Sunday, October 8, 2006

A 'life-changing sum of money'.

"Thank you for calling the Undisclosed Technical Support Department™ my name is blah blah blah..."

She starts out by telling me that No.rt.on has sent her a virus. I try to assure her that this would not be something No.rt.on would do intentionally. However, she insists that they did it so she would not win a sweepstakes that she has been trying to win for 6 years. She refers to it as a 'life-changing sum of money' over and over.(she changes her voice when she says it) They knew she was close and they wanted to stop her.(of course they did)

"The woman at No.rt.on warned me not to format my computer and Oprah told me that if I called I wouldn't win the 'life-changing sum of money', but I have to get this virus off."

Did she say Oprah? What?

"I want my computer completely wiped clean and the windows reinstalled."

Cool, the woman may be looney tunes but this is the simplest call on even her planet. Nuke and Pave.

All is well until we get to the 'delete partition' part of the install.

"I am not comfortable with deleting the partition."

"If you want the hard drive completely wiped, this is what we have to do."

"I am not comfortable with deleting the partition."

I explain to her that if she wants to make sure she gets all the virus, we have to delete the partition. I explain to her that deleting the partition is not really deleting anything except the containers that the space is in. Like two bags of bananas, we are just deleting the bags, not the bananas.

"I am not comfortable with deleting the partition."

The woman is a broken record. "Well, at the beginning of this call we agreed that you wanted your computer completely wiped. If you want to start over and just repair the windows we can, but if there is was a virus before, it will still be there when we are done."

Hell, you have already defied Oprah, what the hell do you have to lose?

Once she agrees, it is pretty much a waiting game, it takes a while but the computer does pretty much all the install. So, while we wait, she decides to chat.

I won't bore you with the entire one hour conversation. Here are the key points:

- She heard about this particular sweepstakes 6 years ago on Oprah. At that time Oprah told her not to call or else she would never win the 'life-changing sum of money'. Did I mention Oprah addressed her personally from the TV?

- Apparently the sweepstakes website has been trying to keep her from winning the 'life-changing sum of money', at one point they moved drug dealers into the two houses on either side of her. I kid you not.

- She invented the Roomba, she told the sweepstakes people about it years ago and they stole the idea. She got a lawyer but he wants $10,000 just to file a claim. She thinks the sweepstakes guys bought him off. They threatened that she would not win the 'life-changing sum of money' if she continued with the lawsuit.

- No.rt.on purposely sent her a virus so she would not win the 'life-changing sum of money'. They often target the sweepstakes winners and steal the money once they have won.

- Oprah will not take her calls or return her email so she has moved on to Gail. And if that doesn't work Julia Roberts was in the audience that day and told her to call her if she has any problems.

- She has purchased, over the years, all sorts of good luck charms, cristals, hats, rings, books etc. The sweepstakes website periodically make her join book clubs and such telling her if she doesn't she can't win the 'life-changing sum of money'. (yes she believes this)

In the end I feel sorry for her. I try and convince her that after 6 years it might be time to give up. Or failing that, she shouldn't pour money into something on the off chance she could win. She should only enter contests that don't require a purchase or a fee.

But she will not be swayed. She just has to win this 'life-changing sum of money', (she is in tears) for her children. (yes she has reproduced) It's her dream and she just can't give up on her dream of winning a 'life-changing sum of money'. Oprah has promised her.

I have said it a hundred times. I blame Oprah.

Apparently, so does everyone else.


kelly said...

ahhh the more of them for me! hahaha

nadine said...

there are soooo many like this lady out there.. it is scary.. they get scamed out of soooo much $$$.

Amanda said...

i dunno if i wanna laugh my ass off or cry for this lady! i mean how funny is it that someone is stupid enough to buy into all this and brave enough to tell others! but then how SAD is that there really is someone stupid enough to buy into all this and stupid enough to tell others!
i dunno i am torn!