I had a very, very, very long conversation with a representative from Dell today. She was supposed to be from Customer Services - but the customer seemed to figure a very long way down her list of priorities.
I have a Dell desktop which has caused me very few problems at all in the last few years. It is starting to get a bit slow and cranky in its old age, but aren't we all? My Dell laptop however - a machine that is only a year and a few months old - is a very different story.
That laptop has been back to Dell on two separate occasions, the last time in June this year when it was extensively refitted. The hard drive was replaced. The DVD drive was replaced for the second time. It still didn't work and has subsequently had the DVD drive replaced for the third time.
But far from being ashamed of having sold someone such a can of scrap, she was much more concerned with trying to convince me I had wasted my money getting support elsewhere despite the fact that the Dell technician had been adamant the problem was a software one. It wasn't. The laptop had simply failed again and had the technician spotted this it would have gone back to Dell a third time. Instead of which a technician came out to Kevin, my support. After messing him about of course.
At the end of an hour and a half conversation where she tried to convince me the laptop must have worked fine after it came back, that I should have paid for software support from Dell because they would have discovered that it was hardware and refunded, etc etc etc, I happened to mention that I intended to contact the Consumer Association and suddenly she offered to refund the money I had paid for support and Dell would extend the warranty until July 2010. When I asked her why it had taken her so long to accept any need to compensate me, she said that she was responding to what I had said during the conversation.
They should have replaced the laptop. But of course, that is not going to happen. They would rather keep replacing parts and ferrying it to and fro and paying technicians to work on it than admit that they have been at fault from day one.
I will never buy so much as a mouse from Dell in the future.
And of course I should have bought a Mac.