I am so incensed yet again about the way
we farangs are treated here, I just have to write to you to warn your
I have a small factory just outside
Pattaya employing 19 people making soft furnishing giftware. I run all the
accounts, marketing, sales, production costs and salaries on a Toshiba
Satellite 2520CDS laptop.
I bought it new in the UK last May and
brought it out with me together with a DeskJet 340 Printer and a Scanner.
So I am completely self-contained, computer-wise, as I lecture Business
Management subjects as well, and have all my lectures and presentations on
the computer. It also has a built-in modem so that I can email and fax
from it as well, so I have a complete but compact business office with me.
It is a very large, powerful notebook and has done me proud since I have
About a month ago, while working on the
computer and drinking a cup of coffee at the same time (what a very stupid
thing to do anyway!), when the inevitable happened. A few drops of coffee
fell onto the keyboard. I immediately wiped them all off as best I could.
Much to my delight, the computer continued to work.
Then last Friday I could not boot it up
in the morning. I took it to 4 Computer Service Companies here in Pattaya
and none of them could do anything, as it was a notebook and not a
standard computer. One of them suggested I take it into Bangkok to Panthip
Plaza, the computer megastore.
I took a day from work, leaving my
workers with their jobs for the day. I went into Panthip and straight to
Global, the Toshiba Service Shop for Notebooks. I waited in a small queue
and then a man asked me the trouble, played around with it and then asked
another engineer to look inside it.
He opened it up and laughed when he saw
the stains from the coffee. He said the computer was immediately out of
warranty and it would cost me to put it right, but they could not touch it
for a day or two because they were busy. I explained I had come up from
Pattaya and that I ran my company from the computer, and that the 2-week
salary payment to my workers was due the following day.
He agreed to look at it, but warned me
that there was serious damage and many of the boards would probably be
short-circuited. He also said it would be difficult to mend because it was
a new model to Thailand and he did not have spare parts for it. But he
asked me to leave it and he would ring me at 4.30 p.m. or 5 p.m. to tell
me how much the repairs would be.
I finally rang him at 7.30 p.m. when he
told me they could not get me the cost of all the parts till the morning.
So I had to book into a hotel for the night, with no clothes or
toothbrush, and then phone the factory to tell them I would not be back
till the following day.
I went to Global in Panthip at 10 a.m.
when they opened and the man said he was very sorry but the motherboard
and all the other boards were short-circuited and nothing worked. He told
me it would cost me 30,000 - 50,000 baht to repair and it would still be
suspect and I would be better off buying another notebook from him.
I had paid nearly 100,000 Baht for this
notebook in the UK, so was very upset but unsure about how bad everything
really was. I asked him for the prices of the things that needed replacing
and he would not give me them. So I asked him where he got the parts from,
and he eventually and very grudgingly gave me the address of Chevalier
Telecom (Thailand) Ltd. in Barnrungmuang Road, Bangkok.
I took a taxi there and told them the
problem. A very professional and happy service receptionist gave me a cup
of coffee and asked me to wait while she called a service engineer down. A
young Thai came who could not speak English, so she translated the
problem. He took it apart and saw the coffee stain and smiled and asked me
About 9-10 minutes later, the
receptionist’s phone rang and she smiled at me and said there was NO
problem and he was just cleaning it all up inside and would bring it down.
She apologised and told me there was a standing service charge of 1200
baht but this also gave me a 3-month warranty.
He brought it back to me, full of
smiles, switched it on, and everything was working and all my programmes
were in tact.
What can I say? I often read about
police raids on the pirates in Panthip. I must ask you to warn your
readers about this near catastrophe. In the end, by pure persistence, I
paid 1200 baht instead of 30-50,000 baht or, worse still, buying another
computer and losing 20 years of programmes and presentations.
I am appalled at this total lack of
professionalism and the way, yet another farang, nearly got taken to the
Editor’s reply: The author of the piece, Roy Burson is the pastor of
the Pattaya International Church. We believe he will be a regular
contributor to the Pattaya Mail.