Dell: My Ambivalence

The other day, I booted up my laptop and to my surprise, there was a little pop up that read, “Your battery is able to charge normally but it has reached the end of it’s usable life.”




My laptop is only a year old but I have noticed that the battery life had been dwindeling to record lows. I was at Anne’s house using my laptop and the battery only lasted 40 minutes before it went into standby without a warning. At the height of it’s life, the battery would work for 2 hours no problem. So I tried contacting Dell. Emphasis on the word, “try.” I called customer service first and proceeded to hold for 20 minutes without any human interaction and very loud and very annoying hold music. I got fed up and hung up promptly. I then went back to and tried their online chat service. To my surpise, though I shouldn’t be, the chat service was unavailable because all the chat technicians were “busy.” At this point, I was very annoyed so I gave up before I decided to throw my laptop out my window.

The next day, I try the chat service again and this time I get through. I talk to a technician who was very nice and asked about the battery problem. She said she would replace it without questions asked. At this point, I would have rated Dell’s customer service as the best in the world but I had to look a gift horse in the mouth. I asked the technician whether I could pay a little more money an upgrade my battery to the optional 9 cell battery which lasts almost twice as long as mine. She said she wasn’t sure and gave me the number to their customer service agent who would know the answer. So I called and was put on hold for a while. When I got through, I asked my question and found out that it wasn’t possible because the warranty was only for the battery that came for the computer. I would have to purchase the 9 cell battery separately. I figured as much and asked if I could just get a replacement for the battery that I have which was still covered under the 1 year battery warranty from Dell. I was a bit surprised at this because I had paid for the optional 3 year warranty but appearantly batteries are only covered for a year. If I had called a week later, the warranty would have expired and I would have really been screwed.
So the lady whom I was speaking to transfers me to a service technician that would fill out the paper work for the replacement battery. I was transfered over and everything seemed fine.
Until the technician wanted to “troubleshoot” my battery problem. What? I thought we had already established that my battery was going to be replace. I decide to be nice and go along with it. Then it got even worse.
Technician: “Sir, is it OK if I remotely access your computer?”
Me: “Why….?”
Technician: “I need to troubleshoot your battery problem.”
I told him I felt uncomfortable with someone hacking into my system even though it was a Dell technician. He kept pushing for remote access and I got progressively anger. What the hell do you need to hack my computer to diagnose a battery problem?? It’s like a plumber coming over to your house to fix a leaky pipe and asking, “Is it alright if I take over your house for a while and dig through your things?”
In the end, he gave me directions of what he wanted to find out which he should have done in the first place. Remote access should be the LAST RESORT. Do NOT treat me like some idiot who doesn’t know how to opperate a computer. After the whole ordeal with him, all he wanted me to do was to find out the BIOS version I had and whether the battery charge light was on. Why exactly do you need to hack my system to do that? JUST ASK. Dumbass.
Anyway, after that whole frustrating ordeal, he said he’d send out the replacement battery and I should be expecting it on Monday.
The next day at 11:00am, there’s a knock on the door and there was DHL with my replacement battery. What the hell? How’d it get here so fast?? It had been less than 24 hours since I contacted Dell. I am truly impressed by how fast the shipping was and if it weren’t for the dumbass technician wanting to hack my system, I would rate Dell’s customer service as perfect.
Unfortunely, that isn’t the case and I am still ambivalent about it. It’s like being kicked in the balls by a person and that person buys you an iPhone afterward. How do you deal with that?

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