I was “that caller” just now (UPDATED!)

My job is primarily customer service, as a general rule. I answer phones and radios for the Security department in a Major Healthcare Corporation, in addition to monitoring alarms, cameras, and whatnot. But at its core, I do customer service, for our officers, other employees, members, and people in general. And as such, I know how much it sucks to get a call from “That Guy”. You know, the guy who calls in a bad mood, who is generally angry about something you have no control over, and despite doing your best to help them, That Guy still rips you a new one, because you are the nearest available target.

I was just That Guy, and it sucked.

If you’ve been following my blog here, you’ll likely know the sad saga surrounding my new laptop from Origin PC. If not, you can find the first installment here, followed by my initial thoughts on the laptop here, then there was my more in-depth review update (which was me glossing over a lot of the problems because without them, it was a good machine), only to be rewarded for that review with another major issue cropping up as detailed here. To recap:

  1. Ordered new laptop from Origin PC, which was supposed to be shipped in “2-4 days”, but actually didn’t ship for a couple of weeks, during which time I received contradictory information from different contacts at the company, and no actual details as to what was wrong to cause these delays until I threatened to cancel my order.
  2. When the laptop finally arrived, it had numerous problems, including an audio jack that makes the soundcard freak out, Blue Screens of Death, and excessive heat under the left half of the body (which I mitigated but didn’t resolve with a cooling tray.
  3. Only to be followed by several keys on the keyboard working only sporadically, at best. The R, K, Y, and 0 keys are virtually useless, most of the time. And when I ran out of ideas on how to fix it on my own, I contacted Origin PC to get help, and they eventually said they would be sending me a replacement keyboard, that I could install myself and send them the bad part back.

Okay, that last bit of info was literally the last I have heard from Origin until today, and that took contacting them myself. First I tried their Live Chat (which has always worked fine in the past), but no one was answering today, for some reason. Then I availed myself of their 24/7 Technical Support phone number, which – to their credit – was answered quite promptly. I told the nice man on the other end of the line I wanted an update as to my support ticket, and gave him the ticket number. He scanned it briefly, then asked what I needed help with, so I explained that – despite being told the replacement keyboard would be shipping “soon” – I had not heard a thing since, and it had been 10 days. I further explained that I wanted to know if the keyboard had shipped, when I might expect to receive it, etc.

The nice customer service guy – I say Customer Service, because he clearly was not a Tech Support professional, based upon how this put him at a loss for what to do –  apologized a lot, fumbled around for a bit, then apologized some more after saying all he could do was email their Parts department, because nothing had been noted down in the ticket regarding updates.

… which I was painfully aware of, since this was why I was, in fact, calling them…

Then he apologized some more, because their Parts department wouldn’t be staffed until Monday. Actually, I rather expected that, since it is a holiday weekend, and even if it weren’t, why would the Parts department work weekends, anyway? Regardless, my knowing this still didn’t mean I wasn’t fairly well enraged at this point, but I did my best to not rip this fool kids head right the f**k off through the phone!

I felt that, despite there not being anything that could be done about the issue at this point, I needed to impress upon Customer Service Guy (I do not recall his name, alas) just why I was so very, very angry with Origin, and their utter failure on the part of providing me a quality gaming laptop, as promised by their website. And so, I gave him a brief synopsis of my interactions with Origin since initially placing my order, as detailed above, all the while apologizing because I know what it is like to be stuck having to listen to guys like me, and not being able to actually fix their problem. I did make sure he knew that I felt Origin sucked, and that the laptop they provided me was a Lemon (in the fully legal sense, as in potentially seeking redress through Visa for having been provided such a failure of a product), and I asked that he make sure that the Parts department were aware that I expected to be contacted on Monday, and no later, or I would be looking at other remedies.

Unfortunately, Origin only provides a 30-day Money Back Guarantee, which had mostly expired before I even received my laptop (going by order date), or nearly so by the time the keyboard failure was reported (if the clock started ticking on that when I received the product, something I think they would balk at). Regardless, it most certainly has expired now, and even if it hadn’t had done so, they charge a 15% Restocking Fee, which is ridiculous to charge on a Lemon.

By the way, did I mention that Origin PC makes bad computers? Ones that fail within the first month, in fact? Ones that might best be described as a Lemon? Well, I suppose I just did. And here’s the thing: I am going to continue to state this FACT in every single venue I have available to me. Here on this website, and on my gaming community website, not to mention my personal blog (it’ll be a nice break from football talk), and on all three of my Twitter accounts, then let’s not forget my podcast, and we certainly can’t forget my Twitch channel, etc.

Now some might say I’m taking this too far. Some might say I’m being vindictive, even. I would say that Origin PC took $2100 from me, and has done nothing but provide shoddy service and dick me around ever since! And I will continue to tell my tale to anyone who will listen, period. There is literally nothing Origin PC can do to win my custom back, and even if they sent me a replacement keyboard next week, it still wouldn’t resolve the other issues this laptop has. I shouldn’t have to do without using the audio jack, just so it doesn’t blow my eardrums out. I shouldn’t have to avoid touching the left half of the laptop, just so I won’t burn my hand. Etc, etc.

Anyway, I expect I’ll throw an update to this never-ending tale on Tuesday or so, when inevitably Origin’s Parts department fails to get back to me by Monday, as I requested. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go research what the exact Lemon laws are in Oregon, and what exactly Visa can do to help me out with this situation.

UPDATE – I am apparently going to be “that guy” for the folks dealing with my support ticket, too. You see, I couldn’t sleep this afternoon, so I decided to see if removing and replacing the keyboard on the EVO15-S really is a “simple task” I would only need a screwdriver for, as I had been told previously in my Ticket. Well, I’ll just post the response I just made to that ticket here, so you can see what I mean…

Hi again! Just wanted to touch base with y’all, as I have some additional information to add to this ticket. Specifically, I think I might know why the keyboard has started to fail, and it isn’t the keyboard. It’s the single fan under the left side of the laptop body.

You see, the left half of the laptop has been downright hot ever since I got it, but since I’ve had a previous laptop in the past (an HP) that also got hot on the left side, I just got a 6-fan cooling tray, which helped mitigate the heat issue (but didn’t solve it completely). Well, as I was told during a previous Live Chat that I would be able to replace the keyboard myself, and it would just take a Phillips-head screwdriver to do so, I decided I might as well see about how that is accomplished, and perhaps see if I could determine what the heat issue is caused by at the same time. Well, after removing all the screws to take the bottom off of the laptop, I found that no, I am not comfortable with trying to replace the keyboard, as it apparently involves tearing the guts entirely out of the EVO15-S! But, that aside, I was able to power on the laptop and observe the machine, especially the coolers. The two fans on the right side (I assume for the video card) turn on when necessary, but the single cooler fan on the left never does. This is likely frying the hell out of the keyboard, and I would guess is the likely cause of the keyboard now having keys working only sporadically… especially since the issue grew from one key, to two, then three, and finally four (thus far).

I called up the Tech Support line earlier today (prior to this mechanical surgery), to get an update on the KB status (since it’s been 10 days since last we spoke), but all they could do is email the Parts department, who should get back to me Monday (at least I asked them to get back to me then). If they do contact me, I will suggest they stop the order for the keyboard, as I am officially requesting an RMA to send this machine back. I would like my money back. Yes, it is now outside of the 30 days for the 30-day money back guarantee, but it was not when I first contacted you regarding the keyboard issue (Laptop arrived to me on February 20th, I reported the issue on March 19th, and 30 days would have been March 22nd). Considering the delays the laptop had in delivery, for which I was given contradictory information several times over that two-week delay, followed by the technical issues with it upon arrival, and now another 10 days without any updates, I am frankly done with Origin. I don’t believe I am being unreasonable here. Had I known the “simple task” of just replacing the KB would involve tearing the motherboard and all attached out, just to get there, I would have asked for my money back on the spot on the 19th.
I feel I have been misled and given the run-around by Origin since the beginning, and I am frankly surprised and disappointed by this, considering the reputation this company has. Nevertheless, I have made up my mind on this. If I do not hear from anyone regarding this Monday, I will be calling Tuesday morning instead.
Yeah, it’s like that. I am DONE with Origin PC, and should they not honor my request for a “full refund” (I don’t think I should have to pay a 15% restocking fee on this damn laptop, nor pay the shipping and insurance costs to send it back, but I doubt I’ll have a choice in that matter), then I will expand my reach. I know everyone threatens to call the Better Business Bureau in situations like this, but no, I know better. The BBB is controlled by the very businesses they allegedly monitor and rank, so there’s no point in doing that. Instead, I’ll take my story to Reddit, and other similar sites. I’ll make a return to YouTube just for them, to tell my story there. I will break out the SEO-Fu, and make sure my story shows up when people search online for information regarding Origin Laptops. I’ll leave comments on YouTube videos talking about Origin Laptops, letting folks know what to expect from them. I might just hang onto the broken laptop, in fact, should they say no, just so I can feature it in videos, livestreams, and such. I’ll make a point of getting video of the cooler fan not working, maybe measure the heat coming off the left half of the body, and compare that to the temps coming from the right side, etc.
Most importantly, should they decide to deny me a refund, I will never let this go. I will truly become “That Guy” for Origin PC. Count on it.
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