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Cat speak

Animal behaviourists has determined that, while a cat meow is a quite common thing, it’s not used by cats to communicate among themselves. Meowing is used by adult cats for communicating with people.

After a year and a half, I’ve found that Darcy and Furball both use distinctive meows for certain situations.

For example, Darcy goes “meow-wow” when she wants something not food-related. Usually, it means turn on the tap so I can drink from it or play with the drips. Another common one is a “mrrrrow?” with a very obvious question mark on the end. You often hear this one at about 3 AM and it seems to mean “Are you awake because I need a cuddle and if you aren’t, I’ll head butt you until you are.”

Furball has his own unique meows, too. A short meow apparently means “I want treats.” A longer, drawn out one that follows ignoring the former is, I suspect, “I’m dying of treat deprivation.” He also has a short meow with a question mark on the end that also means, “I want to play with the water from the sink.” And, if I go to bed before he does and the downstairs lights are off, you’ll hear this long drawn out mournful wail. “You left me all alone!!” Calling him is instantly followed by the sound of feet running up the stairs and the thump of him jumping on the bed.

There are few non-verbal ones, too. Darcy will lay on her back and using her claws, pull herself on the floor around the bed. I’ve come to learn that this means, “I want you to play fight with me.” (She’s a scrapper, to say the least, as her long suffering brother has learned. Being about 3 pounds heavier and about 10 inches longer hasn’t helped him in the least.)

She’ll also climb up on your chest with her front paws on your shoulder. This definitely means, “I’m standing here so you can rub my belly.”

Furball’s most distinctive non-verbal clue is what my sister-in-law, Dianne, refers to as the “drive by.” If you head to the kitchen, he’ll run in front of the cupboard where the aforementioned treats are stored and just fall over on his back.  Treat deprivation is a terrible thing to live with.

The other thing to understand about meowing, by the way, is that different cats have different meows with different meanings. There’s really no cat-human language. Nope. No cat speak.

The main takeaway from this is that it is true that cats really do have servants.. And, in the case of my cats, one that seems to have been easy to train…

A win for me

While it took a lot of frustration, and probably cost more in terms of what I’m paid per hour than the cost of the computer, Dell has accepted the laptop for refund. I sent it back yesterday.

It was perfect timing to get the email on their decision, since I got it when I got home and my first after dinner plan was to put together a charge complaint to the Competition Bureau for failure to live up to a promised warranty. This probably would have resulted in more time, but sometimes I might see principle as being more important than other things.

So, that’s over with a happy ending…

The end addendum

I just received a phone call from Dell that, since I live in a “remote area,” they cannot provide the next day warranty service that came with my new computer. They tell me that they are willing to repair my computer. I refused, brusquely, but not impolitely.

I posted the following in the Dell community forum this morning:

After more than a month of trying to get warranty service, I surrender. This morning, I purchased a new laptop computer. I can no longer wait for service. I teach for three colleges online and functioning without one has been a nightmare.

And, no, it was certainly not a Dell.

Your warranty and service support is non-existent. Your “techs” and social media are useless. How you can function as a business, selling products for which you can’t even provide the warranty you sold me, is unconscionable.

I suspect that you will not refund my purchase, and that is just a further indication of what a fly-by-night organization you run.

I doubt that I will get anything more out of this. But, I also doubt I will ever buy one of their products again…

The end

I suspect I have decided to do what Dell has been trying to get me to do all along. Give up. And, I have.

I need a computer to function, and it’s been more than a month of waiting to have my new one fixed. I can’t wait any longer. Last week I ordered a new computer and picked it up this morning.

laptop

Therefore, I surrender. Sort of. Now comes the unmitigated pleasure of trying to get a refund, but, that’s bound to be a completely different, and equally frustrating, story in itself…

Full circle

So, yesterday I received the following email from Dell:

Hi Doug,

From the Tag information I see the system has an In Home service warranty. We will go ahead and send out an engineer with the parts.
The service call is booked under the reference number : 321808235.
Kindly note that the Onsite technician will contact you to schedule the appointment once he receives the parts. Please go ahead and have the appointment scheduled accordingly.
Note : The Service is subject to parts availability and the working hours of Onsite technician are from 9am-6pm Mon-Friday.

Regards,
Farooq Ahmed
Social Media and Community Professional

This is rather easy to say, since the person saying this is in another country and probably has no idea of where Whitehorse is, to say the least of knowing whether or not they actually have someone here to service the computer. This is the third or fourth time I’ve been told I get onsite service.I responded with:

Interesting, since I don’t think you have an authorized technician here and haven’t for about 10 years.

This morning, I get this:

Hi Farooq,

As our customer, Doug Rutherford, stated previously (please review his original Dell Community Forum post below), there has not been a Dell technician in his area for the last 10 years. Unless you have a definitive contact that can service Doug’s system, please arrange for his system to be returned for the Repair Depot and please schedule a box to be sent for his convenience.

Thanks,
Lorna

Lorna McNamara
Customer Support Specialist
Dell | Social Media Support
USA Customer Care Board<http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/customercare/>

I get two things from this email. First, they obviously can call for onsite service without actually knowing whether or not there is someone onsite. How do you do that without having a specific contractor to choose from? Two, someone else is “sending me a box.”

We’re now in a loop, and this is the fourth or fifth person to say “we’re sending a box.” Just like they did the first time, on the morning of September 9th…

Why would you own a Dell?

The official Dell apology count is now 9. This, however, brings me no closer to having my system replaced or repaired.

Apparently, the two last conversations, one with a social media rep and one with the person who handles their community forum, have led to me to believe that the warranty expires next August and they’re trying to hold out until then. (That’s being facetious, but I suspect that will be the end result.)

My service file was indeed closed. Apparently, this is because I didn’t send it back within 10 days of it being booked. Since I am still waiting for the packing box and information they told me I had to send it in for a month now, I’m not that willing to accept the blame for that and pointed it out. I have yet to hear back on that one.

Also, the forum manager has said no refund since I’ve had the unit for more than 30 days. The fact that it arrived on the 15th of August and I’ve been trying to get it repaired for a month seems to have no relevance to that at all. I’ve asked to have it escalated to someone who has the authority to override that. I have yet to hear back on that one, too.

Oh, well. I’ve already ordered my new laptop. I pick it up Tuesday morning. I have, however, gotten rather tired of backing up and reconfiguring new computers in the last little while, though.

As I note, I did check my warranty. I am supposed to have next day, on site warranty repair. Maybe I should be insisting they send a tech from Vancouver or Prince George to repair it…

Laptop status report

In my last post, I outlined some of the issues I have been having trying to get my laptop serviced. I suppose the first thing I can point out in the definition of how successful I’ve been is that the laptop is still in my living room.

I posted my woes on the Dell Community Forums. I actually did get a very noncommittal response from someone who states at the outset that she is not very technical and can’t help with diagnosing my issues. This makes me wonder, since my complaints are not with the diagnosis of the problem. This was settled at the very beginning and, one would assume she should have noticed that.

At no point in my complaint did I mention what the technical issue was… just that there is no definitive way I’m supposed to send it back and the lack of follow through on the shipping of the laptop itself.

“Please note, I am not technically inclined and will not be able to troubleshoot your system. If your case has already been referred to our Executive Escalations Team, I will not be able to intercede on your behalf, as their authority supersedes that of my department.”

Has it been escalated? I haven’t got the faintest idea, and don’t know if I have to deal with that myself or will they do that based upon the message.

I pointed out the problem lay with having it returned for service and the oddly competitive nature for how it gets returned. Since the first message took almost 24 hours to get a response, I don’t know what this will yield. I did state that I am no longer interested in dealing with the poor level of service I’ve received and want to return it for refund.

That being the case, I have already found its replacement. No, it’s not a Dell computer. But, if there is no really fast resolution, I’ll just write my computer off as a bad decision and pick up a new one.

I suspect one of my students will have a new tear apart computer by the beginning of next week.

As an aside, you can go online using your service dispatch file number and determine where your service issue is at. I entered mine and was told the file doesn’t exist. Dell sucks…