The first Core2duo I sold and the mild concussion it led to

I remember when Core2Duo had just came out. We had a customer come in and literally throw money at us during our Saturday rush hour. He pushed his way passed all the other people in the queue and tossed a greasy roll of notes on the counter.

“If you can build me a machine that costs that; I’ll buy it”
-Unpleasant Customer (UC)

We counted it up and, as any builder knows, there is a break point of cost vs. performance. The other little known break point is “I can’t fit any more shit in here”. So me,¬†myself and another tech put our heads together. Full ATX, Liquid cooled, Couple of 7 GX2 (Cant remember which model) Etc Etc. We go ahead and price it up, price match against the list he gives us. We’re now sitting at maybe 9% profit on parts. So we say “Hey we normally charge extra for this kind of build but we’ll do standard rates if you sign a waiver allowing us to post pictures/video/spec OK?”

UC: “Oh no, I’m going to build this myself”
Every tech does the exorcist neck spin thing and looks at me. We’re in forensic mode now.
Me: “Alright then, we’ll build it for free”
Customer: “Nope; I know what I’m doing”
Me: “OK,well, with a purchase of this size we’ll need to confirm all parts are present before releasing…BALBLAHBLAH”

So our tills listed part numbers and serials on the invoice so we get him to sign line by line that he’s happy. And as SOP we ask if we can ring this through on card rather than cash. We advise this as it’s easier for the customer to get support if they lose all their paperwork etc etc. Fast forward two days.

Customers is seen coming out of car and going round to his boot/trunk. Lifts out the case with the psu wire hanging free and stomps towards our doors. I rush towards the two glass doors as he proceeds to use the case (It’s big…full ATX remember?) to force one open. He gets in but already I see he’s dented the case.

Me:”OK so what seems to be the problem?”
Customer:”It doesn’t work. You must have sold me a dud I want my money back.”

So I go through my usual talk of finding the dud part, replacing and testing for free. He’s not having it. Because it’s the UK and the parts were sold individually I will only be replacing the dud part. He immediately get’s shifty and says he will juts use charge back if we do that. Chargeback is where Amex/Visa override the merchant and issue a full credit to customer. We REALLY don’t like or want that as usually the customer will keep parts/not return at all. We move across to the tech area were I explain to him that we will use his invoice to confirm that everything is there and he immediately looks shifty again. I ask him to stand with me at the counter where we have a nice wee diagnostic station set up.

Me: *Opens case* “OK…DaveTheTech could you come over here? Bring Sandy. All molex reverse coupled. 2×2 CPU power misplaced. Looks like the PSU has been coupled back into itself. Also I can see a lot of what looks like Arctic Silver on the MB but Given the damage the PSU would’ve done I thank that’s just incidental at this point.”

DaveTheTech is snapping away with “Sandy” our wee Kodak Digital Camera. At this point the customer outright says (as best as I can remember)

Customer: I don’t care. I want my money back even if I did break it. I’ll say you took the case away from me and did all that and just Chargeback.

Me: But this isn’t faulty. You broke it. There’s no moral difference between what you did and soaking it in salty water and 9v volt batteries. You can’t Chargeback on that.
Customer:I’ll tell them you did it and they’ll believe me

The conversation too’d and fro’d a bit on this theme. Me staying calm, Customer being a grade-a pompous radge¬†now threatening to “Tell everyone about us”. So the next day rolls around and customer has taken parts away. He stomps back in, mobile phone pressed to his ear.

Customer(To phone): Yes …..and you can charge back the entire transaction as none of the parts work and they refuse to refund…?…that’s GREAT!…Sure I’ll hold”

Meanwhile in the back office…

:RINGRINGRING:Click..”Hi this is Visa we’d like to confirm a Chargeback……..

Now cast your mind back to the tech bench with the nice diagnostic area. You know what else is nice about that area? The hi-def camera and mics. We have subtle markings on the desk to place stuff that our zoom cams can use to record customer damage AT THE DESK. Fast forward to Customer on hold..

Me: Saunters out from back office holding a finger up to tell Customer to wait..Yes…..well a refund would have been out of the question as he broke all the parts himself….yes we have it all on video and audio….yes…..he’s actually looking into a camera right now and doesn’t realize it….OK…and your fraud department will be in touch? No,no,no….YOU have a nice day…… ….
What a coincidence! I’ve just been on the phone with some friends of yours!”

The customer launched a 100pk of DVDs at me before being hustled out the place. A wee bump on the head was a small price to pay though.