Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

A Phone Coversation

Author:Eric Kidd
Posted:5/11/1999; 9:53:07 AM
Topic:Bad experience with Dell service
Msg #:6010 (In response to 6008)
Prev/Next:6009 / 6011

At my previous job, I overheard a conversation between our sysadmin and the technical support staff of a certain major PC vendor (supposedly known for their customer service). Here's roughly what I heard him say; take a guess for the other half:

"We just bought six computers from you. All six were dead on arrival. This is the second time this has happened. Our order number is blahblahblah."

"Good. Can you bring our order up on your system?"

"Do you see the special note attached?"

"Yes. You see how we said not to use CD-ROM drive model YYYY."


"We asked you not to use model YYYY because it didn't work in the last batch of machines we bought from you. They were dead on arrival, too."

"Yes, we made this an explicit condition of the order. You said you could do this."

"Yes, I know. It's hard."

"Oh, I understand. But if you can't ship us working machines, I can't keep buying machines from you."

...and so on, for about twenty minutes. The next time we wanted to buy computers, we went to the systems integrator next door and bought generic machines from him. He wanted our business.

Most important, if he ever acted like this, we'd walk into his offices, drop the broken computer on his toes, and scare away customers until he smartened up. He knew we'd do it, too, so he never screwed up.

I'm a firm believer in generic, "white box" servers from local companies. The big vendors use crummy parts and don't care a lick about somebody who only buys twenty machines a year. They seem more interested in selling $10,000 NT boxes to run as print and file servers on a 50 person network.

Cheers, Eric

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