Dell is good stuff, no doubt about it, but their support needs some bugfixing.

When my computer crashed on the 4th of august, I didn’t know what troubles were ahead.

I was working (as I always do 🙂 and suddenly my PC went down. No problem I tought, just a loose cable or plug, plug it back in and we’re up and running again.

NOT! As I was checking the power cables behind my desk, I saw that the high voltage protector was down. It was (is) an old piece, and I didn’t know if it had helped me a lot, so I thought that I could just remove it and plug the power cord directly in the wall.

WRONG! BOOM! went my Dell with the smell of burning plastic. I just blew up my PC :(. The protector WAS protecting me, or at least my PC. I think I sometimes need something or someone to protect ME against myselft and stop me from doing stupidities like this one.

So, the next day I went to my local PC vendor (Sysar), where I buy software and hardware for me or clients of mine from time to time, with the question to replace my power supply, as it was obvious that I blew that one.

SORRY, NO CAN DO! Dell uses his own hardware parts which aren’t compatible with standard hardware like the AT or ATX power supplies you find in every computer store. There goes my cheap and quick hardware fix 🙁

Up to Dell Support. First I tried to call their technical support line and after more than 30 minutes (!) waiting and more than �25 poorer and still nobody on the phone, I tried to send them an e-mail asking where I could find the right power supply.

2 days later, no reply.

Oh Lord, where can I find the right power supply? On the internet, of course!

So after some Google-ing and consulting the Dell support forums, I came up to a site which sold Dell compatible power supplies: PC Power & Cooling! Thank God (or anybody who’s up their above, if there is someone or something after all). Their Power Supply Selector (including Dell) told me that I needed their Turbo-Cool� 350T Dell Power Supply for my Dell Dimension 8100. Yes! yes! let’s order it!

But there was no Turbo-Cool 350 in their product list, so I thought that the Turbo-Cool 300 Dell was the one I needed and ordered it online for $89 (ex. shipping and transport). (Again, I really think I need someone or something to protect me from stupidities)

Less than a week later (it seemed like eternity for me), my power supply arrived and I was as happy as a little kid getting a candy bar. Open the box, open the case, screw the power unit in place and attach the cables.

DAMN! They don’t fit! So there is really a difference between the Turbo-Cool 300 and Turbo-Cool 350 after all 🙁

What to do now??

OK, let’s try to call Dell support again, and have patience this time… And indeed after 40 minutes of waiting, someone answered my call. The nice guy asked me for the problem, tried to troubleshoot and fix my problem from the other side of the line, but he ended up concluding that I needed to have the power supply replaced. They are not stupid over there at Dell, but they or sloooowww…

He would send me an email which I had to fax back to order a Pick Up and Replace reparation that could take 5 to 10 business days and would cost �250. Oh man…

But what choice did I have, I blew up my machine, I order the wrong part and when I recoverd my old PC and connected it to the same power cable is my Dell was using, I blew up that one too!!!

Something was defenitly wrong, and someone had to take care of it, but it wasn’t going to be me, no way!

OK, so I asked the to pick up my Dell at my wife’s working place, as I’m rarely at home during the day and she only works about 10 minutes from where we live.

Now the coincidence wants that right on that day (or better the night before) they had some visitor in the shop, you know the kind that smashes windows, takes everythings that small enough to carry and has some value and then leaves within 5 minutes. Burglars.

So the shop was closed, but my wift left a note on the door that the PC could be picked up at the shop owners, right next door.

Guess what, at 15h30, they rang at my door: “Where here to pick up a Dell system.” Luckily, my wife was still at home and told them that we had agreed to pick up the system at another location. “Huh?” So my wife had to take her car, drive back to her work and give the system to the courier. Oh my god, are they stupid, or is it me…

Well, OK, now I have to wait…

2 days later, I recieved a phone call from the courier service asking me what needed to be done with the Dell system. The had 2 adresses and didn’t know if it had to be pick up, or deliverd, or…

WHAT? They ARE stupid.

A phone call to Dell support, told me te consult the support website, which stated that my repair was delayed and I would receive a notice shortly. Oh my god, my system, it’s lost! I saw all dooming scenario’s passing by…

I sent an email to Dell again (to technical support, sales and commercial services) expressing my concerns and demanding an clarification of the situation immediately.

2 days later, as expected, no response…

But the next day, at the very same moment as I received a first reply which stated that they had my home address in their database and that ‘the system will be(!) picked up and delivered at that address’, my wife called to tell me that they returned my system and that it was fixed!

Oh, I could hardly wait to go home and continue with my work where I started it 3 weeks earlier.

A few days later, I received an invoice from DHL for the import taxes from the first power supply I ordered and an invoice from Dell for �250 and VAT for the repair. They can be fast after all…

Conlusion: The same Dell, new power supply and about �500 less on my banking account.

I hope my insurance company can easy the pain a little bit…