Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ding Dong, DELL.....

There is NOTHING that irritates, annoys and drives me into a fury more than

a. things which break 2 days after they arrive in this house, and
b. total and utter incompetence from people on the end of technical support phone lines in foreign parts who do not speak intelligible English.

My older son has bought my younger son a really good laptop for university from DELL (and YES it is in capital letters and I don't care how many things this post triggers - I am not happy) and it arrived in this house on Wednesday evening. He was beyond thrilled with it. So was I because it meant I had more access to this one, and also, I happen to love seeing my child really happy about things. He would have been happy with a basic one. This one had bells and whistles. He deserved it.


It lasted less than 48 hours. Yesterday afternoon, it died. The Dell logo comes up, followed by the black screen of death and a little white cursor in the top corner and that is it. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Deader than dead. So we embarked on the dreaded "let's phone the technical help line in foreign eastern parts". Oh joy. My loathing of foreign help lines is well documented.

I am sure there must be many wizards on the tech line who are good at their job. We got someone who was "a bit of a challenge" - I am being uncharacteristically restrained here - and the first 10 minutes consisted of me yelling "I cannot hear a word you are saying" followed by the " I do not understand a word you are saying" followed by lengthy silences followed by rising blood pressure.

I handed the phone to my son to do the techy things, and after trying many things we had already attempted, he was told to put the driver disc into the laptop. He did. It ate it and refuses to spit it out. When David got up and said the man had told him to get a screw driver to undo the machine and work on the insides, I grabbed the phone and informed him that under no circumstances was he going to do anything of the sort and void our warranty. And that they could send a new computer immediately and remove this obviously faulty and inadequate one.

It took nearly an hour. I asked to speak to a manager and none was forthcoming. That also escalated my ire. I do hope they recorded that call and use it for training purposes. At the same time, Andrew was on my mobile phone saying "do not touch anything with a screw driver" just as I was telling the man. They are sending a technician on Wednesday. I told them to make sure he had a new computer with him, or this one is going back on Wednesday afternoon and we want our money back.

I was exhausted. And David had this look of resignation on his face which breaks my heart. He loved his laptop. He is the kind of kid who never asks for anything, and is always happy with whatever he has, and this was so special for him. He seems to find it hard to believe that good things DO happen to him, and seems to be expecting things to go wrong, and I want things to go well for him. He needs things to be good and exciting and now the joy from receiving this gift has been tarnished with a doubt that it will work, with a worry that he will lose his work. In a way, it doesn't matter if he does get a new one. He will be waiting for the axe to fall. And I hate that even more than all the above.

So the blood pressure got some exercise. It must have been up there somewhere in the stratosphere. I was not serene and content. At. All. Our dealings with Dell have not been good over the years. At one stage the GM of Dell UK in Ireland and I were on first name terms and emailing each other on a daily basis because of the useless piece of plastic rubbish they had sent me. So I have no idea why I am surprised this time. I just keep believing that the next time it will not happen. And it does. And I have just deleted a few choice descriptive words that were not at all family friendly. You may insert your own at this point. Use your imagination.

So now we wait. This is not something I excel at. And when I finally get my own laptop, it will definitely not be a Dell.

Ironically, last night we were going out to celebrate a great week for David with friends. Peter, Glynis and Matt took us out to dinner, after also being appalled at my chocolate cookie celebration. We were picked up just after we ended the call to the helpline, and it is just as well it took some time to get to the restaurant. We did have a great evening though. They are great friends.

And when we got home, the first thing my son did was try to start his laptop again. Nada. Yes. It matters.


Mary said...

Boy! I really hope that they bring you another laptop, one that has a little more than bells and whistles - one that actually works - more than works - works brilliantly!! What's more if they know what's good for them it had better be gold plated.

By the way - I did insert a few adjectives. You tell David that lots and lots of good is on its way.


Isabelle said...

What a lovely brother Andrew is, isn't he?

You do know that his contract is with the shop where he bought it, don't you? Not with the firm who made it? So you can insist on a refund from the shop.

But yes. Very poo, as my children sometimes, inelegantly, say. You can tell the influence of their English teacher mother, can't you? Articulate, might be the word. Or not.

Hope it gets sorted soon.

Edith said...

Oh I can so totally relate to the frustration of dealing with that particular computer company! (and any other one that outsources work without requiring its employees to speak good clear English). I hope that you are able to get things working correctly and soon.

Have a blessed day.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Dell? Say no more. I have a Dell and would you believe that TWO showed up at my door? Two and I was charged for two (I had ordered one) and no amount of trying to straighten it around worked until I sent a letter to the President of Dell along with a courtesy copy to the Better Business Bureau. I actually think that a Dell computer is a pretty good one, but the technical support and customer service at Dell needs a lot of improvement.

Sorry, I shouldn't share my own discouragements in the middle of your troubles. Hope that you get this thing worked out satisfactorily. I know how annoying it's going to be.

Growl here as much as you want...I'll be nodding my head.

Diane@Diane's Place said... I was thinking that when I get a laptop I wanted a you've made me second-guess that!

Not because of the trouble with the computer, but because of the poor service. Everybody has a problem with their products sooner or later - it's the customer service that keeps them and brings them back or loses them business and repeat customers.

Hoping and praying that the problem is fixed pronto and to your satisfaction.

Happy weekend, elevated blood pressure not withstanding...

Love and hugs,


Chris said...

Dear Daaaay-viiid,

With a Mum like this on your side, you can conquer the world!

She's put the FEAR OF GOD into this company, so you KNOW the next laptop will be grander than grand. Good things come to those who wait, my friend!

And yours is on the way.

With love,

Some American

Crystal said...

How disappointing for David. When I get something new I just want to have fun with it and an immediate breakdown is not fun. I can understand why he will be wary of losing his work at university. I assume that it was purchased in London which makes it hard to get back to the shop. DH had this experience once with a big box store and they replaced it right away - no questions asked, just another trip to the city (100 km away).

When our laptop died last winter, we went straight to the Apple store and bought a MacBook. Is that an option for you in GB? It's been just a dream to work with and is completely compatible with Windows and Excel - and the photo and movie programs are amazing. It even updates its own virus scan program. Just a thought!

I hope the days until Wednesday are good ones. And give David a cyber hug from me!

Dawn said...

I am so sorry! We have Dell both for our PC and my laptop, with no problems - and all of our work ones were Dell. But you are right about the customer service - if you don't have any problems, you're okay!

I hope it gets resolved soon - or sooner! There's nothing more frustrating to me than dealing with someone in India! Who could not care less about our problems with the product or service - credit card companies especially!

Susie said...

My brother has had similar problems with Dell. He absolutely refuses to talk to anyone who doesn't speak English. They do have a whole customer service staff that is not located in India. You can insist on being connected to someone who speaks better English, but it doesn't necessarily mean they can solve your problem.
I feel so bad for your son..

Sandra said...

I've had the same problem with DELL and it's so frustrating, I've never bought another of their computers.

So sorry you guys had to deal with this.


zzop357 said...

Linds, My hubbys cousin had the same problem with D*ell. But like cars you can get a good one or a lemon. I'm sorry this happened to the both of you. You might have gotten one cheaper at one of your bigger city's. At least with an off brand parts are easier to find.With D*ell you are locked in to buying their parts. That sucks.
Good luck, I hope they get you a new one. God bless, Donna

Midlife Mom said...

I am so with you on the getting someone who speaks decent English part!!!!!!! It just tires me so to be connected with someone that can barely speak English! It has to be one of my biggest gripes in the world! I so hope your son gets a new computer, sounds like this one is a lemon. I'd hold out for a new one. Good luck to you!!!

meggie said...

To quote Isabelle's children, very POO indeed! How do they get away with this? It seems to be quit a common occurence?
Rissoles, & all that!!

Gillie said...

So sorry, Linds and David, p**h f**ts as my then 2 year old son used to say. So glad for the birthday outing, though.
Blessigs, gillie

Needled Mom said...

Ahh...the joys of life! My sister had a similar experience and thus labeled her computer the "D*ell from h*ell." I wish you the best of luck in trying to get it settled out as she had to fight for months.

Hope the rest of the week is better.

Joyful Days said...

That is really so sad that David got a defective laptop and bad tech support to boot. I can imagine a lot of words for the situation.

I'd like to try living without computers--but then I'd miss all my friends who live in mine! :) LOL.

Hoping for a good report tomorrow.


At A Hen's Pace said...

Oh, such a bummer to hear how many people have had problems with Dell! Mine has been fine and the one time I called customer service, I got a very helpful rep who virtually took over my computer and had my problem fixed immediately. And he wasn't TOO hard to understand....

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