>>> Casual Misanthropy
By staff writer JD Rebello
October 3, 2004

Linksys is the worst company in the world. Imagine you went to the Outback. The waiter decided halfway through your meal to go drop a deuce on your bloomin' onion. You say, “Now why the heck did you do that?” But he is mute and blind, and walking around with a 28-inch man that he borrowed from Pedro Martinez.

That scenario is about what it was like dealing with Linksys.

You see, my roommates and I recently moved into a new apartment. We decided to get wireless internet, because we're white and well off. That meant I had to buy a wireless adapter. For you non-computer people like myself I'll refer to said wireless adapter as “thingy that lets you use wireless internet.” Can I continue?


So I buy this thingy that lets you use internet. I set it up and it works quite handsomely. I was downloading fantasy baseball statistics and recipes and playing games and emailing my grandma video-mail in North Carolina. (My life is an AOL commercial, if you don't know what I was really doing, you have never read a single one of my columns and I'm sorry it's too damn late to jump on the bandwagon.)

Anyway, the thingy that lets you use wireless internet worked for a solid day. The next day it shit the bed like 9-year-old me having a nightmare about Chucky the killer doll. I called Linksys for help, and that's how my adventure began.

Now, the rest of the column is about the customer service I dealt with, so those of you who are looking for what I usually write, I'll summarize:

I masturbate relentlessly. Girls are stupid. Beer tastes great. Yankees blow. Vote Kerry. Get it? Got it? Good.


I call Linksys, the guy on the other end, let's call him “Dickhead who doesn't speak English, but has lived in America for six years”—DWDSE,BHLIAFSY for short. DWDSE,BHLIAFSY tells me to reboot, then reload the program, then anally rape the processor. (I really just don't get computers.) Nothing works. He tells me to restart roughly 284,103 times. All computer asswipes do this. Do that many people forget to restart if something shits the bed? Is this that common of a mistake like thinking “Born in the USA” is a patriotic tune? I restart. Nothing. He puts me on hold.

Now, he wants me to think that he was either asking a superior technician or checking a different protocol on how to fix the problem. I know he wasn't. He was sitting there, praying I would hang up, wondering if he should just hit the “Drop” button, and hope I wouldn't find my way back to him. I know he's doing this because I do this at work all the time when someone on the phone asks me to do something that I have no clue whatsoever how to do.

Shockingly, he picks back up. DWDSE,BHLIAFSY tells me the following (in as broken English as possible…this wasn't even broken English, it was shattered English…like Joe Theismann's knee English): “Sir, adapter purchased by you no comply with Windows ME.”

Well, this caused a problem for me because A) I use Windows ME (I'm sorry, but XP is just stupid looking), and B) The goddamn box says: “WORKS WITH WINDOWS XP/NT/2000/ME.”

Me: What do you mean it no comply with ME?
DWDSE,BHLIAFSY: No comply. Goodbye sir.

And he hung up.
He actually hung up.

I've been pissed off quite a bit in my day, Aaron Boone, girls who don't think, the eight seasons of “the Nanny”, but “No comply. Goodbye sir.” achieved a kind of pissed off pinnacle. I sat there, clutching my cell phone in shock.


I called back, and reached the same guy. I tried to assume that he made a mistake, maybe thought I was leaving, miscommunication is common when the one guy's entire knowledge of the English language is pieced together from the Taco Bell menu.

Me: Yes hi, I just spoke to one of your technicians (I knew it was the same technician, but I like to pretend I don't know this, he's already made it clear how much fun playing dumb can be) and he said that my wireless adapter wasn't compliant with Windows ME.
(I'm tired of typing all those letters) Him: No comply. Adapter faulty with ME. Goodbye sir.

And he hung up again.
He hung up again.

I mean this was inexplicable. Was it a joke? Did one of my friends feel really ambitious, form a major computer accessory company, sell me a shit adapter, all for the gratification of pissing me off this much? My friends love to mess with me, but would they go through all this trouble? I decided they wouldn't and called back.


Me: Can I speak to a supervisor?
Supervisor, or so I think: Hello?
Me: Hi. I'm case number 305872. I just spoke to a technician. He hung up on me twice because my adapter is faulty with ME even though the box specifically states that it's compliant with the program.
Supervisor: It no comply? Yes. I see case. No comply with ME. Goodbye–
Me: WAIT! (I'm now fully aware that the technician is on the other line.) Give me your supervisor.
Supervisor: Yes, sir. Hold.

Now my eyes are welling up with tears. Not sad womanly “The OC was a freakin' repeat” kind of tears. Pissed off at the world tears.

Supervisor…again, so I think: Supervisor sir.
Me: Yes, hi. I'm case number 305872. Your technician was very rude to me. Three times he hung up on me, but your box says the adapter works with ME. I'm just trying to get it fixed.
Supervisor: Ahh yes, 305872, no comply with ME.
Me: You dirty, motherfucking piece of–
Supervisor: No comply with ME. Goodbye, sir.

And he hung up.

Now I'm hitting walls. And I never hit walls. In every frustrating argument I've ever been in, I've never hit a wall. It's stupid. It proves nothing and it hurts my hand. But I hit a wall. Hard.


I call back, ready to kill. This time on the automated menu, I select the Sales Dept assuming “No comply with ME” can't be anywhere near this department.

Me: Hi, I'd like to register a complaint about one of your technicians.
Sales Dude: That's tech support, sir, please hold.

Now, I'm pissed. Not only do I have to deal with “No comply with ME” once again, but I had to wait on hold for 24 minutes. I know it was 24 minutes because I watched an ENTIRE episode of MTV True Life: High School Pranks before the line was answered. Amazingly, the person at the other end was a woman. I had escaped “No comply with ME.” It was a small victory.

Tech Support Lady: Tech support?
Me: I'm case number 305872. Please don't transfer or hang up on me. Four times now a technician has hung up on me because my adapter is non-compiant with ME.
TSL: (In the most deceivingly kind demeanor possible) Okay sir, let's take a look at the problem.
Me: I love you.
TSL: Excuse me, sir?
Me: Oh, sorry, rough day for me.
TSL: Haha it's OK, sir. Ok, unfortunately we can't fix that, you need to call your provider to help.
Me: Okay, thank you so much.
TSL: Goodbye sir.

So I call Best Buy, where the piece of shit was purchased. They want $90 just to come to my house, and $50 an hour to look at it. Now's a pretty good time to mention that I already mailed away the bar code to get my rebate, so it would be impossible to return the adapter to Best Buy for a refund without paying a bang you up the ass restocking fee. I already thought of that, so stop being smarmy. Oh, and it's also a good time to mention that I don't have the kind of disposable income to spend several hundred dollars to have my piece of shit adapter looked at with no guarantee of it being fixed. Beer prices ain't going down, last I checked.


I call back Linksys. I talk to Sales. The lady tells me I need to call one of two numbers. Now, I know something's shady. Because why two? Is returning an adapter that important and that high in demand that one number would be far too trafficked? I'm thinking why would Linksys require two numbers? Two? 911 only has one number. Isn't a life or death emergency as requiring of an additional number of service as a computer tech support line?

So I call both numbers, and neither number is in service. Let's start with that. You know that noise that gets made right before the lady says: “The number you dialed is not in service”? Is it really necessary that noise be that loud and obnoxious? I blew out a fuckin' ear drum thanks to that noise.

And in case you don't believe me, here are the two numbers:

Give 'em a shot, but wear earplugs.


I call back Sales, and let fly. I'm talking racial slurs, profanities not seen since Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, calling anyone and everyone a bitch. I'm that guy who calls to complain. Everyone's had a job where they had to listen to customer complaints and one person always takes it a bit far where they equate piss poor customer service with a personal attack against them. That was me. I've listened to a great deal many, and I've always said, “Jesus, just relax.” Now I understand the pain.

Finally, Linksys tells me they will mail me a new box so I can return the adapter. This took four hours. Four hours to mail me a fucking box. When that was all squared away, I sat down, trying to get the blood pressure down. Finally, I decided to call Tech Support back. It was the same dude as before.

Him: Tech support, I help you.
Me: You no comply motherfucker!!

And I hung up.

Immature? Irrational? Sure, but you know what? I felt better. Goodbye, sir.