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Submission + - Getting What You Paid for from Dell

Barabbas writes: "So, I like Dell computers. I think they run well if you don't abuse them (like everything else) and I've had reasonable success with customer service...until today. Last March, I purchased an Inspiron e1505 with a lot of pre-installed software extras (I had to spend a certain amount in order to get a refund). These programs were not out of the ordinary: PowerDVD, Sonic MyDVD, and Paint Shop Pro. Turns out, I did not receive the installation media for these programs. I read around online and the general consensus seemed to be that the installation CDs for these programs had to be requested separately (even though you pay for them when you buy the system).

Let me outline my request process (my thoughts are in parentheses):

Call #1:

Dell Rep: Can I please get your service tag?

ME: Sure, it's blah blah.

Dell Rep: Can I verify your name and address?

ME: Sure, it's blah blah.

Dell Rep: What seems to be the trouble?

ME: Well, it seems that I have a few programs running on my laptop (name the programs) that came pre-installed on my Dell and I do not have the installation media to re-install them. I would like to request the installation media.

Dell Rep: So, you need the drivers to reinstall the software?

ME: (Drivers are for hardware) No, I need the CDs to re-install these programs.

Dell Rep: Ok, I'll transfer you to technical support.

Waited forever on hold until hanging up.

Call #2:

Same interchange about address and blah blah.

Dell Rep: What seems to be the trouble?

ME: Well, I need the installation media for blah blah blah.

Dell Rep: Ok, let me transfer you to Electronics and Accessories.

Waited forever on hold until hanging up. I found out later that this person must have thought that I wanted to buy these programs, since this is what the department she was transferring me to does.

Call #3:

For the love of all that is good, my address and service tag have not changed!!!

Dell Rep: What seems to be the trouble?

ME: (Your company's helpdesk is incompetent.) I need the installation media ....

Dell Rep: Alright, sir, I can help you with that.

ME: (SHOCK) You can?

Dell Rep: But, first I'd like to know why you're re-installing.

ME: (VOMIT — it's my computer; what do you care??) I would like to change my system configuration.

Dell Rep: Yes, but is your system running slow with adware, pop-ups, viruses? Has

something been corrupted?

ME: (Gee, no one ever just re-installs their OS for no reason, I guess). Everything is fine — hardware is fine. Software is fine. I just want the installation media. I bought this software when I bought the system and I want the disks so I can re-install it.

Dell Rep: Ok, sir, what you need to do is purchase the Software Warranty and then a Support Specialist (what does that make the guy I'm talking to?) will connect remotely to your system and put it back to the way it was when you received it. Would you some time to consider purchasing the Software Warranty?

ME: (Ya, right — brain exploding) No, I don't need any time to consider it. I'm not buying anything. I've already PURCHASED the software when I bought the laptop. I just the need the CDs to re-install.

Dell Rep: Yes, sir. If it can be verified that nothing is wrong then you will not pay anything (that doesn't even make sense). Otherwise the Software Warranty will be eighty —

ME: Don't you think that if I already bought the software then I should have the right to re-install it??

Dell Rep: Ok, sir, I'm going to transfer you to customer care and you can lodge a complaint with them.

ME: (internally furious) Are you following procedure?

Dell Rep: Yes.

ME: Then tell me why I've called twice before and not been given an hassle and now I'm being told that I have to buy something?

Dell Rep: I'm transferring you now, sir.

Put on hold. Hang up.

Call #4:

Blah blah blah...

Dell Rep: What can I help you with today?

ME: (Well once upon a time, I was young and I decided to call Dell, that was many years ago...) I need some CDs...

Dell Rep: Let me see what we can do about that... > Ok, sir, you're going to have to purchase those programs separately. When you purchased the operating system, you did not get these programs to keep forever.

ME: (this is ridiculous) That doesn't make any sense. If I purchased PowerDVD from some place like Best Buy, then I would have a disk and I could re-install it all I wanted — I own the software. When I bought this system, I purchased the software. Doesn't that make sense.

Dell Rep: Yes.

ME: (AAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHH). Just transfer me to customer care.

Dell Rep: Alright, one moment.

Customer Care finally understood basic computing and was able to help me get things sorted out. I listed the part numbers and the software and they are sending them to me in the next 3 — 5 business days. My experience matches with a lot of other people's experiences with Dell systems. It used to be that when you purchased a computer from Dell that you received the software for everything on that system — not anymore. If you have purchased a Dell and don't have all of the software installation CDs (WARNING: all of the applications that came with your Dell are on the Dell Drivers and Application Recovery CD), then call Dell Customer Care directly at 1-800-624-9897, ext 7266966. Have your original packing slip in hand and tell them that you want the CDs to the software that came with your system (after figuring out what you're missing)."

Submission + - The Unreliability of Email

geekmansworld writes: "Our business is entirely dependent on e-mail to function. We have our own server and maintain it scrupulously to make sure we optimize legitimate receipt versus deletion of spam. All our major clients' domain names are SA whitelisted to avoid blocking. Increasingly, we've had trouble receiving messages sent through certain ISPs. We've poured over the mail logs, but the messages never even got to our servers (we have primary and secondary MX). It's no secret that spam is overwhelming these days. I wonder, is e-mail now so unreliable that it's a dead medium of communication? How are other server admins coping with email recently?"

Submission + - Get your Firefox add-ons while you still can

PetManimal writes: "Mozilla is getting ready to relaunch the Firefox website on Monday, and when it does, several thousand extensions will be culled from the list. From the article:

... The site will drop marginal add-ons, as well as those no longer maintained by their creator or not updated for the browsers and e-mail clients now in use. A couple of hundred extensions will remain on the site after Monday.

Submission + - Apple Orders Music Night to Cease and Desist

Sonic Engineer writes: "iPod Monday, a night at Des Moines, Iowa bar The Lift, has been asked by Apple to cease and desist using the iPod name. iPod Monday allows patrons to bring in their iPods (or other digital music players) with 15 minute playlists and play them over the bar's sound system. The curator of iPod Monday, Clint Curtis, asked Apple repeatedly for use of the name, and sent Apple updates on the night's homepage, The night has run for approximately two years with Apple's knowledge. It has generated a lot of free publicity for Apple in the area, so why shut it down? Full story at icle?AID=/20070209/ENT/702090400&lead=1"

Submission + - Microsoft Castigated over stolen Xbox360

tlhIngan writes: "I'm no Microsoft fan, but a recent article from New Zealand castigates Microsoft for not providing details in a timely fashion over a stolen Xbox 360. The console was stolen sans brick... er, power supply. The thief goes and calls Microsoft support to get a new power supply sent. Victim of theft calls Microsoft to report theft, and finds out the Xbox360 was registered by the thief. Police ask Microsoft to hand over the thief's details, but Microsoft refuses until a court order is obtained. The article blames Microsoft, saying if they just rolled over and handed the information over, everything would've gone much more quickly, but they had the gall to demand a court order. Crook or not, there is something inherently wrong when police can just demand information without going through due process, and even hated companies like Microsoft get flamed over their insistence on process."

Submission + - kqemu released under the GPLv2

Michael Opdenacker writes: "Fabrice Bellard, the author of ffmeg/libavcodec and the qemu emulator, has released the 1.3.0pre10 version of the kqemu accelerator kernel module. This kernel module makes it possible to run the i386 and x86_64 system emulator at close-to-native speeds when running qemu on the same processor architecture. According to the NEWS page, it is now licensed by the GPLv2!

kqemu was first released under a proprietary license, but Fabrice promised it would make it free when a company funds his work. Though no company name was disclosed, Fabrice kept his promise. That's an event many people have been waiting for for a long time. Now, it is easy to run another operating system from Linux, with very good performance and only using Free Software! Time to sell WMware shares?"
Media (Apple)

Submission + - Music Labels Grumble About Job's Anti DRM Missive

Thomas Hawk writes: "The RIAA and the music industry have taken the bait. After Job's earlier anti-DRM missive this week, the recording industry has responded as one would suspect, with criticism. Unfortunately for them, this is all part of Job's marketing genius plan that would seek to align would be Apple consumers with a popular anti-DRM message. Will the recording industry be forced to drop DRM in the end? usic-industry.html"

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