Ah, Dell

February 7th, 2006 by Potato

I was wondering what exactly I should write about today, deathly afraid that I had run out of ideas after just over 50 posts. Thankfully, Dell has saved me with a piece of spam.

A while ago, my supervisor wanted a new computer for his home, and got me to buy it for him. The deal was, I would buy it on my credit card, and he’d pay me back with a bonus for setting it up and all that jazz. He was fairly stuck on Dell (though I did offer to build one from parts), so I watched the specials for a few weeks, and when one with “free” extra RAM came up, I ordered it.

A few days later, I got an email from Dell saying that there was a problem with my credit card, and asked me to phone a certain representative at a certain number at a certain time. Of course, when I called at that time, I got a voicemail saying she worked completely different hours. After a few days of that, I finally got a hold of her, where she tried to blame the problem on me not putting in the expiry date properly (I did), then maybe a typo in the card number (there wasn’t). I kept trying to tell her that the problem was that I was ordering a computer and having it shipped to my supervisor’s house, which my credit card company’s anti-fraud detection was not liking one bit. If she changed it to ship to my place, it would go through fine. Instead, she said that I probably didn’t have a high enough credit limit to cover the computer, and tried to sell me a financing plan. I got fed up at that point and just cancelled the order.

My supervisor ended up ordering the computer through the hospital on his own credit card, which was a very smart move — the Dell government/healthcare division has its own tech support line, which is based in Canada and generally much more helpful than the standard overseas outsourced one. The package ended up costing less, since he didn’t have to pay for anything he didn’t want (out goes the second DVD-ROM drive, goodbye useless add-on 15″ flat panel), but the computer itself cost very slightly more (at least, if you go by what it would cost to get a 15″ screen seperately).

So today, I got a piece of junkmail from Dell warning that my computer’s warranty will expire at the end of the week and that I should really consider buying an extended warranty.


A Dell Warranty is the best way to protect your Dell products. And there’s nothing like the peace of mind that comes from knowing you can rely on Dell for:

• Comprehensive knowledge of your system
• Hassle-free repairs
• 24/7 support

Wow, $79/year for three things that Dell is not known for: you often have to harrangue them to acknowledge a hardware failure and send out a replacement, and then they want you to ship the broken part back, even if it’s just a cooling fan, and very rarely do they know much about your system, even if it’s on the waybill you got when ordering. And as I saw with my credit card issue, support is not always available 24/7 — and that was for sales, which is typically the department that gets the best resources from the company.

Anyway, that reminded me of why when Wayfare wanted a new laptop, we went solidly for a Toshiba.

One Response to “Ah, Dell”

  1. Netbug Says:

    I like dells products.

    I hate dells service.

    I tend to get “fell off the truck” models. :)