Friday, 12 November 2010

How to steal a laptop

Years ago my colleague (who we'll call Woolf T Flywheel) had his laptop stolen.  How did it happen?

His laptop developed a fault, so he called up Compaq to get it repaired under warranty.  (I told you it was years ago, they were later bought by HP.)   They sent out DHL to take it back to their service centre. 

A day or two later a nice chap from Compaq rang up to ask what the problem was with the laptop.   Woolf told him, of course.

A few days later Woolf rang up Compaq to ask what had happened to his laptop.   The reply was "What laptop?  We never got it."  

It had been stolen, the police came to the office.  It more or less must have been an inside job at DHL. Somebody's insurers (probably DHL's) paid Woolf back, and laptop prices had fallen so much that the difference was enough for Woolf to buy a £600 fat boy lazy chair (or was it two?)   

But what has always stuck in my mind was the brilliance of ringing up to ask what was wrong with the laptop.    It did two things at once.  First, it delayed for a few days Woolf ringing up to ask what had happened.  And second, they could find out what was wrong with it so they could fix it  before selling it!  

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