Wednesday, March 12, 2008


A few years ago, I stupidly clicked a link in an email and gave myself a virus.

The machine in question was 2 years old and clone to the machine I used at work, both Dells. My machine had shipped with Windows ME, probably the worst OS they ever came up with. The identical machine I used at work had Windows NT 4.0 installed and worked fine.

I have my own copy of Win NT 4.0 and had a tech friend of mine come over and change the OS for me on the new machine, replacing ME with NT 4.0. She copied the audio and video drivers onto a CD for me. Or thought she did, anyway.

After a heart-stopping half hour when I couldn’t get the computer to boot, it finally started up. I copied all my files onto CD and formatted my hard drive. When I reinstalled Windows, I discovered that the CD she had made me didn’t include my video driver like I thought.

So, since I knew this computer worked well with Win NT 4.0, I called Dell support, asking for a URL where I could download the driver I needed.

After wasting an hour of my time asking dumb questions, the tech finally put me on hold and went to ask his supervisor. When he came back, his manner was frosty:

“You changed the operating system on this computer. You are not entitled to any further support.”

Then he hung up on me.

I spent the next 2 hours searching the internet using my daughter’s computer, finally finding the needed driver on my own. I had changed employers and couldn’t go there for help. My tech friend didn’t have the driver, either, and was upset that she hadn’t put in on the CD for me.

About 2 weeks later, I got a call from Dell. They wanted me to rate my support call!!

Needless to say, I fried the ladies’ ears off with my ringing condemnation of their tech’s behavior. I hadn’t asked him for anything, just a web address.

I haven’t purchased another Dell computer nor do I intend to ever. I currently own an HP and a Gateway. I buy new computers every 3 years, desktops and laptops. That tech’s rudeness has cost them at least 4 purchases by now. Had he sent me to the website I needed, I would probably have been a customer for life. As it is, I counsel all my friends and family to stay away from Dell.

Since I’m the resident family computer expert, I’ve probably cost them a few sales.

At least, I hope so!!

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