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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tech Crazy


            I am going tech crazy!  It feels like the madness will never end.  Perhaps I'm being dramatic.  Still, it's been a frustrating battle trying to get my beloved Braille Note M Power repaired and returned home where it belongs.

            It's been over six weeks since I sent the machine to Humanware for repaired. I heard absolutely nothing from them until today.  I finally had to  send an email to their customer services office to  learn the status of the repair job.

            They returned my email this afternoon and explained the delay. Supposedly, they only received my machine three weeks ago.  They typically have a three  week back log so, from their point of view, there hasn't been a delay at all.  Whatever.  All I know is that  I haven't had the  BN for six weeks and I want it back!

The email was confusing. My Deaf-blind  Outreach trainer happened to be  here and she called Humanware on my behalf.  More confusion. They said I needed  a new braille display and wanted  $1,500.  It made no sense.  I just got a new  braille display back in September and I had no current problems with it.  I didn't send the machine in for the display to be fixed.  I needed the  charger and wireless connection repaired. And since I have warranty, I shouldn't have to pay that much money.

            More calls.  More questions.  It took a few hours but we finally got the  situation settled.  Tech support was able to solder a piece back in place to repair the charger. The machine needs a new battery so they will replace the "main board."  They tested the wireless connection and it works fine. They suggest I might need a new network card.  I already bought a new card.  I'll have to try it again when the machine is  back.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will work now.

As for the display, one dot on one cell is not working right. They will replace the cell.  I don't need a whole new braille display.

            The good news is that with my warranty, which they finally found, I only have to pay  about $80.    I authorized the repairs and gave them my credit card info.  I should have my BN back some time  next week.

            My ordeal   is almost over. With a little luck, everything will be running fine.  In a perfect world, nothing else will go wrong and I will get to keep my BN for a year or two before needing more service.  Of course, it's rarely a perfect world.

This is what it's like for people who are deaf-blind. We are   so dependent on this specialized adaptive technology. When it breaks down, options are few and  the wait is long.

Think about it. When your computer has a problem, you take it to the   computer store for repairs.  You often have it back  within a week. When your computer dies, you go to the local Best Buy  and get a new one.  It's easy enough. The next time you have to deal with this kind of thing, think about what I've been through with my BN.   You'll realize you don't have it so bad, after all.



(Written on July 14, 2009)



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