Comet broken keyboard

Comet: I’ve Lost My Keys!

This exchange with electrical retailer Comet dates back to 2010 when Mike Dean experienced some difficulty with the keyboard of the Sony Vaio laptop computer they had sold him.

Rather inconveniently, the keys were prone to falling off – which made it rather difficult to write a letter of complaint!


Th   Manag r
Com t
Unit 1 Tritton R tail Park
Tritton Road
Lincoln LN6 7AN

D ar Cu tom r R lation ,

I am writing with r f r nc  to a  ony Vaio laptop comput r which I purcha  d from your  tor  in Nov mb r 2007.  R c ntly two of th k y   b cam   d tach d from th k yboard and hav  d f at d all att mpt  at r patriation.  Unfortunat ly th rrant k y , b ing th  l tt r aft r D, and th  l tt r aft r R in th  alphab t, ar  rath r critical charact r   in th   ngli h languag , and th m b ing  mi  ing in action t nd  to mak   l tt r writing a not  ntir ly   ati factory   xp ri nc  .

I rang th  Com t Cu tom r Car  numb r to  nquir  about a r pair and wa  told that a my comput r wa   now out of warranty, I would hav   to pay £60  xamination f     for a fault diagno i , and th n an additional charg   for any part   and labour to r pair.   I r adily acc pt that my comput r i   out id  of th   12 month warranty, but f   l that a lightly-u  d laptop   hould c  tainly la t four or fiv   y ar ,   p cially a pr mium pric   product  uch a   a   ony Vaio, and I don’t think my laptop i   of   ati factory quality a    d fin d in th   OGA.

Having mad  my own   nquiri   about k yboard r plac m nt , I’m told that thi   i   a r a onably straightforward r pair and I am writing to r qu t that Com t p rform that r pair a a matt r of goodwill, or off r a   uitabl  r duction in th   pric of a n w mod l.  Alt nativ ly,  you might off r a di count off th   pric of   om  tran lation   oftwar   in a languag   which do  ‘nt plac    uch a h avy r lianc   on th   l tt r  ‘ ‘ and ‘ ‘.

Int r  tingly, th   Oxford   ngli h Dictionary   ugg t   that th   long  t   ngli h word that do n’t contain   ith r mi ing charact r  i   ‘floccinaucinihilipilification’, which ironically r f r   to   om thing a  ‘without worth’ – a p rf ct d cription of a laptop that’   mi ing a coupl   of k y .

Kind r gard ,

Mik   D an.

There was no response from Comet.  Perhaps they were too dim to fill in the gaps.  Anyway, Mike had another go:

20th D c mb r 2010

Th Manag r
Com t
Unit 1 Tritton R tail Park
Tritton Road
Lincoln LN6 7AN

D ar Mr Ward,

Pl as  find  nclo  d a    cond copy of th   l tt r that I d liv r d by hand la t w   k to th  cu tom r   rvic  d  k at your   tor , but which for  om  unfathomabl   r a on didn’t app ar to mak   it a   far a   you, de pit   having “Th   Manag r” in larg    l tt r   on th  front.  You’ll hop fully und r tand th   fru tration cau   d by taking th    ffort to writ   to you and th n hand d liv r it and y t   till di cov r lat r that  om how or oth r you’r   not awar  of my probl m. Unfortunat ly thi  fru tration i   h ight n d by having a   imilarly poor   xp ri nce in contacting your   tor   by phon , wh n on  of your coll agu    l ft m  on hold for about thirty minut    until I d cid d that obviou ly h   wa n’t going to com   back aft r all. On   could b   forgiv n for lik ning your  tor   to  om    ort of black hol   into which communication   pa   appar ntly without trac , but hop fully thi  tim  my l tt r will r ach it   int nd d r cipi nt. Failing that, I’d lik   to ugg  t that next tim   w   try a ouija board and/or  mok    ignal .

Your   in  om  fru tration,

Mik D an.

Still no response.  Mike decided to up the ante – which wasn’t easy because, by now, the letter T had also fallen off!

Chri ma v 2010

h   Manag r
Uni  1   ri  on R  ail Park
ri  on Road
Lincoln LN6 7AN

D ar Mr Ward,

I hop U forgiv poor li’racy – annuva 1 coming off and now hardr 2 spik wiv U coz iz 1 abov ‘G’ on

k yboard.  Pliz hurry and fix my probl m b4 fingz R wurz!


Mik   D an.


That didn’t do the trick either.

Finally, Mike decided to fill in the blanks…


Comet letter with missing characters phone number removed

Apparently fearful that Mike would turn up with his hover mower, the staff at Comet finally relented and agreed to fix his keyboard.

 o, th   ory ha  a happy  nding!



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