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Dell Computer woes

 
 
computernerd12345@yahoo.com
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      04-27-2007, 05:51 AM
I can't believe that Dell is still in business. Their "customer
support" is one of the worst I've seen. I have been in the computer
field for about twenty years now, and so have been asked _many_ times
to fix computers for friends/relatives/acquaintances. In addition,
I've been asked to build quite a few form scratch.

At my workplaces, I've been lucky enough to avoid Dell but for the
past few months I've been unfortunate enough to have to work on a
Dell.

Last October, an acquaintance offered me a couple of computers that he
didn't need as he just got a brand new super fast laptop. Since I get
so many requests to build or fix computers I figured I could at least
use the parts if not the entire computers. One of the computers I got
is a Dell Dimension 8100. It had only 256MB of memory but wasn't that
old so I figured I'd keep it in one piece.

In December, a friend who's family is on a really tight budget asked
me what it would take to get at least a "usable" computer for their
kids to do homework on. I wiped the hard drive on the Dell and
reinstalled XP and used an older verison of Office that I had lying
around. The computer was fairly slow with only 256MB but was at least
usable.

Shortly after I got a call saying it was making a lot of noise. When I
went over and opened it up I found that the fan on the video card was
locked up and the CPU fan was making a lot of noise.

At first I tried to order a replacement fan for the video card from
Dell. I called several 800 numbers on their website. I got put on hold
for long periods and I got transferred all over the place. The few
people I was able to talk to were in India and were hard to
understand. I never could make them understand that I just wanted to
see if it was possible to order a replacement fan for the video card.

Later, I tried the same procedure to order the CPU fan. At first, I
figured that it would be better to go to a local computer store and
buy a quality fan to replace the Dell crap. Well, wouldn't you know
it...Dell uses non-standard fans. The CPU fan is around 66mm rather
than the standard 60mm, 80mm or 120mm.

I called Dell and went through the same issues, but this time it was
worse. When I finally got to the correct department (and was talking
to some rude person here in the USA), I was asked if I got the OK from
tech support first. Also, I was asked for the service tag number. When
I gave her the service tag number, she wouldn't give me any further
information unless I was able to tell her who first bought the
computer. Luckily I knew the guy's name.

I explained that I needed to order a replacement CPU fan. She asked if
I had talked to tech support yet. I told her that I did not need to
talk to them again as I have been building computers for years and I
can tell when a fan is bad. She asked for the model number. I told her
I didn't have a model number it but that it was the only CPU fan in
the box. She said she thought it might be the power supply fan or some
other fan and that I should talk to tech support. I again told her
that I am not sure of the part number but that it was definitely the
CPU fan and I wanted to order a replacement. She then said "All I am
hearing from you is 'I am not sure' so I am going to transfer you to
tech support". I told her that I didn't want to talk to tech support
and I just wanted to order the fan. She said "Well, I _am_
transferring you to tech support." and at that point I heard the line
being transferred. I hung up in disgust.

When I had calmed down in a couple of days (March 14), I called Dell
again and when I finally got to the right department I told the person
I wanted to order a CPU fan. She asked for the service tag number and
again I had to provide the name of the original owner. She was more
helpful than the others I had talked with. In a few minutes she came
asked for the shipping address and my credit card info. She said "You
are in luck. This part is currently on sale." At first, I was happy
about this until she told me the sale price. She said that the current
price is $34.99 and it's normally $39.99. I can't believe it-- fourty
dollars for a stupid CPU fan. She then asked how fast I needed it and
I said I just wanted to go the cheapest method since the fan was so
ridiculously priced. The standard shipping with the slowest method for
a part that only weighs a few ounces is TWELVE DOLLARS! At this point
I had wasted so much time on the phone that I just wanted to be done
with it. I said to go ahead and ship it.

Well, after waiting ten days I still had not received the fan. Then,
yesterday I got a call on my cell phone from someone in India with the
usual hard-to-understand thick accent. He said he was calling from
Dell and wanted to confirm my shipping address. I gave him the
shipping address (naturally, I had to repeat it several times). I am
presently waiting for the fan.

Dell sucks! What kind of company:

* - Won't let you order parts for a computer unless you know who the
original owner was?
* - Uses non-standard sizes for standard parts, not due to product fit
requirements but jsut so they can make sure you have to go to them and
they can charge three times what the market rate is?
* - Takes two weeks to ship a replacement part order and can't even
keep track of the address?


I am thankful that for the most part I don't have to deal with Dell at
work. All our production servers are HP; only the security servers are
Dell. Since we are replacing the security systems I will do everything
in my power to convince the top management to push the Dell crap over
a cliff and go with a reputable company.

 
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Jerry Peters
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      04-27-2007, 06:35 PM
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
--snip--
Try parts-people.com they specialize in Dell parts. No stupid
questions and no talking to "tech support" to get permission to order
a part. Also their prices are usually reasonable.

Jerry
 
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computernerd12345@yahoo.com
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      05-08-2007, 12:13 AM
On Apr 27, 12:35 pm, Jerry Peters <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> (E-Mail Removed) wrote:
>
> --snip--
> Try parts-people.com they specialize inDellparts. No stupid
> questions and no talking to "tech support" to get permission to order
> a part. Also their prices are usually reasonable.
>
> Jerry


Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, that website only has Dell laptop
parts.

Anyway, I have more to add now. I finally received the fan from Dell a
couple of days ago. I was still irritated about the cost but glad to
finally have it. When I got to the UPS store, I was surprised at the
size of the box. Also, the name on the box was completely wrong. The
first name wasn't even close and the last name sounded vaguely like
mine. I opened the box and couldn't believe my eyes. Instead of the
fan that I had ordered, there was a very large Zalman brand fan that
was the type of fan that gets attached to the top of an AMD CPU. It
had a HUGE donut-shaped heat sink on it (probably 5 inches or more in
diameter).

I just can't believe how screwed up Dell is!!!!! I mean, they had the
service tag number, so they knew EXACTLY which computer this was going
in. They had my CORRECT name and address since they were able to
charge my credit card. I called the 800 number to try and fix the
problem. Naturely, I got some foreign outsourced person in India. As
usual, they had trouble looking up the order and couldn't understand
what I was trying to accomplish. I ended up giving up in frustration
and decided to wait until normal business hours the next day in hopes
of getting a live person in the United States.

Of course, when I tried the next day I had the same luck. At this
point I figured that I needed to get in touch with someone at Dell's
corporate headquarters. I looked up the HQ address and found a non-800
number. Wouldn't you know it-- the "local" number goes to the same
phone voice menu as the 800 number. I tried several options on the
phone tree and ended up back in India each time. Finally, I thought
that maybe if I tried to get someone in "billing" (one of the phone
tree options) that it would be someone in the US. Nope, still in
India.

I heard one option that said "If you know the extension of the party
you want to reach, press one...". I tried dialing one and then
entering random extensions. Unfortunately, the extensions are seven
digit numbers. After the third call I finally got someone here in the
US, but in Oklahoma. I explained all that I had been through and what
I was trying to accomplish. She said she would transfer me to that
department. It rang and I was on hold for about ten minutes. When
someone answered, it was India again. At this point I lost it and
screamed into the phone and then hung up.

After I calmed down I again called the "local" number and then dialed
a random extension. I got another person in Oklahoma. I explained the
issues I was having and this person was sympathetic. I was really
upset at this point though, so I told her that before we went any
further I wanted contact information for someone here at the US
corporate headquarters that I could send a complaint to. She said the
only thing available is the "executive fax." I copied down the number
and explained my problem. She was able to look up the order and even
she was amazed when she saw the information in the order and
specifically, the part number and description. She told me that
unfortunately, she did not have access to be able to change that and
she would have to transfer me. She transferred me and after five
minutes or so I got India again. I decided to give it another try so I
explained the problem to the person. After some effort, she was
finally able to look up the order. I told her that I wanted to return
the fan and possibly get a new correct one. She gave me an RMA number
and then told me that she wanted me to pay for shipping. At this I
about lost it again but I yelled that Dell would have to pay. She went
away from the phone and came back a minute or two later and said that
they would send a UPS person to pick up the fan. I again gave them the
address info. At this point she said that it would take 30 days for
them to credit my card after they received the fan!

It was then that I decided that it is not worth the aggravation to try
and order the correct part from this company. I will just modify the
case or wire-tie a different fan on. And I will refuse to work on any
Dell computers in the future. Thankfully, my company prefers HP and
the only Dell garbage we have left is on the security server side. I
am going to do everything in my power to make sure that when we
replace the security servers this year that every last Dell box is out
the door for good.


 
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daytripper
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      05-08-2007, 12:36 AM
On 7 May 2007 17:13:39 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) wrote:

>On Apr 27, 12:35 pm, Jerry Peters <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> (E-Mail Removed) wrote:
>>
>> --snip--
>> Try parts-people.com they specialize inDellparts. No stupid
>> questions and no talking to "tech support" to get permission to order
>> a part. Also their prices are usually reasonable.
>>
>> Jerry

>
>Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, that website only has Dell laptop
>parts.
>

[...]

fwiw...the small & medium bidness group apparently uses an entirely different
marketing and support infrastructure from the home bidness. When I bought my
first Dell laptop about 5 years ago I went out of my way to buy it through the
SMB group. It was loaded but it cost through SMB, when I had a problem a year
later I was speaking to a state-side rep, when I wanted a bigger hard drive I
was dealing with someone state-side with a bidness mind set instead of a mere
droid.

And it isn't difficult to conjure up a small business ;-)

fwiw...ymmv...

/daytripper
 
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bill.t.mclaughlin@gmail.com
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Posts: n/a
 
      05-31-2007, 09:23 PM
On May 7, 6:36 pm, daytripper <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On 7 May 2007 17:13:39 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) wrote:
>
> >On Apr 27, 12:35 pm, Jerry Peters <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >> (E-Mail Removed) wrote:

>
> >> --snip--
> >> Try parts-people.com they specialize inDellparts. No stupid
> >> questions and no talking to "tech support" to get permission to order
> >> a part. Also their prices are usually reasonable.

>
> >> Jerry

>
> >Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, that website only has Dell laptop
> >parts.

>
> [...]
>
> fwiw...the small & medium bidness group apparently uses an entirely different
> marketing and support infrastructure from the home bidness. When I bought my
> first Dell laptop about 5 years ago I went out of my way to buy it through the
> SMB group. It was loaded but it cost through SMB, when I had a problem a year
> later I was speaking to a state-side rep, when I wanted a bigger hard drive I
> was dealing with someone state-side with a bidness mind set instead of a mere
> droid.
>
> And it isn't difficult to conjure up a small business ;-)
>
> fwiw...ymmv...
>
> /daytripper


Well, after many more phone calls I finally got Dell to send me the
shipping forms. They _STILL_ had both my e-mail wrong and the names
they had weren't even close. They had the correct name for the credit
card charge (of course), another completely different name still
associated with the computer and another completely different name
(except the first three letters of the last name were the same as
mine) associated with the fan order.

Now I just have to wait and see how much of an ordeal it is to
actually get them to take the charges off my credit card. I mean, hey,
it only took six months to order a fan, receive the wrong part and get
them to take it back.

You gotta love Dell...as usual, the guy ends the call with "Thank you
for choosing Dell. We appreciate your business."

Yeah, right, that's why you treat your customers this way.


 
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