Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Stop Complaining About Dell's Tech Support!

I got through Christmas, but here's a taste of what I have to put up with.

Cousin Jan: "Erica, you know computers. What kind should I get?"
Me: "Uh, don't know. What will you be doing with it?"
Cousin Jan: "Just writing resume's, going on the internet."
Me: "Okay. No high-end games or anything like that?"
Cousin Jan: "No. No, I just need something simple. Cheap."
Me: "Okay, well you can get just about anything then. Check out Dell, they're good. As long as you've heard of the brand you're usually okay."

Then everyone jumps in and starts talking about the bad experiences that they, their co-worker, or their dog had with Dell tech support.

Cousin Frank: "Yeah, every time I call them up I get some dot-head on the phone. I ask over and over for someone who speaks english, but I guess they can't understand me so I just hang up."

Cousin Debbie: "I've called them several times and when I hear that accent I ask for someone who speaks english. They're usually very suprised, but I don't give up until someone who speaks english comes to talk to me."

I agree, it can be frustrating, but I call Dell tech support all the time as part of my job, and although I have to ask them to repeat themselves once in awhile, I've gotten my issue resolved 95% of the time. There have been times, yes, when the issue wasn't resolved or took much more effort on my part than it should have. For instance, once, I called about a bad power supply, and the tech told me to "open it up and see if there are any loose wires". I about hit the floor. I assume he thought I was calling the computer itself a "power supply", but if I had "opened up" the REAL power supply I could have easily electrocuted myself! But, this is one problem in several hundred phone calls in my carreer.

See, the real problem (if there is one) lies with you -the consumer. Everyone wants as good a computer as they can get for as cheap as they can get it. No matter who you pick these days, you're tech support will be outsourced overseas because any computer company that doesn't do that can't compete anymore. So shut up! You've got that extra $100 in your pocket -here's where you pay for it (with time). If you want better support, but still want a cheap computer check your local (or smaller chain) computer stores. There's a chain by us (Microcenter) who had a computer, monitor, and printer combo on sale for $350 right before Christmas. Even Dell can't beat that! The only downside might be that you'll have to bring the computer in for repair, you may not get phone support (or it might not be 24 hour), and if they go out of business before your warranty is up you're out of luck.

Remember: Treat people the way you'd like to be treated. Why resort to hate? (Do you know a second language well enough to work tech support for another country?)

Friday, December 17, 2004


It's almost over. 8 days left. What's that -Lords-A-Leapin'? Blah...

December. A month of frantic shopping. Middle-aged woman elbowing eachother to get first grabs at the "Tickle-Me-Elmo" gift of the year while "Silent Night" plays softly in the background. What a shitty holiday. Everything about it pisses me off...

"CRIST-mas": It's supposed to be a Christian holiday, and the religious get all upset when someone calls it "X-Mas". "Don't take the CHRIST out of Christmas" they say. Well, what about Christmas is Christian? Okay, I'll give you the plastic manger scenes, but what else? Santa? Christmas trees? Animated reindeer displays in people's front yards? I think not.

But that's not my biggest complaint. In fact, if it went back to being a religious holiday I'd be happy to be off the hook. No, my biggest issue about X-Mas -it's all about greed.

Growing up my brother and I were always asked to make lists of what we wanted for X-Mas. I'm sure others did that as well (ala Santa asking you what you want for X-Mas). But it never stopped. Every year my parents, brother, and Grandma ask me what I want for X-Mas. I oblige and make a list -usually on Amazon these days. My boyfriend thinks this is really weird. He says that a list shouldn't be needed. You buy gifts for those close to you, and you should therefore know what they want. But, I see the list thing a little differently. ..

See, I don't get lists from my Parents, my Grandma, or my boyfriend (usually). -I'm left to figure it out for myself. That means countless hours thinking about what to get them, browsing stores online, or as a last act of despiration -walking the malls. All the while I feel stressed. Will they like this? What if they want to return it? The end result is a month's worth of frantic shopping and me totally hating "Christmas".

So, I make my loved ones a list. I consider it one of the bests gifts I can give them. The ability to quickly cross me off of their lists. Ed doesn't seem to understand that.

But, Ed has 2 people to shop for. His Mom, and me. I don't know what he got me, but I drove him to the mall, picked out his Mom's gift, AND PAID FOR IT. -He loves Christmas and can't see why I hate it so much...

Of course, every year I try to convince my Mom to try to celebrate X-Mas without gifts. It never works. "Grandma gets such joy out of seeing you open your presents." She says. Funny. For the last (what?) 10 years or so my Mom's been doing all of my Grandma's shopping as well as her own. So, my Grandma does nothing but actually pay for the gifts.

And that's another thing. I have enough money to buy whatever I want. My Grandma doesn't have enough money to cover the prescription medications that she needs each month. Why is she spending $200 or more on my brother and I at Christmast time? I'd rather she spent the money on her meds so she'd feel better and continue to be as active as possible for as long as possible, etc.

It's all just so stupid. I can see presents for kids, but we really need to cut out the presents for adults. Or maybe turn gift-giving into an annonomous thing -send gifts to whoever you want to without need for recognition -and no one would feel obligated to give a gift. It'd be more "Christian"! -I know, it'll never work. It all just sickens me.