Sunday, November 25, 2012

Still Beef With Dell

Around 20 years ago, I worked for a company who bought me a brand new Dell laptop. This was 1991, so just having any laptop was in itself impressive at the time. My new Dell was this amazing machine ... for about 3 days, after which time it completely crapped out. So, we sent it back in for warranty work, and waited. And waited, and waited, and waited for what eventually became an entire year, which co-incidentally was the entire one year warranty period. We eventually got it back with a note saying they couldn't fix it because the warranty was expired. We sent them a letter pointing out that the laptop sat pretty much the entire warranty period (minus a few days we had it) in their service center, during which time they didn't do anything with it. They replied back that we should have bought the extended warranty. So, the office manager had me send a letter to Michael S. Dell, who replied via a VP that they were really sorry they couldn't replace it, but that we should have purchased the extended warranty. Yeah, right.

Well, fast forward a couple decades and I'm looking for a new laptop on Black Friday 2012. It seemed like every single laptop on sale was a Dell. There were some great looking deals, too. It was even a little tempting to set my grudge aside. Maybe in the past I didn't make much effort to be frugal, but this time around it seemed like Dell had a contender for every price point, form factor and options I was looking for.

But I still remember the snarky, condescending letter I got from Dell all those years ago, so I went with an Asus K55N-BA8094C with an AMD A8 4500M processor, which I bought from Best Buy for $379.99 from their Cyber Monday sale. The last few years I've been buying Acer laptops, which we've had really good luck with. But I've owned a few Asus motherboards, and I have friends that swear by the brand, so I'm excited to see if it's as good as the Acers I've been buying.

It's just funny how the negative experiences like this shape our buying habits. What this experience taught me is that customer service should be a long term thing. I've personally talked probably hundreds of people out of Dell computers in the two decades I've had a beef with them, and I keep that in mind for my own work. I try to realize that my interactions with customers could have decades-long ramifications, not just for bad but for good, too. If a customer with a bad experience could talk hundreds of people out of my product, then a customer with a good experience can talk hundreds of people into buying my product!


  1. Should have gone with an I3 or I5.

  2. The AMD has slightly better graphics, and I might do a little gaming.