Fiona in January

Fiona in January

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A New Version

Ok, just for this post I am dispensing with the "new" version of myself. The more calm, relaxed, attempting-to-look-for-the-positive in the situation type of person I have attempted to become as I've been growing up...

For this blog, I am completely (minus the gratutious profanity) reverting back to my college-age, semi-rage-infused, punk-rock quoting, bleached mohawk toting, screaming-metal-listening, ranting-at-the-world version of myself.

What you ask could possibly bring me back to this state of mind?

Dell. Customer. Service.

I use the word "service" loosely.

This has not been a good week. I am finally recovering from the plague that hit our family over the Christmas holiday - the good thing is that I work from home, so I didn't have to miss any work...until my hard drive crashed. Thankfully Aaron and I just recently backed up all of our files on our external drive, so I wasn't worried about data being lost.

However it meant that we needed to buy a new hard drive (about $70) and because for some reason Dell doesn't give you the re-install Windows discs when you buy their computers anymore, we had to call Dell and get them to send them to us.

So I called.

First of all let me tell you how insane it is that if your warranty is expired with Dell, you can't use any of the technical service features on their website - you have to call them and get routed to Bangaloor.

I understand large companies trying to cut costs by outsourcing, but I take issue with the fact that they don't TRAIN their customer service reps in other countries well! This guy had no clue how to even abbreviate or spell the state I am in! Honestly, if I hadn't had a pediatrician from India when I was a kid, there's no way I'd be able to understand any of the reps I talked to this morning.

That's right.



The first time I called I was routed to four different people, all of whom took my name (using the "I as in India" method of spelling), the service tag ID number from my laptop and my phone number. I explained my simple problem and was promptly sent to the next person with an inexplicably thick accent to deal with. The fourth and final guy I spoke with was in the sales department and tried to get me to spend $150+ for a new Windows 7 system.

Up until this point I had been very calm. That was the last straw.

Dell Rep #4 - "So if you give me your credit card number I can get this new system sent to you."

Me - "That's not happening. I don't need the system. What I need is the re-install discs for Windows Vista."

Dell Rep #4 - "We don't sell Windows Vista anymore, only Windows 7."

Me : (pausing to reflect on the genius that is Microsoft) "That's great because I don't need to buy Windows Vista, I just need the RE-INSTALL disc."

Dell Rep #4 - "So I am ready to take your credit card information to pay for your new Windows 7 operating system."

Me: (now seeing red, my nice calm tone gone) "FOR THE LAST TIME I DON'T WANT WINDOWS 7!"

Dell Rep #4 - "If you don't want to purchase a new operating system, why did you call this number."

Me: "I DIDN'T CALL THIS NUMBER - I WAS know what, screw this!" (click)

I took a moment, got a glass of water, chewed some gum and tried again.

Phone call #2

They only routed me to two different techs this time before I got to someone who might have a shot at helping me.

I explained my problem, what I needed and proceeded to repeat it to this guy at least 6 times. I was rapidly running out of ways to say, "Send me the Windows re-install discs I need."

Me: "Ok, so you understand? I don't need new software, I don't need a new computer. My hard drive crashed. I bought a new hard drive and need the RE-INSTALL disc for Windows Vista - the operating system that was previously installed on the computer I bought from you. Got it?"

Dell Rep #6: "Ok ma'am (don't even get me started on THAT), I just need to charge you $59 for this phone call to technical support since your laptop is no longer under warranty."

**I contemplate throwing the phone down the hall, but instead take a breath and...**

Me: "Don't you DARE try to charge me $59 for technical support on this worthless phone call! The last thing I need is your so-called technical support! I need you to take 5 minutes and wrap up the RE-INSTALL DISCS FOR WINDOWS VISTA THAT SHOULD HAVE COME WITH THE COMPUTER I PURCHASED and mail them to me immediately!"


Dell Rep #6: "Ok, yes, thank you ma'am I will send them to you right away. I just need your mailing address.

So after another 30 minutes of me spelling out my mailing address at least 5 times using the D as in Dumb and W as in Waste of Time method, he finally got me the dispatch confirmation # for the cds. They should be here in 3-5 days. Oh and they didn't charge me anything for the call or for the discs.
If those discs are not in my hands by mid-day Thursday of next week, I'm calling Dell and going on a rampage the likes of which have never before been witnessed. Except maybe that one time I went off on an R.A. at Grace my Freshman year.

Now that my morning has been taken up with being on speakerphone while working at the office since I can't work at home...I'll leave you with this final image.


  1. My roommate in college had a similar problem and she found Michael Dell's email address (he's like the Steve Jobs of Dell) and emailed him directly: She got a response the next day.

  2. This is why the cool kids went with MAC. :-) I gave up on Dell.

  3. I can't use MACs with work - massive compatability issues, plus I just prefer using a PC with the work I do at home.

  4. lolz...i like the "old" em :D :D