What the hell is the matter with Dell? They make dandy computers, but as my nephew Lee Godlberg recently noted, their customer service tech support sucks.  As a long time fan of Dell, I thought maybe Lee’s experience was unusual…WRONG!!  My Dell laptop blue screened on me the other day, and I freaked out — writers are notoriously emotional.  Bad news: fatal errors on the hard drive’s operating system. Good news: under warranty till 2009 and a tech support genius would zip out to my house and get me back up and running.

Oh, he showed up all right — just long enough to yank out my old drive (the one with all the files, documents, and programs on it), shove in the new drive (with NOTHING on it except windows xp and that means NO DRIVERS for anything….not even Windows Media Player), and head for the door.

WAIT!  HELP.. wasn’t this guy going to stay and make sure the thing worked? Nope. Wasn’t he going to assure that my Dell computer worked as it did the day I brought it home? Nope. He wasn’t even going to stay long enough to load the operating system, let alone load the drivers to make anything work, or transfer any data. Why not? Simple. He was under orders to get in, get out, and do NOTHING…just get to the next service call.
I placed a call to Dell Support and told them my once-wonderful laptop was now a box with a screen. No sound, no internet, no nothing.
I was told that I could download drivers from the internet.
I’ve had it. This is Dell Customer Service???
They will build you a personal computer and give you impersonal ineffectual and downright insulting service and support.
Goodbye Dell Hell.
Anyone have any info on tech support at HP?


  1. DogsDontPurr

    I had an HP and it sucked big time. Actually, every HP item I’ve had sucked big time. Now I’ve got an Acer, and I love it. Haven’t had to use tech support yet. Alan always tells everyone to get an IBM.
    But what ever you do, avoid getting something with Windows Vista on it. Vista is the kiss of death. You’ll have to buy a new printer and scanner…and even then, you’ll be hard pressed to find ones that work with Vista without being completely buggy.
    Good luck!

  2. Mark Terry

    I can’t quite figure out what the deal is with Windows and/or Dell when it comes to drivers. My Dell XPS was dying, so I gave up and bought an iMac. Then, what the hell, reloaded Windows XP onto the XPS. Worked fine. Except I couldn’t get sound or Internet connection. Then I finally took it to a local computer shop, they took one look, said, “You’re missing 6 drivers. We can upload them for $65. Should take about an hour.”
    Now it works (more or less) fine.
    We had an old 2000 Dell PC in the house running Windows ME (alternately called, Windows Crashcart Edition) that we were going to just throw out. I thought, “What the hell?” I take the same freakin’ disk I used to overlay the XPS and the damned computer works fine, sound, Internet, everything, no driver problem.
    Maybe I’m just a computer dunce, but when you load an operating system, shouldn’t it, like, you know, OPERATE THE SYSTEM? What’s with all the extra drivers?

  3. Jonas West

    Learn a little bit about the tools you employ. Or use a pen and a pad of paper. Typical writer blather.

  4. Richard Cooper

    My iMac has worked great for a long time running. I also use HPs with Windows XP, no problems. Hopefully, you’ll get Dell to actually help you soon!

  5. Chandler Hill

    No…you don’t have to buy a new printer or scanner. In most cases, you will have to download an update that will support your old hardware on Vista. As far as drivers … no operating system has all current drivers for all devices. The user is responsible for keeping the drivers backed-up and/or updated. Dell isn’t responsible for all your devices working, or tucking you in at night. Honestly – take a class.

  6. William Simon

    After years of wrestling with Windows in all its flavors, from 3.1 on to XP, I recently jumped to a Macbook Pro, and I have done died and gone to Heaven. Not died and gone, DONE died.
    Simple. Slick. Effective. Software that actually works first click out. Software that is more efficient, more user friendly, and much less expensive. It’s not without flaws, but it’s a damned sight better than Windows.

  7. Mark Terry

    Yes, I would note that after my most recent virus debacle, I bought an iMac with the new Leopard OSX and I fully intend to invest in a MacBook Pro before the year’s out. It ain’t perfect, but I really AM impressed with it compared to Windows.

  8. DogsDontPurr

    In response to Mark, a lot of printers and scanners do not have drivers you can download for Vista. I know this because my dad’s computer runs Vista. We were able to find a funky patch that sort of allows his printer to work, but his scanner…nada. In researching what new scanner to buy, the reviews on almost every scanner we looked at said that they worked funky if at all with Vista. Even the ones that are marked to work with Vista. Newer printers don’t have as much problems as the scanners. But it is a huge issue. Be sure to read reviews before buying any peripherals if you have Vista.

  9. Chandler Hill

    Mark, you keep them backed up like everything else.
    DogsDontPurr – I agree in general that Vista should be avoided and should be seen as a good opportunity to switch to a Mac … but I have found the real problem is with software programs that no longer work … like the Adobe products.

  10. Jean

    I had a Dell monitor that I had purchased second-hand. I needed a color-matching file for it — the sort of thing you usually find along with drivers in the download section of a company’s support website. It turns out that if you have Dell hardware, you cannot access that area unless you are the original purchaser of a complete system directly from Dell (though I suppose they’ve changed this now that they’re selling retail) with your original order number. Under no circumstances will Dell allow you to have a driver for any Dell product if you are not that original purchaser, or even if you are if the item is out of warranty. I spent several hours on their website, then several phone calls with people who spoke little English, and finally a rather snarky (on my part) email exchange, and at the end of it all, I never did get my driver. A reader of the page where I archived the emails finally sent me one … shortly after I’d junked the monitor.
    Every other company I have dealt with provides, at the very least, an archive of old drivers for their old hardware. They want someone who picked up a used monitor from a company surplus sale, for instance, to be more than happy with it, because that happy user is likely to come to them when they’re ready to buy a new one. It’s a chance to show off their products and their support for no greater cost than some space on their website. Every company I’ve dealt with does that … except Dell. Which is why that monitor is the last piece of hardware I will ever own with “Dell” on the front.
    Friends don’t let friends buy Dell.


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