Death, Insanity, and OnLive’s Technical Support

Remember when I told you about GeekDads? Remember that OnLive console I showed you? Good. Now that we’re up to speed: My OnLive Micro Console died. This is that story. And then some.

IMG_0898I plugged the little guy in on a Friday morning following the procurement of a new game compliments of OnLive’s $5 Fridays sale. Hmm. No lights, no video, no sound, not a single luxury. Lemme double check that power cord. Yep, put it in the audio jack. Oops! Well, that should fix it! Super tech to the res- hmm. Still dead. This thing’s got a button. Lemme push that… Hold that... Hmm. There are buttons on the controller. Maybe those? Nope. How ‘bout if I press the controller button AND the console button at the same time? Hold both? Nothing.

Well, Florida summer storms. These things happen. Maybe I’ve got another AC adapter around here. Somewhere…

Two hours of fruitless rummaging left me empty handed. Well, not empty handed. There was one adapter that would fit, had the right voltage, but the polarity was backwards. I kept it prominently displayed so I could wander past and lecture it on what it had done wrong between cups of tea. Looks like I’m off to Radio Shack. Except The Mrs. has the car. Did I even really want to spend fifteen bucks on a widget I got for free? I should probably test that adapter first. Where’s my multimeter? Let’s see… There was the one I lost and the new one I bought to replace it that I lost while rearranging the house for Baby Girl. At least ONE of them must be in the garage! I brought that backwards AC adapter with me. I’m was gonna need someone to swear at.

It was hot in the garage. Not hot like you may know it. Florida garage in August hot, where the ‘air’ is more of a superheated fog. The final insult came in the form of the Friedrich “QuietMaster” air conditioner roaring over my head supplying a brisk 76 degree breeze to the empty house while supplying me with devastating 115 degree exhaust.

“This is all YOUR fault!” I raged at the backwards AC adapter. “YOU had to be different!”

I would return from the sauna that passes for my garage over an hour later multimeter-less. The last of my bodily fluids had been drained and were now soaking into boxes of my life’s treasures packed away, deemed too unsafe to be around babies. I dragged Backwards behind me in a dejected walk of shame back to my desk. Immediately following my collapse into the chair, the QuietMaster cycled off. It was cool enough now. Damn machines.

Machines! I had not yet asked The Machine; The Lord Thy God; The omnipresent intelligence that see all, know all, remembers all. I had not yet asked Google!

In a fury of clicky-clack I offered my prayer unto The Machine. Microseconds later it responded with a blinding white screen full of blue text. I began to read.

Are you sure you didn’t plug it into the headphone jack?

Check your cables. The power plug also fits in the audio port.

You probably plugged it into the sound hole. Put it in the one by the network plug.

onlive no powerPain shot through my neck as my forehead collided with the desk. Backwards woke with a startled jump. God had forsaken me.

“You should call tech support, Chief.”

I shot a disgusted, sidelong glance at the inept AC adapter. “I AM technical support,” I growled back. “I’M the guy the family calls when they install one too many toolbars. I’M the one who has to decode ‘I don’t know, its just different.’ I’M the one who keeps this house in hot and cold running Hulu.”

“Not this time, Chief. That thing’s got one light, one button, and, probably, one board covered in surface mounted components. You’re a decrepit old dinosaur who fixes stuff with a screwdriver and a keyboard. It might be time to call in the pros.”

“I don’t even need the box,” I snapped back at Backwards. “I’ve got four systems working at any given time in this house. My main rig is connected to the TV already. I proved that even the netbook runs OnLive, and that thing took me three months to optimize Flash on. OnLive’s gonna be on the phones and tablets by year end. They’re going to make me pay to ship this crap around the country. For what? ANOTHER device that runs OnLive?”

“Closure, Chief. You know you’re just going to keep hammering on this thing until you loose it or fix it. Remember that battery replacement on the wife’s ebook?”

I snarled and bared my teeth at the snarky cable.

“Besides, you think shipping is going to cost more than a new AC adapter?”

Head still planted on the desktop, I closed my eyes and sighed. QuietMaster roared back to life behind me. Cool air and clear thoughts crept up the back of my neck.

“You don’t have to take the RMA, Chief. Maybe the firmware’s corrupted and they know how to reset it. You’ll never know unless you ask.”

I rolled my head to one side and opened my eyes. I was face-to-prongs with Backwards. I gave the power plug an icy stare for a moment before heaving a great sigh. The last of the Florida Fog left my lungs. “One email.” I sat up in my seat. “I’ll send one email.”

“’Atta boy, Chief!”

As I navigated my browser to OnLive’s support page. I cast a sidelong glance at Backwards. “When did you get so… articulate?”

“About the time you picked up a touch of heat stroke in the garage. You should probably make a doctor’s appointment, Chief.”

I laughed. “You’re starting to sound like my wife.”

“Don’t get any funny ideas, Chief. Pluggy don’t swing that way.”

I turned my attention to OnLive’s support form and began to enter information:

Micro Console Won't Turn On- No Lights

My micro console will not turn on. No lights anywhere on the system. Tried multiple outlets. AC is connected to PWR on console.Console itself has been unplugged since last use, but AC adapter has been connected to wall outlet.

I cast the communiqué into the mysterious tubes of the Internet and got up to start preparing dinner. I had not yet tried my newly purchased game. 

It would be four hours before returned to my desk. Backwards was curled up to one side, snoring softly. I made a mental note to make that doctor appointment. I checked my email and was shocked to find a response from an OnLive technician. I opened the message and read:

Thank you for contacting us with your issue. On the Console itself, can you please check where the power cord is plugged in? Is it plugged in next to the HDMI cable, or next to the Ethernet cable?
Best regards,
OnLive Technical Support

Backwards awoke with a shocked snort as I banged my head down on the desk yet again.

“HuhWha?! Oh… What’s up, Chief?” Head still down, I turned the monitor toward the plug. There was a moment of silence before- “Bwaa Ha Ha Ha Ha!” I smacked the incorrectly polarized adapter to the floor. Damn machines.

I began to type.

As I stated before, the AC adapter is connected to the PWR jack on the edge of the system next to the Ethernet port.

I went back and deleted the first four words. I’ve done my time on a help desk. I know the score. Rule #1: Never trust the user. You ALWAYS need to ask about stuff like this. Especially if they swear they already checked.

The next email would come a mere seven minutes later.

Thank you for clarifying that for me. It sounds like there may be something wrong with the system, if there are no lights on the front of the console, while it is plugged in. I will forward your issue to our Warranty Exchange department, and they will be in communication with you to start the exchange process. The process may take a little time to start, but they will contact you as soon as possible.
Best regards,
OnLive Technical Support

I raised one eyebrow in suspicion. Well, we’ll see. I launched the OnLive client on my PC to finally try out my $5 game from this morning. As it was Friday night, I figured it would be Monday before I heard from them again.

I was wrong. The following email would come SUNDAY afternoon:

Thank you for contacting OnLive Support.
I will have your order sent to the distribution center tonight. Once they process the order on their end they will send out an email notification with the tracking number.
When sending back the defective item, please make sure you send everything back, with the return shipping label which will be included in your new MicroConsole unit.

Wha? That’s it? Paid shipping label? Response on a Sunday? For a console I picked up with a 100% off coupon? I was beyond impressed!

Monday would bring an email with a Federal Express tracking number. The new console would arrive Tuesday afternoon. It was another full kit. I had already pulled the old machine in preparation for sending it back. I connected the new one and smirked as it silently sprang to life. My thoughts drifted back to that other, deader console. I had a new AC adapter, courtesy of OnLine. I removed the new system and connected the old one.

It was still dead. I was wrong. The AC adapter wasn’t the problem. Backwards smirked silently from under the table. I packed up the old system and headed out. There was a FedEx drop off on the way back from the doctor’s office.


Thanks OnLive! You guys are the best!

1 comment :

  1. At less you can still play it on the PC once you get a chance.