If I Had Only Known Then......
I recently purchased, on the phone, the pc/printer pair selected by Dell's sales rep, who was slick as glass. I was looking for a non recreationally oriented pc for the sole purpose of creating and maintaining my own website for the promotion and sales of my current book online. I used the function on their website entitled "Everything You Want and Nothing you Don't" which seemed to be ideal for my purposes.
Actually, I have had the two items since the beginning of June 2010, about six weeks ago, and I don't know how the pc will do, other than the fact that from the beginning, a disc placed in the CD/DVD burner, which, due to the design, stands upright, and the disc is therefore standing on the edge upright, rather than lying flat, tips back and forth scraping as it is performing the current action. I have used the pc very little, as the download of Office Suite 2010 Pro Plus they promised me for accepting the 2007 version, for temporary usage, which is technically obsolete, and a nightmare to try to use, was provided to me with an invalid Product Key, which is what they call the id code for licensing. When I tried to activate it, Microsoft shut down my computer entirely, basically accusing me of being a "pirate".
This action caused me to be totally out of communications for over a week, and would still be the case, had I not been able to access one Indian "tech" who finally stayed on the phone through numerous disconnects from more "senior" techs she thought would help me, and phone me back when she had one on the line.
I had to try to reach Dell by phone, since I could not even access the desktop of my pc. The full India runaround prevailed for over a week--almost full time--in attempts to get my pc turned back on. Dell knew exactly how the shut down had been done, and turned it back on, so it was all too familiar with them to have happened the only time.
Incidentally, if they also pull this stunt on you, the way to turn it back on, is NOT to try to use your mouse to click something it won't reach, to stop a threatened reset to factory default, that will not be possible to undo; (which even has a countdown by seconds to paralyze the user) you must realize that MS--dear old MS-- has utilized an old DOS program, which is something archaic enough that most current users would not be familiar with, which requires you to use the arrow key to stop it, as it will neither recognize, respond to a mouse click, or provide you with the opportunity to navigate to select the option to stop it. That will
effectively regain you access to your desktop again. Don't mention it; it is my pleasure!
However, the 2010 Office download sits in my programs without my being able to activate it. My computer would again be shut down! If I hadn't reached the Indian representative who took my phone number, and also stayed on the line through several transfers leading to only a dial tone, and finally phoned me back, in horror of what her (new, would be my guess) employer was perpetrating upon its customers, I would still be in possession of a very dead piece of expensive decor, instead of a semi functioning device, short of the software with which to bring about the promised performance from Dell.
With the faulty Office 2007 software, I have had what would amount to full days, if the hours were pieced together, with my ISP techs trying to get the Outlook app to stay functional. It still won't let me format my outgoing email, and the block junk mail senders doesn't work. I still have mountains of the same junk mail daily, which I have to move about three times just to double delete it on each day's arrivals.
Dell, without consulting me, added a 3 yr. warranty which I never would have bought, and which I will never be able to activate, in all likelihood, as I am securely barred from reaching anyone in the US, let alone in a position of authority.
I have had to find (thank Heaven for small favors) Open Office by Oracle and Sun Microsystems (I think) which approximates the best of Word. I haven't tried the other equals, such as Power Point, and Excel. By the way, if they leave you cut off from the communications technology you've bought and paid for from them, Google a no charge email program which has been around for years. I won't list the name here, but just search for a classic email program, which can be downloaded from the web for no cost. You'll get several mentions in the top half of the first page, with links to the website. It's very much like Outlook at its best version.
It's taken me many hours with my ISP special tier tech to try to get it to work with its servers, tho, with another 2-3 hour session (I fear) scheduled 3 hours from now, to hopefully connect with their servers, as each ISP, I assume from this experience, partners with only one(major) software co. We all know who I'm referring to, I imagine. I had a very sleepless night stressing as to whether or not I will ever receive the services and equipment I paid out almost $1300 to Dell for.
Oh yes, the printer, you ask? Well, it wasn't hooked up for the first three weeks, as with no promised software, there was nothing to print or scan. About the time I began to acquire the substitute software from the web, I tried to install it. It turned out that it was shipped partially disassembled, with no instructions for the installation of what turned out to be the printhead. Who knew? Well, finally, I got it displaying some signs of life, but on a test run, the grinding sounds and shaking as if it would self destruct, were topped off by its failing to release the sheets, and holding them mangled in its clutches. I turned it off, worked the pages gently free as it maintained its deathgrip on them, to find that the ink was smeared on them. When I tried a second time, it would not turn on--even the power switch.
Now, after having been ripped off by another electronics Company, Apex, over the Christmas Holidays, in connection with two dTV converter boxes for my TV sets, which had a button on the remote, which was located closely adjoining the number buttons, and assured to be accidentally touched, likely, sooner than later, which turned on closed circuit captioning which had no method of turning off, but remained forever covering the screen with moving text of the full dialog, not just abbreviated subtitles as with a foreign movie, I have become assured of the futility of addressing the State Attorney General's Consumer Protection Department (I received a letter from them a few weeks ago--six months after the fact--that they don't do anything to assist the consumer. Same deal with the Federal Trade Commission, and this time, after being run through the wringer, as all of you contributors, only will fully understand, the local ADA from the DA's Office Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit, after three weeks of telling me that I am placing him in overkill with the details of my saga with Dell and their rotating three Indian call center "techs" and the best he can do for me is to try to access some local technician on the warranty section of my sales paperwork to come out and fix the problems, minus, of course, the hundreds of $$$ for the promised 2010 Office Suite Pro Plus.
We all know how terrified that phone call is going to make Dell, don't we, kiddies?
It is my very sad conviction that the country has become such an oligarchy that the mega corps will become even more brazen in their exploitation of the American consumer as time passes. After all, even on the small claims court level, have you ever sat and watched to see who loses and pays up?
The consumer whose teeth have been ruined by the malpractice of the dentist the judge plays golf with twice a week? Not very likely, Qui No Sabe!
Read all of the other nightmare accounts here re customer service attempts, and add 10%!