. get email asking for proof that I have an extended warranty.  
  3. email the proof that I paid for a warranty.
  4. I’m told, “You don’t have an extended warranty.”
  5. To which I reply, “That’s what I’m trying to tell you! I paid for a warranty and I would now like proof that I have an extended warranty.”

It’s like a 5 step dance no one seems to be able to comprehend, so we’re all stepping on each others toes.

On Sunday, I spent several hours purging 1000 unneeded email from my sent items. Why? So the computer can be reloaded

  • in order to get rid of the programming for the laser printer from hell
  • that won’t allow itself to be purged
  • but prevents to printer (that faxes, scans and copies) from talking to the computer
  • so that it can be reloaded and, maybe, the printer will talk to the computer again.

That’s when I came across the last email I’d sent regarding the extended warranty conflict (aka war) over the laser printer from hell.

I’ve changed names that were undoubtedly changed in the first place, in order to protect myself from any possible repercussions for writing the truth–or at least my version of it.

I re-sent the string of email. The next day, I received an email asking for the receipt.

  1. sent the receipt–for the printer.
  2. received an email stating that I didn’t have an extended warranty, could I send proof I paid for one.
  3. sent proof.
  4. received an email showing I’d purchased the extended warranty.
  5. sent email stating that was the problem. I paid for it and now I’m being told I don’t have one.
  6. received email saying, “sorry we couldn’t help you.”
  7. sent email stating I had paid for an extended warranty, so either give me something in writing that says I have one or GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK!!!!

Sooooo…the dance has changed. It now has 7 steps and includes one or more kickboxing maneuvers.

This afternoon, I received a call from a woman with a slight Indian accent.

“Hello, my name is Jane.”

“You’re sure it’s not Sangeetha?”

“I’m calling about the extended Warranty for your Television.”

 At that point, I was glad she didn’t ask who Sangeetha was. Why? The name of my son’s former girlfriend was one I would rather forget. My daughter once said that Sangeetha was Sanskrit for, “Spawn of Satan.” I doubted that would go over well.

My BAID (My, But Alas I Digress).

“The warranty isn’t for a Television,” I said. “It’s for a color laser printer.”

“I do not see a warranty for a laser printer. I need the receipt,” Jane-geetha replied.

“Do you have the string of email that I sent?”


“Do you see the receipt for the printer?”


“Do you see the receipt for the warranty.”

“No. I need the receipt for the Television.”

This was beginning to remind me of the Abbott and Costello routine, “Who’s on First?”

“I bought a laser printer on-line. It was delivered to the store. I picked it up at the store and asked the manager if I needed to have a receipt printed out. He said no, what I had in my hand (printed from the computer on a black and white laser printer) was sufficient.”

“Did you purchase your Television on the same day?” She asked.

“I didn’t purchase a Television. I purchased a color laser printer. After the purchase, I went on-line and spent $40 to buy an extended warranty for the color laser printer.”

“Thank you for your patience. Could you hold while I do a review?”

“Certainly,” I told her, pulling up a game of Hearts to play on the computer.

A mere 5 minutes later, she was back on the phone. “What you purchased was an extended warranty for a Television. That is what the Warranty says.”

The text reader didn’t reveal anything so I pulled up the email string, magnified the screen by about 10 so that I could read the print. I had to look it over several times before spotting the 3-font letters “TV.” (Did you know that the word TV can be mistaken for “too” with a text reader and mild hearing loss?)

“I thought it was for the laser printer. Can it be changed to show the warranty is for the printer?”

“An extended warranty for that model printer is not available,” She said.

(Why am I not surprised?)

“All right. Since I didn’t buy a Television and I don’t need the warranty for something I don’t own, I want my money back.”

“I’ll write this up and someone will call you,” She said.

Fast forward 2 hours. The phone rings. I answer.

“Hello, my name is Joan,” She says with a bit thicker Indian accent. “I am calling about your Television.”

“Did Jane ask you to call?” I replied.


Another 10 minutes of conversation and I had an incident number plus the assurance that the matter would be taken care of immediately. All I had to do was call a specific 800 number. After a round of press 1, 2 and 3,

I was transferred to June who said, “I can’t help you, but I’ll write up an explanation of the problem. I’ll give you an 800 number to call. Here’s a new incident number.”

 Yes, I called the new 800 number.

Next, it was Jean’s turn to say, “That’s not my department.”

“Look!” I said just a little too loudly. “So far, I’ve spoken with Jane, Joan, June and Jean. I bought a color laser printer, not a TV.  What do I have to do to get my $40’s back????”

“This is your new incident number,” She said, repeating it twice. “I’ll connect you with my supervisor.”

Sure, right…how do you say, “You betcha” in Sanskrit?

“Hello. I’m Jeannette,” The supervisor said, her voice the droning of a woman who had heard too many complaints for a lifetime in one day. Again, I explained the problem.

“I’ll need a few minutes to look it over,” She sighed.

“Fine. I’ll be playing spades with an alien, a dinosaur and Jack,” I said. The silence was deafening. “It’s a computer program where you play cards with avatars.”

“Thank you for your patience,” She said, replacing the sound of her voice with a computer generated musical loop.

I played 2 games while she was reviewing the issue, wondering if she had simply placed me on hold hoping I’d give up and go away.

The music stopped, the droning voice taking it’s place.

“It appears you purchased a laser printer. You chose the warranty that would cover the amount of purchase, but the warranty was for a TV. You didn’t purchase a TV so you want your money back. The incident number will remain the same.” (She repeated it for me).

“Finally!” I said. “When can I get my money back?”

“I’ll need your name and mailing address.”

So then…she can figure out the problem but can’t get the information off the name and address that was printed on 2 receipts? (Perhaps she’s unable to read 3-font times New Roman Print, too.) Just wanting to get it over with, I gave her the name and address.

“Phone number?”

I provided that, too.

“Other phone numbers?”

“One isn’t enough?” I asked.

“Could you give me an email address?”

That, I could do. And do. And do.

“Is that a number 5, or is 5 spelled out.”

“As I said 2 times before, it’s a number 5,” I explained.

“You’ll receive a check in the mail,” She said.

“Before or after I die?”

“In about 6 weeks,” She replied. “Is there anything else I can help you with?”

“If I get my money back, no,” I said.

If I do get the $40 back, I’ll let you know. If I don’t, the next step will be to write a scathing letter to the corporate office and hope to God it isn’t located in Nigeria.