Thursday, September 2, 2010

Done with Dell

Remember when it used to be exciting and crazy expensive to buy a home computer?

I remember my first - a $5000 desktop I bought to start my own writing and design business. It was such a space hog and I loved it so much. It and the ergonomic keyboard I had to buy to go with, because I've been staring down carpal tunnel syndrome since I started typing. It was a Dell and any time I had to call in for support, which wasn't often because it ran so well, the people there were so nice.

Eventually I handed it down and bought a laptop from Dell - $1500 I think, and much more space-efficient. Yay!

I love buying Dells - customizing everything, knowing that it will just turn up in the mail with all my favourite software pre-loaded - it's bliss.

But no question, Dell isn't the company it used to be in the profitable old days. No more super nice perky cheerful people - even the LiveChat people cut off communication abruptly without letting you know. Long hold times on the phone are a given, but I also find the lines themselves are scratchy and make it hard to hear. Last time I had a problem - a big one, requiring access to all the files I'd paid to store offsite on a Dell server after my hard drive fried - they wouldn't help me because they wanted a password on my hard drive. Which had fried.

So I decided my current Dell is my last, until my current Dell started showing signs of needing a replacement.

Did I mention how much I love being able to customize everything?

This time I ordered online so as to avoid the phone nightmare. Though actually, the online ordering experience is far from smooth. Still, it's the computer that counts, right? with the great screen resolution and familiar keyboard and crazy long-life battery?

Sigh. In the time it took me to turn on the freshly-arrived new laptop this morning and adjust the touchpad and cut the standard glaringly weird desktop image and key in my MS Office registration key, my wrist was aching. Why? Because the long-life battery is designed to protrude down from the bottom of the unit at the screen end. This not only makes it too big for my laptop sheath, but presents a non-adjustable tilt to the keyboard that is just murder for repetitive stress injury.

Well, I only got shunted between four people this time, and one of them had a clear phone line.

And after I explained twice what carpal tunnel is and how this particular design is horrible for it and there are no photographs of a laptop with this battery on the website so you'd know what you were committing to and no, a $100 refund to just keep the thing wouldn't solve my problem, the last person agreed to waive my return shipping fee. I think. So, you know, not so bad.

But I think this time I'm definitely done with Dell. Got another option you can recommend?


NessaKnits said...

My Dell is currently missing 5 keys and the space bar is a bit cheeky. That is my thoughts on Dell.

Anonymous said...

Suck up the extra cost (whatever it is) and Come Over to the Other Side. Get a Mac, and I promise absolutely and utterly, you won't regret it. I used to be a Dell girl too, but with the Mac? That's true love, and - there's no going back.

Amy said...

I used to be a Dell lover too. These days, I absolutely adore my Lenovo Thinkpad. So, so much. I can't speak about their customer service, since I haven't had to use it, but the computer itself is a dream--and weighs under 3 pounds. Plus, it's got a solid state drive (which I guess is becoming more common?) and a sealed keyboard. Which is to say: It's so much safer from me and my awful computer abuse than my old Dells ever were. :-)