Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dell, ahhhh Dell

Dell is on my not very nice list right now. I'm having problems with my computer and I've contacted them twice to try to fix it. And I still haven't even gotten ahold of the right people to help me.

For several weeks now my computer has been shutting off at random times. When it does, the bottom of my laptop always feels really warm. And I can't remember the last time I heard the fan come on.

So I contacted Dell's online customer tech support. One of the first things he told me is that my warranty expires in Feb 2009, 'just so I know'. Uh, thanks. I'm obviously within my warranty period, but thanks for letting me know.

We got about halfway through the conversation when I mentioned my theory that the electrical difference here in Switzerland is part of the problem. The rep promptly told me he couldn't help me because I was abroad and gave me a separate service line to call. And the number was a US line, 512 area code.

I've been putting off calling the number because I wasn't really thrilled with my first contact with their 'support'. But today I needed to call.

A couple of days ago my battery charger I brought with me from the US broke. Just stopped working one day. So I used the computer on battery power until it was almost gone then plugged my laptop in using an adapter Brian brought home from work. Well, that adapter wouldn't charge my battery for some reason, but it was able to run the computer. Until today, when that stopped working.

Now my computer sits on the couch. I can't turn it on because the battery is dead and I don't have anything to power the laptop.

So I was forced to contact Dell. I dialed their US number for international support using our Magic Jack line, an invention that is truly awesome.

I pushed the buttons required (abroad in Europe, yes) and waited on hold for a little more than 15 minutes. Finally I got someone on the phone. I gave him my information, told him the problem, and, along the way, mentioned the European power cord Brian had brought home to use.

He asked, "You're in Switzerland?"

I said, "Yes."

To which he responded, "You need to contact the international service number and they do not open for another hour and fifteen minutes."

I kid you not.

At this point, I'm boiling. I mention that, hey, I DID call the international service number which I was told to do after already contacting Dell about this. He apologized and said that thsoe calling the international line before they open are immediately transferred to the regular help line.

Uh, why?

So I told him that it would have been nice to have had a message at the beginning of those 15 or so minutes of wait time informing those calling the international number, that they aren't even open yet! And not to mention that, in my humble opinion, an international help line shouldn't only be open from 7 am to whenever central time.

He just apologized and reiterated that I would have to call again. Of course, what else is he going to do? It's not his fault that Dell has this crazy set up.

So now I wait. Again. Argh.

And if you are from Dell and reading this, feel free to contact me. I'd love some customer support at this point!


Jessica said...

Hey there. Just wanted to say that I have a dell too and you should be able to plug the sucker in just fine here. Dells have converters in the plug, so all you need is the plug converter. And you can buy a Dell plug here and plug it in too if you do not want to use the converter. (By that I mean a Dell cord with the right plug for Switzerland on the end...)

Then again you probably know this as you have probably used it here already, right? If it is just the fan... well then I am not sure. My laptop is HOT all the time.

Best of luck with Dell!

Susan May said...

Hey, I hope your computer is ok. More importantly, I hope YOU are ok.

mrsmac said...

Jessica- thanks! they ended up sending me a charger with the plug for Switzerland, i'm hoping it lasts awhile. :-)

Susan- thanks! i'm alright, still trudging along, waiting (or hoping) for the end!

R.R.D. said...

I've had bad experiences with Dell customer support - so bad that I filed a complaint with the BBB! I'm glad you at least have a charger.

I believe 512 area code is Houston, which is pretty near their HQ.