Bye, Bye, Dell…

I have been updating posts from several years ago so that they work with new blog templates. I’ve deleted several old posts, and was going to do away with this one, too. But although my exasperation has dissolved by now, I decided instead to just reclassify it as “humor”…

Man, what an experience… I’ve gotta’ vent!

My long association with Dell computers may be coming to an end! I never buy off-the-shelf computers because I use proprietary, resource-guzzling software that has special requirements. I’ve always found it easy to call Dell, order a customized machine, at a reasonable price and quick turn-around. They put it on my tab, and in a few days I’m off and running. Besides, Dell is good-old Austin homeboys!

So, a couple weeks ago, I call, place my order, and in decent time it comes to my door—with a monitor that doesn’t work with the dual-monitor stand that they suggested I add to the order to reduce the footprint of two big 24″ monitors. Used to be, you could get right to an American customer service rep who would go out of his/her way to keep you happy. Now, as with most American companies, thanks to government taxes and regulations, you have to wade through an annoying phone-maze to get to an understaffed office in India with under-trained staffers you can barely understand. Sure enough, the lady I drew after a long hold and much frustration, was totally undecipherable to my aging and ringing ears. I finally asked her to transfer me to someone who speaks English. After holding for 20 more minutes, the line drops.

So, I start over from scratch, and eventually get a guy who I actually can mostly understand. I said I just wanted to swap the monitor they sent for one like I already had, which works fine with the stand. Lengthy hold while he considers this. “No, you don’ wanna’ do that, it would be too expensive! Here, I’m gonna’ send you a link to an adapter you can get on eBay, and I’ll reimburse you for it.” Stupid me, I agreed, and a week later, the adapter finally comes, and doesn’t work out well at all. Meanwhile he’s been pestering me three times a day because he wants to be able to close the case file and get an attaboy from his boss.

Meanwhile, too, I’m looking more closely at the new monitor, and I finally notice that they sent me a cheapo that in no way was designed to work with a power-user machine like I’ve always bought from them. That explains the comment about the price. So I email him and say, “This monitor and the bracket you browbeat me into buying are both a pile of trash. I’ve got 10 grand of available credit in my dell business account. Swap me out this pathetic excuse for a monitor and send me a U2413, which I know is more expensive, but it presently has a $150 instant rebate, and it has the features I want.”

“yes sir, right away!” So, two business days later, here comes a new monitor–a P2414, which not only has zero features, but has an undersized screen, which causes a side to side mismatch with the other monitor. I call him up and point out that I expanded, bolded, red-lettered and italicized the model number I wanted, did I need to translate it into his native tongue, too?! By now there is no question that he could hear me speak.

“But sir, I sent you that one because it was the same price as the original purchase and it does have the correct mounting system for the stand!”

But it ain’t the one I wanted, and I’m not asking for a gift! Let’s do it this way–either send me the one I specifically asked for, or send me an RMA for the whole stinkin’ system!”

Well, that wasn’t the end of the drama. I have what I want finally, but I had to take a refund on the original monitor and call in an entirely new order (again to India) for the correct monitor. And because the instant rebate had expired, I had to repeat my RMA threat. After another long hold, “Good news! I got you an even better deal! Instead of a $150 rebate, we’re giving you $153! And a gift card on top of that!”

The gift card is for a whopping 9 cents, provided I use it all at dell.com!

Author: Ron Thompson

Retired President of R. L Thompson Engineering, Inc.

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