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Dell use to make decent computers
Posted by Sparticus on 12/16/2005
I've read tons a complaints about Dell over the past few years, and I must admit most of them seem accurate. Dell has over the years slowly dropped its quality and its customer service to the point where I would no longer buy a Dell if looking for a new computer.

That leads me to the positive side of this review. I am a Dell owner. I have a desktop from 1999. Back in the day when Dell cared about their customer more than the profit. It has been running well for me for almost 7 years! I've upgraded memory and hard drives here and there, but the main core system has been great and very reliable.

To that end, I would only recommend going with a Dell if you are in the market for a used computer and find one from pre-2001. Post 2000-2001, Dell seems to have changed their priorities. No more "burn in" testing, cheaper parts combined with offshoring the customer service equates to a mediocre product with mediocre support.

     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2005-12-16:
had my first dell which i dropped a mere 2 grand lasted for 15 years...thunder rips thru it, fine...bought another dell---complete lemon...fought wit the company...finally sent me a new one that works ok but won't ever be compared to the old skool dells :)
Posted by miketech on 2005-12-18:
A friend that owns a computer store gave me about 9 old dells (around 400 MHZ) so they are old. I'm going to toy around and mod the cases and upgrade them. Anyway to the point. These old Dells CD drive is heavier than an entire new Dell. Those $399 or $499 Dell's are toys. Anyone have one of the more expensive business class one's? I'm wondering if they are ok or not.
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Save yourself the agony--just stab yourself in the head a few times with an ice pick. The end result will be the same as trying to
Posted by Buzzbrain on 03/11/2006
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- I bought a "new" desktop from these hoodlums on 2/12/06---27 phone calls later, I do what I should have done in the first place. Unable to communicate in Indian, I explained to my credit card co. that I bought a "new" computer and they sent a refurbished one. It's now in their ballpark.

When I told the gal at dell it was refurbished she said, and I quote " that isn't possible that's illegal." I explained to her that because the thing was such a piece of crap and was only slightly more efficient than an adding machine (got every upgrade $837), I investigated the thing. I found over 49000 files, added from 2001 to 2005--music, documents games and websites.Funny she didn't sound very surprised, but the "kind" soul was willing to send me another refurbished computer. My question is Are they really this dumb or do they just pretend to be so that you never really do get what you want. I think it's a game with them--they get points for ticking people off. And when you decide you just can't take it anymore, they get bonus points by pushing you over the edge with "is there anything else we can help you with ?

I'm not going to tell you about all of the other inane "conversations/frustrations/disconnects/extended holds etc. Believe me I've read over 100 reviews (much too late of course) and this seems to be standard for them.

To those of you thinking of buying a Dell do the icepick in the head thing---the agony will be much, much shorter in duration.

To those poor souls who are pleased with your dell----examine it for old files and hope you don't EVER have to deal with the hellians at customer "support".

And for those of you who have already found out how crappy the computer that you were so excited to get is----I feel your pain.
     
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Dell admits DJ was not new
Posted by Buckeye on 03/19/2005
I previously posted my experiences with trying to get my Dell DJ (sent to me as a replacement when I returned my original Dell DJ after one month of ownership because of battery problems from day one), repaired and the Tech Support people refusing to help me because their records showed I was not the owner of the DJ I was calling about. After several attempts to resolve the problem with Dell's TS and Customer Support people, I gave up and filed a complaint with my state's Attorney General's Consumer Complaint Department. They wrote Dell and forwarded my complaint. An individual from Dell called me shortly thereafter and admitted that the Dell DJ I had been sent was NOT a new DJ but was a refurbished unit. She offered to arrange for a prepaid shipment back to Dell and a full refund of my purchase price which I gratfully accepted. So folks, just be aware.
     
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Customer service
Posted by on 12/13/2003
CINCINNATI, OHIO -- DELL EASY AS HELL!!!
In August I ordered a Dell for my son's b-day. Fed Ex delivered to the wrong address. Dell said no problem they would send another. They did 2 weeks later and Fed Ex lost that one. By that time I was exhausted. I told them to forget it. Dell said no problem and that it would be credited to my account when it arrived back. Dell now says that they have not recieved the computers and that I owe the money. I have logged 100's of hours to get this corrected. I HAVE DOCUMENTED OF AT LEAST 4 DELL EMPLOYEES THAT SAID THAT THEY WILL FIX THE PROBLEM. The problem is it is very hard to understand the employees. When we, as consumers call, we are actually talking to people in India. Dell now says that they cannot fix the problem. FED EX has at least tried to fix the problem but the people in India won't talk to them either. FED EX is just as upset as I am. They know they will probably have to pay for computers they have returned.
In the mean time I now have a ruined credit rating. I have an appointment with a very big law firm and hope to get a settlement from both companies. At least for the sleepless nights and frustration in dealing with indifferent large companies. Michael Dell must be a real jerk. I have even tried to call corporate offices in Round Rock, TX. There are no phone numbers for the place. They probably do not want to deal with the mess of people that have problems.
I am a science teacher and am offering extra credit points if students will get a paper signed by their parents saying that their family will not buy Dells. I am on a mission to protect Americans from this company that hires sweat shop workers to give third world service to unsuspecting consumers.

     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2003-12-17:
Say Holy Hell, Toss your Dell
Posted by Anonymous on 2003-12-18:
Good thing you never got it, you would have been just as pissed off for the rest of the time you own it.
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Why would anyone buy a Dell?
Posted by WetHen on 04/11/2005
INDIANA -- I've just spent two frustrating hours on the phone trying to report fraud to Dell Computers. Someone stole my father's social security number and purchased a Dell computer through the Dell financial group for almost $2,600. I wonder why ANY Dell computer would cost that much and suspect that Dell Financial may be to blame for excessive finance charges, based on other blogs I've read.

However, my complaint was about the lousy wait times to access customer service, being shuffled to different departments, and finally getting to the fraud department only to hit a brick wall.

See, my Dad is 87 years old, legally blind and partially deaf. He obviously did not buy a computer. Dell sent a notice of past due payment, which was our first notice of this problem. They then called him two days later to harrass him for payment. He told them that he did not buy a computer, and that his daughter would call to report the fraud.

When I called, Cindy told me she needed to speak to my Dad. I was at work, so I asked her to call my Dad at his home. She refused. She said that her line was tied up (with me). I asked if there was only one phone in the entire place. She refused to call him and didn't care that I had his authority to call, or that I would have to leave work to go get him on the line.

When I asked if she even cared about catching the thief, she said she did but that company policy required that she speak to the cardholder. My Dad has NO card and no computer. When I asked how a stranger could purchase a computer on his name, and yet his daughter could not file a fraud report on his behalf -- and if that made sense to her. That is when she hung up on me!

We won't pay Dell, and we'll let the local sheriff and the FBI handle the thief. However, having read all the horror stories about Dell customer service, inconsistent quality, and their credit scams, I wonder why anyone would buy a Dell product. I plan to tell everyone I know, not to buy a Dell.

First, it appears that you pay a lot more for a computer than the low prices they advertise.

Second, their customer service, and company policies are the worst I have ever encountered. The CS department is apparently located in India (more jobs sent abroad). Even if you could get a computer at the advertised prices, they seem to have lots of problems, and getting through to someone to get help is not worth any real or imagined cost savings.

Most of all, the company just does not seem to care about anything other than making money.

DON'T BUY DELL! (If you can steal one, they don't seem to care.)
     
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Posted by LegalCollector on 2005-04-11:
Agreed!
Posted by Sparticus on 2005-04-11:
Completely agree. We are looking into getting a new laptop. A few years ago Dell would be the first place I would look. Not anymore. They are not even an option. Ever since they offshored their customer support.
Posted by madcrunk on 2005-04-11:
I hate seeing things like this happen. Proof positive that Dell is a heartless marketing behemoth run by bean counters. Just go to pricegrabber.com and look at customer reviews of dell - service after the sale is non-existent.
Posted by ceclay on 2008-01-16:
I HATE Dell too. Great article... wish I had the time to write something half as eloquent but too many other complaints to make, phones to be holding on to and in case you ever needed to contact anyone in "DEll Financial" that info (so you don't have to hold) is
CEO Don Carty
12234 NIh35 building A
Austin 78753

Write the ficker a letter :)
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Class Action Suit Anyone?
Posted by Arick21 on 03/28/2006
NAPERVILLE, ILLINOIS -- Does anyone else agree that Dell has a big problem with "Inside Jobs"? I filed a fraud complaint against Dell in January, the police were contacted, the Fraud department involved, a block was placed on my account, blah blah blah. Ironically, there was another order(s) placed in February, an on-line purchase. Now, if my account was blocked, there was an investigation going on, and I had just changed ALL of my passwords, do you really think someone outside of the company placed those orders? I DON'T THINK SO! What Dell doesn't understand is, we ARE Americans, living in the land of the free, and take that VERY seriously. I do not appreciate jumping through all the hoops set out, and I still get nothing. This has been the most mentally exhausting situation I have ever gone through.

I am literally getting sick over it! If anyone seriously wants to compare information, and proceed with possible litigation, which is the entire purpose of my review, please answer back with your own review, I will check the board daily.
     
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Posted by viperpa33s on 2006-03-29:
Class action lawsuits don't help anyone except the lawyers involved. Lawyers get the big money while the people they are suppose to represent get little to nothing.
Posted by Slimjim on 2006-03-29:
Dell currently has several class actions pending for various degrees of fraud, but they seem to be involving sales and financing tactics. None really fit your compliant, but you may want to research to see if you do fall in an area that is to be litigated.
Posted by computernut on 2006-03-30:
I own a Dell Computer and have a very, very big problem with trying to order anything -ink cartridges, etc., in that they always ask for your Social Security #. What???? They are the only company I know to do this and it sounds shady to say the least. I say to everyone DO NOT DEAL WITH DELL!
Posted by MAGICKEEPER on 2006-04-13:
I have had nothing but trouble and frustration trying to deal with Dell since Sept. 2005- they should be sued for false advertising and they won't give you an itemized statement of what you paid for. I finally had to buy my own sound card to replace my new one that is under warranty until 2009 but they assured me it was a software issue. Never again will I buy a Dell anything!!!!
Posted by BobBrins on 2006-07-23:
Dell Financial and CIT do need to be knocked down a peg or two. Legalized loan sharking is exactly what they are engaged in. I'm in if there is still interest in a class action. I'm not sure we would prevail but what the hell, bad press for them is worth it to me.
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Dells 24/7 Next Day Service Contract
Posted by Hooverto on 01/28/2006
PENNSYLVANIA -- Feb. 2005 I purchased a Dell because of their "At Home Service Contract. Yes, I know now I was foolish.

When the motherboard had to be replaced with in a week a service tech came out, but I noticed or (was it my imagination ?)that the laptop keyboard looked bowed or warped maybe it was designed that way? Raised by the power button? But then I noticed that on the side the casing is not flush and there is a gap above the DVD slot. Now my space-bar does not work. So I made that dreadful, frustrating, time consuming service call. After 45 min I'm put on hold only to be hung up on,so I start again. I ,of course ,am connected to some foreign land and told by heavy accented "Nelson" that I have to wait for a box and ship it. Now politely I explain to "Nelson" No.. no..I purchased an extended "Next Day At Home Service Contract", for a lot of money. NELSON says, "No...Mrs....we send box and you ship it, we do not know what is wrong so must be sent to us, service tech can not come out because he does not know what part to bring." My reply to dear NELSON was for tech to bring them all. He was astounded that I would even suggest this. ALL the parts! I believe he thought what else would you expect from a woman. My comment to not so diplomatic Nelson was it's a thin lite laptop, the parts can not be any bigger then what I already own. He still will not send someone out but will send a box , and I will be without a computer for at least another two weeks! So much for honoring a contract, maybe in his country they don't?. What really irks me is some foreigners deciding whether a contract between US citizen and an US company should be honored. It's been over a week and I still have not received Nelsons shipping box, nor has Dell respond to my email or called.

Thank goodness for ON-Screen Keyboard! I will never buy a Dell again! Plus I will share my story to who ever has the unlucky ear!

If I take Dell to small claims court do you think I Dell would send Nelson? It would cost them more in travel expense then what my laptop did!

Something to ponder!
     
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Posted by tander on 2006-01-28:
Call back and talk to someone else, I doubt you would get Nelson twice!
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2006-01-28:
These are the kind of posts I like to see (not that I like to see anyone ripped off like this). The reason being, as I find out what companies ships our jobs overseas, I no longer deal with them or support them. But I don't just sit back and say, gee, I'll show them, I just won't use their service anymore...that won't get anyone anywhere. Although I am just one person, there are many more like me out there. What I do is TELL them the reason I'm cancelling my service with them. Anytime I cancel something with a company, they always ask the reason. I tell them straight to the point, "Because I don't want to support a company that takes American jobs away from Amercians and ship them overseas". They never have a response to it, because they are not expecting someone to be so direct...but so what? Someone has to tell them. If we just cancel the service or refuse to buy their products and we don't tell them the reason why, then they will never get the message. I admit that I am most likely supporting alot more companies that outsource, but as I find out who they are, I take it one step at a time. If my customer service call is picked up by anyone other an English speaker...before I even tell them why I am calling, I tell them, "I want to speak to and English Speaking American that lives in America"...I don't care what they think, what are they going to do, get on the next flight and come to my house and hit me with a shoe?
Posted by miketech on 2006-01-29:
Well said Debtorbasher! I'm off and running on outsourcing too. I buy American whenever that option is avalible. I drive my friends and girlfriend crazy when I'm shopping rifling through products till I find an American one. I have got my girlfriends son-in-law to buying American too. Back to Dell. Dell use to make awesome computers now, not so much. Stay away from Dell in my opinion they are going through growing pains at the moment and obviously can't handle the products or customers.
Posted by hooverto on 2006-01-29:
Don't worry DebtorBasher I'm not sitting back and saying, "Oh poor little me".I have already express myself to Dell and that I want a response from someone who speaks English with an American accent, in the US ....who understands our culture. And I want our contract honoured! I am sure they don't care about losing me as a customer which is why I told them I will be writing to our newspapers "Help Column" and TV station ABC6. They may not care about me but they may care if there are less people to take my place.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2006-01-29:
Good for you Hoover, I'm glad to hear that...more power to the American People!
Posted by hooverto on 2006-01-30:
I just heard on the news Dell is hiring another 5000 in India bring the total to 15000.......
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Dell Financial Needs Major Help
Posted by KatD9703 on 01/11/2005
FLORIDA -- If this wasn't happening first hand to me I wouldn't believe it..... below is the letter I sent to www.oag.state.tx.us

June 16, 2000 we moved from Michigan to Florida. For over two years I have been trying to get the address changed in the Dell Financial computers. I personally have had to put reminders in outlook to call Dell for our invoices for over two years.

On Nov 3 - I started off calling Dell Customer Service, I spoke with Adam (866) 273-9823 x7155 to ask for an invoice for a computer we recently purchased on their "60 Days Same As Cash" offer. Adam informed me that he is Dell Customer Service, not Dell Financial. The two are totally different companies. I informed him that for over 2 1/2 years I have been asking that our billing address get changed in the Dell computers because we aren't getting our invoices and I'm having to call and ask for them. Adam transferred my call to Dell Financial and stayed on the line to assist if needed. We were connected to a Dell Financial Employee named Monet, employee #65470, who couldn't figure out why our invoices were being sent to Michigan. She transferred the call to her supervisor, Ryan, employee #455120, who tells me our account is up to date and sends me an invoice dated October 2, 2004 for computer -009 (it had been sent to Michigan - AGAIN)!

I (with Dell Customer Service representative Adam still on the line) continue to try and find the magical person at Dell or Dell Financial who could finally change our address once and for all to Florida. While doing this (it took all day November 3) it comes to our attention that contract -008 was not paid (invoice was sent to Michigan and I missed calling for the invoice). Dell Financial tells me that because we missed the 60 days, interest, finance charges and other assorted charges totaling $221.39 will be added to the bill. I felt I had gone well beyond what would be expected from a customer in trying to get my address changed and my bills paid on time, I asked the charges be waived.

Throughout the day we (Adam and myself) were passed between Corporate and Financial. We spoke with Virginia #47124; Brenda (Virginia's Supervisor), Ken Nader, Suchi #371153; Joan #322926, Julie #94902; Ashish #592535; Candy #371987; Gary Lumpkin (800) 822-8965 x42695; Amy #592097; Katie #455220; Amber #431532; Michelle #339036; Ryan #455120; Joan #322926; and Deborah 345414.

At one point throughout the maze of people we spoke with, we were told that the first two employees, Monet and Ryan didn't work for Dell Financial at all. When Adam, Dell Customer Service, asked if those people could have had access to our financial information we were told only Dell Financial employees had access to that information. Since they were the people who sent us the invoices that morning, our point was made. Late in the afternoon we were told by Michelle #339036, that the invoice for -008 and -009 had been sent to the Florida address. When I disagreed with her she didn't change her answer until I stated I had a fax from Dell that morning with the Michigan address on it.

By the end of the day it was resolved that Dell Financial would waive $200 of fees and Dell Corporate (Adam) agreed to paid $199 for all the grief Dell Financial put me through. I stated I had put a check for $5,248.97 (to pay both computers in full) in the mail during lunch and then was told that the remit to address on the invoices faxed that morning was incorrect and I would need to call to confirm that the money was applied.

November 3 - sent two emails to dell financials web site and did not get a response. RE: Case ID: 1924192 Invoice (Late/Not Received) - Acct: 501-8018505-009 #AutoReply# (KMM6852841I21406L0KM); RE: Case ID: 1925978 Other - Acct: 501-8018505-009 #AutoReply# (KMM6858967I21406L0KM)

November 18 - Nikki #455077 states check hasn't arrived yet. She suggested I calling my bank which verified the check has not been cashed. I called Dell back - Virginia #47124 advised me not to stop payment, 15 days was not enough time to clear. She advised waiting until December 1 and call back Dell at that time if check hadn't cleared. Barbara #589124 confirmed that check still hadn't cleared and increased payoff date to an additional 20 days. Barbara advised me not to stop payment on check and to wait, the check would be posed the date Dell received it.

November 23 - check cleared our bank.

December 14 - I was told by Liz #32469 that the check was received and that -008 and -009 have been paid. I was also told that because of Dell Corporate contribution that an overpayment was due us in the amount of $83.41. All this was confirmed by Liz's supervisor, Barbara #589124.

December 22 we received another invoice for -008, Cher #83060 said not to pay the invoice as our account was paid.

January 3 we received a call from Carol #7245 informing us of a balance due of $8.05. I explained all the above and she said we would have a call back in two days.

January 4 - Ruby #10684 called wanting payment of $8.05. I explained everything to date. She once again confirmed the payment of $5,248.97, our check number 4153 and confirmed the $83.41 due us. She was sending a dispute sheet in for the $8.05 and said I shouldn't be bother by Dell over this any more.

January 6 - Chris #10683 and then Allen #461868 called. Once again I explained all to them. They confirmed that -008 and -009 paperwork was completed. Allen said paperwork would take 30-45 days. I asked 45 days from when the paperwork was filed or from today - he couldn't give me an answer.

January 10 Rick from Dell called (800) 667-9887 but did not leave an extension to be reached at.

January 11 I called the above number, left a phone message and have not heard back.

January 11 I also received invoice 44299217 in the amount of $81.38 for account -008.

January 11 - Called 1-800-667-9887 asked for Rick. Was given Gary #10682. Gary transferred me to his supervisor, John #4672. John states that our check for $5,248.97 was never received. I told him the check was received and cleared our bank on November 23 and this was confirmed by numerous Dell Financial Employees except him. He replied that "unless he sees it, he doesn't believe it". I asked him for the phone number of Dell's Legal Department, that I'm through dealing with this. Gary gave me the phone number of 877 577-3355 NOT LEGAL'S NUMBER, Dell Financial's Customer Service number.

Katie #464269 answered. She would not give me legals' email. Advised me to go to the web site. I advised her that on two previous occasions I went to the web site and did not get a response. She said she's just a call center and all she could do was give me corporate address in Texas. On the upside, she did see that we paid $5,248.97 back in November.

Update:
January 11 - 4:12 PM - Ruby #10684 called (note: she called on January 4) looking for payment. She transferred me to her supervisor Kelly #1179 who now says we owe $164. She says its for account 501-6237511-001. When I inform her its not my account she puts me on hold again, when she comes back on the phone, Kelly states its a "computer glitch" and that the above account isn't mine.

I am being harassed by Dell Financial. Even though this is a small business account, my personal credit is being affected by this matter. See http://www.my3cents.com/search.cgi?criteria=Dell, it appears that I am not the only person who is getting excess charges by Dell Financial because of an old address.

     
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Dell. Horrible Product and Worse Support
Posted by Bobo_berkeley on 05/19/2006
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- I purchased a Dell Inspirion e1705 less than a month ago. In large part the decision to make my first Dell computer purchase was based on Dell's reputation of having high quality products and a good customer support department. Based on a recent technical problem with my computer, however, I have virtually no faith in either Dell's product quality or the premise that when technical problems do arise Dell's customer support staff has either the technical know how or desire to work out and effective solution for their customer. As difficult as it soon may seem to believe, none of details in this report have been exaggerated in any way (I hope I wrote the names and id number down correctly). Therefore, if you are in the market for a new computer, and Dell is on your short list of options, I strongly recommend being cautious in believing in Dell's claim to a 'persistent focus on delivering the best possible customer service'. Read below and learn from my hardship.

As I stated above, I purchased a Dell Inspirion e1705 less than a month ago along with a 1 yr In-Home Extended Warranty. Dell's claim on this computer was that it is a great all-around computer. I was even told by the Dell manager I worked with (Douglas R.) that the e1705 was a very strong gaming computer (although I was disappointed to find out later it did not have guts strong enough to play Call of Duty II, one of the most popular PC games in the market today). Of course I was also surprised to find out that he did not know what multi-monitor workspace (extending the computer to two monitors concurrently). was and had to ask someone to verify the e1705 has this capability (it does). Lastly, Doug sold me on an in-home warranty program. His claim was that it was very worthwhile since it meant that if repairs were necessary within the warranty period I would not need to mail my computer in to their service department and that my repairs would be done by a certified service technician.

Two days ago I wanted to take my laptop into my living room to work. I unplugging my computer and after moving I opened the computer to see the message, 'Preparing to Standby'. The computer froze on this screen for about 10 minutes before I finally powdered down the computer. Immediately after I powered the computer back up. During boot up an text error message appeared. The message read 'c:\windows\system32\config\system'. I am by no means a highly knowledgeable computer user and after a few attempts at rebooting only to find the same error, this error seemed both unfamiliar and serious. Since it was after 10pm I decided to call the service department.

My first interaction with a Dell CSR
Time: 10:30
Service Rep Name: Smith
Service Rep Number: 656 724
Service Rep Location: Calcutta
Result: I was on the phone with this CSR for over two hours. For the first 45 minutes he tried to diagnose the problem. During our interaction, however, there would be periods of 5 -10 minutes when he did not speak, requiring me to ask if he was still there. Although I am confident that he was trying to find a solution, the fact remains that during those times I did not know if he was still on the phone or if we had become disconnected. Although his demeanor was pleasant when we did talk, I did not get the sense that was particularly strong at his job or that he was interested in finding a solution. After trying about three methods to solve the problem, he told me that my hard drive was corrupt and that Dell would send me a new one that I would need to install. At this point I was not only angry that my three week old computer was seemingly broken and that it looked like I would lose all of my files, but that I would need to install the new hard drive. Even if Smith was correct that the harddrive replacement was simple to do, I felt cheated since I had an in-home service technician warranty, the operative words being in-home and service technician. At this point I asked to be given to a manager. The time was 11:30. Although Smith tried to tell me none were available I told him I would wait as long as necessary to speak to a manager. After about 25 minutes, I finally spoke to a manager.

My second interaction with a Dell CSR
Time: 12:10
Service Rep Name: Samuel
Service Rep Number: 470 640
Service Rep Location: Calcutta
Result: The manager also had a generally pleasant demeanor. He also tried a few different solutions. Samuel seemed much more well informed, but his proposed solutions also came up short. In fact, at around 1:45 am he had me try a new solution that required a computer check that took about 45 minutes. He said that he would call back at this time even though I asked to remain on the line, he insisted that they call back (certainly to save money, a point that I will bring up later). Oddly, I was pleased that at around 2:30 he did call back. The news was not good. He claimed that based on the error and the result to the diagnostic check, my computer was broken, my files were lost and he also said that he could have a hard drive sent out to me for me to replace on my own. After considerable complaint by me he tried one last check. Although this last check seemed simple (I forget what it was) he said that now he thought it was a software problem and that for a fee I could be helped by the software support department. I wondered at the time how he was now so confident and if he was just giving me the run around. At my request Samuel said that he would send a hard drive to my home so that if software department failed to solve my problem I make my fix as quickly as possible (I can only assume the harddrive is on its way). Once again I was not happy, but being that this is a new computer and that there may have been a glimmer of hope in getting my work back I decided to accept the transfer and fee (and that the fee was guaranteed if they did not fix the problem it would be reimbursed).

Third Interaction with a Dell CSR
Time: 3:15 am
Service Rep Name: Christine
Service Rep Number: 113.899
Service Rep Location: The Philippines
Result: This was by far my shortest conversation, partially because by this time I had been on the phone for five hours and partially because I had come to accept the computer that held the files that I use to run my two business was shot. Christine tried a few diagnostic fixes. None worked. I saw the same exact error message I had seen all night. She then said, definitively, that it was a hardware problem and that she could send me to the hardware department. I said no, that I had already worked with them for over four hours with no success. She said that she was sorry and that if a rep did not call in four to five days to process my refund for the service contract ($250 by the way) I should call in. I was dumbfounded, not only did I get the hardware department telling me it was definitely the software and the software department telling me it was the hardware, but I was left with an in-home service agreement that forces me to tinker with the guts of a laptop (I've never even seen the inside of a laptop) for a three week old computer that was supposed to be 'a great reliable computer' and as a blow, I needed to call back to ensure my refund was done appropriately. To say the least I was angry, disenchanted with Dell, and completely regretting I did not but a different product.

The Kicker
Time 9:00 am
Service Rep Name: Me
Service Rep Number: My Social Security Number
Service Rep Location: Southern California and the Internet
Result: I had little hope left and I was still reeling that my computer was busted and that I was without a computer for three days, not counting the time it would take to get recover old files from my old computer, set up my programs, business network... I decided for as little hope as there seemed to be I would check the Internet myself for a solution. I went to a library with my laptop in hand. Doing a general google search on the term 'c:\windows\system32\config\system' (the error message I had seen so often the night before) I found many, many hits. I opened up a few recommended solutions. Within he first two pages I found a solution that, while somewhat complex, worked. My computer booted up and I was able to quickly save all of my files on disk. I swear on all that is good, what three Dell service technicians could not fix in five hours and they claimed was a problem that would certainly result in the loss of my files I was able to find a solution that at least for the time being got me back to my files.

I have no idea if my computer is fully functional. As I said, I have fairly basic computer skills. So far I have not seen any glitches, yet I feel very suspicious that the underlying problem that caused this error in the first place is still lurking. Who knows when this time bomb will go off again. When it or something else does go wrong, and I feel safe in saying it probably will one day, I have little to not confidence it will be recoverable and I will lose precious work.

In the end I feel cheated.
- My In-Home service warranty for which I paid extra money requires me to do the service myself (as opposed to the promised service technician).
- My great all around computer that could play PC games as well as support my two home businesses is not strong enough to play one of the most popular games on the market nor make it to it's one month-old birthday without a significant error.
- I have a ticking time bomb of a platform and I have no idea when it will go off again.
- When I called the service department I felt that everyone had only a partial interest in solving the problem. Although everyone was kind and personable, none seemed terrible knowledgeable. This assumption is somewhat supported by the fact that I eventually found the solutions off the web won page one of the google search using the exact language of the error. Allowing myself a moment of informed speculation (I managed analysis for Capital One’s operations including call centers), I sense Dell knew it would be less expensive for them to send me a part and make me responsible for fixing this problem than work with me to really find a solution and bear the phone/CSR costs (even though doing so would result in me losing my data and use of my computer for many days).
- And although small, my backspace button squeaks. Petty until you need to write a complaint letter on planet feedback and hit it a few hundred times.

So my final word to Dell. I am a highly educated (MBA from Berkeley) 33 year old male. I don't know the exact number, but if I had to wager a guess I would say that I will make dozens of computer purchases in my life, whether they be for personal use, family use or for by businesses. I have many friends who will be told this experience and I will continue to tell as many people as possible until I feel the experience has been remedied. I granted you an opportunity to show me the quality of your product, to make me a loyal Dell customer. So far you have fallen well short. However, you still have the opportunity make right, but at this point in time you need to do go above and beyond a simple fix to restore the faith I once had in your company. Regards.
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2006-05-19:
I'm curious when you bought your Dell did you get a operating system disc? You didn't drop it? It sounds like something got loose. Maybe you can find a experienced lap top repair (Dells) in you locale, eat it and take it to them. Perhaps back up your data on a non internet used computer.
Posted by glc on 2006-05-19:
I have been building/repairing PC's for the last 15 years and the error message c:\windows\system32\config\system is a fairly common one, usually related to either a registry or memory problem. It may have occured subsequent to a "fast" powerdown, wherein certain files were not copied. For the Dell CSR to offer a hdd, shows a blatant incompetency in the training that they receive. BB, more power to you for going online and finding a "fix". There are numerous "boards" that laymen can access. Great job, BB, and BTW, Dell sucks!
Posted by miketech on 2006-05-20:
Welcome to the Dell club. Don't let anyone fool you 99% of the laptops out there can't run state of the art games. You need a rockin desk top for that.
Posted by Lilly Beth on 2006-05-28:
I am in the midst of trying to get resolution to a problem very similar to BoBo Berkeley's.

Same back and forth with Chat between Technical and Customer Service; promise for call backs that didn't occur; couldn't get through via phone to talk to anyone who was responsible for this type of situation.

I was in fact shipped a replacement hard drive, but lo and behold it is REFURBISHED. I was told via Chat with Customer Service that is standard procedure. I've been unable to use this machine the majority of the two months I've had it, and I certainly don't want to continue that because Dell will only provide sub-standard hardware to replace THEIR failed hardware.

I have registered a dispute with my credit card company to see if Dell will be motivated to solve this problem to my satisfaction now!
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Misleading rebate
Posted by Cactus flower on 03/21/2005
TENNESSEE -- As a Dell Preferred Customer, a rebate for $2.50 was sent to us. Thinking it was a legitimate rebate, we cashed it. We own three Dell computers, and have gotten rebates in the past.

In February, we received our first overdue bill with a balance of $101.37 from Dell Financial Services. After contacting them, we learned that the mere act of cashing the rebate signed us up for a "Hotline Enhanced 339" promotion. (Don't quite know what this is yet.)

This is our second month of trying to get our account closed and charges removed. You have to contact both Dell Financial Services and Hotline. One is supposed to take care of the finance charges and the other the promotion charges. If one does not take of their charges, then other finance charges accumulate.

After going through layers of their options when calling them and then being on hold, we finally asked to speak to a supervisor. We were asked to hold again. We were on hold for at least a half an hour when we were disconnected without any resolution.

In addition, we were concerned that our credit rating would be affected, and expressed this concern to one of their representative. We were told to go online and get a "FREE" credit report at www.dellfinancialservices.com. After going to their website, we found the "FREE credit report" offer. Below the offer it had the smaller words "more info." Had we not looked at the "more info," we would have signed up for a FREE thirty day trial for something else. Who knows what would occur next.

BEWARE of Dell rebates and so called "FREE" credit reports from certain websites.
     
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