Re: Dell Computers....was..... When You Hear The Heavy Accent

On 3/31/04 5:36 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@news.west.earthlink.net,


Funny there's all this talk about Dell and overseas. Here in Nashville, there are a LOT of people doing phone tech support.
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Brian Ehni


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Froggy@The Pond.com wrote in message (Remove the

I couldn't agree more. I made the mistake of opening up a "preferred" account with Dell, and purchased a computer from them for the kids. With that account, payments are deferred for 6 months with no interest. It was ordered and delivered 2 weeks before Christmas. Since then I keep getting calls from India telling me I am late with payments and there is no such thing as a preferred account. Bullpucky, I have the paperwork! After many many phone calls to Dell trying to get a person who can actually speak the English language, I am at the end of my rope. I have given them my final arguement and have CLEARLY stated my position. Either they live up to my agreement, or the computer gets sent back and replaced with another brand. Ironicly, the only person I could reach in this country was in the Returns Department. He fully agreed with my position and is trying to avoid a return, but I think , as much as he is trying, it may be a lost cause. Time will tell. Chooch p.s. I love my Compaq. They have always been there for me.
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chooch wrote: [snip]

Just pray that you don't need service from HP/Compaq. I recently had one of the most frustrating support experiences of my life when one of the onboard IDE controllers died under warranty.
First, HP's preferred system of Instant Messaging-based support is a slow, irritating way of doing things. Secondly, their original attempt to diagnse the problem had them insisting that they should send me a replacement CD-ROM drive when the evidence and my own experimentation clearly demonstrated that the controller on the motherboard had failed. Thirdly, although HP did manage to turn around my system in about a week's less time than they'd originally quoted when I had to ship it back in, they loused up the built-in network interface, and since the original warranty had expired while it was in transit back to me, they tried to argue that it wasn't their responsibilty to correct the problem they caused while they were repairing it.
After spending half an hour trying to explain to the guy on the other end of the phone exactly why it WAS their responsibility to fix what they had broken, I came to the conclusion that it would be more time- and cost-effective for me if I drove out to the computer store, bought a third-party network card and installed it myself. That is what it took to get my system back to where it was before the IDE controller went out and HP "repaired" the system.
Basically, my complaints are that 1) The person on the other end when I first called in didn't have the savvy to deviate from his canned script when it was clear that their process wasn't working. 2) When HP messed up an unrelated part of my system, it would have been more pleasant to have oral surgery than to get their tech to agree to go through the process of correcting their mistake.
The ironic part is that this is the first white box ("off the shelf") system I'd ever bought. Prior to this, I either built 'em myself or bought a custom system from one of the integration/assembly shops in town. Having had memories of good support from HP three years back with a relative's computer, I figured that there shouldn't be support problems...
I've two systems I plan to replace at home this year. Neither will be replaced with HP or Compaq equipment. The whole culture at HP has changed so radically there that I refuse to do business with them again.
-fm http://www.wyomingyard.com The address in the header is bogus. See my sites for the real address.
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I'll make two recommendations here:
1. If you insist on buying a monopoly PC, buy a dell with their three year "in home" service plan. I've had several Dells, and when they do fail (my laptop glide point mouse "buttons" broke off), they sent a tech in 24 hours (my schedule) who showed up on time, and then proceeded to disassemble and repair my laptop. Then he tested it to make sure all functions continued to work: dial modem, TCP internet, memory, disk, etc. I was pleased.
2. Buy a Mac from Apple with AppleCare. You have to send it to them or take it to an Apple Store where for the most part, their tech's are Apple heads who actually want to fix things. I had an iBook whose battery compartment lock failed. While not officially covered (it is a "case" problem, likely caused by the user), then said, "send it in anyway. We'll fix it." They did and I had it back in 48 hours with a shiny new case.
All that said, I have several HP printers and I've not had problems with warranty repairs. They send me a new one, I send the old one back.
Ed.
in article snipped-for-privacy@ferrousoxide.net, Fritz Milhaupt at snipped-for-privacy@ferrousoxide.net wrote on 4/1/04 3:41 AM:

...HP horror story deleted

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Ed Oates
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hours
to
take
heads
did
I can tell right away that Mr. Oates is a city dweller. I live 200 miles north of Toronto, the nearest DELL center is in Toronto. The nearest Apple Center is in Toronto.
Dell does NOT care about individual clients in this area, they have proven this to us time and time again. Anything the few people who use Apples up have to buy, they have to mail order. There is one stop here, but the only have the basic stuff and not much at any given time.
Apples and Dell computers fail at the same rate as any other computer, nine times out of ten, they have the same parts in them. Only the BIOS and Operating system are proprietary.
My suggestion would be to buy from a shop who will also fix it there, or has provision to repair on site. My whole company is based on the "ON-SITE" principal and has it's foundations deeply rooted in "Customer Service". I go to my customer and our motto is "Helping you understand technology better." Most problems are fixed within an hour or two. If it is a parts situation, I can have the parts next day 90% of the time or second day at the most. My client's computers are only down for 2 days, not 2 weeks becuase they had to send it to Dell or Apple or HP or Compaq or IBM.
Something to think about. We all know they WILL fail, best get the proper solution to the problem of "What happens when it fails."
--
Will
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Guilty as charged: I live in Palo Alto, CA.
It is true that if you live further out than 50 miles from an urban center, and/or Dell won't sell you "in home service," then you pretty much are on your own. But if Dell will sell you the "in home service," they actually drive to your house. My tech drove from Tracy, which is 62 miles.
WRT Failure rates: Apple machines have pretty much been more reliable on most surveys, but that doesn't help when YOUR machine breaks. I've found the AppleCare techs pretty good, and there has always been a more senior tech around to talk to for a complicated software crash (turned out to be a failing Xircom USB hub).
I have found PC manufacturers USELESS for software issues: they buck everything to Microsoft.
Apple machines disk drives and memory may be like everyone else's, but the similarities end there. The fans, mother board, CPU, sometimes even their DVD drives are special. But I like 'em better.
If you have a good, local computer fixit shop as Will's apparently is, terrific: us 'em. But I've found most computer fix it shops have the same skill as my cat at fixing computers. For example, I wouldn't take anything to Fry's (a really really big retailer to the geek community here is California) which I ever wanted to see run again.
I figure if I want to build my own computer from the various parts (cases, power supplies, mother boards, et al), then I can also fix just about anything which fails. If I don't want to do that, I buy a brand which has some way of on site, local store, or send it in get it back soon repair and warranty facilities.
Ed.
in article 6q%ac.19262$ snipped-for-privacy@read2.cgocable.net, snipped-for-privacy@CreditValley.Railway at snipped-for-privacy@cogeco.cant wrote on 4/1/04 1:01 PM:

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Ed Oates
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Edward A. Oates wrote:

FWIW, I have bought consistently at 15% above 'shed' rates over the years from one guy. Everything that has ever gone wrong has always been fixed, mostly FOC.
You can buty a compuetr anywhere. Buing aftre slaes servie is much harder, and costs money.
The level of actual service bears no relation to the printed gurantees or indeed to amthing oher than the will of a small trader to keep on doing business with you.
AS Good Americans you ought to have realised that putting a disconnect between the pesron who is supplying the service and the sale to you that funds it, is a recipe for as little as won't get you sued. Nt as much as is needed to get you to come back again.
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Geek community??? Heck, everyone goes there because of their sales. And I usually pick that day to go get some simple memory and get stuck is some ver-r-r-ry long lines (Like now as they just opened the Concord store). I do NOT like even speaking to their sales staff and I always have to check the print out pages to make sure they ordered the correct part up for me. I have never used their Tech Support desk at all.

I built about 30-40 that way for some cheapskate customers (like family) over the years. I have quit doing that lately as Dell, Compaq/HP, Gateway, etc., all offer systems cheaper than I can build them from scratch. To the tune of $200 cheaper (at least) per unit.
Art
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Fry's hasn't been a "geek" place since they started doing the theme stores. The only reason I go to Fry's anymore is that I need something right now.

An equivalent machine? For the same money as Dell wants I can usually step-up on Processor speed, memory and motherboard. Granted, it's not the hugh savings you could get a couple of years ago. I've taken to getting barebones systems to start. The savings (not from Dell) on piecemealing often isn't enough to overcome the shipping.
Paul
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in article 3HDbc.67109$JO3.39525@attbi_s04, Paul Newhouse at snipped-for-privacy@pimin.rockhead.com wrote on 4/3/04 10:49 AM:

Fry's still sells bare processors, memory, power supplies, chips, yada yada yada. Non-geeks now go there, too, but if you know what you want so you don't have to talk to the sales help at all, and you don't go on week ends, the lines are fairly short here in Palo Alto (the western themed store). I've not been in the others for a while; maybe they are less geeky now, but the PA store has lots of electronic component stuff. Not as good as Quement's was for ham radio or regular old school stuff, but you can waste your time and money there for computer age pieces and build your own.
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Ed Oates
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There is still a "geek"ish section in the stores. If you catch a sale for the particular thing you want they can be price competative with the net.

Take a lunch if you want to talk to them. Once'n a while some friends and I will go there and listen to the "sales pitch" some of them try to use on unsuspecting customers. It's laughable ... but, it gets boring pretty quickly. They have no clue, what's scary is that most of the customers are less clueful. I always enjoyed the sales person who sold the customer the square connector fiber switch and the round connector fiber cables (there was a pretty large clear picture on the box, hold the round cable end up against the picture of the square hole and ask the clown, "How does this work?").

I haven't been there in quite awile. I was thinking of the newer stores; the one on Argules (sp?), Brokaw Rd (I think thats the street it's on). The one on Durham & 680 is just a manufacturers paste squirt up. If you want washers, dryers, TV's, boom boxes, VCR's they have competative prices.
Paul
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in article 94Lbc.69231$JO3.39665@attbi_s04, Paul Newhouse at snipped-for-privacy@pimin.rockhead.com wrote on 4/3/04 8:14 PM:

...stuff deleted...
As I walk around the store, if I hear a sales person giving mis-information to a customer who clearly doesn't know better, I just interrupt the sales person with a "I've used this in the past and find it works well" and point to the right product. I've heard DVD+R media to people who said they had a Macintosh. Sales person said, "Oh, they are all the same. Don't pay more the the Apple brand" then hand them a box of essentially identically priced DVD+R. The sales guy glares at you, but I don't care. I did have one guy tell me not to interfere with his customer, and I told him point blank that he didn't know what he was talking about, and if he cared to get his manager, I'd explain to him the misinformation he was spreading. He walked away. Hehehe.
I recommend such interference in ALL computer stores where the sales folks are willfully ingnorant.
Ed.

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Ed Oates
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We didn't let the guy get out of the store without pointing out the round peg in a square hole problem. And have often spoken directly to the customer, while the sales bozo is there, and given them the benifit of our experience ... if we can stop laughing enough to talk *8-D

Agreed, the right thing to do. I was concerned, during the round->square episode, that I might have to take some of my cohorts to the hospital for sedation (not wanting them to bust any ribs and puncture something important). I nearly had my dropped jaw runover by a shopping cart!!
Paul
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Edward A. Oates wrote:

One of the advantages to building your own is the use of standard off the shelf motherboards and other parts. Many of the Compaq, HP, Dell and Gateway computers have proprietary motherboards which can't be replaced with a normal AT or ATX form factor motherboard. When my Compaq Presario was getting too slow and outdated to handle the latest Winslow bloat several years ago I decided to roll my own. Now it's just a matter of swapping a new motherboard or peripheral card for a couple hundred $$ when something goes awry, rather than buying an entire new system
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Rick Jones
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Ran into this same prob with my HP. 800mhz is too slow for video rendering and so forth and the max RAM the board will support is 256 megs. I had already done an HD and DVD-R/RW upgrade so I figured I would just replace the board and CPU. Ended up having to replace the ATX case also due to connection issues. Add to that the setup software not working with a non-HP board meant I had to buy XP full. Now I have an Athlon 2400+ w/512megs RAM upgradeable to 2 gig. Cost me probably less than a quarter what the HP cost when new. AND easily upgradeable now.
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Fubar of The HillPeople
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` end
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On 4/3/04 11:53 PM, in article FpNbc.14073$ snipped-for-privacy@newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net, "Art Marsh"

We just priced some Optiplex 3GHz machines, 1GB RAM, XP PRO, 128MB video cards with 19" LCD for around $1500.00
They're giving them away.
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Brian Ehni


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< snip >
As I said, I love my Compaq. I didn't mention HP at all. Why? Because they do build trash. 1 HP PC, and 3 HP printers have all been consigned to the trash heap in the last 5 years. From normal home use. The latest to die was a 697C printer. When Compaq and HP were about to merge, I recieved a survey from Compaq asking for a consumers take on the merger. My response was "don't do it, they will drag you down to thier level, which is rock bottom". I've had several conversations with Compaq tech support, and they have always been right on the money with advise and accurate with all technical questions. HP tech support actually has eclipsed AOL's tech support in applied stupidity. My fear is that Compaq's support crew has been diluted by dolts. Maybe next time, I will "roll my own".
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We have a HP photosmart 7150 printer and touch wood has been fine
snipped-for-privacy@adelphia.net (chooch) wrote in message

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