This file is filled with individuals' opinions and experiences with the Dell computer mail-order company, which sells a wide line of computers and products. The most recent experiences are at the beginning of this file.
If you have bought from them and have not yet made your contribution to this list, simply fill out this form about your experiences with Dell and they will be added to the beginning of this file. Thank you and Good luck!
B. Gates (no relation) from
Date - Wednesday, December 29, 1999 at 19:55:10 (EST)
I am not a fan of any of the large computer makers when it comes to "CONSUMER PRODUCTS". I personally build my own but I worked in tech support and I want to let you know that most if not all of the tech support for all the above-mentioned companies (especially gateway) do something called out-sourcing. Many of you may be familiar with this term but for those of you that are not, here is an example. Lets say Jo Shmo computer is a large computer company. President Joe knows that he can only make about 1% to 3% profit on a system and needs to cut corners but does not want to give in to putting substandard components on his systems so what does Joe do? He hires an outside company to take tech support calls on his systems then pays them on a PER CALL basis. THIS IS NOT TRUE FOR THE MORE EXPENSIVE LAPTOPS AND SERVERS AND WORKSTATIONS! (Most of the time) Laptops, WS, and servers have a decent profit margin so Joe can afford to hire, train, pay benefits and stock options etc. Have you ever felt that (after you finally get through to tech support) you are getting pushed off the phones? Well guess what you are. They are paid on a per call basis, the more calls they take the better they are paid. There is most of the time a bonus if the "subcontractor" can keep average speed to answer times (the avg. time it takes a person to call in, stumble through the menus, and sit on hold and finally talk to a living person) average handle times (the time they spend on the phone with you) and first time resolution (they want you not to call back which in turn makes you a happier customer). Here is the kicker. The techs on the phones are paid crap, have little or no training unless they take initiative to train themselves, and very limited access to the product you have. If there are 10 people on a team to support a certain product they may only have one of each system if they are lucky. Most of these techs because they don't work for Gateway or Dell or Compaq or Micron really could care less on how happy you are with a certain brand because in that same out-source firm they may support ALL 4 BRANDS! Now I have never worked in this type of environment but I am a good friend with quite a few people that used to. The companies you buy from really do care about how you feel about there products it is just that if gateway is using this type of service and Dell doesn't and Dell goes out and creates a box comparable to the same gateway box and does hire their own tech support staff, trains them well, pays them what they deserved to be paid, pays benefits, profit sharing etc., who’s box is going to be cheaper. When you went and looked at a new computer was price a deciding factor? I would have to say that 80% to 90% of you (myself included) would say yes. So don't be mad at Gateway or Dell or Compaq or IBM because of the crappy support they have. It is an industry wide problem. Some people on this site have said to go to a local clone dealer to get made what you want. Well what kind of warranty do they have? Can you contact Tech support (even if its crappy you can talk to some one) 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year? Will they come out to your house and replace equipment when it goes bad. I can honestly say probably not for all of these things. So even though the clone may start out cheaper many times they end up costing more in the long run. Remember these are electronic devices. Electronic devices do fail, it is bound to happen some time. So in the end what I am trying to say is you will always get what you pay for when buying a PC from a large company or a local clone dealer. Do lots or research, believe what you read in PC mags, and about half of what you hear on the internet because most of the people that take the time to write on these pages have had bad experiences. How many times have you written about a product on the web because you were so happy about it? Probably about 1/8 of the time you would write about a product you were unhappy with. Find out what systems your friends have and the problems they have had with them if any. Call tech support numbers and see how long it takes. If time is a fairly important thing for you then this could be a more deciding factor. Remember that at night the companies have less people on the phones so your wait during the day could be considerably less. Watch out for really incredible deals in mags. I myself got bit by a “fly by night” company in Computer shoppers guide when I was a computer newbie. The best piece of advice I can give is be friendly to the techs. I am much more inclined to bend over backwards to help some one that has been pleasant on the phone with me than some one who is swearing up a storm at me. If you can’t seem to get any where with tech support after the 2nd or 3rd call ask to talk to a supervisor or a manager. ALWAYS GET THE NAME OF THE PERSON ON THE PHONE!!!! It is up to their discretion most of the time if they want to give out the last name but it won’t hurt to ask. Always keep case numbers handy and be ready at anytime to give them to the tech. We all have computer crashes at one time or another J. I hope this has helped you in making an educated decision the next time you decide to buy a computer.
Chris Selman from
hatiesburg, MS USA
Date - Saturday, November 20, 1999 at 09:11:51 (EST)
I purchased a dell computer in December of 1998.My wife had read all the reviews and wanted a dell for its reputation.I thought it was a little high priced, but who is going to argue with their wife.
The problem with my system started in September of 98.I began calling dell tech support.The problems were quick fixes and the tech supporters were very friendly.The way they talked put me at ease and gave me confidence in the staff.The major problem hit in Oct of 99'.I logged 16 calls to tech support in a two weeks period.I talked to everybody and noone could fix my problem.The warranty I had said I would have at home suppport.THAT WAS THE FIRST LIE.The tech they sent to the house only knew how to replace parts not how to work on the computer.LET DOWN NUMBER ONE.
The so called tech support did not help and a few days later we received a letter from dell that would extend this WONDERFUL warranty another two years for an low price of about $200.I called the customer service number from the letter and the soothing voice told me they were sorry.The voice on the line however was only authorized to say it was sorry.The manager was to busy to talk to me and I was told that I would get a call back within 24hrs.Six days later I get a message on my answering machine at home from this person named "Robin".She left her number and hours in the message.I returned the call well within her office hours and guess who was not there.I left another message along with my schedule and even my work number.After a week of not returning my call I tried customer service again.This time I got another friendly MANAGER that was outraged at Robins action and promised to send me "tags" to send my lemon computer back to dell.He said they would arrive in three to five days.LIE NUMBER TWO.Two weeks have passed and no "tags" were sent.
Now I am at home on a substandard computer hoping you the reader will not be suckered in as easily as I was.The most interesting thing is if I ever get to send this computer back to dell when it returns in THREE TO FIVE WEEKS my warranty will be out and I will in the same boat with a big HAHA from dell.
Things I found out:
1) dell sells used computers as new computers.They call it refurbished but that is another way of saying you didn't get it first.This was told to me on many of my contacts my customer service reps.
2) dell is in the middle of a huge class action lawsuit.With practices like this no wonder.
3) People can be sweet a honey on the phone because they can always hang-up.
the proud owner of a dell lemon
L.W. Lang from
Date - Saturday, November 06, 1999 at 16:45:09 (EST)
I purchased one of the top of the line Dell computers on Sept. 25, 1999, for $2500 with help from a generous separation allowance from a former employer. The former employer required that I furnish a receipt in order to reimburse me for the computer. The computer arrived promptly but was not accompanied by any receipt or proof of purchase. I paid for an extended warranty, but no written extended warranty information was enclosed. A customer service rep said the receipt and related papers would be sent within five business days. This proved to be false. Another rep said it would take 30 days. This too was false. A third rep said on November 6 that there was a backlog of receipts, but one would be sent to me in the indefinite future. An email message to the Dell customer support center was ignored. I told Dell that I wanted to buy a Dell laptop and other items worth several thousand dollars if they would just give me a receipt, but this had no impact. I subsequently purchased this equipment from CompUSA and Office Depot. There was no problem in getting a receipt from these two vendors. The Dell reps seem puzzled as to why anyone would want proof of purchase for a $2500 item. I have just mailed a letter to company chairman Michael Dell, but I'm not holding my breath until I get a reply.
LESSON: Don't buy from Dell. Once they have your money, that's it. You'll never get a straight answer after that. It's now been six weeks since my purchase. Still no receipt in sight.
Tucson, AZ USA
Date - Tuesday, October 05, 1999 at 12:59:39 (EDT)
I bought a Notebook Inspiron 7000 in march and received it
by mail 4 weeks later. I never had a problem with it, it
runs really smooth (366MHz, 128MB RAM, DVD 4x, 8.4GB, 3Com
Ethernet Card). I called Dell Costumer Support only once
because they could not get the money from my VISA card
(foreign VISA card).
Working in a major healthcare related computer software
company I often have to deal with other computer hardware
companies. I think that Dell's customer support is not as
bad as some people want us to believe it is. I always
recommend DELL to other people. Try to call Compaq and you
will be pleased to call DELL again...
Some time ago I bought some Dell stock, because I used and liked their product, and the company seem to have nowhere to go but "up".
Saturday, September 11
I ordered a fully-loaded 600Mhz system for home, solely because of Dell's reputation for customer service and support and product quality.
I was under the impression from past buyers that shipping would run $25 because I was fortunate enough to live in Austin. My first annoyance in this saga is that you, the web orderer, do not know your final total (including sales taxes and shipping) until one or two days after ordering. No, I am not kidding: you order their system on their state-of-the-art e-commerce web site that dynamically calculates your system price based on the options you choose and change, but is apparently incapable of figuring sales tax and shipping (which is comical because, as we shall see, shipping is always the same).
Sunday, September 12
I received an e-mail that shows the total bill, including sales taxes and shipping. The shipping charge is $95, not $25.
Monday, September 13
I send an e-mail to the real person's e-mail address included at the bottom of the e-letter, asking for an explanation for the $95 shipping charge vs. the expected $25.
The e-mail is bounced by Dell's mail daemon, saying the e-mail recipient is unknown. I then compare the typed name to the hotlink for the e-mail address and notice a difference; I edit the Dell-supplied e-mail address to match and retry.
The sales person responds the same day, saying: A) her own company has her e-mail address wrong on all the correspondence they send out; and B) shipping is $95 because the PC is being shipped from Nashville, not Austin; only shipments originating in Austin are charged $25 for shipping. As an Austinite, I was quite surprised to find that Dell makes PCs in Nashville, and I had assumed all along that I was buying local.
Now, not only am I paying $70 more for shipping than I had expected, and I am not buying locally, but I can now expect to wait quite a bit longer for my system to arrive.
Tuesday, September 14
I notice on Dell's Order Status page that my order is complete and ready to be picked up by the carrier. I am mildly happy, but I know that from Nashville it will take several days for shipping.
Monday, September 20
The system still has not arrived; I even check all around the house to see if the delivery person has left any notes. Pointless, I know, because the Mrs. has been home all day and hasn't seen anyone.
I fill out Dell's web-based Customer Service question form to ask about the delivery. After completion and [Submit], I am notified that the expected response time about my query is 96 hours! (that's 4 days, in case you didn't want to do the math)
Tuesday, September 21
I receive a response from my query saying that the system was delivered yesterday, and that I should now be enjoying my new Dell system. Huh?
I break down and call the Customer Service phone number. After finally reaching a human and giving my order number, the rep says that her system shows it was returned as undeliverable. She puts me on hold while she calls the carrier; after about five minutes, she comes back and explains that the carrier attempted delivery but delivery was refused "because I no longer worked there." I explain that the delivery address is a single-family house in a residential neighborhood; she re-confers with the carrier and returns, admitting the obvious: the carrier screwed up. No one knows how or why.
The Dell rep then says that she can send down a message to Receiving to capture the system when it is returned, so that they can turn it around and re-ship it to me. I express dismay at the fact that it will take several days for the system to get back to Nashville, upon which I am surprised yet again by her revelation that the system would be returned to their Research Blvd, Austin facility...because that is where it originated!
My utter disbelief at this unfolding comedy is now at an all-time high, because the sales rep had said, in justifying the $95 shipping charge, that the system was being shipped from Nashville. The Customer Service rep contradicts that by saying that: A) the system is made in and shipped from Austin; and B) shipping is always $95, regardless of destination (why then couldn't their e-commerce site show that?).
I still don't have a computer, nor any estimate on when I might get one The CSR says I might get it this week, but after all that has happened thus far, I have serious doubts. It seems no one knows where the machines are actually made. If in fact they are made in Austin/Round Rock, how could it have taken from the 14th (the day the system was picked up by the carrier) to the 20th to attempt delivery?
Unfortunately, no matter how good the machine is if/when it arrives, my entire Dell experience has been tarnished, and experience I had every expectation would be a wonderful one. I can no longer recommend Dell to my associates and clients.
Though the final chapter has yet to unfold, I have learned this much:
1) Sales says the machines are made in and shipped from Nashville; Customer Service says they are made and shipped from Austin/Round Rock. Its pretty hard to believe that in a company like Dell, no one knows for sure.
2) If you order on the Web, you won't know your final total (with shipping charges) until after you've committed the order. In fact, you won't know until several hours or even days (according to Dell) after you've made the order.
3) Dell's Order Status web page doesn't provide tracking information on some orders; on mine, it didn't even reveal the delivery service name.
4) Eagle USA isn't the world's most reliable delivery service.
5) Dell's sales rep responded quicker-than-expected to my e-mails, but her voice mailbox was constantly full. And the jury is still out on whether the information she provided was accurate.
6) Dell's CSR was cordial and sounded like she wanted to help. It will take a few days to know whether she can make it happen.
I have sold my shares of Dell stock.
Caylem Hugh from
Date - Friday, August 06, 1999 at 23:27:26 (EDT)
My brother owns a Dell laptop and I own a Compaq 5170. We both got these at the same time, him through my mother and I by saving hard earned money for 8 months straight. Almost a year later, I've formatted 3 times, sat on hold, etc. My brother hasn't had problem #1. I worked with 4 Dells last school year and was impressed with their performance. There was only one malfunction and it was a result of an idiot bringing a virus to school. Dell said a replacement hard drive would be sent within two days. NOT EVEN 24 HOURS LATER, a new hard drive, formatted and ready to go (all preloaded software, etc.) was in our classroom, waiting to be installed. Dell has made a fan out of me and as soon as I have saved enough money, I'm removing this Compaq ala "Office Space" (taking it to 'see the country' and beating it to death) and am bringing in a Dell. If you want to see true hell, all of you with Dell complaints go to Compaq's site, register, and visit JUST ONE message board. You'll get on your hands and knees and kiss that box... LOL ; )
Here are two letters I wrote to Dell. I received no reply for either of them, and have subsequently gone with Gateway, who actually understands customer support.
The whole thing started when my floppy drive for my Dell Inspiron 3000 vanished. I wanted to buy a new one. Good luck. The laptop is useless now, since my hard drive had crashed a while before, and the replacement had no OS (see a few complaints before for a similar case). I tried to install Windows NT, then wanted to go to dual boot, which you can't do if NT is installed first. So I need a floppy to format the drive.
I need too much. Read on (mind you, I sent about 10 nicer emails prior to these)
You have a severely dissatisfied customer.
As I have often proclaimed, Dell has wonderful customer service. This is why my office here in Mexico runs EXCLUSIVELY on Dell machines.
So explain to me the following situation:
I have been trying to replace a floppy drive on a laptop bought from Dell, and am totally unable to.
Explain to me why, for the last two weeks, I have been told that Mexico does not support the Inspiron, but if I call X number, they will be happy to ship it to me. Only, when I do call this number, they tell me they can’t ship it to me. They tell me that I have to do this through the mexico office. Then I call the mexico office and they give me ANOTHER number to call, and more time is wasted, since they won’t ship it to me either.
So I keep calling, since apparently I am in the third world here and have NO ACCESS TO AN INTELLIGENT HUMAN BEING!
I have sent several letters, few have been answered, and none to my satisfaction.
So I give the following ultimatum.
I want a satisfactory response by the end of business on thursday, or I will stop buying Dell, I will recommend to all of my customers to stop using Dell (I am their solutions provider, and they buy the hardware I recommend), and I will tell all of my friends in Mexico and in the United States (I have many, because I DO, IN FACT, GIVE COURTEOUS CUSTOMER SERVICE) that Dell’s customer support is no longer what it was (and you can ask, for example, Drew Quinn, VP of Technology of Epotec Solutions in Wilmington, Delaware, who has also had problems with you, for corroboration; I will). All of this I will do inside of ethical and legal boundaries, since what I am going to say is totally the truth:
That Dell’s customer service department, sales department, and international offices are UTTERLY INCAPABLE OF GIVING ME ONE, DAMN FLOPPY DRIVE, FOR WHICH I WANT TO PAY FULL PRICE!
So, this being my ultimatum, I give you until thursday to comply.
This letter was sent to 'firstname.lastname@example.org' yesterday
Subject: I Want to Buy...
But no one will sell to me.
I have been (and still am, mind you) on hold for almost an hour. I called The latin american sales number because I need a new floppy drive for my laptop (without which I can’t proceed because I need to install a new operating system). After waiting for 20 minutes to talk to someone, I was told they cannot sell it to me because I am in Mexico.
I am in Mexico, where there is a Dell office, they say; and this is the reason they can’t sell me the drive I so sorely need to keep working.
So they tell me to call the Mexico store again. I am transferred to tech support to give me the part number I need. Don’t the sales people know how to operate a database? Now I am listening to Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra for the fourth time while on hold, and getting pretty upset about it. What is the deal with Dell Mexico? So far I have found nothing but utter incompetence here. Not only do I have to suffer the incompetence, but after waiting an hour to talk to someone, they tell me that they don’t support the Dell Inspiron series down here.
I have blown a lot of time (still on hold, listening to the greatest hits of the late 19th century), and I am still without my laptop.
Sound like I should be frustrated?
I want to buy a Floppy Drive for a Dell inspiron 3000. The Exp Service code is B44Y7. I have an American Express card whose address is here in Mexico. I also want the part down here in Mexico. Please...
I just got cut off from the hold. Busy signal.
I am upset. Please be nice to me. I have had a bad weekend of trying to resolve this so simple a problem. Should’t be so hard to get a replacement part for my machine. I have all Dell equipment. I am considering changing this because of the fact that your otherwise remarkable customer support (the MAIN reason I buy your equipment) is in sinister dearth in this apparently Third World country.
Hugh J. McCarthy III
El Alquimista Web Solutions
Jeff Young from USA
Date - Friday, May 14, 1999 at 09:47:24 (EDT)
I help support over 300 pcs, most of them Gateways. I bought a couple of Dells because they were a little cheaper. I was pleased with the machines for a few months until the hard drive went bad in one of them and I had to call tech. support. It took 10 minutes to even find a number for support in their documentation. Phone support was slow but they did agree to send a new hard drive. The only problem was it was going to be blank instead of preloaded with my original software like Gateway does it. Then I got a call 2 days later saying that the 8.4 Gb drives were back-ordered and I wouldn't get a new drive for a week. When I called and explained that I didn't have to have a drive the exact same size the woman told me that the waranty plainly states that they will replace a part with the exact same part. When I told her that Gateway and Micron will send another size drive if the original size is not available she quickly told me that they were not Gateway or Micron. Amen to that! I explained to her that these were the first Dells I had bought as well as the last. She couldn't have cared less. And life goes on.
Maria Mazzamurro from
Date - Thursday, April 22, 1999 at 14:29:21 (EDT)
Brad Plowman from
mINNEAPOLIS, MN USA
Date - Tuesday, April 20, 1999 at 11:24:51 (EDT)
I have a great deal of experience with both of these, since I am the admin director and hands on technical guy for a 90 employee childrens mental haelth center. Our sample size is a bit larger than most other comments I have seen. I have 65 Dells, 8 Gateways, and 20 misc other brands - some homemade, some national brands. Dell is by far the most reliable, with the best support. They charge a premium price, no doubt, but it is clearly worth it, IMHO.
Hiram R. Johnston, Jr. from
Cinnaminson, NJ USA
Date - Monday, April 19, 1999 at 05:08:08 (EDT)
I am an independent paralegal contractor/entrepreneur newbee in this era of computerized access to world-wide information and desktop networking. Legal research software is an essential component of my routine computer requirements, as is; surfing the internet for various types of information, etc., desktop publishing & webpage publishing interest, inter alia.
I have a Dell Dimensions P90 w/Impression 7 Monitor which was given to my by my sister and brother-in-law. I find it quite satisfactory for all of my present computing requirements.
Barry Robbins from
San Diego, CA USA
Date - Thursday, March 25, 1999 at 02:06:44 (EST)
Just thought you might like to hear about my experience with Dell. I bought a top-of-the-line 266 MHz Pentium 2 (H266) desktop system for $2600 from Dell in June 1997. In December 1997 the system lit itself on fire and melted several parts inside, including the ISA/PCI slots.
On January 2nd, 1998, I reported the incident to Dell and they said they'd ship me a replacement CPU. Bear in mind that with Dell, we are paying for a next-day on-site repair policy. But they preferred to ship the replacement rather than send someone out, since the damage was so bad.
Two weeks later I received a computer from them. It was the wrong one. Dell said that there had been a screwup, and my replacement computer was also sent to the wrong customer. Another week later I received an airbill with instructions to ship the computer I had received to its rightful customer.
Another week later, and I still don't have my computer. I called and they said they would initiate the process anew, and I could expect my replacement computer in another 5-7 business days. IF I receive the machine by then, I will have gone 5-6 weeks without a computer.
I asked for some kind of remedy or compensation considering that my next-day on-site repair policy had turned into a 6-week no-computer policy. They offered no remedy, so I asked to speak to a supervisor. The manager I spoke to (Jose Vega) said he reported directly to Michael Dell himself, and offered no remedy other than a weak "I'll see if I can get the replacement upgraded for you". Then I told him I had all the hard disk and RAM I needed, and I wanted something concrete. He said there was nothing he could do, and that they receive calls on less than 10% of their machines, and therefore they have good customer service.
If I wanted to wait 6 weeks for a warranty repair, I certainly wouldn't have paid the premium to buy a machine from Dell. Any local PC VAR or retailer could do better, at two-thirds the price. The funny thing is, prior to this incident, I've recommended to anyone who asked me where to get a PC, that they get one from Dell.
Finally got the computer, and Dell was nice enough to upgrade my motherboard to the D300. Only thing is, it made the extra RAM I had bought from a local dealer obsolete!
So I called Dell and explained the problem, and they sent me a replacement DIMM 2 weeks later. Only thing was, the replacement DIMM they sent was new RAM for the OLD SYSTEM. Seems they hadn't updated their database to reflect the unsolicited new motherboard they installed in my replacement system. I was assured that the database would be updated and I would receive a new, correct DIMM. Weeks later I received another new DIMM, but it was still the wrong one. Seems they hadn't updated their database after all. I had long since paid for another DIMM, cause I needed the RAM, so I just gave up.
ps. Oh yeah, when I first bought the machine, they overcharged me $45 on shipping and handling, and I had to call to get them to take it off my credit card.
Another thing, having spent several hours on the phone with them, I can tell you that my average wait time after dialing their customer support hotline is 10-15 minutes.
Moral of the story: Support your local clone dealers (NOT COMPUSA). You get much better prices and face-to-face business dealings. Some of them are trustworthy, and you can learn about computers while figuring out what you really want.
Donny Beard from
Hickory, ND USA
Date - Monday, March 01, 1999 at 19:00:00 (EST)
I used to like Dell, but my opinion is changing...
My company purchased 3 Dell Inspiron 7000 notebooks. They have been great so far. There is one exception. I (mr. butterfingers) spilled a Dr. Pepper in my keyboard and ruined it.
I removed the keyboard and plugged an external keyboard into my system and everything is working fine. I called Dell and asked to have another keyboard shipped to me since I feel confident that when I simply plug the replacement in, it will work fine.
The tech support representative at Dell told me that they will not ship a part to me to replace myself because it will void the warrenty. I agreed to accept the voided warrenty if they just ship me the keyboard.
Dell wants $159.00 plus parts, plus shipping to replace my keyboard. I also have to send it to Dell to have the replacement made. That means I have to be without my notebook for 3 - 4 weeks! I can't perform my job without the notebook.
The moral of the story is approach Dell with caution if you think you are capable of being clumsy enough (like me) to damage something on your system.
I've had two Dells in the past two years. The first was wonderful and the only time I used tech support they were just marvelous. Unfortunately, someone agreed with me because they walked off with my Dell forcing me to order another last year. Support was wonderful and I love this Dell. I use two other computers both of which are pc's built by local companies. Both are weak systems prone to throwing up blue death screens. My Dell is the workhouse and I just love it.
Nick Child from
Billericay, Essex, N/A United Kingdom
Date - Thursday, October 15, 1998 at 17:01:31 (EDT)
I have had two Gateway machines. First a 485 33mhz - ok but replaced last year with a 233mhz p2. I thas been a disaster from day one. The PC arrived with a hard drive which had been soldered incorrectly so the link to the pprinter did not work. I spent about two weeks on the phone to bith GAteway and the printer manufacturer ( each blamed the other!). Eventually gateway sent an engineer who fixed the problem. Then The on/off switch broke and so did the floppy drive. I am currenlty having enormous conflict problems after new memory installation. To sum up the tech support is good bu ti takes hours(!!!!) to get thorugh. the manufacture of the PCs is sloppy and rushed.
I will not buy Gateway again
Read several comments about Win95 troubles. Other sites also have frequent mentions of Win95 causing troubles: crashes, etc. Some folks mention frequent crashes. I'm not disagreeing, but, why do my electronic brains NEVER crash??? In 3 years the "blue screen of death" has appeared perhaps 3 times, and that was when I was going crazy with bizarre downloads and uninstalls, etc. Is it just luck?? Or, could some versions of Win95 be more stable??? Perhaps some CD-ROMs have defects that cause imperfect Win95 installations????
Littleton, CO USA
Date - Wednesday, October 07, 1998 at 05:31:02 (EDT)
I just want to say that all of the negative experiences here are all right on the money. My brother bought a Dell, and frankly most of the problems we've had have been related to Windows 95,although the coustomer service at Dell does suck!! I feel that Dell uses good hardware in their computers that much I give them. However, if there is anything wrong with your computer I would say you have two chances of them fixing it,or sending you a new one, slim and none. If you buy a computer from a store you have a right to return the computer within 30 days for whatever reason even if you just don't like the damn thing. Also if something goes wrong with it later, esp. if you have a service plan you can shove the computer in their face and they have to fix it. You don't necessarily get that when you order through the mail. Most people also refuse to fix Dells, only DEll can fix them or so I am told. Anyway, my opinion is don't buy a Dell, go to a major retailer like Best Buy, or Comp USA; buy a name brand computer i.e. Compaq, HP,IBM; buy a service plan; bring it back immmedatly if you have a problem with it;make them fix it if something goes wrong later; and don't worry about saving $500 BECAUSE it's not worth the frustration these mail order compaines will put you through;in essence Dell does not deserve your hard earned money. The fact is here what can you make a person do over the phone when he's on the other side of the country; the answer:absoluty nothing; this is the premise DEll works on, most retail stores don't because they actually have to face the coustomer. In fact they have to face them everyday and they better have answers; techs on the other end of the line don't have that responsibilty- they don't even have to give you their name. Good old fashioned face to face business is a good thing. Can you imagine if car mechanics could do busines simply by mail order, do you really think they would take responsibility?, because they have to do business face to face with people even the worst ones are obliged to "stand behind their work" I don't think DEll or any of these mail order companies can or will do that at least as far as computers go; I also don't reccomend used or other clone computers- but that's another story. Frankly, I would reccomend a MAC because even though there are some good computers out there Windows is a joke at best, I think it always will be; MACs aren't perfect but Windows is more or less a pain in the ass and you had better know what you are getting into. Computers are suppose to be fun, useful machines I think DEll, and Microsoft have forgotten that, I think Apple has clung onto that premise with the MAC however;computers should be about computing, not fixing and wasting time with people over the phone and yet how much time are we wasting???? Buy wisely and be informed.
Indpls, IN USA
Date - Tuesday, September 01, 1998 at 09:56:27 (EDT)
Purchased an XPS-133s desktop unit on 7/96, 2 years ago. The system is still working and have ZERO problems. It has taken me through web design classes, C, C++, and currently Java without a hitch. I have installed & uninstalled dozens and dozens of 16 & 32 bit software without a hitch!
I have upgraded to IE 4.0 with no problemo. Even loaded Netscape 4.05 as well as 3.0x all in the same hard drive with no conflicts. I have put this damn machine through the ringer and it has come out fine. I credit this machine with contributing to my straight A's as well as success on my professional career.
Oh BTW, the USR 28.8 modem card performance has been flawless!
Having said all this, I wish Windows 95 would have the same track record. But that is a different story altogether.
For those folks here who complained about their Dell and their personal problems, all I can say is too BAD.
My school also purchases Dells and their reliability has been excellent. They have proven themselves to be reliable machines.
Douglas Lanier from
Date - Friday, July 31, 1998 at 09:32:13 (EDT)
I purchased a DELL H266 in August 1998, to replace a Micron P90 that was aging. I had good experiences with Micron's support, which was always courteous and very good at diagnosing the problem. The H266 arrived at the time promised and it was fast and solidly made, but the monitor posed problems from the very first--a strange orange color developed on the left side, and it always ran extremely hot. I called Dell, and after a long wait, I got a rather officious tech guy who ran me through several diagnostics that could not possibly have had anything to do with the monitor (I know a bit about systems). Instead of acknowledging that the monitor was bad, he said it had to be the speakers, other electronics in the room, magnetic fields (?!), anything but the obvious problem. Finally, I insisted that they send me a new monitor and, after an hour more of useless diagnostics, they promised to do so. On the side of the box, by the way, was the label "Dell Remanufacturing." Though Dell assured me otherwise, I wondered whether I'd been sent a remanufactured monitor instead of a new one.
The replacement monitor arrived at the time promised, and at first it worked well. But soon it began to go out of focus, particularly once it got warmed up. Again, I call Dell, again we do a gazillion diagonostics, again we go through the speakers and magnetic field routine. Finally I insist that another monitor be sent (since the system is under warranty), and after the tech guy acknowledges that nothing he's done has had any effect on the system, Dell agrees to send a new monitor. It arrives (on the day promised), and it is damaged (perhaps by the shipper). I quickly call, get yet another replacement monitor, and finally, six months later, the system is as it should have been when it was first ordered. The new monitor, I want to stress, is good, though not quite as good as I'd expect for their "top of the line." And the rest of the system works well.
Moral: I'm not sure whether I'd buy again from Dell. Eventually, I did get satisfaction, but not before a large investment of time (much more than was really necessary) and a lot of useless diagnostics and trouble-shooting. (I often got the impression that the tech guys were more concerned with minimizing returns than really fixing the customer's problems.) In terms of the attitude of Dell's staff, I would say that I was treated at best professionally, at worst impatiently, never really courteously or sympathetically. My experience from Micron's customer service was much better, but at the time I bought the computer I was convinced that Dell had the slight edge with quality (I'm much less convinced of that now). Dell makes a fine machine, but if you aren't a big business customer and run into a big problem, expect Dell's service to be at best only adequate (despite what the big computer magazines say), and then only if you are very persistent with the tech support folks.
Bellevue, WA USA
Date - Tuesday, June 30, 1998 at 18:21:47 (EDT)
I ordered a Dell notebook about a 18 months ago. I was quoted delivery in 11 working days. The order was delayed 6 times for various excuses. I never received a call from them, I always had to call and inquire when it didn't arrive as promised. Twice the salesman told me it had shipped when it hadn't. When I asked if I was being bumped from the production line to send the unit to larger customers, he claimed that "Dell doesn't work like that"
I finally cancelled after 12 weeks of waiting. The salesman had no words of apology.
OTOH, my company ordered a bunch of systems from Dell and received them ASAP.
My advice - If you're an individual, don't bother with Dell. And don't be surprised if the sales rep lies to you. I'll never touch them again.
My Experience with Dell Computer Corporation
May not be appropriate for people who have already purchased Dell computers.
I was excited to get my computer. It was going to be a big part of my learning experience at school, and I wanted to get a great system. I decided on a 333-Mhz Dell Dimension, with 128 MB RAM. Good choice, I thought: good reputation, etc. So, I called their sales department, and spoke with a salesman, Asim Syed. I had a number of pricing questions and system-specific questions. He promised to call me back the next day, and I could place my order. Next day: No call back. And the next: Still no call back. No big deal, but I should have picked up the vibe, because this minor detail was hinting towards the nightmare to follow.
I spent over 20 hours of diagnosing, sitting on hold and talking to various technicians at Dell's Technical "support" hotline trying to convince them that the new speakers(Altec ACS-295's) were faulty. From time to time, the speakers would create this ill-sounding hiss, even when there was no input to the speakers. Hmm… I thought. Simple enough. I'll call these guys and they'll replace them. I was padded from one technician to the next, each telling me to perform some set of tasks, then call back. Eventually, I got ahold of one who said he would assure that I got my speakers replaced. It took over a week of calling back and forth, and WAY too much time and effort on my part to get a $100 accessory to my $3000 system replaced.
Let's do a little math to do here. Let's say I make $10/hour--which I do. If I were to spend the time working instead of talking to the dimwits at Dell, I would have made enough money to buy 2 sets of these speakers.
Conclusion: Dell, in this respect is not economically worthwhile.
Score: Customer Service: -1 Technical Knowledge: Not worth mentioning.
So, from time to time, I would be using my computer for whatever, and it would randomly lock up for 5, 10 or 15 seconds at a time, then return to normal performance. Again, I called the trustworthy 24-hour Tech-support line, and spent 2 weeks being padded back and forth between techs. After 2 weeks of formatting, reformatting, re-installing, formatting, reformatting, re-installing, I was sick of it all. I'm a student, so my free time usually falls sometime after midnight. I would work until 4 AM every night trying to figure out what was wrong, performing all the diagnostics they had available. I REALLY wanted this to work(I mean, no matter what I say about Dell, they do make a fast machine). And I was exhausted. I called them one night at 2 AM, and reached their hold--"All of our technicians are busy, please hold and the next available one will be with you. Estimated hold time will be 6 minutes." I was on hold for over an hour and a half. Hmmm… So I finally got a tech on the line, and I informed him of how long I was waiting. He related to me that the last hour had been not been busy, in fact it had been so not-busy that he had been able to take a number of breaks. I told him I was pissed and wanted to talk to a manager. Then the manager got on. After almost an hour of talking with him, he talked to a senior technician, and asked me to check a problem with Power Management. It ended up being a stupid problem that they should have tested for in the labs. (Technical answer: My computer has 128 MB RAM, and Windows has a write-behind cache, which with this amount of RAM is pretty large. The cache would hold information for longer than the power-down time of the hard drive. So when the cache filled and had to flush, the hard-drive would have to re-spin first, which is a synchronous operation taking a couple seconds.)
Total Time: 4-5 hours on hold. 3-4 Hours on the phone with technicians. 100+ total hours on my part over two weeks to fix.
Conclusion: Again, not economically worthwhile.
Score: Technical excellence: Negligible to damaging. Customer support: Worthless.
So Dell keyboards sometimes lock-up while in use and become unresponsive. I'm sure it was my fault and I should have known this before I bought the system. However, being the ignorant knave that I am, I was unaware that keyboards regularly do these things. So for the first two months of ownership, I have been putting up with my keyboard sometimes locking up. I thought it was just a normal Windows lock-up. So I called tech-support. "Oh, that's simple. A lot of our keyboards do that. Just download this file off our web site then run it."
Hmm… Another thought provoker. Maybe if a lot of their keyboards have this problem(enough that they have written a quick file fix and put on their web-site) they should test for it in their production phase before they deliver the system. Delivering a better product… Nah…
Conclusion: They don't care.
Score: Technical excellence: Great(the fix worked). Customer support: Not even considered.
The Managers/Technical Supervisors
I have spent the last week trying to get ahold of a manger to ask if my situation was individual, and what their system is for dealing with situations like mine(pissed off customers because their company is unresponsive and completely unconcerned with the customer). Surprise, surprise, I found myself again being padded around from one Technical supervisor to the next.
On Thursday, April 29, 1998, at 3:00, I called, and asked for a supervisor. The supervisors were in a meeting, so I requested a callback. The technician promised to "hand-deliver" the message to a supervisor and have them call me within an hour. One and a half hours later: I called back and got a supervisor on the line. I explained my situation to him, and asked him if he had any comments. He was quiet for a moment then told me that their network was down, and he was unable to access any of my call-record. He said, that there was another supervisor who was on the case, and researching it. They would call me right away, and I should just "sit tight until they called me back." 7:30 I called back and asked what the heck was going on. I was speaking with the supervisor Jennifer Burns, Badge # 49841. She said that she was sorry that I had been sloughed off so much, and told me that she would personally assure me that another manager would call me back as soon as possible. I told her that I really wasn't happy with that offer, as the call-back system(which had also failed me during the period of The Lock-ups), was really not acceptable to me. She personally assured me that I would receive a call-back the next day, and gave me the Badge # of a manager named Scott: 49642.
Two days later. I called back and asked to speak to a manager. I get a technical supervisor, who informs me that he cannot help me. I want out of this damn system. I want a refund. But he can't do anything about it--I need to speak with a manager. There is only one manager on duty at the time, and he happens to be busy at the time. "How about a call-back?" No, I replied, I don't want a call-back. I have not seen any success on the part of the call-back system at all. Well, that's all he can do. So I accept. He again personally promises me that he will hand deliver the message to the manager, and mark the call-back "Urgent." His badge number, by the way, is 49756.
It is now later that night. Maybe I'm the stupid one here. No I take that back. I know that I am the stupid one. I purchased a Dell computer.
No call back, and I am now so heated up that I have taken the hour and a half to type up this page and will post it to the web and distribute it to every Consumer Reports-style service I can reach.
Please, please, for the love of God, do not purchase a computer from Dell. Their systems, for the most part, are reliable and fast. However, if you happen to have a problem, start praying. Start praying like you've never prayed before. The technicians themselves seem like nice enough people, and I wouldn't doubt their experience or ability, but the system in which they work is faulty and has, for me, failed to work on all levels.
As of May 5, 1998, Dell has decided to issue me a refund, at my request. They took my case to a manager and reviewed and found that a refund was not out of the ordinary. Although this is appreciated by me, it is a dollar short and three months too late. A refund should have been offered to me months ago. I'll be returning to the computer market shortly, and needless to say, Dell will not be on the shopping list.
Today is May 31. The money has still not been refunded to our credit card. Hmm....
Date - Monday, June 15, 1998 at 09:02:59 (EDT)
I am resposible for the IT in a 25 user big company, and we all have Dell computers. Still today we are moastly using "old" honest P75's and they work perfectly.. There are never such a problem as chraches or "the blue sign of death", ok we only use the Microsoft office package and cc-mail & Netscape, but still. I couldn't be more pleased with the equiptment that we use. If there are any probklems it's becaus of the software NOT the computers.
I have always built my own computers (and i been in this sector since the begining) And this year i am buying a Dell since i feel that there is no need for me to chase "half breeds" with "almoast" compatible equiptment, i dont have the time or urge anymore, i feel verry confident with the computers that they deliver (and trust me, i have tryed them all)..
Dell might not be the best there is, but i use it as a workingtool and dell gives me what i need..
Gary Stamey from
Date - Friday, May 01, 1998 at 00:07:36 (EDT)
I ordered my Dell XPS P120 a few years ago.
It arrived within a week or so,
set up earily,
and everything has worked perfectly since!
BUT, computer prices are dropping rapidly[4/98]and now I think instead of upgrading, I will simply build my own...
Don Bittle from
Date - Friday, March 27, 1998 at 10:13:19 (EST)
One month ago, I bought the tv special Pentium 333, 6.2gig,64mg,with Zip installed. A real hotrod. Very reliable and satisfying so far. No bad experiences. They got my order right. Have not had to use customer support yet. Highly recommended.
I may have to call them about a problem, unless someone has the answer?? My floppy doesn't just copy as instructed but it continues to cycle on and off forever. The light goes on. Noises
indicate that it is trying to do something. Any ideas?
PS, buy the 3 year on site warantee for $100.
J. O'Connor from
Date - Tuesday, March 10, 1998 at 18:13:35 (EST)
Best PC I have had yet!!!
Every 2 years I need to get a new PC not only because of the ever changing technology but my position in Business requires me to stay on top of the technology.
Nov. 97 I got my Dell Dimension 300 xps and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Never a conflict and the friendliest sales staff (haven't needed anyone from the help desk yet) 8-)
Dos and Windows software installs error free and all my extra peripherals too. Programs like Commanche and Commanche free ran problem free... Hardware like my Xtreme video card installed without me having to edit any settings... these were problems I had had with 2 machines in my past.
I have tried: Compaq, NEC, HP, Gateway, even Packard Bell. None
of these companies even come close to the quality Dell provides.
I was even impressed when reviewing the drivers, Dell installed the latest. That is almost unheard of. With my history of PC's this was truely a sign.
Dell has been written is several magazines only to promote great
I would recommend Dell for the quality, price, kindness and service. Check out there web site at www.dell.com and put together your personal PC and get real time pricing too.
Dell = A+
Larry Orsak from
Port Moresby, Other
Date - Saturday, January 31, 1998 at 00:24:09 (EST)
I bought a Dell Latitude because it was top-rated as exceptionally heavy duty. The first indication I had that this wasn't strictly true was when the two screws that attach the little stand-up pegs at the back bottom of the laptop kept working themselves out, and I had to keep screwing them in.
Then the AC adapter came apart within 4 months after I really started lugging the computer around. I faxed Australia from Papua New Guinea (where I live) about getting a replacement, and they said 'no problem' and could even replace it free, that I should just let them know where to send it. The fax implied that they could have this out in a flash. Since I was heading to Australia for a couple weeks at the time, I gave them the Australia address.
After a few days, I called to find out the status of the replacement adapter (since it had not arrived) and found out it had not been shipped. I ended up talking to 4 different people in technical support, with all kinds of promises to get back to me, etc., which never happened. Finally, they shipped it, saying it was an overnight courier service. That service took 5 days.
The AC adapter lasted exactly 3 days until it broke. I was fed up with how long it took to get the first adapter (nearly 2 weeks), because I desperately needed to be working on the laptop during that time. So I faxed the USA Dell and asked them to send me another adapter, to a USA address. I said that instead of worrying about a warranty replacement, that I would be happy to just buy it (that way, I would have a spare), but that time was of the essence.
When I arrived in the USA, I found that there had been no response from Dell, nor had there been any shipment of a new AC adapter. This whole affair started the end of December, and it is now almost February 1998, and I've faxed them once again the shipment slip that was with the AC adapter that came to me in Australia, etc.
From all this, I have concluded that Dell's technical support for anything out of the ordinary is terrible. They simply don't respond, or they promise they will respond, then they don't. If I had purchased another Toshiba, I would definitely have had a new AC adapter long before this, because I could have found SOMEWHERE that stocked it and could provide it immediately.
Incidentally, I accessed their web page (on my last battery charge, before the computer died, after the AC adapter broke) and tried to order a new AC adapter from their on-line service, but failed to find a way to order anything but a whole computer, or non-Dell peripherals. Another strike.
After all this, I would NOT buy another Dell.
Dave Nelson from
Date - Sunday, January 18, 1998 at 19:14:09 (EST)
My wife and I bought a Dell XPS233 two months ago and are relatively happy with it. This is our first system and after much shopping around, talking to people, and research we got a high performance system at a great price. There have been some minor compatibility problems that have been worked out through Dell and Microsoft. My main complaint is the way in which telephone support is obtained. When I called Dell telephone support and entered my express service code I got a recorded message that support was too busy and that I should try again later. The method that got results was to use the automated diagnostic option and, after it was apparent that the problem couldn't be solved that way, I was connected to a support technician. Interestingly, while helping look for a system for my sister-in-law, the Dell price can't compete with the Gateway price for what she wants (the reversal of the price situation when I bought this system).
Steven Strong from
Date - Tuesday, December 30, 1997 at 05:44:21 (EST)
I attempted to purchase a Dell computer at Christmas time. Dell
screwed up my order twice in the last month and it was never shipped.
Now I have to chase down my money order that they have cashed, without
ever sending a computer. Because I am only a small cog in the wheel
of life, Dell chooses to take there time finding my money.
BEWARE OF DELL!!!!!!!!
Marc O'Mara from
Date - Tuesday, November 04, 1997 at 19:41:12 (EST)
I recently purchased a used Dell Latitude LX and am extremely
pleased. Although this is not the most modern machine I own,
it blows away my Compaq and IBM. Dell's tech. support is to notch
and will never buy anything but, again.
Date - Tuesday, September 23, 1997 at 15:41:56 (EDT)
Anthony Ragan from
Los Angeles, CA USA
Date - Thursday, May 29, 1997 at 12:32:12 (EDT)
We bought an Optiplex P166 in Summer 1996 for use
as a CD-rom and GIS station. We've been very pleased with
it. The machine has worked well out of the box and, when we
needed tech support, it was readily available (though that may
reflect the differences between tech support for educational
accounts and private users)
The tech support problem involved a failure of the "daughterboard." (The raised part of the motherboard) I got through to tech support within minutes and they promptly agreed to replace the part. It was here in two days and installed
flawlessly -- the computer has run fine since.
We also bought their Ultrascan 21" monitor. It's not bad,
but the colors seem a bit washed-out to me. But that
might be a function of the onboard video.
My one complaint was with sales. Getting a return phone
call or fax fromthe sales rep, C. Cobuzzi, was like pulling teeth.
If we were to do more purchases from Dell for our library, I'd ask for a different saleswoman. That's the only complaint, though,
and I would certainly recommend Dell for educational
or private purchases.
(I'll likely be treating myself to one of their P2's soon. :) )
Alan Becker from
Lansing, MI USA
Date - Thursday, May 01, 1997 at 13:49:29 (EDT)
We have over 40 desktop Dell computers ranging from 486/66
through 166Mhz Pentiums. We also have around 20 Dell Latitude
I will try to give you both the good and bad of my experiences
with Dell computers and Dell as a company to deal with.
All the machines are very reliable. The most
common point of failure has been the monitors. Dell recognized
the problems and has changed vendors for their monitors. The
monitors currently being sold are very reliable.
I have had very little problem with Dell sending repair parts in
a timely manner. I have however had difficulties dealing with
some of the tech support people; especially if you happen to have
Windows NT installed on the PC. Specically, they tend to blame
every problem on the NT operating system instead of doing sound
Next Business Day onsite repair for the Latitude laptops has been
outstanding. The only problem that I experienced was a battery
that never arrived even though the shipping company said they
delivered it! Dell's response was, "When the part shows up
somewhere, we'll send out another battery." I blew my top about
this and demanded to speak to the manager; still no joy. I ended
up having to speak to our sales rep. to get another battery
Overall, the equipment is top notch, extremely attractively priced,
service is above average (there are bad apples in every group) NO
OFFENSE TO THE MAC CROWD!, and their web site is helpful in
Dell remains high on my "RECOMMENDED BUY" list.
Happy Computing, Alan :-)
John Parkinson from
Irving, TX USA
Date - Monday, April 28, 1997 at 16:30:22 (EDT)
We use (a lot of) Dell notebooks and (a few} desktops throughout
our organization (25,000 people and computers). About 90% of our
machines are Dell. We keep careful reliability records (both before
and since we standardized on Dell). The Lattitude Notebook series
has been almost 5% points more reliable in (ab)use than were the
machines it replaced (a mix of NEC, Toshiba, IBM and Compaq). We
have been very pleased with them, especially the Pentiums and most
especially the latest PCI bus models.
Desktops have been average, but we only have 1,000 or so as a
statistical baseline. No great advantage here over the Compaq
workstations we also use.
We don't use the PowerEdge servers so I have no comment on these.
Dell's Web site (www.dell.com)is a great place to get info. and
quotes (and order a system), although it can be slow at peak times.
Most computers I use at work are Dell Optiplex models. We've had very good luck with the old Optiplex line (XMT 5100, for example), although the on-board video isn't terribly fast.
We've been buying the new Optiplex models (rounded case - Optiplex Gxi and GxPro models) and they seem to be very good.
I've been using an Optiplex Pro GxPro 200 for about a month and it's been a very solid system.
One caveat - the Dell DIMM's are not quite standard. In this model Dell uses unbuffered ECC/EDO DIMM's. Dell's documentation doesn't mention this peculiar choice and the Dell support techs I talked to didn't know of any peculiar features. I tried two DIMM's from a local vendor before we found out (from a Kingston Memory rep) which DIMM's to use. Most systems use buffered EDO/ECC DIMM's or unbuffered EDO DIMM's.
I've had good luck getting replacement parts for Dell machines - one failed motherboard was replaced overnight and was easy to install.
The new cases are a little strange looking but the internal design is mostly tool-free and it's very easy to get around to various components.
Overall Dell seems to have very high quality. We have about 700 Dell machines at this site and they rarely have any hardware trouble.
Driver and BIOS updates are regularly offered on the Dell web site.
Anthony E. Cellini from
Bloomington, IL USA
Date - Tuesday, March 25, 1997 at 04:45:54 (EST)
First off, for anyone who asks me to recommend a computer, I
immediately say buy Dell. They do cost a little more (they're
getting better about this), but the extra few bucks is worth it.
I just received my third Dell system in about 8 years and have
always been am still happy as a clam.
A TALE OF THREE COMPUTERS.....
First system was a 386SX. This system was the best of all three.
After 4 years of constant running (I never turn my system off), only
component that went bad was a 3.5" floppy drive, and this failed
in the 4th year. I sold the system to a friend and I think she
still uses it to this day for word processing.
Next came a 486 DX/2-66. A little more trouble with this one, but
Dell came through with flying colors with their onsite service.
Basically a "no-boot" problem that after replacing almost every
system component was tracked to a faulty keyboard by accident.
Monitor went south (display area started shrinking) after 2 years.
Sold it off and bought a Sony 17".
Finally, two weeks ago, I received my new P200-MMX system. Nicely
loaded 4.3GB HD, 64M ram, #9 Imagine 128 w/4M, 12X CD, AWE32. Works
flawlessly out of the box, however, the problem with this system lies
in actually GETTING the system. Ordered on a Tuesday and was told
it would be shipped the following Monday and received Wed. Called
sales rep. on Tuesday to confirm shipping and was told that it had
not yet shipped and would ship tomorrow (Wed.) and arrive Fri.
Called again Thurs. to confirm shipment and was told there was an
enginerring hold on the #9 card of 20 days. Said that I MIGHT cancel
the order bt to leave it as it was. Checked Web page order status
and was informed that the order had been cancelled. Called next
day to set this straight, but shipment still at least 20 days away.
Worked with sales person to get system with standard Virge card and
receive shipment of #9 separately when available. Following monday
I receive a single, small box from a regional distributor containing
one #9 Imagine 128 (?). Received entire system 2 days later, swaped video
cards, shipped the Virge back for credit, end of mail-order hell
story (except for the CDW order where I ordered Corel 7 and received
TextBridge for the Mac. Mail order reall does suck sometimes.
To make a long story short (even though it's already too late for that),
I would highly recommend Dell systems. They include high-quality
components (AWE32, IBM Deskstar drive (hot), SDRAM (EDO bites)), and
their sales staff and tech support simply can't be beat. If you're
ordering, ask for Jennifer Judge and mention my name and you'll
probably make her chuckle. She was the best part of the experience,
being very helpful and wanting nothing more than to make me happy.
Benjamin Ellsworth from
Santa Barbara, CA USA
Date - Friday, February 28, 1997 at 21:56:30 (EST)
This is an old story, but I think it deserves to be told again and again.
Our company purchased Dell Dimension 486/66's for software development.
We do 32-bit development, so of course it was on NT. Lo and behold,
one year after purchase, Dell customer support flatly states that they
will not support these machines if running NT.
They wouldn't even answer questions about the nature of the BIOS
configuration! They were completely unhelpful and often rude.
They would not send a fax stating this non-support policy. I wanted it
to make sure the purchasing agent didn't buy Dell development machines.
They refused to give me supervisors to talk to.
No computer that I ever sign for will ever again be a Dell.
We buy Micron now and are very happy.
Gary Huckabay from
Davis, CA USA
Date - Thursday, January 16, 1997 at 13:29:38 (EST)
I've had a love/hate relationship with Dell. Initially, when
I purchased my Dimension XPS133C in September of 1995, I was
very pleased with the quick delivery of the machine, and the
Nokia 447X monitor I ordered from DellWare. But I had serious
problems with the machine, and Dell twice failed to deliver on
their "Next Business Day" service, even after spending upwards
of an hour to even talk with someone in tech support. Their
remedy to me for failing to live up to their promise? Extension
of the Next Business Day service for 30 days. That's right --
they extended a promise that they failed to keep for failing to
keep a promise. On one occasion, their failure cost me a
contract. However, since about October of 1995, I have had no
problems whatsoever with the machine. DellWare was unable to
replace the defective monitor, however, and I was forced to
buy a Nanao F2-17EX from an outside source. I'm glad I did.
I would consider buying another Dell, but I'd certainly look
elsewhere. They're a damn sight better than Quantex, though.
Richard Ross from
Provo, UT USA
Date - Tuesday, January 14, 1997 at 16:03:36 (EST)
I bought a 75 MHz system from Dell a little over a year ago. I
have been pleased with it overall. I recommend Dell to anyone.
I have a couple of reasons for being happy with my system. It
has always worked with no problem (as I would expect it to), and
it has little features here and there that make it extra nice.
For example, the cover to the case comes off with one thumb screw
and no tools. This makes expanding the system easy. Another
example is the system for mounting drives. Dell has a nice
proprietary rail system. It means you have to get the rails from
Dell, but they are nice to use.
My only gripe is that the Dell monitor I have has button controls
that get stuck. I don't know if this is enough to warrant getting
a different monitor, but it is something to note.
William C. Woodson from
Charleston, SC USA
Date - Wednesday, January 01, 1997 at 18:25:51 (EST)
I bought a Dell P60 a year and a half ago and I have had no problems at all. I also bought a Dell P100 and P133 for work and they are the only computers at work that have not had any parts break. I recommend Dell computers to anyone who is interested in purchasing one.
John Hutchey from USA
Date - Saturday, November 09, 1996 at 13:22:34 (EST)
I ordered a new XPS Pro200n on 10/7/96 and was notified that there could be up to a five week delay before shipment. I received my computer on 10/29. Everything is just great except the (mini-tower) case is pretty flimsy if you ask me. My last tower was a Zeos and it was really heavy-duty (all metal construction). The new Dell design is mostly plastic with some metal for shielding. However the interior is very neat and well laid out. Performance is excellent.
I also took the upgrade to the 17" trinitron monitor. I am very satisfied with the display quality.
Josh Prieur from New Orleans, LA USA
Date - Thursday, November 07, 1996 at 20:15:47 (EST)
In the past 5 years I have bought three computers, all of them Dell One of them is now 5 years old and I have not had a single problem with it ever. I once called tech support to find out what I was able to upgrade and how. I waited about a minute and the most helpfull tech rep I have used to date was on the line. He not only helped me decided what I would need but he faxed me a list of the products and where I could buy them. The other two I have had no problems with at all. Dell is, in my opinion, the best computer company out there.
Timothy A Bolt from
Date - Friday, September 20, 1996 at 22:52:30 (EDT)
I bought a Dell Dimension XPS P100c with 16MB RAM and a
1.0 GB Hard Drive in November, 1995. At the time, the price
of about $2,500 was very good considering the expensive
software included (MS Office Deluxe with Bookshelf and the
Dell SOftware Suite). The bottom line: The computer is a great, well-
at, well-built machine and has given me no problems. The
software that came with the package did not arrive for
over 2 months afterthe computer & I've NEVER reached Tech Support.
mpls, MN USA
Date - Sunday, September 15, 1996 at 22:49:37 (EDT)
Bought 2 for work.
Easy to work with phone sales, estimated 2 weeks delivery.
Received in less than one week.
Everything was configured properly, and worked right out of
the box. Extremely easy to setup. Quality monitor, tower
case, motherboard. Was almost as easy to set up as a Mac.
(but far better to own, right?!?)
I added a network card, very easy, no problems.
I am very impressed so far.
(Only had them for 2 weeks)
John Grohol from
Columbus, OH USA
Date - Wednesday, August 28, 1996 at 10:19:20 (EDT)
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