Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dell Studio 17 -- Morals of the story (so far, after less than a month of ownership)

Don't buy a Dell (OK, that's a bit cynical).

If you have to buy a Dell, be prepared for their online order system to totally screw up your order.

In the end I had to resort to a phone call with a Dell business account representative just to get a (home) order sorted out. Lucky I have a small software startup that has bought a few Dell servers before...

Be aware that "Dell In Home Support" has lots of fine print -- they will probably end up wanting you to ship your computer away for 5-7 days anyway.

When I finally took matters into my own hands, I ended up being walked through a technical procedure. I was comfortable with it although I would rather have spent my time at my own job and let Dell send a guy to do their job. I work in a technical field, I'd be worried to think how this would have worked out if a non-technical person had a support problem.

Be aware that Dell support is a bit hit-and-miss, depends on who you reach. Try, try again (I would try again for someone else sooner next time).

Email support seems shoddy and far too disconnected as a process -- a bit of of a time waste.

Best to go for phone support right away if you have a problem, so you can keep the person on the phone until things are sorted out.

Note: Don't take this as too negative about Dell -- I haven't yet had a chance to blog my bad experiences with HP xw6400 workstations or CAD2 custom-built workstations. But I've had better experiences so far with IBM ThinkPads (A31p) and (HP Compaq laptops (nc8430).

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