Time Laptop: Lost, Presumed Bungled.

  Inigo 23:28 27 Nov 2003

I'm not having much luck with technology at the moment... The biggest problem I have is a lack of a laptop - dispite having paid about £1500 for one only a year ago...

The laptop, a Time Traveller XP 1600 CDR, has had its' share of problems. First the graphics chip died, then the power switch. In both cases, Time took it back and sorted it out in about a fortnight. So 4 weeks downtime - irritating, and I ended up buying a desktop so I had /a/ computer during those times, but I could just about cope with it.

The latest problem: the laptop started ticking. OK, I like the pun here - a Time laptop, ticking. I didn't like it keeping me awake at night, though, when the computer was working away on things. So I took it into the Manchester Time store, and they offered to send it back to be repaired.

2 weeks after this, expecting that it should be about ready, I go into the Time shop and ask for an update. They give their tech repair place a ring, and find that they don't know where the laptop is - it hasn't even been booked into their system. They say to come back in a week.

A week later, they still aren't sure where it is. I sit down and wait for about 1/2-1 hour while they phone around to find it. At the end of this, they say that they've found it - Amtrax, the delivery company they use, had misdelivered it. But all is apparently OK now - it's at the repair shop at the end of this session, according to them.

Just under a fourth week goes past. I go into the store on Tuesday (the saga started on a wednesday), again to get an update. They still aren't too sure where it is. They say they'll get back to me later that day. They don't, and I go back into the store on the Wednesday. Still, no luck finding it. I'm now given the reason that most Time staff at their repair centre are muslims, and it's their holiday this week, so there's not really anyone their. The repair place is now supposed to be emailing the Time store, saying that they've found the laptop. They don't.

I phone Time today to find out what's happening - apparently somewhere emails are bouncing back and fourth about the laptop, but the necessary codes aren't being sent around, or something like that. I'm told that Time will ring me on this Saturday, hopefully at least saying where my laptop is. In the meantime, after over 4 weeks, I'm sitting here with no laptop, which costs me several hours a day in extra work (mainly typing things up which I've had to write down with pen and paper, which as my handwriting is awful is not easy...).

Congratulations for reaching the end of my saga as it currently stands! Now, my question; what can I do about this? Simply sit around until Time actually find my laptop, fix it, and send it back to me..? Or can I actually do something about it?

Thanks for reading,
Mike Peel

  bvw in bristol 00:03 28 Nov 2003

click here and scroll down to the post by Ian - Time.

Email Ian and no doubt he will help you.

  Ian - Time 17:02 28 Nov 2003


Please send me an email with your account no. & address (inc. postcode) and I will sort the situation for you. Telephone no. and RMA no. would also be useful

If anyone else is experiencing any problems please feel free to contact me.

Cheers - Ian

  Inigo 08:50 03 Dec 2003

Well, things got somewhere - on Monday, I got a phone call saying that a replacement would be organised and sent out tomorrow. They agreed to send it to my university address, and that it would be posted on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, I got a text giving me an Amtrak parcel number. I entered this into the Amtrak website to find that the parcel was in fact being delivered to my home address - which will be empty when Amtrak tries to deliver it... Oh, Amtrak are apparently so busy they can't send it tomorrow, when someone will be in.

Some phone calls later, and Time is apparently going to contact Amtrak to get it sent to the local Time store, after refusing to send it to this address without proof I reside here. So, I'm sitting here 5 weeks after leaving the laptop with Time for a simple repair, still with no notebook - and as the store will be closed by the time I get to it tomorrow, it'll be friday before I can actually go and get the machine...

Please, Time, get your act together, and do what you say you'll do...

  MungoJerry 00:44 07 Dec 2003

It seems as if Time are trying to resolve your problems.

I can understand them not sending your notebook to the address that you have given without you providing proof. If you have only spoken to them over the phone they have no proof that you are not some con man trying to get a free computer, there are also regulation govened by the Data Protection act that means that they are not allowed to send items that have already been paid for to a address that has not been confirmed in the method laided down by law. If they have offered to deliever to the local store you will be expected to take in proof of who you are. You can understand this I am sure if you have something that has cost you £1000+ you dont want people sending it to any one who just asks for it. You have said in your first posting that you had dropped the computer off at the local store, so their records do not show you living at your Uni address and they have not made a collection from it, although I agree you have had issues with their service with regard to the delivery of this new machine I think they are take the correct precautions, to protect the goods from going astray.

It always supprises me how when it comes to computers which cost people a lot of money, that they feel that they can hand them over to couriers (who they have never meet before) with out a recipt, or that there should be no security measures in place to ensure that these expesive items are delivered correctly.

If you change address and do not provide a change of address to these companies in line with the guidelines that they are governed by. How can you expect ANY responsible company to send goods that cost you a lot of money to an address that they have no confirmation that you live there execpt some person on the other end of a telephone telling them to. HOW angry would you be if they sent your computer to an address in Edinburgh because some one had phoned up and said you lived there now. and how happy would that person be at getting a free computer!!!

  bfoc 01:01 07 Dec 2003

But what is at dispute here is that Time:

'...agreed to send it to my university address'

Now once that has been done the matter changes, since that is what was expected.

What MungoJerry says about security is very sensible, but it was up to Time to communicate that, if that is their policy. From what has been said they failed to do so.

Many of the problems that appear here are about communication, or lack of it.

  Inigo 21:47 07 Dec 2003

I was kind of expecting them to do what the said they'd do, and not have to spend time chasing about after them to find out what they weren't doing as they said... Thanks for the info about security. I just expected Time to tell me about it...

The laptop arrived at the Time store on Thursday, and I went to pick it up. So I now have a new laptop, but problems aren't quite all finished...

- Size: this laptop's grown compared to the last. Before, the 15" screen was overhanging the base at the sides, and at the front there was a lip to secure the monitor. Now, the base is the same size as the screen front, and it seems to have grown upwards a good few mm's too... I'm letting this go though, with plans to sell it on eBay at some point and buy a nice 12" PowerBook...

- Keyboard: don't ask me why, but Time have done something wierd with the key design... The hash key is bigger than the rest, and the ] key is smaller... For the average user, this wouldn't be a problem, but as I use the Dvorak keyboard layout it is a slight one. The last machine had no such idiosyncracies. Again, I'm letting this one go, and the problem will be solved by a new Apple machine at some point.

- Air vents; either this computer's got more speakers in, or it's got a lot more ventallation for the insides. This worried me, as do the next two things.

- Heat sink; I assume this is what the big block of metal pertruding from the bottom of the machine by about 3-4mm is. All I'll say is; ow? It does get kind of hot on occasion. No shorts for me any time soon.

- Battery. I'll start by saying that I was assured that it took the same battery as my last laptop. This was by the same person that said that the laptop would be shipped direct to me, and again this was wrong. The new battery's a whole different shape from the last. Again, this wouldn't be a problem for the average user, but I have a second battery I paid £100 for just before the last machine was lost. So, I'll be on the phone to Time on Monday about this...

- Battery Part 2; the old battery was 3600mAh. The new one is 6000mAh! That's a fair bit more power, and the battery life is the same. This has me very worried - what have Time put in this replacement to my £1500 laptop, which needs so much power? From the size of the machine, I'd guess they've used a 3.5" HD instead of a laptop one... Oh, BTW - the new machine has no floppy drive. That's a fair bit of extra space inside the machine, and it's still grown?

Oh, one last thing. Whose idea was it to put the microphone right where the hands sit to type...? And why is the ethernet port on the side of the laptop? It seems random, as all the ports are on the back or front, with only the PCMCIA, CDRW/DVD and battery on the side... I'll throw in missing serial and PS/2 ports too, which mean it's a good thing I only use my serial graphics tablet, and PS2 mouse, on my desktop...

You have to love technology...

  MungoJerry 18:59 30 Dec 2003

With regard to the last set of notes, I doublt the heat sink on a notebook is visable (except possibly through the vents, as the CPUs on notebooks tend to be towards the back corner in most of times machines when they are built with a fan and heat sink to one of the vents, if it was in the centre the vents would have to go though out the machine to get the heat out, I know that some of their models have five feet with the fifth being in the center for added balance maybe this is what that is. the other point is you mention not wearing shorts, Time have never advertised ayny of their recent Notebooks as Laptops for this reason they are not designed to go on the lap, many companies they have changed from calling them laptops to calling them notebooks due to a court case in the USA a while ago where a man sue a computer manufature for burning himself with the heat

  Inigo 21:13 30 Dec 2003

You have to love Americans and their court cases... :) The block on the bottom of this machine is on the left had side, and does get fairly hot... Surely nothing other than a heatsink should do this?

To me, either a portable computer is a laptop - i.e. you can use it on any available surface, be it a desk, chair, lap, ... The other alternative is a "deskbook", where it's designed to sit on a desk all day, and go nowhere near your skin. Call it a desktop replacement. I deliberately wanted the former of these, hence going for a mobile processor etc. The original one wasn't too bad; this one's going nowhere but a solid surface that isn't my legs.

But I've given up argueing about this. I'm going to put up with this bulky, noisy, hot machine for a bit - then sell it on eBay, and buy either an iBook or PowerBook from Apple. With the added advantage that I can get away from all the blue screens and reinstalls that I get from Windows - on one night, I got 2 BlueScreens (BS?), Photoshop crashed 3 or 4 times (costing me several hours of work... Will remember to save more in the future), and my internet brower died briefly too. Reinstall again. They seem to happen every few months or so...

Did I mention that it crashes if I ever try to put it into standby? Apparently that's due to the power management software being corrupted. Time's suggestion: reinstall....

I think I need to relearn how to do short posts at some point.

  ch0pper 05:43 31 Dec 2003

It's outrageous that anyone should have to stand and shout and rage to get a company to look after its customers. What does it take for an organisation to honour its obligations?

Yet how few organisations will act like Marks & Spencer and simply refund/replace goods without a quibble.

There is only one answer to the shoddy run-around that Time gave this user and that is to "SUE THEIR ASSES" to use a quaint American phrase.

If you're a student, go to a law clinic to get free legal advice. Then go to the County Court and instgigate legal proceedings.

Oh, and write to all the relevant consumer 'comics' as well. Let everyone know what a shoddy outfit this trader is.

  byfordr 08:17 31 Dec 2003

My friend had to take them to court to get his money back, funny enough did the trick...

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