Thursday, 12 January 2012

One nil to me...

SUCCESS!! After a month and a half long battle against Costco, I have finally won my claim! That's one to me, nil to you, corporate conglomeration! :D

Song of the day: Snoop Dogg Millionaire by Wild Animals and Chase & Status

The story starts towards the end of November. Picture this, a stressed Masters student running around labs all day, struggling with a synthesis project that just refused to co-operate, with the only thing to look forward to being a relaxing evening in front of the screen, surfing the net or Skyping with the now ex. was pretty much a soul destroying moment when my dear laptop decided to give up the ghost. After an initial panic, I took it to the PC doctor, my college techie, hoping with all my heart that he could fix it. He told me that unfortunately the graphics chip was faulty as there was a problem with the connectivity and soldering, but he managed to get it temporarily working by sealing up the vents and wrapping the laptop up in bubble wrap before overheating the poor thing! This supposedly melted the solder and reconnected the chip to the motherboard, and whilst it worked, I could not help but wonder what this treatment was doing to the rest of my lappy!

After doing some research, I found out that this graphics chip issue was known in the geek world as the NVIDIA Defect. It was a widespread manufacturing fault, affecting millions of laptops and had been a problem since 2007/2008. In fact, there had even been lawsuits against NVIDIA for this defect.

I came across a wonderful forum called Nvidia Defect that was dedicated to the issue and gave step by step idiot-proof instructions on how to get a satisfactory resolution, since I quickly learned that as the defect was inherent upon purchase, by the Sale of Goods Act (1979) I was entitled to make a claim against the retailer even if my warranty had expired.

And so began a long and arduous process of formal letter sending and emails to Costco's Head Office. At first, I could not believe how sneaky they were - they kept on trying to deny responsibility and to redirect me to the manufacturer. But according to the Sales of Goods Act, it is legally up to the retailer to resolve the issue. I knew that I was right, so I persisted, adopting my most formal and professional mannerisms to ensure that I was taken 100% seriously.

One month of persistence, Engineer's reports, and polite but snappy emails later in which I cited the Act several times, Costco finally admitted responsibility. They collected my laptop and took it away for inspection a few days before the new year, since they didn't seem to trust the independent Engineer's report I obtained as proof of an inherent defect. This bit dragged out for ages, since on a professional level, I guess the New Year isn't really the best time for people to be productive, but finally, I got a result!

I have authorised a refund on your notebook.

I have asked for our Repair team to return your Notebook so that you can
gather a refund from your local Warehouse.

I now consider this matter closed.

I guess this is the first time in my life that I've really stood up for something that I believed in. I've always tried to avoid disputes and confrontations, choosing to fade into the background and let things go rather than taking them up as issues - in the playground, in the sports changing rooms, in the face of people who have nothing nice to say. Looking back, I guess I would've become a much stronger and opinionated person if only I'd challenged issues more, if I hadn't tried to blend in so much. I now realise that at the end of the day, after a while, no one is going to care if you make an issue out of something you're not happy with. In a matter of days or weeks or months, everyone apart from you will forget about it. People have their own lives to worry about, so no one is going to care about yours forever. Of course some will hold grudges, some will hate for the sake of hating, and some will go out of their way to continue to make your life hell, but I now know that as long as you are in the right, then you can hold your head high and just get on with your life as best as you can.

Wow, that went off-topic.

Anyway, the point is that throughout this whole ordeal, I was constantly ridiculed by my parents who thought that I was wasting my time. Well, suck on that, parental units, I got me a full ass refund, kekeke.

Time to pop out the bubbly! :)

Yishi xxx

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