Lose Yourself in Service

Seems like most of my time these days around the house is spent fixing a computer issue.  We have way more computers than I envisioned years ago.  They are all Dell made.

The kids always seem to have email problems.  For some reason, their email just stops connecting to the mail server.  Yep, just random drop offs.  Coincidentally these email problems always seem to happen when something crucial is being sent to them.  Taylor has become so infatuated with text messaging in combination of these email problems that even when email works, she doesn’t check her email.  Ditto with Hale.

The kids got a new computer in October.  The one they were using was going on four years old.  It had been stripped down and wiped but somehow managed to squak out brutally poor performance.  It finally bit the dust and after installing a new power supply (Tracey installed while I was in RIC), we just gave up on it and bought the new one.

So we hit Dell once again to buy a product with some certainty of service and performance.  Dell’s promotional offer on XPS systems at the end of October was to buy a Vista machine but receive the W7 upgrade at no cost.  The machine’s estimated delivery date was over a week after the W7 release so we expected the machine to at least come with an install disc but it didn’t.

I’m not sure how much of an afternoon we ruined in chat with Dell communicating our disappointment (note: phone service is the last resort with Dell) and ordering a install disc which was estimated to arrive two weeks later.  We explained to the Dell rep that we could acquire a W7 disc from a retailer with a 10 minute drive when she communicated that “popular demand had depleted their supply of W7 supplies.”

I was extremely tempted to return the entire system because Vista’s reputation proceeded the purchase.  I even drove down to the Apple store to check out iMacs and picked one out.  I just didn’t see the value in paying 30-40% more for less performance.  So we kept the system and set it up with Vista with not much software while we waited for the disc.

The install disc worked great and we managed to install some of the kids favorite programs.  Then a few days later the monitor started acting up.  Back to Dell chat.  They rushed us a replacement monitor.  It arrived.  We set it up.  Then I noticed the big green sticker on the bottom of the frame, “refurbished.”  Now I have no problem with refurb machines.  Both our laptops are refurbs and work fine.  But the thought of buying a new monitor and then having it replaced with a refurb was beyond belief.

Another Dell agent agreed and rushed us a new replacement.  Only now Tracey has spent the equivalent of an entire working day trying to get a shipping label sent to her to send back the refurb.  Time after time after time, through chat and telephone, a shipping label is promised but we have no shipping label.

Enter DVD Writer Wars 2009…

and Part II coming at a later time.

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