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Michael Roach

Dell Hell

Chapter One:

I can feel the inside of my ear twitching!!!!!!!!

Me friend has an older Dell Inspiron 3800 laptop, perfectly serviceable, except...it's only got a 5G hard drive. You couldn't hardly put one camera card's contents in the 1.5 G left. So I went to Fry's, got a 40G Fuji 5400RPM 8M cache for just under $100. But...my friend has lost the restore disc. Easy, just go to Dell's web site, right?

Okay, last night...

You are in a maze of twisting little pbuttages, all different.

You are in a little maze of twisty pbuttages, all different.

You are in a twisting maze of little pbuttages, all different.

You are in a twisting little maze of pbuttages, all different.

You are in a twisty little maze of pbuttages, all different.

You are in a twisty maze of little pbuttages, all different.

You are in a little twisty maze of pbuttages, all different.

You are in a maze of little twisting pbuttages, all different.

You are in a maze of little twisty pbuttages, all different.

After 15-20 minutes of abortive thrashing around, finally get to a place where I can send them a message, via their on-line, (not conventional) email. But the only place I could find is one for warranty support, but what the hell, at least it's a contact.

This morning, I get an mail respose from the warranty dept. giving me...an 800 number! Well, now we're getting somewhere! I'll just call, talk to someone, they'll sell me a restore disc, and we'll be on our way!

Oh no, not so fast...

You are in a maze of twisting little pbuttages, all different.

You are in a little maze of twisty pbuttages, all different.

You are in a twisting maze of little pbuttages, all different.

Caller ID "spoofing" 2970
The work ethic was repressed. Ideology trumps common sense. It was the grand struggle to mediocrity. There...

You are in a twisting little maze of pbuttages, all different.

Caller ID "spoofing" 2971
part of that was boyd and ooda-loops some of the other web-sites where you find boyd and ooda-loop references are now...

You are in a twisty little maze of pbuttages, all different.

You are in a twisty maze of little pbuttages, all different.

You are in a little twisty maze of pbuttages, all different.

You are in a maze of little twisting pbuttages, all different.

You are in a maze of little twisty pbuttages, all different.

I got to navigate the phone tree, where nothing offered is what I want. But I somehow, I swear I didn't ask for it, get a guy who is in Federal systems support ?!?! He seems to want to be helpful, however and transfers me to the "correct" dept. They take my info (refusing to accept a PO box number) and start looking for a restore disc for me.

Ooops, send me to someone else. They start looking for a restore disc for me. Put me on hold (for the 3rd time now), the music's not very good either. Someone else, now, "I can help you, please hold," more (bad) music.

"Hello, this is warranty support how can I help you?", at least that what I thought I heard, because it's a VOIP call to India, I asked and he told me so, and it sounds like he's under water, *literally*, and the latency is so great that I suggest that we use the "say 'over'" technique. He doesn't get it, so I bail.

I'm sure I've skipped at least a half dozen steps here, I'm so infuriated. I've now got half an hour on the computer and an hour on the phone under my belt, and I have accomplished exactly *nothing*.

If you *ever* buy a Dell anything I'm gonna slap you around!

Chapter Two:

On the advice of fellow members of a.f.c-a I took a breather, and am on the phone (on hold, if you can believe that) right now. This time they inferred from the tag # that I'm somebody else, (mumbledy mumble and can you verify your address?). I think that the orig owner gifted (hate that) it to my friend, (also named Bill), and they think that I'm looking for warr. service. Sigh. (I'm trying to go to my secret place now) I'll keep you posted...

Finale:

...From the Desk of David Pogue

Caller ID "spoofing" 2968
My hypothesis is that it kept the "noisy" pieces of the brain busy; then that function of the brain never interrupted the compute...

How to Survive a Tech Support Call

The New York Times February 22, 2006

OK, we all know that the tech-support problem is out of control these "retired geek," wrote up a Guide to Dell Tech Support that's so clever-funny-smart, I had to pbutt it on. Please welcome subsbreastute columnist John Stumpf.

Preparatory Work

So it has happened: you have fired up your Dell PC, and -- nothing. Or the dreaded "cannot find boot drive" or something like that. Now you are forced into the unenviable position of having to call Dell Off-shore Hardware Support. Look at it as a journey, one on which you will be tested, much like Job or Arthur Dent. You will descend into the ninth circle, but with the proper preparation, tools and atbreastude, you will return, a better person for it.

Caller ID "spoofing" 2966
This has nothing to do with the US, just my experience. I have had an interest in computers for years, and once worked with them in...

First, before you call, prepare. Raid your kids' library and find some simple reading primers along the lines of "See Spot Run." This will help you speak in non-complex sentences and monosyllabic words.

Make an appointment for that root canal you have been putting off. After what you are about to experience, you will look forward to it.

Buy a speakerphone; it's tough to stay rational when your neck is cramped.

When you are ready to MAKE THE CALL, go to the bathroom, take an aspirin, get a book or crossword, stock up on water and nibbles (preferably ones with high sugar content and no nutritional value; Twinkies are good). Shoo the kids out of your den; it's possible that they will hear things that could cause serious psychological issues later.

Do your relaxation exercises; take a sip of water; remember Dan Rather's closing, "Courage." And MAKE THE CALL...


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