Dell Computer Link

We’re still getting mail on our Dell Computer article “Dell Customer Firewall“. It’s been four years since we posted it. It’s been almost a year since we tossed our Dell i3800 laptop in the dumpster.

I’ve worked for major corporations most of my life. As both employee and interested party, I know the upsides and downsides as well as most folks. I remain generally “pro-business” but also very pro-consumer. In my capacity as medieval serf, I know that some feudal barons are good for the economy and the consumer, and relatively benign. I know that some are bad.

Dell did more to shake my confidence in corporate America than Enron. My personal experience with them revealed so much about their inner workings that I can never again feel the same about large corporations. It would be too much to ask for objective internal checks and balances. We remain at the mercy of the work ethic, business ethic and sense of justice of other individual Americans like ourselves. I’ll take that over government micromanagement, any day.

We also remain at the mercy of customer service policies that would shame Homeland Security. To make sure that not one customer ever cheats the corporation, all suffer under draconian policies and machiavellian attitudes that thinking people simply cannot tolerate.

This is not endemic to all corporations, only to the worst of them. Is corporate consumerism getting more hostile and anti-consumer? It’s hard to say, but look at your credit card agreements sometime. And pay those cards off. A few companies like Dell tar all companies with the same fetid aftertaste.

In that happy vein, I give you a link to another site which studies the modern American phenomenon of feudal consumerism. Visit Crackpotpress. Their Dell article, “Dell Computer: Worst Company Ever” certainly resonates with my own experience.

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The Last Word on Dell

Dear Readers,

Many of you write about your experience with your Dell computer. Most of you discover the link to my site through Google (or other abstracts). This would not show you that already has numerous postings on this topic, and even a little-visited bulletin board forum on this topic.

If you want to find out what happened as a result of my own experience with my Inspiron 3800, follow this link:
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We posted a couple of updates to the Dell thread, notable a fine letter from Bill M. — who is not the first to comment on Dell Financial.

Also, we closed out our own Dell Firewall page with a note that we tossed that laptop in the dumpster a few weeks ago.

Lastly and worthy of note (on a different topic): we had a desktop machine that was consistently freezing despite a Windows update, CHKDSK, defrag, Norton scan, Spybot scan, AdAware scan and Windoctor checkup. We checked HD settings (CSEL) and checked for loose boards or memory. All looked fine.

Yet that same drive (in its Dataport cart) booted fine on another identical machine with same motherboard and CPU. It was still running fine 24 hours later.

The apparent cause? CMOS went out of whack for some reason. We removed the battery for 2 minutes, jumpered pins 2-3 for the same duration, and replaced everything. We tweaked the native BIOS setting defaults. It’s been running fine ever since.

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Dell Customer Firewall

Mini-Rant: Dell Customer Firewall

April 6, 2002: The saga concluded on April 3 (for me) when Dell got the Inspiron 3800 going again, after 9 months, with a refurbished motherboard. The first refurbished motherboard was “DOA” – dead on arrival. The repair was at Dell’s expense. It was a victory, but at too great a cost. Others of you are still writing in with tales of similar ordeals. Check this updated article to see how it all turned out.

March 23, 2002: We may have to change the name of the article to “Dell Makes Good – Finally”. At this writing, I have a free replacement motherboard in a desk drawer at work, and a technician is sheduled to call early next week to install it, no charge. Stay tuned.
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