This is an emergency post, I love gadgets and gizmos but I was going to wait until I had something good to say about one before I began posting about technology. But hey, all’s well that ends well right? Here’ s the story:
So last night I’m trying to look at some videos on my brand new HP Laptop (Merry Christmas to me!), and I notice that there’s nothing there but a green screen where the video is supposed to be. I said to myself, “I’ll call HP tomorrow and see what the problem is.” The first weird thing that happened was that when I called the number that HP listed for tech support, I got a message that said “Thank you for calling the Free Sex Hotline. Are you a man, or a woman?” I was like “Ok!” I checked the number again and I realize that I bought a new laptop, and it was an older model, so maybe the number has changed.
So I did what you should never do. I Googled “hp tech support” and a number came up. Without really looking at whether or not it was the official HP site, I called the number. I got someone in India, of course, and we even exchanged pleasantries. He was super nice, and reminded me of one of the Indian characters my favorite non-reality shows, The Big Bang Theory. (I have this secret love for geeks and nerds.) Anyway I was really admiring this dude. I felt comfortable. He was knowledgeable and friendly and even laughed at my jokes. He was even understanding of me having to blow my nose loudly into the phone, making him have to repeat himself. I have heard of computer companies outsourcing, and even fixing your problems remotely, so I wasn’t phased by the fact that he was not in the US or that he wanted me to give him access to my pc to see what the problem is. I basically gave this man, Ameer was his name, complete access to my computer. I had to go to a website, enter in a little code, and start a remote session. From there, everything he did on my computer I could totally see on my laptop screen! It was like some weird ghost was going through my pc! Ironically, the green screen problem was totally gone. But he proceeded to do a hard sell for a software support package. After asking many questions, I was sold. I even got to the point of entering my credit card number and everything. But something told me to look up “iyogi scam” and there it was. Several people had written about how it was totally a scam!
I started freaking out, and telling the guy “Please don’t authorize this transaction.” He kept trying to convince me that huge companies always have people accusing them of being a scam, and that if you look up HP then they will have people saying that they’re a scam too. I don’t know about all of that, but I do know that I was very much not trying to have them charge my card. I got this overall impending sense of danger and doom. I knew that I shouldn’t feel this way, because when you fear something, it just attracts it to you even more. I tried to keep a level head. I had to be nice to them so that they wouldn’t authorize it out of spite! I gently but firmly insisted that they do not go through with the transaction, and I even began to type “Do not authorize…” into the chatbox that was opened when he got access to my computer. The man said “Ma’am, you do not have to type that…” LOL. It was funny. But I just wanted some type of confirmation other than verbal that I could hurry up and copy and paste and email to myself or something, in case I had to take this further.
Anyhow, I got off the phone with them and called HP to tell them what had happened. Within 5 minutes they too were trying to sell me something, except this time it was an extended warranty. But at least it was from HP. And it was cheaper! By asking the HP rep a few questions about what the Iyogi rep told me, I found two major lies in their sell, and that’s why I can’t respect their hustle:
1. “Your 1 year warranty with HP doesn’t cover software issues.” This is not true. The 1 year warranty I got when I purchased the computer DOES in fact cover software issues.
2. “We are an authorized provider of tech support for HP.” That’s not true, they are a private, third-party company that has no affiliation whatsoever with HP. If they were, I think HP would be getting a cut of their profits. And they aren’t.
Now, HP never said that Iyogi was a scam. And neither am I. All I am saying is that the rep told me two big fat lies, and their package was more expensive.
So that’s the Christmas Scam story. Don’t let it happen to you. When I look back at all of this, I actually have to give credit to my dyslexia that brought me here. If I had never switched around the last 2 numbers of HP’s customer service number, I wouldn’t have gotten the sex line and I wouldn’t have Googled “hp tech support” and ended up calling Iyogi! It’s a good thing though. Figuring out that something fishy is going on right before the transaction is authorized is really a blessing in disguise. I always pride myself on being able to smell a lie. Well, the good ole intuition has saved my life once again. FYI, the real number for HP customer service is 1-800-474-6836 and trust me, I’ll never look at that number the same again.
***Merry Christmas to you all, Happy Birthday to me, and Happy New Year!***