Mission Impossible?

Joining our saga in progress, Tracey is trying her best to return a monitor that doesn’t pass muster to Dell.  She can’t get a customer service person to follow up on their promise to send us a return label.  “Out to lunch” reads the forehead of every Dell agent she has communicated with.

Now I find the DVD drive in my laptop doesn’t want to read discs and here I am on Christmas weekend with pictures on my camera and Photoshop ready to install.  I’m dyin’ to get the pix up on the web but can’t pull them off the camera because of software plus driver issues.  It’s the disc drive that I go into first.

There’s the customary uninstall, install, rollback, download, firmware upgrade, etc. process that anyone goes through.  By now I know this as well as resetting a cable modem after you learn that procedure listening to the automated voice courtesy of the local cable company.  Once you go through it several times, you know the drill.  Know the drill I’m referring to?  Yea, I thought so.  About as predictable as a trumpet solo in a JJ Grey tune.

Saturday, 12/26.  Three hours are spent troubleshooting the drive with at least half of that time in Dell customer service chat being bounced around from one agent to another.  No one wants to accept the task of helping a customer.  What’s most troubling is a hardware manufacturer can’t integrate customer data into a web interface to direct my inquiries to the right agent in the first place.

Sunday, 12/27.  I have pictures of birds and I’m damn proud of my Northern Flicker Woodpeckers!  We spend another four to five hours on the laptop troubleshooting the DVD drive.  This time we use the dreaded 800 number for Dell to talk to an Austrailian.  How dare I attempt to troubleshoot my own computer: “you’ll shoot your eye out kid!”  Apparently this is a software problem and since I upgraded my machine to W7 my warranty is void, says Mr. Brains. 

Ok.  That makes total sense.  Afterall, I purchased new seat covers for my car and the CD player stopped working.  It must have been the seat covers.  How dare I make an effort to change my surroundings based on my personal preferences in life.  Afterall isn’t Easter just a fable?

But not one willing to give up, I checked in on Windows customer service. Yep, the dorks lambasted in the Apple commercials.  These guys have a web site for W7 where you can chat with a rep and get help troubleshooting issues.  A customer service rep remoted into my machine within 10 minutes and provided me the feedback I needed to deal the killer blow to Dell.

“Wait, say that again”, you ask?

Microsft remoted into my machine in 10 minutes, at no cost to me, and told me the specific problem with my DVD drive!  Not only that.  They continued to follow up with me for one week afterwards to make sure my solution was working, a solution mind you that my manufacturer had to ultimately fix.  And this is one guy, not the half dozen or so agents that Dell required me to go through.  One guy.

So yes, you know the rest of the story (Paul Harvey, RIP). I contacted Dell again on Monday 12/28: “Yo, Microsoft says your drive is crap.  What’s your knowledge base tell you today?”  “We’re overnighting you a new drive”, says the newest and last Dell agent to enter the saga. 

Just goes to show that there’s lots of labor, labor of love, to get Northern Flicker Woodpeckers online when you’re using a Dell.  But dog gone it, people like you and you’re worth it. 

Give W7 a chance.

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