In Which I Adminster My Own Tech Support in Spite of the Tech Support Lady's Attempts to Stop Me

I bought a monitor for my laptop last week. It's 23" and pretty great, when it works. Which is not now. Now it doesn't work at all. I'm pretty decent with electronic equipment, and I've tried every permutation of plugging, unplugging and pushing buttons on this thing. No dice.

So I called Acer's help line. After taking my information, the monitor's information, asking me what the serial number of my computer is (it's a Mac and does not have an Acer SI number, strangely enough), she finally got down to troubleshooting.

"Unplug the monitor and hold the power button for 30 seconds."

"From the computer or from the power?"


Now I have no idea what effect you might get from holding down the power button on an unplugged monitor, but she's the Acer person not me. So I do. Unremarkably nothing happens.

She asks me what's wrong now. I explain that it's the same thing that was wrong before. Befuddled, she puts me on hold.

Next she tells me to plug the monitor back into the power and the computer (which we computer science majors refer to as "the actual way to use a monitor"). I do. Oddly enough, the problem persists. Her telling me to do so does not make it behave any differently from when I do it without her telling me to (tangent: that reminds me of a joke.)

Ok, she says, it appears to be a problem with the monitor. No kidding, huh. All I have to do is send it back to them (I'll pay for shipping of course). I ask where to send it to and she won't tell me. "I'll forward it to you" she says several times. I know this is crap because I never remember to forward emails to people unless they're physically sitting next to me asking for them. And there is no further way for me to get in contact with her once this conversation ends.

So sure enough, it's 10 hours later and I still have not received this mysterious email. So here's what I'm going to have to do tomorrow: pack the monitor up into its box, call Acer again and interrogate this undisclosed shipping location out of some lowly grunt, go to the post office, pay through the $crude_body_part to have it shipped, wait 2 to 4 to 26 weeks for Acer to fix it or send me another one. And it just occurs to me that I'm in the process of moving to a new apartment and I'm going to have to convince the Acer grunt I talk to tomorrow to change my shipping address to the new place because there's no way they're going to be sending my monitor back before the end of the month.

Thanks Acer! (PS, your website sucks. There is no excuse for having dozens of broken links scattered across your UNITED STATES ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PAGES!!! AND NOW YOU HAVE ME TYPING IN CAPITAL LETTERS I'M JUST GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND THINK ABout something more relaxing.

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