Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tim Gutmann, 1966-2007

I don't have the words right now to describe my sorrow at learning that my grad school buddy, Timothy Gutmann, was killed last night in a kayaking accident off of Woods Island, Maine.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Even more Dell laptop annoyances

Dell customer support is really a gift that keeps on giving. Our lawyer got a form letter email back from Dell that has her hopping mad. Here's part of the email:

Dear Mr. Gold,


Thank you for contacting Dell Customer Care.

I will be more than happy to assist you; however, I am unable

to locate your account with the information that was provided.

(stuff deleted about how to verify who are. Notice that this

we have been trying to get in touch with them for a week, and

that this is the first time that they asked us this.)

Customers are our top priority and we are committed to them.

I will be glad to provide you with the best possible support

from my end. We value you as a customer and your satisfaction

is important to us.

We immensely value our relationship and consider it a privilege

to serve you. We value you as a customer and your satisfaction

is our highest priority.

Here was our attorney's response:

I am outraged by your insinuation that I am a man. In our

culture, women are treated with dignity and respect. I suggest,

Richard, that you send this issue way, way up the ladder, along

with the link I sent you. I purchased two Dell laptops whose

problems clearly fall within the two repair letters you

sent me; I paid good money for your inferior product, and I

expect either a speedy, seamless repair, or replacement.
Yours truly, June Gold, Esq.

So let's tally up the score. 10 days ago I had two laptops with broken screens. Now I have two laptops with broken screens, frustrated users, and a lawyer whose office is near mine who is hopping mad at how men treat women in high-tech fields. I am the closest man to her office.

If that weren't bad enough, I just ordered two fast servers from Dell. Now, if anything goes wrong with them, I'm going to look like an idiot for dealing with this company.

Another letter from Dell

Our company lawyer complained yesterday to Dell about our rather strange interactions with their customer support. That very day we got ANOTHER identical copy of the letter that they disavowed in their voicemail.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Hysterically funny Dell customer support message

Dell used to be everybody's favorite place to shop for computers online. But nowadays, you're lucky to even talk to a human being, much less find what you need and order it.

A case in point: we bought two Dell Inspiron 9300 laptops, both of which developed strange lines on the screen. Here is a copy of the letter that we got from Dell: (click to enlarge)"Great!" we said. Well, we called the (first) toll-free number specified in this letter -- and it not a valid phone number. After 1.5 hours of being put on hold, one of our employees finally got in touch with one of Dell's customer service representatives, "Lapsong." He asked if he could put her on hold again. She said "No!". So he said that he would call us back.

Next week he did call her back, and left a voice-mail. It has to be heard to be believed.