A: An RMA number
Over the holidays I bought my girlfriend a digital camera to go with my new laptop. I figured give a little, get a little.
Anyway, last night I wanted to download some photos to the laptop. So I get the camera box out from the gift corner, install the software and plug the camera into the USB slot via the nifty little cable that Canon sent. (The camera is a Canon PowerShot A520
My Windows XP Pro laptop does not see the camera.
I figured it was a driver problem, so I ditzzed around with things for a while: searched for WinXP drivers, read up, tried reinstalling, you know, just what I wanted to do on a Monday night. The result of my efforts was nil. So I try on girlfriend's Win2K laptop. What the hell, use the old drivers, I figure.
So, I figure that I'll call Dell, the makers of my brand new laptop. It's late 10:30 PM PST. But, I get a garbled voice on the cell phone after dancing in the Dell phone queue for about 5 minutes. Not bad in tech support minutes, I guess. I mean, the deal is you get a voice. Nobody said anthing about a voice with meaning.
I understood about every other word that the technician uttered. I am almost sure the the guy that I had on the line was in India because the phone connection quality was frighteningly similar to sounds that I get from recruiters calling me from India using a cheap VoIP
service to try to place developers from Southern California into lifeless gigs in data centers in Exurbia
. We talk for 2 minutes and then we are disconnected.
I call back. I get another VoIP challenged guy who eventually directs me in to the tech support netherworld of unresolved voice menus, abrupt magical disconnections and “not my table” responses.
Still no photos on the laptop. So, in desperation I try the tech support chat.
Here is my first conversation:Session Started with Agent (Mathew_xxxx)Robert Reselman: "Can't see camera"Agent (Mathew_xxxx): "Thank you for contacting Dell Consumer Hardware Warranty Support Chat. My name is Mathew."Agent (Mathew_xxxx): "Please allow me a moment to review your question."Robert Reselman: "Hi Mathew"Robert Reselman: "The phone kept hanging up on me...."Agent (Mathew_xxxx): "Hi, Robert."Agent (Mathew_xxxx): "Robert, I am unable to help you at present as my system tools have gone bad. I can't access my database as my system does not seem to allow me to do so. So I would request you to please understand my helplessness and contact us back after half an hour so"Agent (Mathew_xxxx): "I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to you. I am very sorry for not being able to assist you at the moment as all my resources are down now. I hope you will understand my situation and get in touch with us soon."Agent (Mathew_xxxx): "Thank you for visiting Dell Technical Chat Support and allowing me the opportunity to assist you."Agent (Mathew_xxxx): "Also, feel free to visit us again at: http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/en/chat?c=us&cs=19&l=e"Session Ended
Here is the second conversation:Session Started with Agent (Ankur_xxxx)Robert Reselman: "Need WinXP driver for Canon Powershot a520"Agent (Ankur_xxxx): "Thank you for contacting Dell Consumer Hardware Warranty Support Chat for Portables. My name is Ankur.Please allow me a minute to review your question"Robert Reselman: "Hi Ankur"Agent (Ankur_xxxx): "I would have liked to help you however your chat has been connected to Dell Consumer Technical Hardware Chat Support for Portables\Desktop. To get specialized, professional help with your at-home installation needs kindly contact Dell On Call who are spec"Agent (Ankur_xxxx): "Since we do not have a Chat based helpdesk support, I would request you to call them at (866) 497-2661 and do vist our Dell On Call Site at:"Agent (Ankur_xxxx): "Thank you for visiting Dell Technical Support online chat and allowing me the opportunity to assist you. Please feel free to visit us again at http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/en/chat?c=us&cs=19&l=e"Session Ended
OK, so at this point I am well..... nuts!
So, I figure, hell, I'll call the paid support line. All I want to do is get the photos into the laptop. It's a simple thing. Why is this soooo hard? I get through to paid support almost in no time, only three key skips in the menu system. Then I learn that help getting the photos into the laptop will cost $99.
At this point I felt I had only one option left: send the camera back, go down the street in the morning to Radio Shack, pay a little more to talk to a human being with free will and no cyber-intelligent tech support policy implant and get the photos into the laptop.
I get online to the DellTakeThisThingBack.htm web page and apply for an RMA number. (RMA stands for Return Merchandise Authorization, I think.)
So, I am just about to cash it in and go to sleep. I decide to give the Canon site one last try and read the very fine print in the product description that says that no special drivers are needed for Windows XP. OK, I figure. I plug the camera back in one last time . Still no camera to be seen by the laptop. Then as if by some psychic premonition I get this vision: Turn the camera on and put the mode switch on VIEW
Do I did and it does. The laptop sees the camera.
So with absolutely no support from anybody, not Dell, not Canon, or Big Government, after 2 hours of trying to figure out how to get photos to the laptop, I finally realize my goal. I feel like a guy that would make the Founding Father proud: success through self sufficiency, private initiative and the labor of one's brow!
So for all you irate, frustrated owners of a Canon A520 searching on Google et.al., for relief, this is for you. If you want your Windows XP system to see the camera in order to get the photos onto the system, do this:
- Plug in the cable between camera the system USB port
- Turn on the camera
- Set the mode switch down to view.
for a diagram that will show you exactly what switch to move down.
Now you might want to know what photo required such urgency to download. Well, click here
to see it. I am trying to sell a Crate PX700 PA mixer-amp: a nice piece of equipment for mixing to output or powering 6 mikes for a small ensemble. BO accepted.
Oh yeah, I am still waiting for the RMA number. I guess in the future we're all just another IP address in the queue.