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September 01, 2006

Okay... Back. I Think. (Never, never buy Dell.)

Spent all yesterday doing, well, you know. Spent all day today recovering. I don't think I've strained that much in my life. I drank one large coffee and four diet Red Bulls by 3pm and I stll could have taken a nap at any moment (if I could nap, which unfortunately I can't).

Internet went out, and was on and off only spotilly throughout the day. I'm still trying to figure this new USB wireless card out. And the balky router it connects to.


Spent two hours talking with Dell trying to convince them the should give me a discount on a new computer since the last one they sold me has never worked. They kept trying to tell me the problem was that I had a Celeron processor and only 256 K RAM. Which drove me crazy. Because computers in 1983 could handle minor word processing tasks and email. (Well, that was before email, but you know what I mean-- I'm not using this computer for anything high-end or processor intensive.)

And yet Dell kept trying to convince me to spend another $1500 on a Dell computer when the last $1200 I spent resulted in a computer that hasn't worked since it came out of the box. If only you upgrade to the Pentium M and 512 K RAM, multiple Dell representatives (including a manger) told me, then you'll be able to handle that very high-end "typing into a window and pressing send" application you use.

Funny. When I bought the last one 16 months ago (a period of time Dell's representatives kept rounding up to two years, for some reason), no one warned me that a Celeron processor and 256 K RAM wouldn't be machine enough to handle Gmail.

Had they so informed me, I don't think I'd've bought one.

They just didn't seem to get I was 1, irate, 2, sold a lemon, 3, lacking any more faith in Dell and certainly not willing to buy a more expensive computer from them when the last midrange one was such a piece of crap. I kept telling them "You're trying to upsell the wrong person," but they just kept offering me "solutions" in the $1400 to $1600 range. Solutions for me, you understand. They were only trying to help.

The last guy told me he could not, under any circumstances, offer a discount beyond what they were giving anyone else. But he told me to call Customer Care because maybe they could.

Are they just going to waste more of my minutes? I asked. He said no.

So I called Customer Care, now in my third hour of Dell Hell. I put it to her quickly: I am not interested in speaking with you if you cannot offer any discount on a new machine beyond what is offered to everyone, including those people who were not sold a computer that has never worked. Can you offer such a discount?

No, she said.

No discount for a machine that has never worked? Or for the huge number of hours I've spent talking with clueless "customer support" assholes whose only goal was to get me to go away and look for answers on some one's website? Or for the multiple times I've had to reinstall Windows and reload all of my old files (losing many of them along the way, of course, as the CD burner has never worked either).

At any rate, I'm going to do what I told them I would do at the end of this process. I am going to create a blog ad telling all people to avoid Dell computers at any and all costs, and I am going to run it on my site in perpetuity.

Hopefully the lastest money I have sunk into this piece of crap will keep it going until I can buy a new one. From HP, or Gateway, or Acer. Anyone but Dell.

Anyone but Dell.

Anyone but Dell.

Anyone but Dell.

I'm serious. Buy a cheap used computer off Craigslist for $400. Sure, it won't last longer than six months, and no one will help you on tech support.

But then, same deal with Dell. And you'll be saving money, too.

This computer only has to last the two weeks or so it will take to get a new machine. Hopefully, it will last those two weeks (or, as Dell's representaties would call two weeks, "almost two years").

At least I still have the Dell carrying case. It's not a particularly good one, and it cost me around $1200, but it is the only part of the sale that has actually functioned more or less as anticipated.

Dell is the worst computer vendor out there, and they're getting worse every day.

Don't buy from them.

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posted by Ace at 01:41 AM

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