I recently had a frustrating experience with a TV repair man.
One of my computer monitors had stopped working. I took it to a local TV repair shop and the TV repair man had it overnight. The next day I called and he told me it was fixed so I went to the shop, paid for the repair and picked it up.
When I brought it back to my office from the shop, it fired up ok but after a few minutes, the screen flickered and blacked out for a few seconds and then came back on. This happened repeatedly throughout the day. I called him and said there was a further problem but I wouldn’t bring it back for a while because I was way too busy. The monitor continued to flicker and cut out for a few seconds quite frequently during the day.
Anywhere from 2- 5 times every hour, I got reminded of how I was now feeling about that repair man. He had a heavy eastern European accent reminiscent of Boris Badenov from a Rocky & Bullwinkle episode.
Well the next few weeks were very frustrating.
Finally, I had time to take the monitor down. After a few days he called me and said that it was working fine on his computer. I asked him what he had done and he said he couldn’t find the problem I was having. He asked me whether I had the monitor on another computer and also whether I had tried plugged a different monitor into my computer. Given that seemed a logical thing to do combined with the fact that I saw my monitor working fine on his computer that it was working fine. I took it back.
So I brought it back, plugged it in and the same flickering was happening. Aaaaarh!!!!!!!
“I smell bullshit” I thought. So I took it back again.
I was reminded of the fact that I had proposed my dilemma to him initially which was, should I get it repaired or just buy a new monitor as they are quite cheap now.
The thought of paying for a repair that didn’t work plus the additional cost of a new monitor infuriated me.
This third time he had it for a week. I had spoken to him but it seemed to me that he was just fobbing me off by saying “Yes, I been using it on my computer for days now and it is working fine.”
Considering he had an old CRT monitor (older chunky ones) and mine was a 24in flat screen, I thought to myself , “Yeah , I bet it’s fine”
I decided to increase the pressure and press him for a result. I called him a 8am in the morning and in a firm tone questioned his apparent inaction. I called him again at 10am and outlined an unsatisfactory result would lead to a call to the ACCC. He, apparently frustrated too, suggested i did call. So I did.
The first thing the ACCC wanted was my full name and phone number for their database to initiate a case file. Nice! They suggested breaches of Sections 55 and 60 of the ACCC act.
By 1pm, I thought – just deal with this and get it over and done with. So I got in my car and drove down. When I was parking I noticed another middle aged gent, a little scruffy looking and a general a la ‘mobster’ look about him, he was standing outside the shop just finishing a cigarette.
As I approached the door, so did he and I followed him in. He went behind the counter (what counter… ) he went into the back room, said something in a foreign accent and out came my repair man.
He showed me my monitor that had been on a hi-resolution setting for 20 plus minutes. He had previously indicated that he was going to test for this 2 days ago. More BS and delay tactics I thought.
I looked at my monitor on his messy desk, set to the highest resolution and I had to admit, it looked fine.
Puzzled, I started asking ‘how can this be’ type of questions.
I also stated that I was convinced when I took this monitor and plugged it back into my system, it would flicker intermittently as it had done before.
Then, the other ‘mobster’ man who I had seen outside, walked around the corner to join us.
Immediately, he began to talk in more technical terms about capacitors, power supplies, video cards, reverse currents.
Beauty, I thought!
Finally some real answers – as I understood perfectly what he was saying.
His demeanor was unassuming, genuine and he came across as quite an expert.
I later understood that this man was the real technician who worked part time and my guy, the owner, perhaps didn’t quite have the technical chops that this man had.
Certainly, I had not had my problem, possible causes and potential solutions explained to me so well prior to this moment as I just had from the technician.
As I spoke and interacted with the technician, it became very apparent to me that my monitor was playing up in MY current configuration back at the office because I had an older system and the video cards along with the power supply was drawing too much power and causing these cut outs on the screens high resolution setting.
From what he said, I thought that the monitor would work fine on a low resolution setting. Perfect for my wife’s workstation I thought!
We joked about the fact that if it works it ain’t broke. The monitor was working fine, right in front of my eyes.
I now realised I needed to update my 6 year old computer systems. The technician thought me lucky as he suggested most systems would last just 3 years.
At that moment, I noticed a ‘Holy Card’ picture of The Immaculate Mary stuck on the wall of above the owners desk.
I had been quite firm and abrupt with this man and all things considered he never ever matched my quite aggressive level at times.
It suddenly dawned on me that this TV repair man’s angels were looking after him.
I felt quite bad!
I said I would take the monitor and call it quits. After all, it had been working ‘flicker free’ right in front of me for about 20 minutes.
The TV repairman (owner) came back into the room as I said goodbye to the technician.
I shook his hand and even then he offered (as I had previously suggested… suggested? more like insisted) to come to my office to witness the flicker fun in person.
I picked up the monitor and graciously said thank you, knowing within myself that there would be no need for him to deal with my monitor any further.
He even came to the store door and saw me off.
I brought the monitor plugged in into my wife’s workstation and kept it on a lower screen resolution. For the past hour it hasn’t missed a beat.
Looks like my wife will be happy when she’s in next as she now has a nice big screen to work from.
As for me, well, I wanted to document this situation purely as a learning example for myself as a life lesson.
So… what do you do when you are convinced someone is b#llsh!tting you?…
Calm the f#@k down and carry on!
…Thus completes my 1183 word self assigned ‘penance’.