Remember my $3000 paperweight with the cool Dell logo on it? The story isn’t over yet.
Indeed, I’ve never had such a highly concentrated collection of problems with a single purchase in my entire life. First of all, let me point out that after waiting for a replacement XPS 720 for a month, the new machine exhibits exactly the same bluescreen behavior as the first system. I’ve spent the last 2 months troubleshooting this system, and it still bluescreens on average once every 1.5 days. I’ll post more information about that soon — looks like I’ll be returning it to Dell for a refund, if they will let me. Jury is out on that right now.
But in the meantime, Dell has found another way to screw me!
When I ordered my original XPS 720, the Dell web site promised a $200 gift card with the system. To make a long story short, it never came. So about a month ago, I called Dell XPS customer service (which is awesome, because unlike standard Dell tech support, you always seem to get a North American call center rather than somewhere in New Delhi) and got a wonderfully polite, helpful person who promised to rectify the situation. She said that she would get my gift card sent out to me soon, but if I hadn’t received it by the time I wanted to place an order, I should just e-mail her and she’d credit my account $200:
Now, I wasn’t too enthused about relying on that offer of crediting my account, so I figured I could wait for the gift card to arrive before ordering my 500GB external USB hard drive.
A month passed, and no gift card. So I sent the nice lady an email to see what happened to it. I got this terse, gruff reply:
Wow. Dell customer service reps are no longer allowed to communicate with customers via email? That’s odd, because I still get this message in e-mails from Dell:
If they won’t reply to emails anymore, you’d think they’d stop asking you to, you know, reply to emails. But okay, fair enough — Dell is erecting even more walls preventing customers from getting a satisfying customer service experience, and they seem to take some perverse satisfaction in frustrating users in the process. Makes sense. Kids like to set ants on fire. It’s the same principle, I suppose.
So I called customer service, and was told that I didn’t qualify for the system because I ordered it over the phone. But I didn’t order it over the phone — I ordered it via the web!
Nope, apparently I didn’t. As soon as I talked to a customer service rep about the order several weeks later, it became a phone order. No one told me that by picking up the phone, I had suddenly forfeited $200. Lesson learned: Dell is evil incarnate. Now I know. And that external hard drive? Obviously, I’ll buy it elsewhere.