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Disappointed with Dell

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  • Disappointed with Dell

    Using my almost 5 year old HP with Win98 to write this. My 6month old Dell Dim8300 with all of the bells and whistles is dead.- awaiting the arrival of a new hard drive if it ever comes. End of last week the computer turned on by itself. I really didn't think anything of it at the time thinking I did so and forgot. Anyway, I spent some time in Photoshop and then tried to go into Painter 8. Painter8 would not open saying there was some kind of varient brush problem( this has happened before). I closed down the computer and when I went to restart it WinXp would not boot. Anyway, after 2 days of "trying everything" with the telephone support technician, Dell said they would contact me today ( Monday) and have a technician come out to put in a new hard drive( I HAVE A 3 YEAR SERVICE CONTRACT). My hard drive apparently failed all of the diagnostic tests. Anyway, I'm still waiting and have not gotten any calls back from the direct contact number I was given to call if by chance I missed their call( someone was home all day and we kept the line free). Ironically twice I had to be called back by Dell last week when we were doing the trouble shooting because their systems were down.Tomorrow I'll start all over again with their 800 number and see what happens.For a company that "prides" themself on their service( according to their ads) I am very disappointed.
    While I'm in a complaining mood, I'd also like to comment on Painter8. Although I'm really enjoying working with it, twice I had problems where it would not open and I had to install and reinstall. Also can't figure out why they didn't include the newest version on the CD I ordered but required that I had to upload it from their website( the update was on the site well before I ordered it). Anyway, sometimes I think the Luddites had the right idea!


  • #2
    Sorry to hear of your problems Paulette. I also have a Dell, and although I think the machine itself is a good piece of equipment, I don't think their help is all that helpful. Gateway has them beat all to pieces in that respect. I have also dealt with Sony, when a monitor refused to satisfy me. Sony had absolutely top-notch support, and I finally wound up getting a full refund. IMHO, Dell has a long way to go to catch up to either Gateway or Sony when it comes to satisfying customers who have problems. If I were you, I'd make the call again, but I'd insist on talking to a supervisor, and explain all the problems I've had. Sometimes that's about the only way to get things done. When it comes time for a new computer, I think I'll go with a Gateway because of their customer service. Good luck.



    • #3
      My recent experience with Dell tech support was also pretty Dad got a new Dell recently with an LCD screen. The computer worked great but the LCD had a dead pixel right in the center of the screen. I told my Dad to call tech support and explain that the screen had a dead pixel. The person on the phone told him that was normal on ALL their screens! Once we finally got someone higher up on the line they apparently figured out what "bad pixel" meant and sent him a new monitor.

      One thing to keep in mind...usually when you call tech support you are not actually talking to Dell, but a third party company Dell has hired to handle support and billing problems, etc... just about every large Internet provider and computer company does this.


      • #4
        Getting smart here! Since I happened to wake up at 5:30 this morning I decided to see how far I could get with reaching someone. Finally reached someone who could help me.Anyway, the good news is that a technician called me a little while ago and said he'd be out later today (he said he does the contractual work for Dell in my area ). He said he didn't have the hard drive in yesterday and Dell was supposed to contact me and let me know that. I was very annoyed that I spent the entire day waiting for their call and got no response to my calls( they even had my "official" email address).

        My predicament is generating alot of interest among my friends here in my little gated community where I 'm regarded as one of the more knowledgeable computer people( my speciality is making certain wires are plugged in all the way when someone calls me about a problem!) They are really shocked that this has happened to me. Alot of local computer tech people are making alot of money on house calls( $50-75 per hour) and I usually try to help out my friends before they have to call someone. Most of the time it's usually something very simple like the wires but if I think it will get too complicated I don't want to take the chance of messing up their computer( mine is a different story) and suggest they call someone in.Most of these people have some kind of telephone support( like Dell) but don't seem to get anywhere with it.

        I am really curious to find out what caused the crash. The computer is not online so I could rule out a virus. Again, the only flukey thing going on was with the Corel Painter but I can't see how that could have caused the problem. My Hard Drive is 200GB and I regularly defragged etc. Will keep you posted....


        • #5
          My Dell Experience

          I have had 3 Dell computers in the past 6 or 7 years, including a new 4600 I bought a few months ago. I got a Dell for my Father, and due to his lack of experience with computers used Dell support on a regular basis. They always seemed to help him resolve his problems.

          For my first two computers, I didn't have any problems or issues so I did not interact with Dell support. For my current computer, I had a problem with Internet Explorer. On some sites the fonts would be so large, only one character could fit on my monitor. (hard way to browse). Netscape worked fine.

          I talked to 3 different people in Dell support. All three had canned responses; re-install everything. Kind of brute force without really dealing with the problem, but I obliged. The problem still persisted.

          I posted my problem on Dell's support website, and did not get a solution that worked. After about 2 weeks, I called Dell Customer Care to complain about the lack of support. They told me I didn't have a software support contract so they couldn't help me. I was not all pleased with their response. I contacted Microsoft, but they told me that I needed to get support from Dell because I purchased a packaged system (i.e. Microsoft software was bundled).

          Fortunately I finally figured out and corrected the problem.



          • #6
            What make of HD is it Paulette or is it just badged Dell?


            • #7
              To the best of my knowledge, both the old and new( which arrived late today) are generic Dell.The new one they sent to the tech, by the way, was 250GB ( my dead one was 200), I can probably run the Florida elections on the new one if I had to.

              To continue my saga..... the technician arrived around 4 today, took out the old drive , put in the new one ,started my WinXP Recovery disk( said it would take about an hour to install) and was out in less than 15 minutes. Told me to follow the instructions on the disk and call Dell Support if I ran into a problem. When I asked him if he had any idea of why it could have happened
              his only response was "could be anything" mentioning that in Florida stray lightening( we have not had any lately) is often the culprit

              Anyway it's coming along but I'm still in the process of installing peripherals and software. Although I saved to CD most projects of value , I still lost alot of experimental stuff I was working on. I hate to admit that I got rather careless about backing up and I learned a valuable lesson. What I miss also are all of the settings I had for various software programs.

              Getting back to Dell support, I am frankly disappointed in alot of things concerning the way they do things. One interesting note is that when I purchased my computer ( by phone) the sales rep spent more time trying to sell me a support contract and a Dell Credit card rather than computer components. Guess that's where the money is.

              Thanks for all the support guys!



              • #8
                Not that this helps or anything, but I have had 5 Dell computers over the past 6 years, all with pretty good luck. Their support right now is still coming out of India for the most part, and when I had to call I had a really hard time communicating - but they are moving the support back stateside so that should help some.

                As far as Gateway, I used to work for a company contracted by Gateway for tech support, and their employees were given little to no training - they were under pressure to get through a call, yet the information the employees were given was very limited and hard to get through - policy said that we had to get the customer to open up their computer and do all sorts of things before we could allow for on-site support or any other type of extra help. The whole thing was pretty much a joke. All of these companies contract out to companies that handle all kinds of accounts - the company I worked for handled Dell also - in the next building over - so don't think for a minute that one is better than the other - it all depends on who you get on the phone, how well they are trained, and how well they know how to communicate.

                From my experience dealing with many people and their computers, I have found Dell to be the lesser of the evils - but that is just me.


                • #9
                  Hmmm, that's interesting. Maybe I was just lucky when I had to call Gateway support. When I contacted Dell support, I talked with someone from India too. Communication was exceptionally bad. The support person I spoke to could barely speak English, and that's all I know. I think that wherever the customer is, they should be able to contact someone who can speak their language very well. It's hard enough to do things you're told when you do speak the same language, if you have no idea what you're doing in the first place. If Dell brings it back stateside, I might consider buying another one. I expect Doug to chime in about Gateway's support.



                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ed_L
                    Hmmm, that's interesting. Maybe I was just lucky when I had to call Gateway support. When I contacted Dell support, I talked with someone from India too. Communication was exceptionally bad. The support person I spoke to could barely speak English, and that's all I know. I think that wherever the customer is, they should be able to contact someone who can speak their language very well. It's hard enough to do things you're told when you do speak the same language, if you have no idea what you're doing in the first place. If Dell brings it back stateside, I might consider buying another one. I expect Doug to chime in about Gateway's support.


                    You probably won't want to call Palm support (actually now called PalmOne). Talk about not being able to understand their support staff!



                    • #11
                      Pauline - hope it's better soon / college grads in India

                      Pauline, I hope that your computer is soon back to normal. My understanding is that hard drives will always fail, sooner or later. If we're lucky, they fail when they're still under warranty or after we have upgraded to a new machine. Thanks for another reminder to backup, backup, backup. I have known that for about 20 years now, but I still don't do it as often as I should.

                      Here's a link to a television program I watched about college grads in India trying to learn English to qualify to work in customer service positions --

                      "These young Indians must change their names, modify their accents to be able to toggle between English dialects, and put aside their own cultural identities as they learn to speak and think like their international callers."

                      It was unnerving to me to watch these young people talking about how they think American, Aussie and English people think and act -- the students tried to sound and act like Americans and Australians, and some of their perceptions sounded like they had been gleaned from watching "action flicks". They were trying to become more "American" or more "Australian", and seemed to be trying to change their cultural upbringing to improve their chances of qualifying for these jobs.
                      Last edited by CJ Swartz; 03-05-2004, 12:22 AM. Reason: add info


                      • #12
                        Still trying to get everything working! The biggest problem is getting all of the drivers up and running, not to mention the software which still has to be reinstalled and configured. I had not realized how much is installed "in the factory".

                        Back to Dell. I noticed that not only does my service contract include 1 year" in home" but I have some express number I can punch in to move me up in the waiting line. The first time I called last week I had a wait of about 15 minutes- since I noticed I had the express code option the waits went down to a little over 5 minutes. Anyway, I couldn't agree more that the accent is a very major problem. Years ago when I was going to college I had summer jobs working as an information operator for the local phone company. I never thought that some of the skills I learned then would come into play now. Even if it takes much longer with the support person, if I have trouble understanding someone , I just keep repeating words back like " A" for apple etc. I also do not hestitate to tell them to slow down when I find they are going too fast. Another thing I do is tell them I'm a little slow with this new stuff and maybe there is someone else around who might be able to explain it to me better. I really try to use the online help as much as I can but that often leaves alot to be desired also. What I do find the most helpful are forums where you can find users who may have had a problem similar to yours. It never ceases to amaze me how very helpful some people are online. For my part, if I have a possible solution to something I try to respond.

                        Getting back to Dells computer support, I was astonished to get a call out of the blue from the last tech I spoke with asking me how things were going with my new hard drive. Maybe they are reading this forum!!

                        I don't know what the answer anymore as to what computer to buy and who gives the best service. Almost seems like just plain luck! But getting back to all of this technical support going overseas- that I have a real problem with given the state of the job market in this country. It is just like the manufacturing jobs that started going overseas gradually and look what's happened there. I understand that alot of medical and financial institutions are outsourcing also. Read that xrays even are being sent somewhere half around the world. Don't know what kind of jobs will be left in this country anymore. Here in South Florida the medical service industry is very big but the pay scales are low. Government service workers seem to be well paid down here(they even pay people quite generously to "serve" on the local school boards).
                        Well on to open my DeLL!



                        • #13
                          Well I just purchased my first Dell. It was time to upgrade my poor Pentium II. I haven't taken it out of the box yet, but hope to settled down to the process of installing all my software and moving files this afternoon. Hopefully everything will go smoothly and I won't have to resort to tech support (your experience has me worried).

                          I purchased the computer online, but before I pressed the final send button I did call customer service with one question on one of the options. They were very pushy to purchase the computer with them vs. online as they get a sales commission and he even threw in guilt that he had taken the time (5 secs...yes/no answer) to answer my question (which by the way is his job). I finally told him that I wasn't ready to purchase the computer yet and he was quite huffy and hung up. Now this person was an American or at least sounded very American. And I'm sure if I started the process of purchasing the computer with him that he would have pushed as many things on me as he could. I must admit I was not happy with his approach, and pray that the rest of the process goes smoothly!


                          • #14
                            Dell Support

                            I purchaces my Dell about 2 years ago (my first on was an IBM pent 1)
                            I have had to call Dell support 3 times, 2 software and one hardware problem and all three times the help was very fast and freindly . the one time when the tech. didn't know the answer to my problem he told me so and promptly got some one who did know.
                            I have nothing but good things to say about Dell's support. I think I must be lucky when I hear about other peoples experiences.


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