Dell tech support conversation

I was talking to a Dell Tech Support representative about a system here at work today, and while the system was downloading and updating stuff, I was basically shooting the breeze with him. It was actually pretty awesome! I asked him about troubleshooting hardware and software (beyond memory and the hard drive). He had some good suggestions:

  • check the capacitors on the motherboard to see if any were swollen or burst
  • update the BIOS
  • uninstall the video drivers and reinstall the latest version

What else did we talk about? He commented on hearing something that sounded like a train wreck or something. It was Pennywise playing on my iPod, though. ๐Ÿ™‚ He hasn’t heard Pennywise since ’98. Whoa, he’s pretty young! I asked him what kind of music he listened to, and where he was from. What? He’s going to Ozzfest! This guy’s awesome!

We also got onto the subject of Packard Bell, because I mentioned that my mom wants to use our old P2-300. If it’s just for internet, he suggested IE with Avant Browser. That was definitely cool, because I just might try that. His opinion was that a Duron would totally be wasted because his mom wouldn’t use all that power. Good point there!

We talked a few other things before the system was done updating. Basically, I just had to write this because the whole conversation was really personable. It’s definitely a conversation I enjoyed with a tech support representative. Jesse D (last name withheld), if you Googled me and found this, thanks man! Notch one up for Dell – you should get a raise! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. He's also a cat whisperer. Sometimesโ€ฆa photographer, and card magician.

23 thoughts on “Dell tech support conversation”

  1. I think we have gold support or something, so that might be part of the reason why. Speculation – If you have standard (read: cheezy) support, then I guess you’d get routed to India.


  2. Yeah, I’ve dealt with Dell Support before, and I always got someone from India, who:

    1) Knew nothing about computers
    2) Spoke horrible English
    3) Was generally rude when I couldn’t understand them

    I’ve talked to a few really cool techies from Adelphia, though. Usually it’s the second tier support, though (i.e., where they send you AFTER the tech newbies can’t help ya’).


  3. I wouldn’t, but that’s because I’d want the person to ask me for support, instead of calling Dell. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve only called Dell about replacement parts, but I still got India guys. ๐Ÿ˜›


  4. I heard Dell just recently added and/or moved a ton of jobs to the States….

    So the odds of getting a American support person have if nothing else become much better.


  5. I’m in the same boat where I’d prefer someone asking me for troubleshooting advice, too. It’s just time times where I can’t help, and they’d just prefer to talk to someone over the phone rather than through some forums they have no clue about.

    That’s a good topic I should write about, because there’s a large group of people that don’t know what forums are – and they could really benefit from them!


  6. Dude. Pentium 200-300Mhz? I admire your mum’s patience. We’re in the process of reviving an old PIII-800 for my mom for browsing and email. I might switch her over to gmail so that she doesn’t have to deal with phishers; what do you think?


  7. She’ll see it’s not worth using, if she ever brings it up again. I mentioned it in my conversation, but she hasn’t said anything about it in years. If she’s going to use something, I refuse to let her run that hunk o’ junk.

    I think a P3-800 would be good for browsing/email. People have concerns about Gmail, and just allowing everything to go through them. Then again, don’t people do that with Hotmail and Yahoo? I dunno. In any case, I think that’s a good idea, especially since their filters are very good.


  8. My credo when it comes to email is if you don’t want it broadcast online, you don’t email it. No amount of VPN tunnelling and firewalls and proxies will change the fact than an email message exists in at least four computers connected to the net. Since my mom would be emailing old classmates and relatives, I’m not too concerned about gmail’s privacy stuff.


  9. Dude I can’t stand Dell. I would much rather build my own pc. I actually have my own site teaching people how to build a computer. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Link removed)


  10. I’d prefer building PCs, too. But if you simply can’t do it for them, where else can they turn? It’s nice that I can give them some recommendations on a manufacturer that I can trust.

    There’s lots of places that teach you how to build a computer. But if something goes wrong, you have to do a lot of the legwork yourself.

    My dream is to create a site that connects people in need of computer-related services with people who can help them that know what they’re talking about. Like if I can’t build someone a computer because my plate is full, I’d love to recommend them to some people I trust.

    Note: I’m half asleep writing this. Sorry if I don’t make sense.


  11. If you have Gold Tech Support or if you have Corp. Tech Support then you will almost Always Talk to a American. Because Techs from Inda really piss people off. So Dell keeps Gold members and Corp people on the American side…


  12. Yes, Dell’s Indian support sucks (although their English usages can be mildly entertaining). I didn’t want my Indian to give tech support, but simply to process a warranty claim. It took over 2 hours. Their incompetence is overwhelming.


  13. Well I am a technician in north America and I believe that all tech support
    including Dell must be outlawed from India. We are paying good quality cash for American made products and get India SFA support assistance if they had any brain they would be dangerous.

    Ps norton anti-virus sucks major ass


  14. [My] spouse and I [ordered] 2 [computers] from Dell for [Christmas]. One for my son to take back to college, and one for our home.

    [The] desk computer was to come with a [flat] panel monitor. I was told by Alan that [it] was an old ad, [even though] it was still being [advertised] on TV and [online].

    [He] told me if I could [fax] him the [ad], he could make [it right]. I [faxed] the [ad] on [December] 29th.

    [It’s January] 19th [and] he [failed] to [reply].

    I have invested over $1200.00 with Dell [and] I’m very [displeased] with the service I [have] received.


  15. I called Tech help tonite because my wireless mouse stopped working. Without the mouse I could not go on line to get tech support. The automated answer that I reached finally connected me to a support person in India. It is difficult to carry on a conversation because the connection keeps “bubbling” and I could not understand the person. I explain 3 times that my problem was my mouse and that it did not work. He put me on hold several times while lhe checked manuals. I asked him if he thought it could be the battery. He said no it could not be the battery. Then he said he was going to speak to his supervisor and would have to put me on hold. After about 15 minutes on hold my telephone cut off. I opened the mouse, put in new batteries, and it is working. I wasted at least 30 minutes with that person in India that did not know how to fix a simple problem. I hope they eventually get the tech support back in the US for regular customers as they are now doing for commercial customers. That is all I have to say about Tech support.


  16. Believe it or not the last 5 times that I have called I have spoken with a service tech from Canada due to problems with the Optiplex G270 and the motherboard being swollen. The motherboards on the Optiplexs had to be replaced on 3 of our 10 computers so far. I can only wait for the other 7 to go. I also complained enough on the Dimension E510, my home computer, just conking out but with this I spoke to someone from India. They sent a technician twice who replaced the power supply, motherboard, keyboard, mouse and cd-rom. Forget this piecemealing crap. I got to the point that I said I wanted to speak with a supervisor after they told me that they were going to send me a refurbished E510. I said “no way in hell” as I only had the thing for 45 days. After speaking with a Canadian or American supervisor who told me that the replacement WOULD NOT be refurbished, they sent me a new replacement. I now feel that I must hurry up and learn how to replace parts on a computer before the warranty is up. Note, I have had a Compaq Presario for 7 years where NOTHING ever went wrong. The thing still runs, it just doesn’t have enough memory, only expandable to 128 and a slow processor. Gave that one to the kids. Maybe they can learn how to rebuild a computer. The would probably learn faster that I would. Good luck to all current and future Dell owners. I have learned a valuable and expensive lesson.


  17. (Well I am a technician in north America and I believe that all tech support
    including Dell must be outlawed from India. We are paying good quality cash for American made products and get India SFA support assistance if they had any brain they would be dangerous)

    American made products???
    not even those boxes your computer ships in is made in america!!!


  18. I was in the tech support tooo…this is what i have to say about americans… learn to adapt and know what you want…



  19. i believe now if we want cheap pcs then we get cheap costomer service. it looks as though the dell good old days are gone. i agree with some others that dell had great support up untill recently. i am on my 4th dell and 3 are all bottom of the line kid’s and internet pcs. i couldnt build a basic pc as cheap as the aug e510 ad. got it yesterday and the lcd monitor lasted 4 hours. i told the “tech” the monitor was bad to begin with and after an hour with a pakistani newb i have another one coming but he didn’t even know the monitor had a self test or to at least tell me to put the lcd cd in which by the way the lcd drivers are not installed if you get one you may want to install those. just use device mngr and browse cd drive instead of the dell bs. e510 is a good aug deal if it will just last 2 years. norton ghost is why they are able to use the absense of good techs i think. but it turns an 80gb hard drive into essentially a 50gb so don’t expect to use all the space you order on any dell. norton ghost allows them to tell you to use the back up so they are saving millions on techs at the expense of a third of the hard drive space.


  20. Yeah, India support sucked so bad Dell moved it back to the states for corporate accounts and business-comp Latitude owners. Now they advertise “North-American Based Tech Support” as a selling point ๐Ÿ™‚ Heck I would buy any brand that had NA tech support regardless of the name. HP is pretty good though as far as trying to help and accessibility.


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