I bought Barbara an Intel NUC — a tiny (5 inches square, 1.5 inch tall) computer — a couple of years ago. It’s fast, quiet, small and dependable…up until now.
The other day the wired ethernet connection died. It isn’t a cabling problem — I tested the connection with a Raspberry Pi — and downloading/re-installing the drivers didn’t fix it. So I went to the Intel support site to start a repair ticket.
That’s when the fun started.
You have to enter the serial number and part number to confirm your warranty status. Fine. Go upstairs with a magnifying glass and copy down what appear to be the right numbers (they’re not labeled on the case, although it does have about two dozen regulatory and copyright icons). Good news, the unit is still under warranty! Get transferred to the actual “report your problem” page.
What the hell? Enter the model number? Can’t you guys look that up from the serial number I just entered to get to this page? Or do you use duplicate serial numbers? In case you haven’t noticed, there are an infinite number of serial numbers available.
Go back upstairs and get the model number (which also isn’t labeled). Enter it. Fill in the description of problem field. Click next.
What the hell?!? Enter the serial number and part number?!? And the problem description again? Sheesh, do you think any of that’s changed in the last five minutes?
Grumble grumble fill in the fields and click submit thank ghu we’re done.
No, wait: system error at Intel! “We can’t process your <don’t remember the techno jargon gobblydegook but it doesn’t matter as it’s of no use to a customer trying to solve yet another Intel problem so he can report the problem keeping his Intel computer from working>”.
Maybe it was a transient connection problem. Try submitting the form again. Nope, same error message.
I hope Intel doesn’t let the people who design and maintain their support site design their products! Or maybe they do, and that’s why the NUC’s wired ethernet connection appears to have failed after less than two years.