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Dell repair adventure, day 4, with updates

Here's today's update in the continuing saga of our hero's attempt to get his Dell laptop back up and running after it died an ignominious death while he was on the road last week. For those who haven't been following his adventures, posts Dell adventure begins again, day 1 and Dell repair adventure, day 3 will bring you up to speed.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor on

Here's today's update in the continuing saga of our hero's attempt to get his Dell laptop back up and running after it died an ignominious death while he was on the road last week. For those who haven't been following his adventures, posts Dell adventure begins again, day 1 and Dell repair adventure, day 3 will bring you up to speed.

On day 3, I received a computerized call telling me that the part that the Dell team thinks will fix my machine, the motherboard, was on backorder. This call did not offer a time in which either the part would become available once again or when the repair under the "next day, onsite" service contract would be performed.

Later that same day, I received an Email message from the technical support staff telling me that the part has come off of backorder and that I should get a message telling me that it had been shipped and a tracking number for the package.

Here it is day 4 and I've received no message indicating that the part has been shipped. So, it is very unlikely that a repair person will show up tomorrow with the part and fix the machine. Since my travels to Citrix's and VMware's analyst events are coming up in the following weeks, delays now might mean that the machine won't be fixed for the better part of a month.

My biggest fear is that the good folks on the technical support Email desk have misdiagnosed the problem and that a replacement motherboard will not be sufficient to bring the machine back to life. If this occurs, like my last adventure in Dell Land, they'll force me to ship the machine to the depot. Last time, that added 10 days onto the time it took to bring the machine back from the dead.

Oh, by the way, the tech pointed out that the fine print in the service contract made it clear that part outages were a possibility. As with my "coffee in the keyboard" experiences, Dell attempts to change the rules followed by the industry as a whole in the fine print. While some computer users are also attorneys, most are not. Most will make a purchasing decision based upon their previous experiences are with "next day, onsite" service contracts. The expectation is that a person will arrive on site the next day having 1) the skills to diagnose and repair the problem, 2) the parts necessary to repair problem and 3) the tools necessary to do the work.

Do you agree that this is a reasonable definition of "next day, onsite?"

12:25 PM ET Update

I just received an Email message from Bob Pearson, VP, Communities & Conversations of Dell telling me that his organization is doing its best to resolve the issue I'm experiencing. I appreciated the message. I'm still concerned about the concept that a "next day, onsite" contract rolls out as neither in the real world.

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