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Get it in writing — er, typing

This PC has a built-in RAID controller, and it begins reporting an error on one of its drives, so naturally this pilot fish calls the manufacturer.

“The manufacturer replaces the drive under the service contract,” fish says. “Same thing happens again a few days later, so I request a new RAID controller.”

Not so fast, says the guy at the manufacturer’s tech support line. Before I can authorize a new controller, you must upgrade the firmware on your disk drives.

Fish: These disk drives have been running with this same firmware since I got the computer. This problem started just a few days ago. The firmware cannot be the cause of the problem.

Tech support: This is our policy. Take it or leave it.

Fish: Can you assure me that this firmware upgrade will not damage any of my data or harm my system in any way?

Tech support: Yes.

Fish installs the upgrade — and after that, the computer won’t boot, even in safe mode.

Time for another call, this time to the manufacturer’s complaint-resolution department.

Fish: Against my better judgment, and after I had objected, I followed the bad advice of your tech support department, which turned my computer into an expensive doorstop. What are you going to do to fix the problem you have caused?

Manufacturer’s representative: Surely you are overstating things and it was just bad luck, not our fault. Perhaps you were not clear enough when you objected.

“As it happens, my ‘conversation’ with tech support was via online chat,” fish says. “I told the rep, ‘I have the full transcript, word for word. To whom would you like me to send it?’

“Eventual outcome: The manufacturer replaced the entire PC with a current — and much faster — model under warranty.”

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