Welcome back! I had computer issues in January and finally got them ironed out 5 weeks later with a new computer.
In 2002 I ordered a Dell laptop and only used it 5 or 6 times over the first 20 months because I couldn't get used to the keyboard and screen resolution.
I got sick in 2004 and took to my couch because it was hard for me to sit up in my office chair for very long, so I pulled out the laptop. I eventually got used to it. I spent the next 18 months using the laptop at the couch and was pleased with it.
One day I logged off and went to login later that evening to find out that I couldn't. A call to Dell told me that the motherboard had failed.
Five months after the warranty expired: after only 18 months of use. However because the warranty was expired they said that I would have to pay to have it replaced. The motherboard is the most expensive part of a computer and even more so with a Dell because they configure things in such a way that you have to use their components otherwise things don't fit or won't work. So that makes things even more expensive.
I had written to Michael Dell 3 times and never once got an acknowledement of receipt of any of my faxed or snail mailed letters. Finally I called and brow beat / steam rolled my way through departments before I got to someone in a real position to help me. I spent the next 2 weeks corresponding with him and answering all of his questions and explaining things to him. Only for him to finally tell me at the end that the computer is out of warranty and the motherboard would not be replaced under warranty. However as a one time good faith thing they would pay 50% of the cost of replacing the motherboard after I had paid the full invoice, and the offer was valid for 3 weeks and would expire on December 25, 2006.
Now tell me who has $1200.00 to spend on computer repairs at Christmas time?! And why would I spend that money on a laptop when I could get a new laptop for cheaper than that? My cost after their 50% would have been $600.00.
I vowed never to deal with Dell again. However, when it came time to buy another desktop I went with Dell against my better judgement because of their telephone tech support.
The sales guy took my hesitancy at leaping to buy the system as reluctance about the price so he lowered the price by $500.00 and I finally said yes. But my gut was still screaming "NOOOOOO!"
I wanted Windows XP Pro and not Windows Vista and the computer that arrived at my home on the 30th came with XP Pro like I wanted. I wanted XP Pro because I do 3D graphics and most programs don't work with Windows Vista because there aren't many drivers available and therefore most programs are incompatible with Vista at this time.
I had also wanted my large hard drive partitioned. That's making one hard drive into 2 separate spaces so that you can keep files safe on one part of it and if you have to reformat you are only affecting the smaller part of the 2 volumes leaving all of your saved files on the larger volume untouched. The sales guy said they don't do that upon shipping but when I got the computer I could call Dell tech support and that they would walk me through the procedure.
So that's what I did. Only when I called the tech guy said they don't support hard drive partitioning because of their PC Restore feature. I told them that I didn't care about PC Restore. I only cared about not having to spend 12 hours burning down 100 CDs prior to a reformat or losing all of my 300 gigs of data during a PC Restore. Finally after an hour of arguing they agreed to help me because I was promised by the sales guy.
Only part way through the procedure it was discovered after 4 hours of trouble shooting that it appeared that the CD Rom drive was malfunctioning because the computer couldn't boot from the disk.
So a new system was ordered for me. I sent the broken one back a few days later. Dell told me to keep the CDs as they didn't know if it was just the CPU being sent or if I was getting CDs with it too. I was given $200 credit for the problems I had.
Ten days later I got my new system. Only that system came with Windows Vista and not XP Pro. I called and told them that the computer was shipped with the wrong operating system but because they had told me to keep my CDs from the previous system it really didn't matter because I had the XP Pro disk still here.
I called Dell tech support to tell them that my new system arrived and I wanted to complete the process of partitioning, and also advised them that the computer came with the wrong OS and that I would be using the XP Pro disk that I was told to keep.
I spent 90 minutes arguing with the tech and being quoted "it's policy" and 'it's procedure" to the point that I wanted to shove their policy and procedure binder down their throats!!!! He put me through to a "Policy and Procedure" supervisor!!! They actually have a whole department dedicated to that!
After 90 minutes I was left with "I'll try and send a message to the guy you talked to last week and let them know you are still waitingon a resolution to your problem". Like that helped me a whole lot. I mean what happens if they couldn't send a message? Was I to just be ignored?!!!
I didn't hear from anyone that whole day so I called the next morning.
The person I talked to had a whole different attitude. He couldn't believe that the guy from the day before wouldn't help me because it had been authorized by a supervisor and it was in the process of being done when it was discovered that my computer was broken.
So he helped me. I had him stay on the phone with me to the point where I encountered problems the week before. We got the same problem!!! It turns out that the CD Rom from the week before wasn't broken after all. There was some other problem. It took him 5 hours of trouble shooting and searching on the internet for a solution and he had me going through hoops doing all kinds of things. Finally he managed to get XP Pro on my computer but for some reason he couldn't get to the point where we could create a partition.
I called my ISP to get help with my DSL connection because I couldn't get it to work. We discovered that Dell forgot to help me with the drivers! So my computer had no drivers.
I was still not so not happy so I called Dell back and spoke to some very stupid people in their customer service. One girl refused to put me through to a supervisor and kept insisting that I would never have another computer sent to me with XP Pro on it. She wouldn't even let me explain that I had ordered it with XP Pro back in January. She put me on hold after saying "can you hold? thank you!" and never came back. I hung up after 15 minutes and called back and talked to another dim wit!
He refused to put me through to a supervisor until I told him what it was about. So once again I had to go through all of the spiel again! He put me on hold to make his notes. Then he came back and asked me to repeat it because he couldn't remember all I had told him!!!!!!! Like OMG!!! So I repeated it...probably yelling by that time, and he put me on hold again and then came back and asked me "Can I ask what it is that you are upset about?" OMG!!! How dumb can someone be!
Finally I was put through to a supervisor who quoted policy and procedure and told me that Dell no longer ships any systems with anything but Vista since January 31st. It didn't seem to matter that I had ordered my system back in the middle of January and the reshippment on January 30th, both prior to their deadline of January 31st.
She put me through to tech support so I could get some help with the drivers. I was on the verge of crying by this time and I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I have never felt so battered, abused and stepped on as I did trying to deal with Dell.
The guy who answered sensed that I was really upset and I'm sure he heard me crying because I let out an audible sigh when he asked for my service tag number. He took time to read all that went on over the previous 2 weeks and he couldn't believe it.
He said he could help me with the drivers but he said he was sure he could help me with the partitioning of the drive too. So I agreed to let him. He stayed on the phone with me the whole time and a bit more than 1 hour later I had Windows XP Pro on my computer and my hard drive was partitioned and he even helped me set up my DSL. He also told me to not bother calling the main tech line anymore because no one should have gone through what I had gone through. He gave me a different number to call along with his extension and told me to call him directly if I had any computer issues.
I was happy...finally! I finally had the computer I ordred with the OS I wanted and a partitioned hard drive!
I was merrily installing files and rebooting periodically. 7 hours after my last call to Dell I rebooted and came back with a black screen. I rebooted again and again and the same thing...no picture.
I called Dell again at 2:50am and spent 1/2 hour on hold. The guy has me doing all kinds of things including digging around inside the CPU and told me that it was the graphic card that had gone!
He put me on hold and then came back and said that he would have another graphic card shipped out and they could help me install it or have someone come out to do it for me. I told him that I was sick of paying for do it yourself computer support and to have someone come out and do it.
He then said he had some bad news for me. He said that I was running a pirated (stolen) copy of the OS XP Pro on my computer. I told him that it was the OS I ordered. Dell told me to keep the CD when I returned the old CPU and that Dell helped me put the XP Pro on my computer. He said that didn't matter. That the old CPU that I had was the one authorized to run XP Pro on it and I had returned it effectively giving up my license to use XP Pro. And that the new CPU came with Vista and that was the OS I had to have on it. And then he also told me that I no longer had a warranty on my computer because of that. I told him that he was mistaken but he insisted that if I wanted to have XP Pro on that computer I would have to call Microsoft and buy the OS from them and it was something like $400, that was if they would even sell it to me because according to him Microsoft wasn't selling XP Pro anymore.
I was livid. I asked him if that was the case and I had no warranty how he was planning on having someone come in and put a graphic card in for me under warranty? He said "What OS? I didn't need to know your OS to determine that it was your graphic card. So I don't know what OS you are running". *rolls eyes*
Here I had the computer with the specs and OS that I initially ordred and now I'm being called a thief!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The next day on Saturday I took my old computer to a local shop to see about getting it fixed. The guy said it was really old and because it had been overheating it probably needed a new Motherboard and that parts and labour would be almost as much as buying a better refurbished computer.
I looked at some of the refurbished ones and asked about having a system put together for me with specs that met my graphic needs. I went back on Monday and found that I could have the same system that I was getting from Dell, for more than $1,000.00 less, including a 5 year parts and labour warranty. So I ordered it. The only difference was a 22" wide screen LCD monitor vs a 24" one from Dell, but otherwise it was the same system...and I was getting XP Pro because the computer place said that Vista is too new and has too many bugs and most programs don't work with it so they aren't recommending it to anyone yet and probably won't be for at least a year.
They just shook their heads when I relayed my story to them especially the part about my being a thief and running a pirated version of my XP Pro operating system. They said that all Dell had to do was call Microsoft and tell them that I had problems with the CPU and they were transferring the license to the new CPU. Not one single person at Dell suggested doing that, not even their supervisors!
I went home and called a friend of mine to come in and wipe the hard drive of the Dell computer as I had banking information and program license keys on there and I didn't want it to arrive in Dell's warehouse with that information. It cost me $70 for him to do that. He had to go home and get a different graphic card because the slots for the one he brought to use were different than the ones in the CPU.
I then called Dell and told them that I was returning the computer using the 30 day money back guaranty because of all of the problems and the fact that I was now being called a thief! They offered me another $300 off if I would keep the system. I told them forget it. I wasn't going to keep something that I've had nothing but grief with for 2 weeks and then have 4 more years of the same. I sent it all back!
A few weeks ago I got my new computer from the local company and I'm thrilled with it. The 22 inch monitor is much nicer than the 24 inch one which was overwhelming to look at, and I have my XP Pro and it was partitioned at no additional cost.
I won't ever deal with Dell again, ever! They are so hung up on policy and procedure that they have lost sight of the customer and they don't seem to care about the customer so long as they are following their policy and procedures.
Dell used to be a good company, but they have grown to a point where they are so big that you never talk to the same person twice, they are so ridged when it comes to their policies and procedures and even when those policies and procedures are hurting the customer, they still stick to them.
I felt battered, abused and stepped on: totally defeated. A customer should never feel like that when dealing with a company, espeically after spending nearly $4,000.00 on a computer and peripherals (graphic tablet, camera, power bar).
Anyway, sorry for the essay, but as soon as I hear the name "Dell", I want to explode!
I hope you have a better experience than I had with Dell.
If I were you though I would go to your local computer store or a Best Buy and pick up something there. Chances are you will save a whole slew of money!