I’m writing this for a friend and I’ll try to keep a very long story as short as possible. A couple of years ago or so my friend purchased a Dell Inspiron 1100 with a 4 year extended warranty. He has had countless problems with it, I know just after he received it the DVD drive and hard drive had to be replaced and it’s never run correctly. I was over at his house the other day and needed to use it to send an email; it took half an hour for Windows to fully boot and be useable. Thinking there must be some kind of bad virus or spyware on it I did a full scan with Norton AV and Windows One Care and I did full spyware scans with Windows Defender and Adaware and nothing was found. He told me he has spent countless hours on the phone pleading his case and basically not getting anywhere, on top of that he always seems to get customer service from India so often there is a bad connection or the accent of the customer rep is so heavy he could barely understand them. I called Dell while at his house and after over an hour of basically begging for some help I was told that Dell would pick up the computer expedited the next day by DHL (they would send a box) and my friend would be contacted the next day. So the next day Dell calls my friend and tells him the computer has been repaired, that the mother board has been replaced and he would have it back in one day. The next day he gets it back, replaces the hard drive (which he was told to remove before sending it) and his wireless network card but now the wireless network card will not go into the slot. On top of all this the computer still boots very slowly even after doing a clean reformat of Windows. He calls Dell again now very upset and demands that it be replaced, obviously this unit is a lemon with the countless times it’s had something wrong with it and it is still not functioning correctly. So the rep tells him they replaced the mother board with a different design than the original (?) and that’s why the network card won’t fit, before replacing the machine they want to send a tech to again replace the motherboard with one like the original design. The rep promises that if there is one more problem the machine will be replaced. The tech arrives a couple of days later, replaces the mother board again and still the network card will not slide into the slot. My friend calls Dell again gets a different rep on the phone who after about an hour of the usual troubleshooting and seeing the history of this machine tells him it will be replaced (Yay!). He tells my friend to hold on while he goes through some protocols that must be taken care of for the replacement. After more than 45 minutes of waiting the rep comes back on the phone and says to my friend “Sir we are going to replace your computer but first we want you to go out and purchase a new wireless network card and see if it will work”(!). Incredulous at this request my friend says, you told me you are going to replace the computer but now you’re asking me to go and buy a new card for this one, this makes absolutely no sense and you’re just stringing me along. The rep says you must first do this to get the computer replaced, that his managers manager insists on it. Being this whole conversation was from my friends car and he had to get off the phone he asked the rep to call him an hour later but he never called back and does not respond when my friend left a message on the reps voice mail. What more can he do? After literally countless hours on the phone what is the next step he should take. Would he be better off insisting on speaking to a domestic customer service rep, and are there any anyway? He is at his wirs end.
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12/2/06 at 12:59pm