So, finally got through to my case manager, asked him the status, and no progress had been made, unsurprisingly. He told me that the receipt I had e-mailed in was the wrong kind of receipt. (Something I didn't mention in the last post; I couldn't find the receipt, which was weird because that's one thing I'm usually pretty organized about. So I called Fry's and got another one printed up. But apparently it wasn't good enough.) Fortunately, since the previous call, I had found the old receipt. This time I decided to fax instead of e-mailing; apparently turnaround times on their faxes are much better than e-mails. Go figure.
But I couldn't get my "fax machine" (which is actually a scanner+account with trustfax) to work! Some days I think I'm cursed. Running out of time before the day was out, I went down to Kinko's to fax the six-page Fry's invoice from there. Take that, HP. I fully intended to call to make sure that they got it but something came up and before I knew it, the day was over. And I couldn't call the next day because I was out of town on business and busy the whole day. I was certain that nothing was happening.
Here's where it gets kind of anticlimactic - even though I didn't pester them, the FedEx label showed up Monday morning, a mere two business days later - that was fast. And they had made arrangements for FedEx to pick up the machine for me, which went very smoothly. (The first time I sent it in, they forced me to make the trek down to Kinko's/FedEx, even though they said I wouldn't have to, one of many promises broken.) And, most stunning of all: THE VERY NEXT MORNING MY WIFE'S NEW MACHINE ARRIVED, sent overnight delivery. Which means they didn't even wait to get my old machine back - they just waited for the tracking # to confirm it was on its way, and then immediately overnighted the new machine. For the first time in the saga, they actually trusted me - I could have sent them a box full of rocks. Or at least stolen one of the RAM chips. Not to mention, the new machine was an upgrade, with more hard-drive space and faster processors. And...it worked! I had gotten really good at reproducing lockups on the previous machine (trying to play three movies at the same time usually did it) - but this machine sailed on as if nothing was amiss...the movies didn't even skip.
In other words, in the last couple days, the company formerly known as Hewlett-Packard finally pulled its head out.
But it did take a while:
Date we first tried to use the computer: 12/25/06.
Date we first called support: 12/26/06.
Date we were finally able to use our computer: 1/30/07.
So...I suppose I'll relax my boycott. I may even continue to buy printer ink from them...and that's where they make their money. I won't risk buying another computer from them, because having to wait a month to use our PC sucks. And there it is.