Jun 12, 2009

Jim's Computer Problems

UPDATE June 14: Apparently the part is being shipped to my home on Monday - I'm to call once it arrives and I'm guessing a tech will come out to fix. I'm not hopeful, however, that this will be done on Monday so that's another day lost (Wed, Thursday, Friday so far). The main issue for me is lack of software on my backup computer because I can't afford to buy 2 copies of all my software (I like to stay legal when it comes to software).

Not an NXT issue, so please accept my apologies, but I feel that a 45,000+ readership might help me get something done.

No long essay, just the facts:

1. Yesterday - my Dell laptop took an electrical hit - bad video card is the culprit. Called Dell Tech Support to test whether the $150 next-business-day fix service would work. Scheduled a technician to show up today, June 11 - "They'll call you before 12 noon to let you know what time to expect someone."

2. Today - June 11 - no call. I called them. My replacement part wasn't overnighted to Atlanta, but someone in California will be getting an unusual gift today. Given number and extension to call. Called, no answer - left message (loudly).

3. 3pm EST now - no call back. No follow-up. Called Dell Tech Support again 20 minutes ago - pressed the right keys but got routed to 'Printer Tech Support' area... hang up, try again. Same thing - "Printer Tech Support" area. One more time... wouldn't happen 3 times would it? Yep.

4. Log on to Blogger and share with 45,000 readers how someone who relies on his Dell laptop for a living cannot write today... or yesterday... must use a different computer and inefficiency goes out the door.

5. Questions for Dell: Will you please refund me the money I paid for the extended next-day on-site service? If not, please send me explanation for how this service works because I must be the only person in the world who doesn't understand what "next" and "day" mean.

Bottom Line: I like Dell computers and laptops, but if you're considering buying an extended warranty, you might want to rethink it. I'll keep you informed on how Dell handles this situation. Thanks for letting me gripe a bit, friends.

15 comments:

Sidneys1 said...

Odd. I've never had a problem with Dell's phone support. I had a similar problem: fried GFX card. They had an in-home technician there within a week. He couldn't fix it, so I had to send it in. Came back, and has run perfectly since. As to the 'printer support', I seem to remember a similar situation, although I don't remember what I did.

Have a nice day,
Hope your comp gets fixed soon,
~Sidneys1

Jim Kelly said...

Sidney - let me clear that up.

The Dell Tech Support call I made yesterday was great - the person I spoke to (Phillipines) was helpful and we figured it out fast.

It's what happens AFTER the call - a local support company in Atlanta is supposed to get the part (overnighted) and call me by noon to schedule a visit to fix. No part... no call... no visit.

Between yesterday, today, and most likely tomorrow and the weekend, I will have lost a substantial amount of work hours that cannot be made up.

I've just emailed four different execs at Dell, so it'll be interesting to see if anything happens... or nothing.

Thanks for the kind words... I hope my laptop gets fixed soon, too.

Eric D. Burdo said...

One of the places I worked used Dell machines exclusively. And we had the 48 hour turn-around (being in rural Maine, that was the best Dell would offer).

There were times when it was easier to fix it ourselves, than to let Dell deal with it. But it was more of the "authorized Dell technician" issues, than true "Dell" issues.

Robolab 2.9 said...

I had - still have - a messed up hard drive that Dell still hasn't assist in finding the problem yet. We've talked 3 or 4 times, no help yet...

Richard

Rick Rhodes said...

Jim,

This is cold comfort to you, but Lenovo came through for us when Fay's motherboard went south.

It took a week for them to get the part (which I didn't like), but a local guy eventually made a 140-mile round trip to our house, spent 2.5 hours here and finally got it done.

My new philosophy: buy the cheapest computer you can and forget extended warranties. I figure if I get a $400 laptop without an extended warranty and it lasts two years, then I come out ahead (slightly).

Rick

NXTFreak said...

I'm sorry about your computer problems; that can be very frustrating. But that's why I'm saving up for a Mac. =)

keff said...

The dell warranty worked for me, they really arrived the next day and fixed the problem.
By the way, is the GFX card Nvidia with G86 chip? That whole model is doomed to fail - NVidia made a bad choice of materials, and replacement of all chips made in that generation would bankrupt them, so they try to ignore the problem and pass it to the consumers (hoping that chips will die after warranty).
Just google nvidia g86.

D-Robotics said...

This is why I will never go back to a PC and stay with a mac. When something happens you literally want to just smash the computer, and burst into hysterics. Dell Should refund your money and give you the graphics card for free. Hope your problem gets fixed A.S.A.P

Jim Kelly said...

I'd settle for them fixing my laptop and refunding the money I paid for next day service.

dilip said...

I really wanted to vent about Dell...
I bought a Laptop, which wouldn't start up after 1 month of use. I had to reset the OS to factory setup, loosing lots of files.
THen the SAME thing happened 2 months later.
Then another mother board problem within 1 year of getting the laptop. Got my mother board replaced, only to find that the replaced mother board had a broken card slot.

M said...

I'm sorry about your computer, especially since you where writing another Maya adventure book! I've never had a problem with Dell, maybe that's because I've never had a Dell. I've had a Toshiba for three years and it still runs like new (aside from a rather full hard drive). The only downside about Toshiba is that they are a tad bit more expensive. Supposedly the problems with the NVIDIA G86 comes from overheating problems. I hope that you will at least get your money refunded, and hopefully get your computer fixed.

brad_l said...

Jim,

Are you still having trouble with getting the system serviced? Please contact me back at the email below and I help you in any way that I can.

Brad L
Dell Community Liaison
brad_l@dell.com

Jim Kelly said...

Brad,

Thanks for the note - I did receive a call this morning (didn't get a name) from someone at Dell telling me the part would be shipped to my house on Monday and for me to call back so they could scheduled a tech to come out.

While I'm happy to have the process rolling, I hope you can understand my frustration - I pay extra for next-day service and even though I'm sure this was just an unfortunate mistake on Dell and FedEx/UPS/??? part, it doesn't get me back my lost billable hours.

I'll contact you shortly.

Jim

LEGOmom said...

Good luck Jim.....I'm sure this affects us all since you're not able to write those wonderful NXT books for us to spend our money on.

We feel your pain...
Best of Luck,

LEGOmom

Parax said...

I've only ever needed dell support at work, used them last month was 2.5 hrs from phone call to part arriving (4hr service). Always built my own machines for home. It is a pain when things break rma is normally two weeks... But I think I can replace any component (as a temp part) in 2 hours, for less than the cost of next day support.

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