[ubuntu-uk] Packard Bell, what wonderful support!

Gareth France gareth.france at gmail.com
Thu May 9 17:46:56 UTC 2013

On 09/05/13 18:38, William Anderson wrote:
> On Thu, May 9, 2013 at 11:53 AM, Gareth France <gareth.france at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I thought I would just bring the experiences I'm having with Packard Bell /
>> Acer to everyone's attention. I've been unhappy with my laptop since the day
>> I got it and it seems to be falling apart very rapidly. I have been trying
>> to get it looked at but it's like pulling teeth!
>> Oddly enough linux hasn't been the biggest stumbling block. Anyway, if
>> anyone fancies a giggle the entire conversation with them is logged on my
>> blog page:
>> http://cliftonts.co.uk/cubuntu/?p=209
> After reading this, it looks like you've had a fairly typical
> experience: you've engaged outsourced frontline support for a low-tier
> electronics manufacturer, and you've wandered outside the bounds of
> their scripts.  When dealing with a box shifter like Packard Bell, the
> easiest way to get a result is conform as much as possible to their
> requests and get the machine shipped off as soon as possible
> (preferably covered by a home and contents or business asset policy).
> If you can send it back with a relatively stock OS install, even
> better.
> And I'm afraid I agree with Liam here.  If the data on the laptop (one
> which you readily admit is "junk") is of any material importance to
> you or your business, get it backed up by whatever means necessary.  I
> personally use a mixture of rsnapshot (for my Ubuntu servers) and Time
> Machine (for my Mac desktops/laptops) to give me a comprehensive layer
> of recoverable backup data.  If you're unable to invest in a hard disc
> to drop data onto, have you considered a bunch of DVD-Rs?  Or perhaps
> you'd be able to temporarily borrow a USB HDD, or USB-SATA adapter and
> a regular 2.5"/3.5" drive, from a fellow IT type?  Perhaps someone on
> list has some spare kit they could punt your way?
> Also, you're concerned about retaining your data to run your business
> - how will you access the data if the laptop is gone?  If you're
> planning to use the Dell you mentioned, do you literally have 500GiB
> used on your Packard Bell?  If it's all in $HOME, do a du -sch ~ - if
> the answer is < free capacity of Dell computer, sorted!  If not, see
> borrowing tips above!
> Re: the phone number, just search for Acer on saynoto0870.com - there
> are several hits which match or closely match the number you mentioned
> in your blog post.
> I think you're unnecessarily making a rod for your own back here when
> some creative thinking could help you.  Rather than asking us to
> giggle at a bunch of hapless support monkeys being forced outside of
> the scope of their limited frontline support capabilities, ask the
> community to help you out! :)
> -n
I'll be using a desktop for the duration the machine is away. I have 
been looking at incremental backup solutions. What I'd like to do is 
setup a system where it connects to an FTP server and only backs up the 
data that has changed since last backup. Something I would trigger 
rather than scheduled as I'm on mobile broadband and would need to do 
backups whenever I was near a proper broadband connection. I've found 
quite a few solutions which 'sort of' do this as I'd like but most don't 
cut it and some simply refused to connect to my server. Do you have any 
suggestions which may help?

Bad customer service is something which really winds me up and you have 
hit the nail on the head there. This is the customer service equivalent 
of painting by numbers. The collection has been arranged now and fingers 
crossed they will fix it. I know that my laptops always take quite a 
pounding but I can only think of one other which faired this badly, made 
by a company called Hi-Grade. I really don't expect a machine to be 
virging on unusable after only 8 months, regardless of how cheap it is.

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