Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rant About Dell

If you have ever heard my rant about Dell, you might want to skip this entry. However, it is related to a specific problem--not just how they are the spawn of Satan.

My computer has had trouble charging for a few months now despite the fact that Dell sent me a new power cord over the summer. By the beginning of October I had to position the power cord just so and press it in at a certain angle to get it to charge. This got to be annoying enough to outweigh the incredible annoyingness of spending any amount of time on the phone with Dell.

Key to by-passing musak that hurts your soul and being on hold for hours: use their online chat service.

Aside from the fact that the man would not 'listen' to me (I had to repeat key facts like: I live in Korea and 'I already tried that' at least 3 times throughout the conversation before they got it through their skulls) it went fairly well. They were able to ascertain that it is most likely my motherboard, however, I needed to call Dell Korea to get them to come look at my computer. I dubiously asked whether or not Dell Korea had any English speaking technical staff. The man assured me that there would be English speaking people readily available and if I'd wait a few minutes he'd get me their number.

I hate calling technical support so I put off calling Dell until my computer refused to charge any longer and now won't turn on. Since I still haven't gotten around to buying a cell phone (I love not having one) I had to call from work which meant having 2 free periods in a row to deal with them. There was no English speaking love. If you've ever called Dell in this country you know that after their English menu they give a 'Para hablar en espanol, numero dos' but nothing like that on the Korean line. I figured I just couldn't understand the main menu so I asked my friend Jay to come over and listen to the menu for me.

Jay got bounced around: 3 different menus, 2 different people (none of which had any English) and then put on hold. I let Jay go back to eating his noodles while I sat on hold until I got disconnected 5 minutes later. I tried calling back and pushing random buttons. No luck. If you do that on most automated messages it gets confused and connects you to the operator. Not in Korea.

In short, now I need to actually call Dell instead of doing an online chat so when they give me an answer I don't like I can just say 'give me your supervisor' until the problem gets solved.

I hate Dell with a fiery passion. Did I mention fiery? I only bought a second Dell because of their shiny cheap deals and installment payment plans. Also, I was desperate for a new computer when my old one died suddenly weeks before I moved to France and it was the only affordable option.

That is my rant about dell. Calling them may or may not involve me imbibing alcohol in order to assauge the pain of their musak. It is a terrible 20 second loop interspersed with ads about Dell online and how to restart your computer. I usually end up yelling at it, scaring my dog and making my family members laugh at me. Unfortunately, in a PC bang, this might scare the Koreans instead.

I don't know if I have the strength to call them this evening. I had toddlers today. Don't get me wrong, I love my toddler class. It's 3 times a week for 40 minutes and they are always cheery. Even when they aren't it's easy to make them cheery again and forget about whatever Horrible Thing Happened in about 5 minutes. On the downside, they speak very little English and class involves a lot of high energy acting, pointing, singing and repeating things. I try to drink as much coffee as I can beforehand but it doesn't matter--after class I'm always exhausted. I just want to sit and be quiet and maybe read my newspaper and try to ignore the fact that 'the incy wincy spider' song is stuck in my head. There is very little more disconcerting than walking down the street and realizing that the song you are humming under your breath is a children's nursery rhyme.

Did I mention I'm going to lounge on the beach in Thailand for my very brief winter break? I feel my soul is calling for the beach. I'm stopping in Bangkok for a few days and my guidebook informed me that Bangkok is home to many cheap English language bookstores. The plan is to binge on buying books, shopping and sightseeing for 2 or 3 days and then collapse on the beach for 4 days and read said books while observing natives and drinking fun cocktails with those little umbrellas in them. I'd settle for bottled water though. I also plan on having my ipod exorcise all of the children's songs I know for the entire week. Speaking of which, I should really figure out what type of power Thailand uses....


Nancy K said...

Well, I don't think that you can drink at school! Bring a beer to the Pc Bang? Good luck sweetie.

Chris said...


i dont know if you got this while i was online earlier but there ya go. Info on plugs in Thailand.

I remember when your dell crapped out back here and you had to call them. I cant imagine how aggrivating it is now that you're in korea.

Josh said...

I recommend a mixed drink..... whiskey/rum and coke works well (buy a 20 oz coke, drink some, then refill with booze-ahol). beer is just not strong enough to counteract tech support related annoyances! The only problem with this method is that you MUST make a detailed list of complaints/etc. (because by the time you finally make it through the 2000 hours of being on hold you may be quite intoxicated!!)

Much love kiddo, and good luck!!!

(I also recommend having plenty of stuff to fidget with while waiting as it helps with the urge to scream bloody murder)

Jessica said...

So, I can't help you on the dell front. They suck, they are part of the reason I switched to my mac. But I can say now that I am semigimpy as well because of a climbing incident. I was tied in and ready to do my first climb of the day and here I was looking down sequencing while Liz pulled up the slack. Well the end of the rope went right into my right eye and now I have a lovely scratched cornea, that hurts like hell and makes me one eyed at the moment. It's not too serious and should be better in a day or two (eyes heal fast). I apologize for any typos but I can't see well. It should be better in a few days but point 1 is I didn't even get to climb point 2 I had to go to the hospital and point three I was blowing of hw to go and now have been set back in hw and classes. So yeah, we are now one in our climbing issue (kinda).

Alex said...

Mom-OF COURSE I WOULDN"T DRINK IN A SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Duh. I meant VOIP (ie skype) calling from a PC bang.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alex. I don't know what to tell you about Dell. Even though I have never heard your rant about it, I just heard a very similar rant from my friend Megan whose (surprise!) motherboard also went down. When she did talk to a human being, they told her this problem is quite common. Fortunately, Josh talked her into getting the best warranty. I am going to send her the link to your rant so she knows she is not alone. I am signing in as Anonymous because I am on Josh's computer and I didn't want you to think I was him. The end of the school day is exhausting. Non-teachers cannot understand the intensity of that frazzled brain-dead state. All I can say is it gets a little (but never totally) better with time. I had a rough teaching day today because I stayed up super late watching Obama. He is amazing. You should watch his sappy infomercial if you get the chance. It made Josh get teary- definitely sappy but well-done sappy like a good chick flick. I think it'll be good for undecided voters. I then watched him on the Daily Show and then watched his midnight rally in Florida. Just couldn't get enough. Okay, that's enough from me. I still love reading your blog. You know you are not allowed to stop now, right? Your family and friends are depending on you for entertainment! Jean (Karpen) commented when we were there how much she likes it and how she never knew you were such a talented writer. OK- I am really going to go now. Stay in touch and let us know when you can Skype some weekend.

--Sarah Karpen