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Author Topic: So it seems Dell isnt so bad after all...
Luke Skywalker
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Icon 1 posted March 06, 2007 20:38      Profile for Luke Skywalker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070306/tc_nm/dell_linux_dc;_ylt=AqBKXIxO7dkWouaahI4QylXMWM0F

Dell is seriously thinking about offering Linux on its regular line of products.

The question is though, what flavor?

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boo
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Icon 1 posted March 06, 2007 20:54      Profile for boo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I hate Dell. [Mad] Their customer service is horrendous, despite what they claim.
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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted March 06, 2007 22:19      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by boo:
I hate Dell. [Mad] Their customer service is horrendous, despite what they claim.

Regrettably, I've heard this about some home user calls. Their business support is *fantastic*, though. They absolutely put Apple to shame. Yes, I know the gravity of that statement around here, but I stand behind those words. Apple has shown us the dirty end of the stick far too many times for me to like their support at all.

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boo
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Icon 1 posted March 06, 2007 22:28      Profile for boo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I'm glad to hear their business support is exemplary. My original experience with them came several years back when I purchased a state of the art system (cost around $2500 at that time, which compared to current prices sounds like a gazillion dollars, lol) Anyway, I don't recall the model number, but they had learned that 17% of those models were having significant issues and though I had spent literally HOURS over several days with tech support, none of them had mentioned this to me. Finally, one guy did and I was horrified that they had wasted so much of my time (not to mention made me feel like a freeloader for requesting a replacement) when this problem had already been identified. I was furious. And when I insisted they replace my computer, they wanted me to pay the $100.00 return shipping! I said, "For a faulty computer?!!"

Hated them ever since. [Mad]

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supaboy
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Icon 1 posted March 07, 2007 05:27      Profile for supaboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can second dman's opinion of Dell's business support, at least at their Gold support level. I run Dell's diagnostic software on a PC to get a fault code, or note the pattern of LEDs on the chassis if the PC can't even boot. I call Dell's support line and give them the code or the pattern, and they next-day-ship me a part and a return label. If it's a motherboard, Dell even offers to send a technician to do the work.

It's usually not more than 10 minutes for the whole call.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted March 07, 2007 05:34      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My company has a contract to purchase all computers that we use and resell from Dell, so I can vouch for dragonman97's experience with Dell's business support. The support for the home user, however, stinks.

When you call the business support center, you get someone who is reasonably familiar with the systems and can actually figure out what's wrong. When you call the home support center, you get people who are trained to look up possible problems in a database and read the listed procedure to you.

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Mac D
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Icon 1 posted March 07, 2007 06:05      Profile for Mac D     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I did like my Gateway when I got it back in 1999. And it's still going strong. I gave it to my mom who uses it to play Solitare. That was the last computer I bought from a company (With the exception of my Macs) Now I build all of my own PC's.

So I get more control of what gets put on them. And usually they are dual boot with SuSe and Winblows.

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted March 07, 2007 07:14      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have to say my experience with Dell from corporate support has been *horrible*. Just the worst - so bad that both my current and previous shops kicked them completely out.

But hey - every company has ups and downs [Big Grin]

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted March 07, 2007 10:33      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My company resells Dells exclusively to run our systems. I don't have any direct experience with their support department, but our IT guys seem to like them. On the flipside, I was on a conference call with one of our customers who says they switched to Gateway because Dell's support was horrible.

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Ugh!

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted March 07, 2007 10:48      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, just speaking from my experience, there's a reason why we have a huge poster that says "Hell" on it (with a picture of one of the older servers)

My current place had a huge contract with them, but dumped just before I got here. My previous place switched to them, then dumped them within 6 mos. Too many seriously defective servers/bad support/bad replacement etc.

But hey - everyone is different - my experience is just bad.

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted March 07, 2007 17:13      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'll third DMan on the Business support. I used to hate Dell; but, then I saw how awesome their service at the university has been... It helps to have a few Dell certs in the office, though. The University and college are huge, and we have to RMA stuff all the time. The turn arround is always very fast, and Dell even remberses the university for the tech's time replacing the failed hardware. I don't know about failure rates and such, as I don't know total number of computers in the college, but those that do seem pleased with Dell.

There were some issues with gx270s capacitors, but it was caps from a trusted and generally good company they used on the motherboards. And the Battery recall, which everyone knows about, is Sony's fault... Besides that, most RMAs were professors abusing laptops or Powersupplies getting too full of dust. The typical issues you find with any computer sitting in academia.

I think Dells responce to the gx270 problem was to send us whole fleets of replacement boards and allow us no part return for all the labs (regardless of if the caps on the labs were affected or not) and then RMA on office desktops.

I think I'd buy one if I needed a new computer (and had the money), if I could pull out a student discount. I wouldn't, however, be counting on their personal support, except maybe an RMA if any hardware dies. If I couldn't get in on the discount anymore, I'd probably build my own (again same circumstances [money and need for a new computer] apply).

I used to like Gateway as well, and my current system is a Gateway from about 2000 (with some frankenputer updates) but I've been hearing more and more bad stuff about them.

Just my 2.00*10^-2 USD

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted March 07, 2007 17:29      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Unfortunately Dell are not offering to ship Linux PCs, only to certify some of their models as "Linux Compatible/Capable" then again if they were to ship even one Linux Pre Installed PC how would they choose a Distro?

I guess if they did a good bet (from their point of view) would be (K)Ubuntu but whatever they picked thousands of Linux users would be cursing them for choosing to support the "wrong" one... that is lose, lose for Dell - and they have taken a pounding as it is if their current sales figures are to be believed. Allegedly they made half the profit Apple did on selling 2x the units (not really surprising I guess, I suspect a lot of them units are the cheaper "consumer models" with a very low margin into the space Apple seem to have very carefully avoided).

As for the rest of the discussion I can't really comment.

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Luke Skywalker
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Icon 1 posted March 07, 2007 18:12      Profile for Luke Skywalker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
*thinks "wasnt this thread about Dell doing linux..."

Oh well, Ill go with the flow. I have a dell laptop. got it 2 almost 3 years ago. Works great. I have their personal "Gold" lv tech support, and have a part and a tech in about 3-4 days. Only had 1 issue, ive replaced both fans in it. But I think thats as I ran this thing hard. CPU im waiting to burn out as its always running. But they've been great for me.

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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted March 07, 2007 18:23      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I really can't say anything about Dell service for home users because I have only seen what they do for the university. The service is top notch. All of the Windows computers on campus are Dell. All of our servers, except for the Google server, are Dell. A few of the servers came with Red Hat installed so I do know Dell will ship a server with Linux on it if you are a large enough customer. So if they start shipping computers with Linux, I am thinking Fedora since it is a free Linux that is sponsored by Red Hat.

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted March 07, 2007 21:49      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I wouldn't mind a Dell with Fedora on it - though I think I'd prefer an Alienware that way... and isn't alienware Dell now?

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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Luke Skywalker
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Icon 1 posted March 08, 2007 17:20      Profile for Luke Skywalker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by WinterSolstice:
I wouldn't mind a Dell with Fedora on it - though I think I'd prefer an Alienware that way... and isn't alienware Dell now?

Ya, they got bought out a bit ago. Most of it has been merged with their XPS line though.

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Use the Force, Luke.

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HalfVast

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Icon 1 posted March 08, 2007 17:37      Profile for HalfVast     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
WS wrote:
I wouldn't mind a Dell with Fedora on it

Got it!

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boo
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Icon 1 posted March 08, 2007 22:25      Profile for boo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nothing like a smart dressed dell.
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Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted March 09, 2007 10:18      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yep, I hear every girl's crazy 'bout a Sharp Dressed Dell.

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Oz, the Wizard of
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Icon 1 posted March 09, 2007 16:48      Profile for Oz, the Wizard of   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A Dell's a Dell. I prefer homebrew systems for just about anything, really, though once I get an actual IT job, I probably won't be so lucky.

Same goes for OS selection. I'd prefer to choose my own flavor, rather than picking from a short list. If they shipped systems with a blank HDD and a CD full of multi-platform drivers (my laptop came that way, if with Windows-only drivers), then I'd have more respect for it.

Offering Linux with Microsoft breathing down their back is pretty ballsy, though, I'll give 'em that.

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted March 10, 2007 05:44      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But let me reiterate. Dell's consumer/small business support sucks unwashed ass.

Case in point. Yesterday an engineer's power supply went up in a loud firework display,(blowing the breaker to the department). And yes it was on a surge potector and a UPS.

I grabbed the S/T number and proceed to call business support. Go through the stupid "press 1, 2, 3,," and get to a live body and they immediately begin the process to get me my power supply. Yay!

Then I find out that this system was bought at the consumer level, shit. So transferred to the consumer lines. And after an additional 50 minutes on hold, I speak to a friendly person with a limited grasp of the English language. Damn that guy made me feel like a high school grad. Go and tell them what happened...

"Let's test your power supply"
"Um.. it went in a puff of smoke. WTF do you want me to test?"

A little more wrangling on this point that scorch marks and smoke usually mean that testing is a rather big waste of time.

OK I am going to send a new CPU also. Just in case.

Odd, but nice of them. After another 15 minutes on the phone I am told that it will take 10 to 15 *business* days to get the stuff to me.

What? For a power supply and a CPU?

So the person proceeds to tell me that a CPU is the entire tower... The tower? Yes a CPU is the tower, everything.

I will have to remember that. CPU = = Central Processing Unit = = The big fucking plastic box, motherboard, processor, hard drives, everything.

I bet that guy went to school for his tech training too.

So on Monday I get to try and figure out what this engineer is going to use for the next 2-3 weeks.

I hate Dell consumer/small business support. It is the reason I tell regular folk to buy HP now. Because Dell has the worst support on the planet for anything less than business. And at least with HP you can drag it over to a Best Buy and they can service it. With Dell you get helpful ESL's that waste and hour of your life to fuck up about 1 month of your business.

</rant>

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joliet_jane
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Icon 1 posted March 11, 2007 18:02      Profile for joliet_jane     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Support is waste of money when you know how to fix your own computer anyway.

The biggest problem in my experience with Dell is the hot-potato passing of problems:

Me: The CD drive you gave me won't burn
Dell: It's Adaptec's software problem
Me: Give me new software
Adaptec: No.
Me: Give me new software
Dell: No.
Me: *finds own fix*

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted March 11, 2007 18:34      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by joliet_jane:
Support is waste of money when you know how to fix your own computer anyway.

Only if you're willing to stock parts and pay to replace broken parts on new computers. We know how to troubleshoot, but we would like any and all broken parts replaced within 3 years of new purchase.

Shroom's story reminds me of the short period of time that Dell sent corp. support to India. /That/ was painful, and IT depts rebelled, and now that stays on our shores. A CD-ROM drive _WOULD NOT OPEN_...and the tech was asking me what OS it ran, and if I'd run the diagnostic. I told him that I could not open it with a paper clip, screwdriver and pliers. Furthermore, I was holding said drive in my hand, and the computer it belonged to was a few buildings away. If he /insisted/, I would put the drive in a similar model computer, but this would be a pointless exercise. After he put me on hold to talk to his supervisor, he took my address down for an exchange.

Other than this one horror story, I have nothing but praise for my dealings with Dell Tech Support. 4 hour parts /really/ rocks the casbah, but it's typically not worth the dosh - one day will suffice most of the time. Some of those UPS Sonic people get to me /very/ quickly...I mean...they are fast!!!

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