TEXAS -- Just bought a new Dell desktop Model 545 labeled with "Integrated Stereo Speakers". I like the box but there was no sound after trying all the settings. It only works with an external speaker. Thinking of no reason that it would not give sound by itself, I decided to give a quick call to Dell customer technical support.
Are you ready for my ordeal? I called around 9 pm. First I was put on music hold for 15 min, then someone got my service tag and transferred me away. After another 20 minutes, an lady asked for my service tag number and told me to call back tomorrow after registering on line. I asked her to stay with me while I do that immediately, she politely agreed but diplomatically transferred me to "someone who can help" me. It went on like this for another 20 minutes also. Finally, someone came to pick up the call, asked me for, you guessed it, my service tag number, plus my name, telephone, etc. I told him that I've registered on line and that I don't want to repeat all these over and over but it didn't help. I explained and explained and was told that Dell's term of "Integrated stereo speaker" doesn't mean one won't need an external speaker in order to hear any sound. I disputed and was offered to hook onto my computer and "check the settings". At that moment, I really got enough and declined that offer. After two hours, around midnight, I received a call from the last support guy whom I talked to. I guess he was in India having a lunch....
Well, while besieged and bombarded for an hour by Dell's automated messages about how wonderful their technical support is, I went to Dell 's technical support central to look for answers and found that the site was very poorly designed and nothing but a big maze, a waste of time to seek help from.
All in all, after spending more than an hour and giving me service tag five times, my experience with Dell's technical support is that it's a behemoth of little value. I wonder where that Dell's reputation on support came from. In contrast, ASUS doesn't have a good technical support, and you know that and won't bother to seek any help thus waste your precious time.
Another thing I learned is Dell's term of "Integrated Stereo Speaker" is a sound card "integrated" to a motherboard. Alas.