OK, now I think that, in some cases, Dell support sucks

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Tom Scales, Jun 10, 2004.

  1. Tom Scales

    Tom Scales Guest

    Among the signficant collection of Dell products that I own, I now own a
    Dell 4100MP projector that I use for my Home theatre.

    I'm placed with the projector and it does what I need it to do.

    However.

    One of the primary features I need and for which I purchased this model is
    somewhat obscure. It has an RS-232 serial connection so that I can control
    all the features from my computer. Seems like a pretty simple thing -- all
    I need is the cable.

    A dozen phone calls (all to India) and at least 4 total hours on the phone,
    I finally find someone who finds the cable (DB-9 Female to 6 pin Mini-Din).
    Promises to ship it out (for $46!).

    OK, expensive, but I need it.

    It arrives today. Yes, it does have those connectors. Plus a 10 pin RJ-45.
    Huh?

    I look up the part on the Internet. It's the connection cable for a Bar code
    reader!

    All she did was find a cable that had both connectors as keywords and send
    it to me!

    So, two hours, four phone calls and I still don't have an RMA. Go to the
    website and fill out the form.

    An hour later I get an email that the address that the form sends the
    request to (in other words, the address hard coded in their webpage) is
    invalid!

    I still have the damn cable.

    Tom
     
    Tom Scales, Jun 10, 2004
    #1
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  2. Tom Scales

    Fred Mau Guest

    If you purchased it with a credit card, just call the credit card company
    and protest the charge. Keep the explanation simple and brief: "They shipped
    you the wrong merchandise and won't correct it."

    I agree that Dell's support system sucks old teabags.

    My employer buys Dell Optiplex desktops and Latitude noteboooks, we have a
    "Premier" support account. Calling the support line on those, gets me
    someone in the USA (or at least who speaks reasonable english) who has at
    least the Minimum Daily Requirement of intelligence. I also have a personal
    Dimension system at home. Calling the (non-Premier) support line on that
    gets me someone who barely speaks english and appears to be merely giving
    canned answers from a script.

    There's a world of difference between the two support lines, if you'll
    pardon the pun.

    - FM -
     
    Fred Mau, Jun 10, 2004
    #2
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  3. tom,
    that cable sound a bit unusual. i could not even find one at cablestogo.com
    who usually has anything you can think of. but it does strike me that the 6
    pin mini db on the projector is essentially a ps/2 type connector. if that
    is the case than a short db9->ps/2 connector like those found with ps/2 type
    mice for old style db9 serial port compatibility would do the job. from
    there you could connect a plain ps/2 extension cable...
    as for the return. doesn't the packing slip that came with the package have
    return instructions? i don't think that you should even have to call and
    discuss it.
    regards,
     
    Christopher Muto, Jun 10, 2004
    #3
  4. Tom Scales

    Fred Mau Guest

    Tom,

    I don't know if this helps, but there appears to be a "standard" pinout for
    RS232 serial data via a PS/2-style mini-din connector. Older (Pre-USB) HP
    Photosmart cameras and some Midi devices among other things use this pinout,
    Perhaps your projector uses this same pinout. If so, you can build your own
    cable for about $10 of Radio Shack parts. The pinout is described at:
    http://www.antona.com/apnote/midisrl.htm . Ignoring all the irrelevant
    text about MIDI and O2 and MACs, I used the pinout to successfully build a
    cable for my HP C5340A camera (I didn't want to pay $50 to HP for a $10
    cable).
    - FM -
     
    Fred Mau, Jun 10, 2004
    #4
  5. Tom Scales

    Tom Scales Guest

    Well, that doc shows an 8-pin mini-Din, not a 6-pin mini-Din.
     
    Tom Scales, Jun 10, 2004
    #5
  6. Tom Scales

    Tom Scales Guest

    That's what I thought, but the pinout according to Dell is not the same as a
    keyboard/mouse. That was my first thought too. In fact, I've cut up a
    keyboard cable and a serial cable to try to build my own cable. No joy.

    http://docs.us.dell.com/docs/acc/4100MP/english/specs.htm

    You have to scroll down
     
    Tom Scales, Jun 10, 2004
    #6
  7. Tom Scales

    Tom Scales Guest

    Oh, and yes, it is unusual. That's why I went to the vendor of the product
    for it!
     
    Tom Scales, Jun 10, 2004
    #7
  8. Tom Scales

    Jose Guest

    Wow Tom, it finally happened to you a real Dell customer....hey I used to
    work for the company and I can tell you a gazillion horror stories, how
    about the one when I called CS for the part number of a product I purchased,
    I was transferred to Delhi's Tech Support in India and before he gave the
    part number, he asked to reboot the notebook.....

    No sour grapes here, I love their products but I live in the real world,
    nothing at any IT vendor is what it used to be.

    Good luck in your part search.

    Jose
    Technical Trainer
    MCSA, Network+, A+
     
    Jose, Jun 10, 2004
    #8
  9. the manufacturer of the projector is http://www.coretronic.com/
    perhaps you will have better luck in contacting them directly.
    regards,
     
    Christopher Muto, Jun 10, 2004
    #9
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