Saturday, December 01, 2007

Why the Hell did I Buy a Dell?

Historically I was a big fan of Dell Corporation. I'd heard a number of rumblings out there, but when I ordered my first set of Dell's for the Design-Build architecture company where I worked for 8-9 years ago, the transaction was seamless. Just under 5 years ago I ordered my first personal Dell, a Dimension 4550, and it was really a solid PC--although there were some initial issues with Roxio and the CD RW drive. After a few phone calls with no results, Dell sent over a tech who replaced the drive. I've recommended Dell to hesitant friends, in short--I've been a fan.

So when my Dell sadly pooped out at the end of October, I went back to Dell--although HPs were cheaper for similar equipment.

What a difference a few years make. I sensed that the salesperson was a bit of a scheister, and worse yet, I didn't feel confident that he knew his product the way the salesperson 5 years ago did. Back then the salesman talked me through the whole order, this time I had to present the goods and he really just wrote the order.

The number of issues I have had exceed anyone's patience to read them, but suffice it to say that from the initial order there were problems. Once you give Dell payment, the engine has been ignited. You CANNOT change anything. Despite the fact that I began to learn how complicated Vista was in terms of software and peripheral compatibility prior to the unit shipping, I could not get Dell to respond to my own research that indicated the tower would only present me with a plethora of problems. They are absolute, one the order is made, that is the unit you get, NO CHANGES. When the unit arrived, my wireless keyboard and mouse were incompatible. I ordered an expensive MICROSOFT keyboard from them. This keyboard did not work properly. I phoned for tech support. They decided to send me a different keyboard. No one bothered to check if the new keyboard was compatible with Windows Vista--it is not.

Meanwhile the tower was troubled. Lots of error messages occurred, ultimately the tower CRASHED (after 6 days of miserly use). I was told I would have to send the tower back on my dime (to the tune of almost $50). I was also told I could order another one, but I would have to pay in full. I was now out just under $2,000 to Dell, and I had no usable PC.
The issues went on and on. Software incompatibilities for which Dell would offer no solution. Dell's suggestion: pay full retail price to purchase it from them (normally when you buy a new PC with Office loaded, it is quite a bit cheaper than buying it after the fact--a reality which was never conveyed to me by my Dell "expert"), or purchase it elsewhere.

One month later, after at least 25 phone calls and as many case numbers, at an average of about 1 hour/call ... I am trying to find a wireless, ergonomic keyboard that is Windows Vista compatible. Dell can't help me. Everyone I have spoken to outside of the initial salespeople have been non-American, and many of them clearly do not have a clue as to what I am asking. The keyboard issue was complicated by my unearthing that the Customer Service rep has never even SEEN a wireless keyboard. The software sent with my new monitor which I did not need, but was sold as a "package" only to realize when I got the acknowledgement that the monitor was indeed sold separately, was not Vista compatible. All my onscreen images are stretched as in a funhouse mirror. Have not even received a response to that concern.

At the moment Dell has +/- $2,200 of my money. They recently told me they are "processing" a $200 credit. I have 18+ e-mails from them in my current in-box, which doesn't include the massive e-mailing I did with them on the first new tower which CRASHED.

Let's just say I'm in Dell Hell. Lots of folks I know have not had this problem. I wonder what would have happened to someone who didn't have enough credit on their cards to buy two PCs at once?

I plan to be back in the saddle here very soon. The blog remodel is still being discussed, but now that I'm a working woman I have less time for the aesthetics of life. The Garden needs an overhaul for sure, though.

Things I've been enjoying:

Goodreads - check it out and let me know if you'd like to be my reading buddy.

Yelp - for general feedback

Project Runway - I've been obsessed with this show from day one!

Andrea over at Superhero - her baby, jewelry and joyful heart inspire me.