Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Through Dell and High Water

Computer problems can be maddening. They don't bother me in school, of course, since I haven't had computer access in 24 years and after all, it's only 2009. Why on earth would teachers or kids in Mr. Bloomberg's New York need computers?

But here at home, they're a necessity. My Dell desktop is out of commission, so my daughter and I are in perpetual deadly battle for possession of the Toshiba laptop. I used to have a Dell laptop, but the CD drive broke. I called, and they explained how to take it out, which I couldn't do. So I sent it to them, and a week later they sent it back, unrepaired, with a note saying they'd send be the part and I could fix it myself. I wrote to the Better Business Bureau saying they'd violated the warranty agreement and demanding a full refund, which I eventually got.

In a moment of madness, I purchased a printer from them, a fairly cool printer that works on our wireless network. It came with a $25 Staples gift card. Only it didn't. When I called, they told me it would take six weeks. But it never arrived. Two weeks ago, I spent an hour being transferred from one end of India to the other, and finally a woman promised I'd receive a coupon via email. Only I didn't, so I wrote the Better Business Bureau again.

Today a Dell rep called, I think from India.

"We can offer you a $25 Dell credit," he said.

"The deal was a $25 Staples credit," I reminded him.

"We can offer you a $25 Dell credit," he said.

"But I'm never buying anything from Dell again. Send me a check."

"We can offer you a $25 Dell credit," he said.

After much more of the same, I hung up on the guy. He really wanted to give me that credit. But what good is it, really, when all you can buy with it is more headaches? It's got all the appeal of a third term of Bloomberg and Klein.
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