I called Gateway and got India

September 7, 2011

It was Saturday night. In the office, Papa and Jax were bonding. Papa was watching a chick flick on his computer, and Jax was on the couch watching Scooby Doo on the iPad. Moose, as usual was running around naked, except that this time he had a squeaky ball that he was taunting Rooster with, and Rooster was so worked up that he looked like he might have a heart attack. (Rooster is obsessive about the squeaky ball.) And I was sitting at my desk with a glass of chardonnay, trying desperately to find the serial number on the computer because the &@#! battery had kicked the bucket, and what’s the point of having a laptop if the battery doesn’t work?

Where is that serial number?I pulled out my magnifying glass and found the number conveniently (NOT) located on the bottom of my computer. What I was unable to find was the model number, and in order to conduct a live chat with a Gateway customer service rep, you need a first name, a last name, a serial number, a model number, and an email so they can send you the transcript and probably add you to their spam marketing distribution because they know if your battery isn’t already dead, it will be soon, and you might be enough of a sucker to buy a new computer.

I finally gave up the search and entered a bogus model number, commencing to live chat with Gateway. The transcript that follows has been peppered with Jenny editorial commentary for your reading pleasure.

Hi, my name is Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy. How may I help you? Oh, Lord, please take me now.

Jenny: First of all, I’m not sure that this is the correct model number. I don’t know where to look. But I do have the correct serial number.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: I understand your concern. Whew! I was concerned that you wouldn’t understand.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: Please be assured I will provide you with the required details. I assumed that you would. That’s why I’m contacting you. WHERE. IS. IT?!

Jenny: Where can I find the correct model number?

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: I will provide you with the correct information. Didn’t you just say that?!

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: May I confirm the serial number: lxpe603004933287j81604?

Jenny: The 3 in that number should be a 2, so the correct # is: lxpe602004933287j81604.**

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: Thank you for correcting the serial number. The pleasure is all mine.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: I have checked for the model number from the serial number provided and the model number is NV78. I’m starting to have faith.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: May I know the exact issue with the computer to help you better? Good idea. We’ve already wasted 10 minutes and a glass of wine on preliminaries.

Jenny: Thanks. I’ve had this computer for less than 2 years and the battery is dead.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: Sorry to know about the issue. Yeah, that makes two of us.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: I really apologize for the inconvenience caused. You can stop apologizing now and give me a new battery, and while you’re at it, a bottle of wine for the inconvenience. Or cash. Cash is always good.

Jenny: How long is a battery supposed to last?

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: Jenny, as the battery is a electronic component the life of the battery cannot be determined. Say what?!  Isn’t the whole computer an electronic component?  Is there a different warranty on the plastic parts?  And they say plastic is cheap.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: However, as the battery of the computer is completely dead the battery is malfunctioning. Are you smoking hashish or something?

Jenny: What’s a typical lifetime?

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: The typical lifetime for a battery is for 1 year. Holy shit! Have you ever heard of an iPad?

Jenny: You’ve got to be kidding me!

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: No, Jenny.

Jenny: How do I get a new one?

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: The battery life cannot be determined and can be approximated to 1-2 years.  Can you hang on a minute?  I think I need another glass of wine.

Jenny: The salesman didn’t tell me that.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: And depending on the usage the battery can last longer. Sure.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: I will provide you with the necessary information for battery purchase. In this lifetime?

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: Here is the specification for the battery shipped along with the computer: BATTERY 6-CELL LI-ION 4400MAH.

Jenny: Can I get that at Target?

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: And the part number for the battery is BT.00603.042.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: Mundo corp Direct Phone number: 888-278-7500 Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00 AM-5:00 PM EST Skyline phone support number: 888-393-7223.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: Please call the above number and order the original part. They are the authorized resellers for Gateway parts. Authorized dealer = mucho $$$.

Jenny: Can I get it at WalMart? Walmart sells EVERYTHING.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: Here is the weblink for the authorized resellers of Gateway.

Jenny: Where do you live, Pragy?

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: I am located at southern part of India. I got the country right. I just didn’t recognize the southern accent.

Jenny: Ahhhh. How’s the weather there?

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: It is cool here.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: Here is the weblink for the finding the authorized reseller for Gateway products: us.gateway.com/gw/en/US/content/where-buy.

Jenny: Really? It’s hot as hades here and there’s a hurricane headed this way. Second one this season.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: The weather over there will soon be changing.

Jenny: Thanks so much, Pragy. Hope everything is blue skies and daisies for you.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: Thank you.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: And same to you.

Jenny: Merci et bonne nuit.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: It was a pleasure to work with you. I thank you for contacting Gateway live chat.

Pragyaparamita Nagaswamy: Bye and take care. Thank you for being patient with a wine-slugging insane woman.  And for the record, this 1.5 year battery life is BS (that stands for bullshit, Pragy).

Jenny: You too. Bye.

It was Saturday night. Syline wasn’t open, and I was suspicious about what they would charge. I ordered the battery from Amazon for $37 + shipping, so all’s well that ends well, or it will be if the battery arrives and actually works.

The morale of the story: if you’re unemployed, but count good manners among your skills, move to India. They have a lot of jobs over there.


*This isn’t her real name.  I didn’t want the poor woman to Google herself and discover that I’d had a little fun at her expense.

**This isn’t my real serial number either.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon September 7, 2011 at 8:00 am

Thank you for the laugh this morning! When life’s crazy and frustrating things happen to you, are you actually thinking “how can I make this a funny blog post?” while it’s happening, or does it just occur to you later?

Either way, it makes me happy. 🙂

Irene September 7, 2011 at 8:12 am

Don’tcha love it? What you need to do next is get the accent down and then talk to them. They won’t know what to do!!!

And that is exactly how they talk. This was priceless! “How’s the weather?” LMAO!!! Ask them if it was crowded on the train this morning.

I get them when I call Verizon. I’ve actually told them to be patient because there’s a major language barrier and I may ask them to repeat what they’re saying…”I understand Irene, how may I help you today?”

I hate talking to them. My husband has the accent down pat…he works with them. Engineering is full of them Arrogant bastards they are.

Jenn September 7, 2011 at 9:58 am

Shannon: I do start thinking blog post when these things are happening.

Irene: I’d had a couple of glasses of wine and actually enjoyed the instant messaging. Her manners were impeccable, especially since I was being incredibly obnoxious. (Definitely have to remember about the crowded train next time!)

Erin @ EKat's Kitchen September 7, 2011 at 11:01 am

Ever since I started getting your posts by email, I’ve been commenting less… sorry. I don’t miss any posts though! 🙂

Your story reminds me of a friend’s similar ordeal a few years ago, perhaps this lady’s brother or uncle. “Basically, madam, you must to turn the computer on…” when the computer wouldn’t turn on. Yikes! Hope your wine is FANTASTIC! 🙂

papa September 7, 2011 at 1:46 pm


All these spoiled Americans bitching about out-sourcing to India. Not Papa. I would love to make India minimum wage. It beats working for Mimi and Papa’s slave wages. Talk about a bad deal? We end up paying you!

Good thing your kids are so damn cute.


PS How about a little gas money for soccer?

Heather September 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm

You do make me laugh out loud and I am so glad I get to hang out with you (sometimes!!!) It was wonderful seeing you and Jax today.

Jenn September 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Erin: so glad to know that you’re reading. Did you see that Daglia cab in my hurricane kit (http://jennybeansblog.com/odds-and-ends/not-meant-to-be-shared/)? It was a beautiful wine!

Papa: it’s between paydays, and I’m a little short. Can I have $50? Pretty please with sugar on top.

Heather: I had a blast. I only wish I had more time with you. We really didn’t get a chance to catch up. Next time, it’s just going to be us.

Melinda September 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm

What, she didn’t ask you if you could hold for just another minute 50 times? In between apologies, I always get a few of those.

Irene September 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Papa, just ship Mimi to India.

Jenn September 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Melinda: it was an instant message chat, not a phone chat. There was some lag time between replies, so you’re right–I was put on hold. But that’s when I was refilling my glass and chasing down the naked Moose.

Irene, honey: LMAO!

Pamela September 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm

The maddest I’ve ever seen my husband get is at an Indian customer service rep for a student loan outfit. And it didn’t seem to ruffle the guy’s feathers a single bit. Talk about polite. Amazing. I am glad to hear your link worked. The link this guy gave my husband was for a couples-swapping dating site 🙂
I think he got his revenge against Eric’s temper in the end!

Ally September 7, 2011 at 7:25 pm

ROFL – I love that you asked your new international friend Pragy about the weather!! But I lovee more that you got it for $37 at Amazon.

Ado September 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Oh my GOD. Pragy! It was so funny!
I have had this same conversation myself.
You’ve got to hand it to the Indians though, they are so formally polite when they are tech support.
This slayed me. F-U-N-N-Y!!!

Craftwhack September 7, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Good idea to engage the person on the other end instead of getting annoyed at all the extraneous politeness- even if it was brought on by wine. AND extra good idea to order from Amazon. Merci et bonne nuit!

The Pepperrific Life September 10, 2011 at 7:54 am

That just cracked me up! 🙂

Kid Id September 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm

I had a similar experience recently – you kind of want to ask them if they are reading from a sheet because their responses are so immediate and generalizable to any problem. Aside from the bottle of wine, it’s not completely a waste for only $37!

Mommy's Paradise September 11, 2011 at 5:57 am

This made me laugh so hard and cry a little too. Crying because of the battery life span, I also have a Gateway laptop. And then again, laptops of any brand normally die on me or get stolen within 3 years anyway.
But your Pragy was sweet, wasn’t she?

Sandra September 13, 2011 at 11:02 pm

I do love Indians. My bank manager is from India and she keeps telling me that I should just get my mother to pay my mortgage off. As she says, “What does she tink, she going to take her money wit her when she die?” I know right, she should be working for the bank but we struck up a friendship, kind of like you and Pragy. See, I think if you’d have another bottle of wine in ya, you might have gotten Pragy to pay for the battery out of her hard earned $1.50/hr…
This was hilarious, as I knew it would be! My only regret is that you had to hang up. Just think of all the other blog fodder Pragy could have given you!

Sandra September 13, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Oh, forgot to add,
Love from,
your BBFF!

Jenn September 17, 2011 at 10:02 pm

There are so many funny things about this post, but what really got me is the magnifying glass!!!! Why are those serial numbers so small? Or are we just old?

LILLIANNA October 1, 2011 at 9:38 am

This is so funny and sad at the same time. I like your suggestion for the unemployed (me). I think we have ALL been to India! Even if it isn’t on our “bucket list”..I was once trying to get my “web-cam” fixed, a few years back, and I actually got to see a bunch of Indians’ sitting in their “cubes” with headsets on! When my Battery Died on my Dell (again a past computer), they sent me a new one! One year??? B.S.!!

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