Sure, most people in search of the finest gaming computer that $1,200 can buy wouldn’t head to Walmart, but that apparently doesn’t stop Walmart from stocking this machine from Alienware. As all lovers of obsolete technology know, Walmart is the place to go for that sort of thing. What this computer lacks in age, it makes up for in strangeness. [More]
It’s the strangest thing: remember our post yesterday about Dell’s gift guide catalog and the camera prices that didn’t line up? Dell still hasn’t called us back or anything, but all of a sudden the price on that Nikon camera described in the post is down $100, in line with the catalog price. What a weird coincidence! [More]
Paul opened up Dell’s “November Gift Guide” earlier this week and saw a great deal on a digital SLR camera (and lens!) from Nikon. It cost only $499. He wanted to take advantage of this great deal, so he hopped right on Dell’s website to buy it. That’s when he learned that the prices in the November gift guide only applied for a fleeting moment, possibly before he even received it in the mail. Update, 11/20/12: Hey, look at that! The price suddenly fell for some reason that we’re sure had nothing whatsoever to do with this post! [More]
First, Dell told them to try cleaning it with a soft cloth. That didn’t work. Then they suggested compressed air, but as the complaints of laptops with keyboards and track pads that smelled exactly like cat urine piled up, Dell was forced to admit there was a problem. Yes, you read that correctly: Dell Latitude E6430u laptops manufactured before October smell strongly of cat urine.
James got to play with a Dell Latitude 10 tablet at a trade show, and wanted one for himself. When he saw the tablet available in Dell’s online outlet store with a big coupon, he knew it was time to bring it home. He did. He didn’t realize that ordering from Dell’s outlet meant that maybe the packaging wouldn’t be as fancy as a new tablet. He didn’t realize that Dell would send him a system with an insufficient installation of the wrong operating system, and no product key so he could just go reinstall it himself.
Readers Robert and Madison are twins, so they should know better than anyone that multiple things that look exactly alike are not exactly the same. For example, they discovered on Dell’s small business website four identical versions of the exact same model of computer, but for different prices. How does that work, exactly? [More]
Tommy is trapped in one of the more tragic outer circles of Dell Hell. His sin? He’s not entirely sure, and Dell will not tell him. All he knows is that his Alienware laptop won’t charge, his account is mysteriously “on hold,” and no one at Dell will talk to him.
Ken was shopping for a new laptop on Dell’s site, and discovered a strange bug in the ordering system. One of the many features customers can add to their computer was a French-English keyboard, with a slightly different key configuration. But for customers outside of Canada, this keyboard carries a slight premium. Of almost a million dollars.
There are many ways to define “Dell Hell,” but Todd’s situation certainly is a perfect example. Every time Dell gets hold of his computer to repair it, things get worse. It began with a simple battery charging issue. When it came back to him, it wouldn’t accept half of his RAM. After another motherboard replacement, the fan went rogue and the keyboard wouldn’t light up. Dell sent Todd a refurbished replacement computer, which wouldn’t turn on at all. At this point, he probably wishes he only had trouble getting the battery to charge.
John has an Alienware computer. Dell owns Alienware. So Dell sent a technician to his home to fix his computer when one of the USB ports quit working. This tech proceeded to break his computer, and was possibly part of Dell’s elite computer-breaking tech team that we’ve written about before. [More]
Some of our younger readers may not recall the “Dude, you’re getting a Dell” television spots where an extremely knowledgeable college-aged guy intervenes during shopping trips to talk parents into buying Dell PCs for their kids. The spots ran from 2000 to 2003, and were pretty memorable. (Memorable enough that readers still refer to them, ten years on, when complaining to us about Dell.) As Dell’s sales and reputation have fallen, they’re considering going private, and even Microsoft might invest. But maybe there’s another solution to the company’s woe’s. Bring back the Dell Dude. [More]
When we first heard from Dan a few weeks ago, he had been sent to endure punishment in Dell Hell for his sins. His principal sin, of course, was purchasing a computer from Alienware, a once-beloved company now owned by Dell. The products still look cool, but it’s Dell providing the technical support, with all of the competence and generosity that implies. His computer continued to fail. Dell sent a replacement, which was supposed to resolve this, Instead, he reached even more advanced and frustrating levels of Dell Hell. Finally, through persistence (and maybe having his story appear here on the site) he was able to make a deal with Dell and escape with his soul. And a refund.
In the life of a human, a few years isn’t very long at all. In the life of an electronic device, it’s… well, it’s an entire lifetime. Literally. Still, Matt doesn’t understand why his Android tablet, which was manufactured a few years ago, can’t just have a T-Mobile SIM slapped on it so he can use it on a mobile network. He’s been using it on wifi for years, but wants to be all portable, as well as update the OS. This would require a two-year T-Mobile contract. Two years?
Reader E. has encountered an interesting problem with Dell. I always thought that the point of purchasing a computer online was that you could place the order yourself, with a printed confirmation page and the ability to check all of the numbers carefully before hitting the “submit” button. In E’s experience, though, Dell representatives insist on taking your order directly over web chat or over the phone. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but it became one when she was quoted one price over web chat and charged a different one, and had no evidence of this because Dell redacts numbers from chat transcripts.
When Andy bought a notebook computer from Dell, he also bought a license for Windows 7 and the right to use it on that computer. But when something went wrong with that installation of Windows 7, and the code on his Certificate of Authenticity wore off, he was stuck. Windowless.
Congratulations, Dell customer! You might have won! Won what, you ask? The opportunity to hand more money over to Dell for an extended warranty that you don’t necessarily need! During three calls to Dell technical support, Laptop Magazine found that technical support representatives offered a hardware warranty for a software problem, a software warranty for a hardware issue, and told a caller that he had won a mysterious daily drawing for the opportunity to buy a four-year extended warranty from Dell for the low, low price of $317. That sounds like the most boring sweepstakes ever.
Remember Travis, the college-bound student whose touchscreen Dell laptop keeps moving the mouse pointer around on the screen, among other problems? When we last heard from him a week ago, he was waiting for the computer to return to him from Dell’s repair depot after two in-home tech visits, and he hoped the problems would be fixed. They weren’t. All Dell did was replace the wireless card. So he turned to the advice we gave in the post, and wrote to Michael Dell. This got him a new laptop for his trouble.
There are many circles of Dell Hell. The difference between Dell Hell and Dante’s version of hell, though, is that Dante imagined sinners consigned to different levels of hell according to what they had done wrong in their lives. Your fate in Dell Hell is assigned pretty much at random, according to which model of computer you own, which technical support representatives you happen to encounter, and pure good or bad luck. Apparently, Dan’s first sin was buying an Alienware computer less than a year ago. His second sin, apparently, was having technical problems slightly out of the ordinary.