Has anyone called Dell Gold Technical Support recently? Well, I have and let me tell you I am very disappointed in their technical support. Last week I called about a laptop not powering on and I was asked if I “rebooted it”. Hello, it’s not getting power! Just today my co-worker and I diagnosed bad memory in one of our new Dell machines. Here’s the Dell tech support excerpt:
09/29/2006 08:21:04AM PC Tech: “We were having problems while booting the PC so we ran Dell Diagnostics and we received the following system memory error codes: 2F00:0B1C & 2F2F:0119.”
Agent (GTSR Dell Rep): “has any additional troubleshooting been performed on the system?”
Now I ask: what additional testing would you do? What if I was Joe Customer calling about this problem? Joe Customer will not likely even run the diagnostics CD. However, Dell usually will not talk to you without you first running the diagnostic CD. We did that. When we moved the hard drive to another PC it worked fine and suspected memory even before running the test (random BSODs are usually memory related)
09/29/2006 08:27:57AM PC Tech: “Yes. The error code first told us that there was a system memory failure on DIMM_3 so we removed that stick of memory and ran the diagnostics again. We again received the same error code on the data bus stress and a very similar error code on the MATS test”
09/29/2006 08:31:27AM Agent (GTSR Dell Rep): “do you have any memory from a know good system that we could try out”
Again, I have to wonder if Joe Consumer has memory just lying around his house for Dell to test with, but OK, we do this to make the call center person happy.
09/29/2006 08:47:48AM PC Tech: “I am running the test right now with the new memory and have not encountered any errors. We put the bad memory into a known good system and the operating system blue screened and crashed.”
09/29/2006 08:48:45AM Agent (GTSR Dell Rep): “how long did it take before it errored out in the diags?
You have to wonder if this guy is for real or not. If your Dell diagnostics CD is throwing memory errors and the OS on the machine keeps BSODing from a fresh Ghost image, what difference does it make when it crashes?
09/29/2006 08:50:35AM PC Tech: “I was receiving the error in the Data Bus Stress test, which is the first memory test.”
09/29/2006 08:51:27AM Agent (GTSR Dell Rep): “how is it running now?”
Amazing, just amazing!
09/29/2006 08:55:02AM Agent (GTSR Dell Rep): “ok what i will do is replace the memory on the system”
35 minutes after initial contact, he finally decides we are worthy of a memory replacement.
09/29/2006 09:05:14AM Agent (GTSR Dell Rep): “still here thank you for your patience”
09/29/2006 09:09:31AM Agent (GTSR Dell Rep): “I have setup a parts-only dispatch. You may find a return airbill in the box if the part needs to be returned. If that is the case, replace all of the parts and affix the airbill to the box. Then you will need to call 1-800-CALL-DHL to have the box pic”
It takes him another 15 minutes to enter the order the part in the system. Overall, it took us 50 minutes to get a replacement of two faulty DIMMs.
Which leads me to this: if Dell wants to play this game, we can play it right along with them. We’ll say we did so and so and got so and so result just to make them happy, but we won’t do it. Dell: give technicians credit for having above average intelligence when it comes to computers! When we say the memory is bad and we ran your diagnostics
to prove it, please just replace the memory.
Speaking of help desks, checkout The Chronicles of George. Sort of mirrors what I have had to deal with in the past. 🙂
– Soli Deo Gloria