Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What grinds your gears? Dell rhymes with hell...

To all my avid readers out there who have been checking daily for a new blog post I do apologise - I've been hampered and lagging behind with a nasty dose of the flu (no oinking sounds thus far though thankfully) which has hindered my blogging about all things LadyUmbrella and in this post I'm going to take a moment to vent...brace yourselves...

Anyone out there have a Dell computer? - laptop or otherwise? Had any problems with them? Well, I have had my fair share of problems with this hunk of junk..it recently celebrated its 3rd birthday - I got a call of sorts to remind me about it, more on that later.

Well, my laptop has become my life. All of my documents relating to LadyUmbrella t-shirts are contained on this cumbersome unit. All of my online work (this very blog) is done via this solid lump of Inspiron 1300 and it has failed for me catastrophically so many times I've lost count.

Last January it well and truly gave up the ghost. It was around this time that I had most of the pieces of the LadyUmbrella puzzle in place (or lined up to be put in place) when for no valid reason my laptop decided not to turn on. The only remedy was to reinstall Windows and I lost everything - not only my work stuff but also all my music/pictures/etc that I hadn't backed up..it was truly sickening. Once I reinstalled Windows I thought it would be plain sailing as the hard drive would be clean etc...what an erroneous assumption..

The next problem encountered was a complete failure of the power cable which I had to replace for like 70euro. My laptop is also prone to "overheating" even if I'm doing nothing with it - it will just power down and it will take a while before I am able to turn it on again. I'm then greeted with a BEEP "Your computer overheated press F1 to start" screen..needless to say whenever these ad-hoc over-heatings occurs whatever I'm working on is lost. Also, my laptop doesn't work unless its plugged in, the battery life is zilch, nada, zip, zero..

And so, onto the 3 year birthday wishes phone call I received from a phone number about 20 digits long. I was informed that my warranty had just expired. To be honest I didn't know I had a 3 year warranty but getting a call the day after my warranty expired to try sell me a new one irked me no end. As did the "sales pitch".

I was asked if I had any problems with my battery. To which I said yes, it is non existent and I was given a spiel that that was because it was a 4 cell battery and I could get a new 6 cell for 130euro. I told her I didn't have that sort of money to spend on a piece of junk computer. She then inquired if I had any other problems with the laptop and then she tried to act surprised when I listed off all of the above. Dell computers are far from reliable and as a Dell sales staff I'm sure she is well aware of that fact. The thing that really got my back up was that if she had have called me 2 days earlier, when my computer was in warranty, I may have been able to get a new computer/the issues resolved. Of course, the fault lies with me for not getting in touch with Dell and inquiring about my warranty - I tend to shy away from these big organizations, I just don't really like them, and their "squeeze every last cent out of the customer" attitude, which was epitomized in firstly the timing of the call and the repetitive sales pitch in the call really sickened me.

Like, I'm starting a business now and genuinely want to add value to our customers at every turn, not take them for a ride and leave them disgruntled and feeling shafted. If Dell wanted to make me a happy customer why not give me a call 2 days before my warranty expires to see if everything is ok - surely they have confidence in their product that it can last for the period of the warranty? although, clearly, they build them to backfire to keep the sales machine ticking over and instead of adding value by aiding customers add anger and frustration.

This is the last Dell I will ever buy. And, akin to the scene in "Office Space" (what a great movie) I look forward to the day when I can get a new laptop and well and truly lay waste to this nighmare...

So what grinds your gears? Any laptop issues similar to mine? Any bee in your bonnet that you want to get off your chest? Go on, let it out...it feels good...and watching this clip most definitely will...

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