Dell: Worth the frustration?

A. J. Atchue

Though it’s usually not my style, I’m going to use this space to go on a brief personal rant.

Last Saturday morning, I awoke around 10 a.m. and spent some time on my Dell Latitude laptop computer. Later that afternoon, I closed the computer screen when I took a nap. When I opened it back up, the screen was blank and the computer was making a lot of noise.

I tried turning it off and on. It spent about 10 minutes at the Windows XP screen before a message came up informing me that such-and-such file had been fatally corrupted. Another message screen told me that Windows did not start successfully (as if I had to be told), and a recent hardware or software change may have been the cause. I had no idea why this was happening.

After a few more unsuccessful attempts, I called Dell’s service number and was greeted with an automated answering machine with a ridiculous number of options. For instance, the first option is to press one if you’re calling about support status. The next option is to press two if you’re calling from the United States or Canada. So what do you do if you’re calling from the United States or Canada AND you’re calling about support status? But I digress.

After spending 10 minutes on hold listening to their lovely classical music, a representative came on and quickly told me that my hard drive had failed. Mind you, I was already on my third hard drive for this computer since getting it in August 2003, and that doesn’t even include the two other times I’ve needed to get it re-imaged (which is our Help Desk’s catch-all solution for everything). It’s absolutely ridiculous.

Needless to say, I was not and am not happy with Dell. If they were able to give me more of an idea on why this is repeatedly happening to my computer, perhaps I could prevent it in the future. On a more real-world note, I lost a good number of documents, including the column that was supposed to appear in this space. In short, the timing wasn’t good either. I apologize for the rant, and it is now over.