Thursday, August 4, 2011

Another lesson learned

       I have to note to myself to really check and know what to check next time I buy another electronic gadget.  Especially second hand.

       I suspect the laptop I just bought was a test product.  It did have the upgrades and software I needed but one of the most important part (screen resolution) was far worse than what I'd consider having.  I'm very upset to discover that it'll take me a panel replacement just to get it to function as the ones sold online.  I spent the amount of a brand new and a bit better specced for this.  And now I even have to spend more just because the other parts weren't functioning.  I really hate myself today.  And I think I'm going to try to sell this and get the one that I really wanted in the first place.  It'll be another expensive life lesson.  I've been suffering shortage of money because of this purchase.  Uff!  Uff!  Uff!

       I asked the first owner where the MSI A/S (After Service) center is and was directed to Yongsan.  I dread that place 'cause of past experiences.  Sure, it's one of the most popular places here in Korea, due to the plethora of electronic stores.  People claim it's the place to go if you want to buy stuff cheaply.  Nevertheless, I try to avoid that place.  And I guess I shouldn't have gone there again.

       MSI center was also on a three-day vacation just like me.  It's a Korean custom to have 3 days holiday during summer.  It's just a question of when.  But since it is also the last day of my vacation,
I just have to look for service elsewhere.  I noticed an MSI logo on one of the stalls in Electro Mart.  Good thing I found it pretty easily (it's not that easy if you're not very familiar with the place).  And good thing too that I was well attended by the store employee.  I stated my problem.  The resolution part?  No can do unless I have the LCD panel upgraded.  The rest, it only takes some reinstallment of some missing drivers or a fresh re-install of the OS.  I opted for the former.  I got some files in my laptop that I haven't backed up yet.  Either way, it'll cost me $30.  I'm fine with it so long as I get everything back to what it should have been.  Besides, I've been carrying that thing for more than a day and I just want to be done with it.  I was told to come back after 30 minutes.  And so I did.  30 minutes became hours.  I was run down.  I was tired.  I was hungry.  I was just done.  Even my cellphone and MP3 player have stretched every possible battery limit.  So yeah, was becoming really irritable.  I got too bored and remembered that I'd be needing a long HDMI cable for this laptop.  And perhaps a cooling pad, and if I can afford it, another cheap and old graphics card for my other  desktop.

       I got to the building known to be the cheapest place to buy such stuff, and they are also popular for having those old models in stock.  Saw an HDMI cable and asked how much.  I admit it's my fault for not seeing the price tag behind the product but I just got used to Yongsan's ways of not putting a price tag.  Note that here in Korea, the sellers have total control over price.  They can give you the "special foreigner price" whenever they want to... and still (being in color) be judged as the poor race.  I apologized to the seller but at at the same time, held on to the cable.  This should mean I already a going to buy it.  I took a small glance at some cooling pads and took one in box.  Turned it many times, stared at it, but no price tag.  So this time, I'm sure it's okay to ask how much the item was.  As expected, the seller already went somewhere to chat with whomever and left a bystander to tend to his store.  He was called when I asked how much that stupid cooler and I heard him murmuring, "He just keeps asking 'how much' without buying."  At that time, that thing didn't register in my mind 'cause I was distracted by the sudden (really sudden) rain fall.  I got worried how to get back to my laptop.  So with a firm voice, I asked once more how much the cooling pad is.  "$30" and I hesitated.  "The other one's $20" and I took that other one along with the HDMI cable.  I was really rushing since the rain is really pouring out and looks like it come worse by the second.  I handed $35 to the seller (he claimed I got a $1 discount) and I was about to run when he told me the total price was $45.  Clearly the guy was scamming but that really didn't cross my mind.  All I have running in my brain is, "C'mon rain just give me 1 minute.  That's all I'm asking." So I just handed out $10... The last $10 in my wallet.
       Back at the laptop A/S center, I was still asked to wait for a couple more minutes.  So I had time to digest what on earth happened... yeah!  Kicking my self for letting me be treated that way and letting the guy scam me.  On top of that, I was really hoping I wouldn't have to use my emergency $50.  I still have to pay $30 to the A/S guy for his services, no matter how long it took for him to fix my problem.  Yeah, it's another expensive life-lesson.
       Of all those things that happened, what really bugged me is how I'm treated as a foreigner.  I got the money.  I pay for their items.  And yet they treat me as if I'm a beggar asking for charity.  Seriously, haggling is not in my nature.  It's either I walk away if I don't like the price, or I just shrug my shoulders and buy it.  So I hate it when I'm treated like they're the ones doing me a favor.  It's my money.  It's their food.  It should be the other way around.

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