Saturday, November 14, 2009

I Break Things

Things don’t work for me, mostly electronic / computer type things. Unless somebody is watching. I may have mentioned that before, but this is a story of what my evening has been like.

I got one of the new Xbox 360 Wireless ‘N’ Network adapters. It is brand new, ordered from Amazon and shipped the day it was released. I put the Driver disc in my new Xbox 360 as instructed and it doesn’t install any drivers. It just tells me it is a “Mixed Media Disc” with only the option to eject it. I popped it into the computer and I can see the files on it just fine. But I am told that just popping it into the 360 should start running the driver install process.

I went to the Xbox website. They don’t even list the new wireless adapter on the site. I filled out an email service request form. When I pressed submit, it told me that nothing matched my search. I am sure I wasn’t filling out a search. Luckily, when I pressed the back button my data was still in all the fields. When I pressed submit again it went through. I gave me an email service request number, but oddly enough didn’t send me one of those generic “We have received your service request and somebody will answer you soon” generic emails. It has been 24 hours and no response, they not work weekends?

I decided to see if I could Google some information. I found an article on the new adapter on Tom’s Hardware. Mostly the comments section was divided between the people who were going off about how Microsoft and the Xbox suck and those people who just thought the adapter was way to expensive. I posted a comment… I know, I know. But that isn’t the point, and please don’t bring up the Xbox/PS3 debate or even how expensive the wireless adapter was. I needed one for reasons that are none of your business, and that isn’t the point of this.

The point is that Tom’s hardware lets you make the comment and then just asked for you user name and an email address. It then sends the follow email:
Thank you for your participation in Tom's Hardware!

You have less than 48 hours to register with your Username and Email Address.

Username : "XXXXXXXX"

To register, please click on the link below:

If you don't validate your account within 48 hours, your Username and Email Address will be automatically deleted.

Tom's Hardware Team

This email is generated automatically; replies are not read. To contact us, please use the contact form on the site.
You can see the link isn’t tied to my email address as a confirmation or anything. I just takes me to their registration page which gives me two options: “Sign up for free by clicking 1” and “Already member.” You’ll note that both of those don’t actually make sense.

I suspect the first should be reworded to “Sign up for free!” and then have another title that says, “New Member.” he second one is missing the article and should be, “Already a member.”

Anyway, I fill out the first one. It tells me, “The email address is already in use.” If I click on the “Already member” option it asks for a username and password, which I don’t have. I try entering what I would have as a user name as password if I did have one, but that didn’t work. The window has its own “Not a Member” link but when I try to fill it out, it keeps telling me that my email in the two fields (you know, the standard thing where they make you type it twice just in case) don’t match. I copy and pasted them in making sure there were no extra spaces screwing it up and even reloaded the page and tried it again from scratch.

Finally, I go to the recover account information and enter my email which it tells me does not exist in their database.

I can’t find the “contact form on the site” which the email mentions but does not link to.

So, is it just me or is it Tom’s Hardware that is fubar? I am willing to believe it is just me; because as I've said, this stuff happens to me all the time!

So in the end I’m going back to playing Demon's Souls on my PS3.


Joseph B. Hewitt IV said...

Wireless issue solved. I got an email back from Microsoft customer support. It had a whole bunch of copy and pasted crap in it. But it did have one link that contained the tidbit of information that the Oct 28th update to the system already installed the drivers. That is probably why the disc didn't do anything.

Yes, I had tried just plugging the thing in, but not while the system was off. Works now.

I thought the funny part about the MS email was her solution. She didn't even mention anything about maybe sending a new disc. She went right to replacing the equipment and wanted me to call phone support so they could verify my warranty information for a replacement. She already knows my console information, a limited edition Call of Duty 360 which only came out last week and the wireless 'N' network adapter which came out on Thursday. Golly, I sure hope their warranties lasts more than a week!

Connie said...

We bought the "old" adapter just about three weeks ago, naturally. (Just as naturally in Australia it was $120 - 50% more expensive than in the US - despite the fact the Aussie dollar is kicking the crap out of the US dollar.) While I wish we would have waited until prices dropped on the old one, fortunately it worked right out of the box and is humming along nicely! Hope you enjoy the connectivity.

Joseph B. Hewitt IV said...

I did reply to Xbox support email. I said I had found the answer from one of the links stating that if I had gotten the Oct28th update from Xbox Live, I already had the drivers and that I simply hadn't tested the adapter when the system was off and then turn it on. Basically that in two sentences. Then on a new line I said, "Issue Closed."

So this morning I get another email from Microsoft. Pretty much the same form letter with such pithy phrases as "I know how disappointing it is when you encounter this kind of issue." Anyway, she basically regurgitated exactly what I said in my email including the solution I already presented.

And I know it isn't the support people. It's their bosses who make them follow this strict protocol which probably works when somebody like my Mom has a problem. Unfortunately, it just makes them all look like idiotic robots to the rest of us.