Friday, February 27, 2015

Dell employs some really nice people and some real jerks

A few weeks ago the hard drive on my Alienware M11X R3 crashed. One night, while I was playing Talos, my screen locked and then there was a sound like a paperclip rattling around in the space where my hard drive is located. Uh-oh... sure enough when I tried to restart my laptop it came up with nothing. The BIOS detected a hard drive, but it never booted. Just sat there with the little white cursor blinking at me like it was 1989. The next morning I tried to restart it and didn't get much further. It would boot, but the paperclip was in between me and my operating system, like Clippy in a bad Word Document holding you back from further edits.
I contacted Dell and after a few phone calls they referred me to the out of warranty department, which is what I asked for in the first phone call, but they were all so nice that I won't complain about their incompetence in their 'transfer to the out of warranty department' skills. The guy in that department, however, was a jerk. He sounded like he was from Mexico (the smart and well-educated kind, not your average street sweeper; it could even have been an ex co-worker from my last job for all I know. He sounded like he thought he knew what he was doing), and he proceeded to give me the impression that I was an idiot for not making restore media. I won't deny that he was right, but he didn't need to point it out. I was calling for help and offered to pay for that. He must have missed the customer service briefing upon entry in employment. Telling me that I should have done this or that when I obviously didn't was redundant and humiliating enough that I declined the offer to purchase restore media on DVD and hung up on him. It made me feel a little better, hanging up on a jerk. My laptop does not have a DVD player. What is the point of offering me something I can't use after you just put me through a lecture on how I should have made restore media? This is supposed to be helpful? He told me that Dell no longer offered restore media on USB for this model laptop. Really? How much trouble is it to stick it all on a usb stick and charge me a lot of money (which I was willing to pay) for that?
I ended up asking Jim to help me. Since we pay big bucks to AT&T for a huge pipeline, and I only get a dribble in my apartment here in Jakarta, I thought he could get me a bootable USB Windows restore thingy-doo-hickey. And my darling husband came through and I was able to restore my laptop and now I am about to play The Talos Principle again. Which I shall write about another time because it's done downloading now.