Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Dell Hell

I'm in Dell Hell.  This new PC tower has not worked properly since I plugged it in.   First, it would, upon turning on in the morning, claim Windows was not properly shut down the night before, when it was.  That went on for some time, then suddenly that problem stopped.

However, after that, it took to shutting down suddenly, without warning.  A black page would flash up quickly, with white code errors on it, and I would only see something about hardware failure, before it flashed to a reboot page that said Windows had shut down unexpectedly improperly or something and wanted a reboot command, of reboot normally or in safe mode or whatever.  That sometimes happened two or three times a day.  And sometimes not at all during a day.

I had told my brother awhile back, with the problem starting it in the morning that there was something not right at all about this computer.  He told me to call Dell, which I put off because calling Dell customer service is hell.

I finally began calling them.  Yesterday, a technician returned the computer to factory settings, removing the programs I had installed, which were Firefox, Irfanview, Picassa and Gimp.

I'd removed the only files I had on it, a few photos, first.

But the tech took control of my computer remotely to do these things and suddenly wanted my yahoo e-mail password, for no reason at all.  We had become a little chummy I suppose, talking about weather in New Delhi and Oregon, by comparison and his people crammed life there, living with a huge family, compared to my life of utter aloneness here.  Maybe chummy enough he thought I'd been lulled into complete stupidity, enough to hand over a password.  I was shocked back into the real world, where people steal ID's, people who should be trustable, like a Dell computer tech guy way off in India and currently rumaging inside your own computer.

I hung up quickly after that, aghast.

I was especially lonely yesterday.   I also was overwhelmed in awe, in a way, over me, a woman in Albany, Oregon, who rarely even gets out of Albany, to be talking to someone across the world, who lives in an exotic and unknown to me land, like India.  I tried to picture where that voice originated from in my mind, smell the smells, feel the heat, the crowded streets, hear the sounds he might hear.  I do have a very active and capable imagination.

The newly refurbished returned to factory settings computer worked even worse than ever.  The fonts began changing size when I'd load a page, first large size then would flash back to normal size.  I began getting a huge blank black box on the right side of the screen at times.  I took a photograph of that big blank black box and sent it off to Dell tech, requesting a RMO (return of merchandise order).  I argued this computer is a lemon, that I've owned other Dells that worked fine but that this is a lemon and has not worked correctly since out of the box.

This morning I get a call from Dell.  A tech guy, claiming the problems are not at all in the hardware of the computer but probably Windows and that he can fix them.  I say "No, I'm done with that.  It's a lemon and needs to go back to Dell."  He says that is not possible since it is over 21 days from purchase.  I say, "This was a faulty product from the box and Dell needs to take responsibility."

He argues and argues and finally says "I want to make you talk to my supervisor."  I bristle, even though down deep, I know he's got problems with speaking English.  I retort, "You can't MAKE me do anything."  Then I hang up.

Phone rings again.  Another voice from India who says "Thank you for being on hold."  I say, "Look, let's just be honest here.  I wasn't on hold.  You called me back."

He says "Yes, I'm sorry, yes, we called you back."  Then he says, "I am so very sorry, we have no authority here, we have to just tell people what we're told to say and I assure you I will take this to a higher level so you can have this resolved."  I tell him "thank you."  He says that I will hear back in two to four days.

I told the second tech about the guy yesterday, trying to get my e-mail password.  He said "Well he must have been helping you set up your e-mail."  I said, "Nope, that was not the case at all."  "Well why would he try to get your e-mail password," he asks.  I said, "You'd have to ask him that question."

Will there be a resolution?   I don't know.  All I know is currently I cannot trust this computer enough to put any files on it or add back the programs I use, like Picassa and Irfanview or add a decent browser.  It's just not worth that effort when it acts so crazy.

I have no idea why it does not work right.  When it started up again, after being returned to factory settings, a window popped up on screen, black background, white code scrolling, said something about an error with a Windows file but I did not have my glasses handy and could not read what file it said was faulty.  The white error message with file was scrolling endlessly in repeats.  Then the window disappeared.

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