There is No Free Lunch … There is No Free Windows 7 Upgrade!!!

So few weeks back my laptop got infected with highly annoying and stubborn viruses and spywares, which wont let me use the laptop the way I wanted to use. (constant google redirects, forced reboots … you know it all … right?) … they wont go away no matter how many anti virus softwares I will install.
Still I tried fighting with them for a week (which deserves another blog post) … then I gave up and brought out the brahmastra (The recovery CD) … and formatted everything. I had no inhibitions in formatting because my data was safe via windows live sync to another laptop which again deserves another blog post.
First – I had windows XP installed originally, but the laptop manufacturer (Lenovo) gave me Windows Vista Recovery CD for some reason – unknowingly or knowingly.
I didnt want to upgrade to Vista because of many software incompatibility stories I heard – But since I had no option so I said – what they heck, lets try it – ALL IZ WELL!!
Then someone on my facebook friends list said why dont try Windows 7, which was a great idea as I have read good review about Windows 7 … and I know my laptop manufacturer was offering Free Windows 7 Upgrade.
I went to Lenovo site and clicked on the so tempting link of “click here to request free windows 7 upgrade” and was redirected to a site which looked like a third party non lenovo site – Mentor Media Corp – so this free upgrade is being done by some other company? maybe? do I care? maybe? maybe not? what the heck – ALL IZ WELL? … But soon I realized this site had the MOST HORRIBLE WEB ORDER FORM i have ever filled – you know those forms which keep refreshing the page whenever you click a field – no matter which field you click- no matter how many times you click – still AAL IZ WELL – I said to myself again.
I clicked clicked clicked – and on final submission page noticed 17$ shipping – what? 17$ to ship a freaking CD? then why are they calling it Free in the first place? Isnt it a shameless lie to call it free and then charge you?
What the …. AAL IZ WELL AAL IZ WELL … I clicked the submit button.
And lo – “you have got mail” with something which they didnt mention up until now – I will need to send them “Proof of Purchase” – why didnt they tell me before in BOLD LETTERS – I am sure it must have been in some small text somewhere. What if I didnt have “proof of purchase”? Isnt things like should be told to customer before getting the order. I mean how many times I will need to tell myself AAL IZ WELL?
Anyways, I searched my gmail and found the original receipt for the purchase. So I zipped it and send to email address.
Then I waited and waited and waited for a week… up until today.
No email reply.
Finally today I realized this will not be easy and it is just the beginning. I searched on internet and read their support forum and found almost everyone is having issues. People are getting there “free CD” after 3-4 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!! … Whoa! 3-4 months!! is it stone age or what?
Hmm … my order status page is still showing “pending for proof of purchase” Since I dont see anyway out, so I just emailed them again my proof of purchase and will fax it too tomorrow.
Now I try to learn from these experiences – I dont know whether I will get chance to implement those learnings ever in my carrier, but still. I think it is good to learn from your own bad experience so that you can avoid it when you are on the other side – Reminds me of recent movie I saw this week “ROCKET SINGH” although the movie was nothing great but it had nice motto – only way to grow a company is to have good and sensible customer service. That is it.
Anyways, I think one of the main reason this chaos is because it is labelled “free” … So there is a huge rush of customers – which I dont know why didnt they foresee and prepared in advance. I think most big companies these days are totally insensitive to bad customer service. We have seen it all – Comcast, Bank of America etc in USA … Airtel, ICICI etc at India … it is the story everywhere. Like for Lenovo, it looks to me they are totally aware about the bad customer service but they have this implicit excuse “since its free, so it is the bad service .. take it or leave it”
I think they could have done some simple things to improve customer experience here like telling the customer beforehand about the order backlog … so that customer gets mentally prepared before placing the order …. and those who doesnt want to wait can order from somewhere else (even Microsoft is selling windows 7 for 200$ it seems)
Another option could be to have a “premium processing option” say charging 50-100$ .. so that customer have at least an option to choose better service for more money… or stick to bad service for less money.
I am sure if someone at corporate spends 10 minutes thinking over it – they will find 10 better solutions.
Anyways, I am still telling ALL IZ WELL to me and hoping I will get my free Windows 7 shipped to me in next 2-3 months. Let’s see.

जाडे की धूप by सर्वेश्वर दयाल सक्सेना

I think I read this poem long time back, it’s about winter season and sunshine, by a noted Hindi poet – Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena [some of his other poems can be found here]

बहुत दिनों बाद मुझे धूप ने बुलाया

ताते जल नहा पहन श्वेत वसन आयी
खुले लान बैठ गयी दमकती लुनायी
सूरज खरगोश धवल गोद उछल आया।
बहुत दिनों बाद मुझे धूप ने बुलाया।

नभ के उद्यान-छत्र तले मेज : टीला,
पड़ा हरा फूल कढ़ा मेजपोश पीला,
वृक्ष खुली पुस्तक हर पृष्ठ फड़फड़ाया।
बहुत दिनों बाद मुझे धूप ने बुलाया।

पैरों में मखमल की जूती-सी-क्यारी,
मेघ ऊन का गोला बुनती सुकुमारी,
डोलती सलाई हिलता जल लहराया।
बहुत दिनों बाद मुझे धूप ने बुलाया।

बोली कुछ नहीं, एक कुर्सी की खाली,
हाथ बढ़ा छज्जे की साया सरकाली,
बाँह छुड़ा भागा, गिर बर्फ हुई छाया।
बहुत दिनों बाद मुझे धूप ने बुलाया।

– सर्वेश्वर दयाल सक्सेना