I may be TRWTF but Dell really does suck



  • The wife wants a new computer and said she would like to look into buying a Dell since she has one at work and likes it.  I knew I was in for trouble, but, what the heck, it's not going to be my computer, so what do I care..  So I go to the Dell website, which is a huge mess, and eventually I find a computer with decent specs and price, and I decide to buy it.  Except their online ordering page won't accept my address.  There's nothing unusual about it,  1234 Somewhere Lane, but no mater how many times I tried I kept getting an error message telling me that I must "correct" my address.  Even when i followed their instructions and changed "Lane" to the offical Post Office required "Ln" it still wouldn't accept it.

    After way too muck mucking around I give up and call them on the phone.  And the person I talk to tells me the reason I wasn't able to place my order is because I am trying to buy a "business" computer and they're closed on Sunday.  I almost fell out of my chair laughing.  "Wiait a minute", I said,  "You're telling me that the internet is closed on Sunday?"  Then I got bouced around to a couple of different people, all equally unhelpful, and finally ended up with someone who told me "I can probably sell you that computer but it won't be at that price.  At that point I just said Fuck You and hung up.

    How stupid I must be.  I actually thought Dell was in the business of selling computers.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    How stupid I must be.  I actually thought Dell was in the business of selling computers.

    They are, just not on Sunday...

    I too have a big fucking problem with sites/businesses like this, however I have only seen this from sites ending with ".gov".



  • @El_Heffe said:

    the person I talk to tells me the reason I wasn't able to place my order is because I am trying to buy a "business" computer and they're closed on Sunday

    This is help desk speak for "I don't know whats wrong so just go away".



  • @El_Heffe said:

    And the person I talk to tells me the reason I wasn't able to place my order is because I am trying to buy a "business" computer and they're closed on Sunday.

    First of all, the support guy was obviously lying to you. Unless he seriously thinks that instead of displaying a "we're closed" message the website would reject a valid address instead.

    Secondly, did you order a Business or Home/Small Business computer? Because there's a huge difference and that might have been the problem.

    Edit: while I'm at it, who would you recommend? Dell might be WTFy, but I've had a much better experience there than with MSI or HP.


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    @blakeyrat said:

    First of all, the support guy was obviously lying to you. Unless he seriously thinks that instead of displaying a "we're closed" message the website would reject a valid address instead.

    I'd be willing to believe the front end talks to a back end web service developed by a separate team, and the back end WS returns a generic server error when they're "closed", which the front end misinterprets as "input invalid". Yes, I've seen something exactly like that happen in a production environment, mainly because organizational units within the same company viewed each other basically as competitors but were forced to cooperate. Yes, TRWTF is business politics.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    First of all, the support guy was obviously lying to you.
    I figured that out pretty quickly. @blakeyrat said:
    Secondly, did you order a Business or Home/Small Business computer? Because there's a huge difference and that might have been the problem.
    That was the problem.  I guess I'm just very naive.  I just assumed that if I'm offering to give you several hundred dollars you will gladly sell me a computer and not get bogged down in some sort of stupid, artificially created distinctions between "Home" and "Business".  Seriously, WTF.  I give you money, you give me a computer.  What's so hard about that?@blakeyrat said:
    Edit: while I'm at it, who would you recommend? Dell might be WTFy, but I've had a much better experience there than with MSI or HP.
    I've always built my own computers so I don't have much experience buying from the various cake decorators.  As far as I can tell Dell's are pretty good -- the company I work for bought a few thousand some time back and they seem OK.  However, their ordering process is screwy and now it appears that if you buy one of their "Home" computers you have exactly one choice of operating system -- Windows 8.  And I'm not going to force that crap on my wife.  I'm not that stupid..  As far as i can tell the only thing Dell sells with Windows 7 now is their Alienware "Gaming and Entertainment" computers and their Small Business computers, which is why I tried to order one.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    That was the problem. I guess I'm just very naive. I just assumed that if I'm offering to give you several hundred dollars you will gladly sell me a computer and not get bogged down in some sort of stupid, artificially created distinctions between "Home" and "Business".

    There are 3 categories. Home, Home/Small Business, and Business.

    The first two anybody can buy at any time, the only difference is the models offered. The third, you need to go through your company's Dell rep and you get a bulk discount and all that good B2B-type stuff.

    This isn't different than any other computer retailer-- they all have the same setup. The only difference is perhaps Dell.com makes it too easy to browse the Business models without making it clear you need a Business account to purchase them...

    @El_Heffe said:

    I've always built my own computers so I don't have much experience buying from the various cake decorators.

    You're an idiot.

    @El_Heffe said:

    However, their ordering process is screwy and now it appears that if you buy one of their "Home" computers you have exactly one choice of operating system -- Windows 8.

    Herp.

    @El_Heffe said:

    And I'm not going to force that crap on my wife. I'm not that stupid.

    Herp derp derp.

    @El_Heffe said:

    As far as i can tell the only thing Dell sells with Windows 7 now is their Alienware "Gaming and Entertainment" computers and their Small Business computers, which is why I tried to order one.

    If you were in Small Business, there's nothing preventing you from ordering it. Anybody can order from the Small Business selection.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    However, their ordering process is screwy and now it appears that if you buy one of their "Home" computers you have exactly one choice of operating system -- Windows 8.  And I'm not going to force that crap on my wife. 
    If you're going to get petty about Win8, put your money where your mouth is, buy a standard PC, a seperate copy of Windows 7, and use that.

    As a user of Windows 8, it's not bad at all. It's extremely quick, with a bootup to desktop of 10-15 seconds off a 7200RPM HDD. People bitch about the Start screen a lot, completely ignoring that it has the same damn functionality of the desktop, plus live tiles :/. If you miss the start button that match, put it back on.



  • Ah, Dell... The organization I work for bought a batch of Dell machines. Of the 30+, approximately half of the machines developed hardware problems very briefly after purchase. One of the reasons for Dell being chosen, I was told, was "their support service is better than the rest". Our boss sent a colleague and I to that remote office to just take note of the serial number of the machines, send a message to Dell, put an entry in our internal issue/ticket system, and be done with it because "we're not IT repair tech guys, the warranty is still active, Dell has to fix it".

    We took note of all the faulty machines and gave the serial numbers to the local IT guy. During the next weeks what followed was a back-and-forth game of blame between Dell support and our team, where Dell refused to offer tech support because WE had to tell THEM what the issues were. And not in "the machines won't turn on / boot", but actually diagnose and troubleshoot the machines, that is, do their job. The warranty was still valid. Thay just had to pick up the machines and provide new ones. But they wouldn't.

    Oh, all the machines came without that forgot-how-is-it-called that are basically physical locks and/or labels that void the warranty when removed or tampered.

    (Related WTF: this is my first job in a large organization. The IT department on this remote office has dozens and dozens of old, not so old, and relatively recent machines laying around in different states of being disassembled. When I questioned why just not buying RAM or HDs or whatever to replace the faulty ones, my boss replied: "It is MUCH faster to just buy a new one than to go thru the proper channels to request a new hardware part, fill forms XYZ1234237/B0#, wait for ABOUT ONE YEAR... Oh, and take into consideration that for inventory purposes, computers are single entities and not a collection of pieces, so you can't just open it and replace a piece".)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    The only difference is perhaps Dell.com makes it too easy to browse the Business models without making it clear you need a Business account to purchase them
    Yes, that's true.  But, the real problem, if you actually care about what you're buying and not just looking for the cheapest piece of crap available, is that the Home/Small Business computers have shittier specs than the Business computers (less RAM, smaller hard drive, etc) but the prices are very similar.  If I have to buy a shitty computer and them spend time upgrading it I might as well just build it myself.@blakeyrat said:
    You're an idiot.
    Thank you.  Coming from you I consider that a compliment.@blakeyrat said:
    Herp.
    @blakeyrat said:
    Herp derp derp.
    Such insightful comments.



  • @Adanine said:

    buy a standard PC,
    WTF is a "Standard PC"?



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @Adanine said:

    buy a standard PC,
    WTF is a "Standard PC"?

     

    A computer without automatic transmission.

     



  • @atipico said:

    ... One of the reasons for Dell being chosen, I was told, was "their support service is better than the rest"...
    About ten years ago, the company I worked at fired the desktop guy for being incompetent too many times (it took a lot to get there) and decided to get a full-service Dell contract instead of replacing him. A month later, we called to get a Dell computer fixed and Dell said they'd send the local guy out right away. Turns out, the guy we fired for incompetence was the new Dell support tech. So we had the same incompetent tech, but paying twice as much for him, had to wait four hours for him to show up, can't train him, and can't fired him this time.



  • @C-Octothorpe said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    How stupid I must be.  I actually thought Dell was in the business of selling computers.

    They are, just not on Sunday...

    I too have a big fucking problem with sites/businesses like this, however I have only seen this from sites ending with ".gov".

    Dell happens to be headquartered in Round Rock, Texas.  Now, I can remember back in the early 1970s when Texas had "blue laws" that basically said you couldn't buy anything other than food or medicine on Sunday (which is why our weekend-long shopping trips to Las Cruces/El Paso/Juarez limited the El Paso part to Saturday), but I was under the impression that those laws had been repealed long ago.

     



  • @El_Heffe said:

    I just assumed that if I'm offering to give you several hundred dollars you will gladly sell me a computer and not get bogged down in some sort of stupid, artificially created distinctions between "Home" and "Business".
    Well, if you're just an individual, without the additional bargaining leverage of a large business, it's not surprising they're going to try to milk you for more money...



  • I have gotten a similar error like this with my address on a different site, but it gave the actual error message: The address you entered is a residential not a business address.  If you are purchasing this for personal use click here.  I clicked and it changed my order over to a personal purchase and I did not even have to reinput my address.  I use Dell laptops at work and at home and have had no issues, but I have seen how frequently their cheaper models breakdown.  Sad thing is that if you think Dell's tech support is bad you should see some of the other computer companies' customer service ratings.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @El_Heffe said:
    I've always built my own computers so I don't have much experience buying from the various cake decorators.

    You're an idiot.

    Herp derp derp.



  • The only problem I have with Windows 8 is that it's obviously just a public beta for Windows Blue. (Compare Left 4 Dead.)


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    But Windows Blue is just a public beta for Windows Periwinkle.



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    (Compare Left 4 Dead.)

    ... to what?



  • @joe.edwards said:

    But Windows Blue is just a public beta for Windows Periwinkle.
     

    I's tho' dem Windows Blues is whatcha get when da man done gone and taken away your Start Menu.



  • @Sutherlands said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    @El_Heffe said:
    I've always built my own computers so I don't have much experience buying from the various cake decorators.

    You're an idiot.

    Herp derp derp.

    It's a complete waste of time and money to build your own computer. Buying a computer 90% built and adding in the 2 things you'd actually customize, that's a different story. But building from scratch is herp derp derp and has been for a decade now.

    I mean back-in-the-day it was a lot cheaper to build your own. But then again, back-in-the-day Sony made products that didn't suck. Things change.


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    @Lorne Kates said:

    @joe.edwards said:

    But Windows Blue is just a public beta for Windows Periwinkle.
     

    I's tho' dem Windows Blues is whatcha get when da man done gone and taken away your Start Menu.

    I prefer Windows Jazz.



  • It is still cheaper (though not as much as it used to be), you get exactly what you want, and if you are good at all it takes very little time. My last build took about 30minutes from unboxing to boot.

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @MiffTheFox said:
    (Compare Left 4 Dead.)

    ... to what?

    Windows 8. Or in other words, Windows 8 is to Windows Blue what Left 4 Dead is to Left 4 Dead 2.



  • @Sarcarsm said:

    It is still cheaper (though not as much as it used to be), you get exactly what you want, and if you are good at all it takes very little time. My last build took about 30minutes from unboxing to boot.

    Not to mention that you don't have to deal with all that crapware that comes standard, and you don't have to pay $200 for a proprietary PSU if yours dies.



  • @Sutherlands said:

    and you don't have to pay $200 for a proprietary PSU if yours dies.

    Did you teleport here directly from 1994? Amazing!



  • @El_Heffe said:

    There's nothing unusual about it,  1234 Somewhere Lane, but no mater how many times I tried I kept getting an error message telling me that I must "correct" my address.  Even when i followed their instructions and changed "Lane" to the offical Post Office required "Ln" it still wouldn't accept it.

    Semi-related. I ordered online awhile ago from Boston Pizza. After submitting, the form decided to change my street number from 5288, what is actually is, to 5183, what it isn't, as indicated on the order verification email. Get a call from the driver 30 minutes later saying he couldn't find my address.

    Ordered a few months later, same bloody thing. Phoned into the restaurant to correct my address. Woman on the phone said it was pretty common. Best I can tell is they do a reverse lookup on your postal code, and assume you don't know your own address.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    It's a complete waste of time and money to build your own computer. Buying a computer 90% built and adding in the 2 things you'd actually customize, that's a different story. But building from scratch is herp derp derp and has been for a decade now.
    But cutting and welding sheet metal into a case and soldering all those itsy bitsy chips onto a self-etched circuit board is so much fun!



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Sutherlands said:
    and you don't have to pay $200 for a proprietary PSU if yours dies.

    Did you teleport here directly from 1994? Amazing!

    Considering that Dell Dimensions had proprietary PSUs and they didn't replace those with the Inspiron until 2007...



  • @Sutherlands said:

    Considering that Dell Dimensions had proprietary PSUs and they didn't replace those with the Inspiron until 2007...

    ... your sleeping pod was only closed for 5 years. But the fact remains you're complaining about a problem that does not exist and has not existed for years. The world's changing around you, grandpa.


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    @blakeyrat said:

    @Sutherlands said:
    Considering that Dell Dimensions had proprietary PSUs and they didn't replace those with the Inspiron until 2007...

    ... your sleeping pod was only closed for 5 years. But the fact remains you're complaining about a problem that does not exist and has not existed for years. The world's changing around you, grandpa.

    Everyone, of course, is using brand new computers they just bought this year.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Sutherlands said:
    Considering that Dell Dimensions had proprietary PSUs and they didn't replace those with the Inspiron until 2007...

    ... your sleeping pod was only closed for 5 years. But the fact remains you're complaining about a problem that does not exist and has not existed for years. The world's changing around you, grandpa.

    It's true, and it's nice that they stopped gouging their customers in that way.  Still, the only way I would buy a Dell (or other pre-built PC) would be if I needed a laptop.  I don't suggest to my relatives that they build their own computer, but I'm certainly not going to call someone an idiot for building their own.



  • Outside of the US, building a computer is still a lot cheaper. That said, I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, even to people who are technically inclined.

    I recently caught a colleague (I work on the IT Service Desk) trying to shut a case after he installed a graphics card. He grabbed the graphics card from the box (Standard ATX Faceplate attached), put it in the Motherboard (Mini or Micro-ATX Form Factor). He decided that the correct course of action at this point was to press down the case-lid with his weight, bending the faceplate back into the case.

    At this point I showed him the alternative faceplates to use and how to attach them, but it never occured to him to check the box once he saw a problem.

    I really need to point out that he is not stupid. Or atleast, he wasn't before this happened. He's more technically-minded then most people on the helpdesk, and does well as IT Support (We don't read from a script, so it does matter).

    So yeah, I wouldn't say "Just build it" to anyone, even if they're technically minded. There are too many compatibility issues (RAM <--> CPU, Motherboard <--> CPU, Case <--> Physical Dimensions of cards, Case <--> Weight of Graphics Card, whether the power supply can support the hardware, whether the fans are suffiecent and blowing/sucking air in the correct places/creating a current)...

    I've built two computers, and I'm not in a rush to build a third. It's not fun if anything goes wrong.



  • @Adanine said:

    I've built two computers, and I'm not in a rush to build a third. It's not fun if anything goes wrong.
     

    For me, that point is when one of the little paper feet between the motherboard and the case mounting isn't sitting QUITE right. Motherboard shorts-- maybe boots, maybe spins the fans, maybe beeps, who knows?

    Then you have to take the entire damn thing apart (faceplate off, cards out, remove obstructing hard drives, fifty billion screws off, lift up board)-- reseat, and start again.

    Once that's done, its fun-- until you're done installing Windows, and have to spend hours slogging through program installs, changing defaults, remembering which registry hacks were needed, endless rounds of updates... =(

     


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