My Chat with Dell

As you may recall, back in November I ordered a Dell XPS 420, one of their higher-end computers. I spared no expense, because I intended to do a lot of graphics work on it. It’s a quad processor system with a RAID 1 array and 4 GBs of memory. I had it set up with Vista Ultimate.

It should be a dream.

However, the problems started right away. First, one of my RAID drives got an error. Several hours of tech support later, we rebuilt it. Dell’s tech support answer is always “Just put in the recovery CD and that’ll make it like brand new” (except that pesky detail that I have 90 GBs of data and software on there as well).

Then, my built in 19-in-1 card reader inexplicably stops working. Two hours of tech support.

Two weeks later, the RAID fails again, this time… both drives. Excellent. Now I have a $2,500.00 paperweight. Tech support for several more hours, this time we ultimately open up the case and disconnect one of the drives in the array, making it semi-bootable. So now I have a degraded RAID 1, and I’m gimping along while I wait for the replacement drive to arrive.

In the meantime, the keyboard stops working. It’s a bluetooth keyboard, and I guess I should have known better. I finally manage to find the “ease of access” onscreen keyboard, and I login using that. Once in Windows, a window pops up that wants the keyboard passkey. Well, it was preinstalled, so I have no idea what that is. Another call to tech support, only they don’t know either. 2 hours later, we have the keyboard working, but have disabled almost every service in Windows to make it work.

Another hour of tech support, and I can’t take anymore. I hang up without resolving the problems.

I’m convinced I have what is known as a “Lemon”. Let’s face it, 2 month old computers should not need replacement parts, nor should they require a dozen hours of tech support, especially for something as basic as hard drive and keyboard.

So I go on Dell customer service and initiate a chat to discuss their ineptitude.

Dell: Thank you for contacting XPS customer service, my name is Shamalamadingdong, how may I help you?
Me: I bought this XPS, and I’ve spent 12 hours on tech support, and currently I am missing a hard drive and most of my services can’t run at the same time as my keyboard. Every time I call tech support they tell me to reinstall my OS. I’ve lost all my data twice, and I’m beginning to hate Dell, and I think you should replace it with one that doesn’t suck.
Dell: Can you describe the problems briefly?
Me: The RAID 1 has failed 3 times, the 19-in-1 card reader stopped working, and my keyboard only works if I turn off all of the Windows services.
Dell: We have sent you a replacement drive.
Me: Yes, but that doesn’t change the fact that the drives keep corrupting each other, and if I can’t trust my computer to have data on it, it’s not really that valuable.
Dell: RAID 1 can’t “copy” a mechanical failure.
Me: No kidding.
Dell: If you have a virus, it would be copied to both drives.
Me: Yes, however I’m running Norton which Dell preinstalled, and it says I have no viruses. I think this computer is a lemon, and I want a new one.
Dell: Did you purchase the computer within the last 21 days?
Me: No, it is about two months old.
Dell: We allow returns for a new system within 21 days.
Me: That doesn’t exactly help me since the system is older than 21 days. However, I don’t believe it’s normal for a $2,500.00 computer to fail in two months.
Dell: We replaced the defective hard drive.
Me: AARGH. YES, BUT THE SYSTEM HAS CONTINUED TO HAVE INEXPLICABLE ERRORS WHICH YOUR TECH SUPPORT CANT FIGURE OUT!
Dell: You still have one good hard drive. That should fix it.
Me: So basically, you’re telling me that my only recourse is to continue to be frustrated.
Dell: We replaced the defective hard drive.
Me: I didn’t think it was possible to hate anyone as much as I hated Dell tech support, but now I realize I was wrong.
Dell:
Me: Hello
Dell:
Me: I hope there’s an earthquake in India, Shamalamadingdong!

There you have it.

  6 comments for “My Chat with Dell

  1. January 7, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Wow, I heard that Dell sucks but I didn’t realize it sucked like Jenna Jameson at a cock convention. I’m so NOT gettin’ a Dell, dude.

  2. livieloo
    January 7, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Way to avoid verbal confrontation by chatting online. Sounds like something I would do.
    I hope they replace their product. That’s BS.
    I went with an apple mac.
    No problems thus far.

  3. January 7, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    *shakes head* I am SO SORRY that you had to have that inane conversation.

    By the way: Did you know? If I had invested my money in Apple in ’04, instead of buying a house, I would be worth about 10 Mil today.

    You should get a G5.

  4. January 7, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    LOL. If I had left the money I invested in Apple back in 1997 there, I’d be worth about 10 mil today. But I’m stupid.

    G5s are sweet, but I doubt Dell’s gonna let me trade in the XPS for a G5. Dangit.

  5. January 7, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    OMG that conversation would have made me homicidal. I’ve gotten three computers from Dell, and never had a single problem with the customer service (I had a defective monitor on one laptop, and they sent a technician out to fix it immediately), but I know a few people who have. Your computer smells lemony fresh!

  6. January 7, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    That is just made of fail. The only Dell I’ve had was a secondhand laptop, and the one question I actually called Dell about, they answered.

    I would call them. Not the customer service number, either, the main corporate headquarters number. Tell them you have had enough of the third-world customer service and if you don’t get to speak to an actual citizen of this country who can fix the problem, then you will come to Austin and kick some ass.

    Hey, at least Austin is a fun city and the weather’s nice this time of year….

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