The Dell Computer Blues

From the time I bought my wife her Dell XPS M1530 we've had nothing but trouble.  When it arrived, the space bar was bent up on the right side, the mouse touch pad didn't work well (as you moved the pointer across the screen it would just stop, and yes I tried tweaking the settings, etc.  Only a wireless mouse would work).

Three months ago my wife began getting both blue and black screens of death (Vista is installed on it) while just surfing the web, and every so often when rebooting it would indicate that the it couldn't locate the hard drive.  We were able to get it to work after a second or third reboot, but this happened a number of times.  So of course I decided at that point to do a backup to her external drive.  When it indicated that there were hard drive errors it suggested I boot into safe mode and run chkdisk, and I did, and afterwards it claimed to have fixed the disk and I was able to finally back up.  And things just started working again.  Until bam, a few days later another screen of death.    Oh, right, and the power cord one day just burned out so they sent a tech guy to replace the cord and the keyboard.  When the tech guy came back yesterday (again) he was here to replace the touch pad and the hard drive.  After about an hour of work, the processor went dead--just burned out.  So now we have to wait for a new one and have the tech come out one more time.

I called and bitched at so many people at dell, at first very politely, that I wanted them to send me a new computer to replace the lemon they sent--my wife needs it for the store because she special orders things and so now we're losing money, which I told dell (of course this made no difference).  Finally I conceded to wait to try to see if replacing the processor would do the trick, but only after he conceded that if it didn't work he would replace it.  And he said that he'd overnight the parts so that the tech could come today to finally fix it.  The tech called, no parts were shipped, and so, par for the course, dell screwed me again.

To be fair it could really be a lemon, perhaps one in a hundred thousand, but that doesn't help us.  Also to be fair once you can get through to tech support the people are friendly and they try to help, but then I can say then when I call I am always polite and calm (even my bitching is polite), thinking that I will get farther than yelling--my wife disagrees and says she gets better results by acting as a lunatic and screaming at whomever has the bad luck to answer her call.

So anyway, I have suffered the dell computer blues and have vowed never to buy anymore dells (all my other dells worked perfectly).  I want instead to buy her a Mac.  Mine has worked perfectly since the day I purchased it.  But Macs are still so expensive and when I bought mine I had been making six figures as a software architect.

So as a warning, I would tell anyone (and I will) to think before buying a dell.  Perhaps I am bitter, but save yourself some trouble and don't buy a dell.

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