Sunday, October 26, 2008

5.5 hrs later

I started a post at 6 pm tonight. Then a strong wind blew through, with thunder and lightening. Suddenly a red light was flashing on my laptop - the battery charging light. Thinking there was maybe a short, I pulled out the power cord. The laptop shut down - clunk. It wasn't a graceful shutdown at all. Not a dribble of battery power to keep the laptop running. Something fatal had happened to my battery, according to the diagnostics on the Dell website.

My laptop is under a 4-year warranty. People who know me know why I take a full-coverage warranty on my laptop. I don't have the best of luck, apparently. So I called Dell. Put in my express service code. Got a woman on the line, just as Swiss Chalet buzzed me to let them in (we ordered chicken dinners, delivered - didn't want to go out in the horrible weather). I asked the woman to hold on a minute while I answered the buzzer, but when I got back to her, she was gone.

After we ate, I called Dell again. Put in my express service code. Got a guy on the line, and when he went to bring up my file, he apparently disconnected my call. I called back. Put in my express service code. Got a guy on the line who said that I had called the wrong number and gave me a different number. I called the new number. Put in my express service code. Got a guy on the line who listened to my story and then said that I was speaking to Dell US, and needed to call Dell Canada. I had called Dell Canada to start with, and they told me to call Dell US. I was starting to get that helpless feeling of being put into an endless loop. The US guy transferred me to Dell Canada.

Once again I put in my express service code. A woman answered the call, and after listening to my story and realizing I needed a battery shipped to the US (where I'm headed in the morning), she told me that she could only ship to Canada, and I would have to call Dell US. I told her that Dell US had just told me I needed to talk to Dell Canada, but she insisted she could not help me and I would have to plead my case with Dell US. She gave me a number to call.

I called Dell US. Put in my express service code. I got a woman who listened to my story but then told me she could not help me. Dell Canada would have to help me, and here was the number to call. I had been patient up to this point, but I could feel myself getting irritated and sarcastic. I told her that Dell Canada could not help me, and had specifically referred me to Dell US and had given me the number that led to her. She wouldn't budge, so I was left with nothing else to do but hang up. Dell was clearly not providing Service Excellence to its customer.

Called Dell Canada. Put in my express service code. Got a woman on the line, and before we even got started, I told her that she was about the sixth person I'd spoken to, and that I'd been shuffled and disconnected and "PLEASE don't lose me". She heard the desperation in my voice and thus began Dell's Service Recovery process. "What is your number in case we get disconnected?". "Let me put you on hold while I look into this for you". Etc...

One hour later, after being on hold multiple times, and performing various diagnostics that all led to the same conclusion - it was determined that I needed a new battery. Charissa informed me that my warranty on the battery was only good for one year, and it had expired in March. She gave me a number to call in the morning to order the battery for delivery to Oklahoma, where I will be this week.

I went online to try to order the battery at All went well until it came time to pay. I could not use PayPal payment method because is not set up to take non-US payments via PayPal. So I tried to pay by Visa, but insists on having US state/zip instead of Canadian province/postal code. Dead end.

So I will try again tomorrow. With a human on the phone. But if anyone asks for my express service code I will scream. I got anything BUT EXPRESS SERVICE!!


Ann said...

So sorry you had so many problems...hope you get it all worked out today!

Life's a Beach! said...

I feel your pain Sue. I suspect I'm having battery problems with my laptop right now, only mine's an HP. My last one was a Dell. They used to say "Thanks for choosing Dell" right before they hung up on me. Hope you get it straightened out today!

Islagringo said...

I feel your pain. This whole thing of having a Mexican address, American credit card, is so irritating when trying to get anything done. The best thing you did, which I always tell people to do, is get the name of the person you are talking to!

jeanie said...

I have constant probs with my server Bell. It takes about 4 countries and 8 peeps to get anything resolved. LOL Wayne I'm always asked the name of the last person I spoke to. It's usually Habib or something with no vowels. Sue I know the frustration you feel.

Sue said...

Ann and Beck - I don't know what's going on with Dell as a company, maybe something similar to what happened with Gateway, which is why I switched to Dell in the first place. I really just wish I didn't have to depend on computer equipment at all, life would be a lot less stressful.

Wayne - I'll have to let you know what happens since I have a Canadian billing address, have to order from a US company, and then ship to Mexico. Odds are I never see anything, but my credit card will be hit with the expense.

Jeanie - there are times I really cannot understand the service or technical people I'm working with very well. I don't want to be rude but I often have to ask them to repeat what they said. I just did the Dell survey for the recent service, and one question was if I had problems communicating with the technician, so I think it's a common problem. I probably sound the same here when I try to hold a normal conversation in Spanish - my grammar just isn't where it needs to be to speak in anything other than the present tense, although I try.