When I got to my present job, over nine years ago, I continued with the Dell machines I knew so well from my previous employment.  The relationship has been a decent one, in that I place orders and I get computers.  Even when the computers are bad, Dell makes good.

Not so much lately.

In fact, Dell is pretty close to the top of my excrement-list these days.  I am at a total loss as to how Dell allowed this to happen.  We had some really great reps over the years.  Lately we’ve had more than a few.

But I don’t think this is a rep problem: I think it’s an institutional problem.

Let’s start with the web page.  I have done many first-class rants about Dell’s website – just do a search.  This website could infuriate the pope and more than likely get him to change his religion.  It has a shopping cart that is specially made.  It has holes in it, so that by the time you have configured a bunch of pc’s and a server or two, they have fallen out of the cart.  Yes, the site tells you the cart is empty.

I have spoken to many web specialists at Dell.  One was so bold as to tell me it was my corporate firewall.  Dell isn’t really fond of FIrefox either.  Mind you, the problems are not consistent, other than the fact that there are always problems.  The search function is strictly random: I once did a search for COMPUTER and came up with nothing.  Dell seems to realize that there is a problem with the site but nothing ever gets corrected.  It’s slow and difficult on the best of days. Frequently, in the middle of an order, the site will just tell me it can’t find the page.  This is across multiple browsers on multiple operating systems and multiple computers.

I tried twice, because I don’t learn my lesson, to order the Mini 9 netbooks.  Twice they screwed it up badly.  I only received one after three months and finally canceled the other.

I ordered some pc’s last month.  The site can’t tell me where they are.  Neither can the rep, even after I sent him Dell’s order number.  Someone told me the order was lost.  Someone else said it was on hold.  Meanwhile, pc’s I ordered after these have already shipped.  Dell believes I should check my orders to see if anything hasn’t arrived.  For some reason they don’t feel like doing it themselves.  I’m fairly tolerant but this is enough to send the Dalai Lama on a rampage with automatic weapons.

I have spoken to my rep.  I have spoken to my rep’s boss.  I have spoken to the area rep.  My company purchases quite a lot of equipment from Dell yearly.  And I can’t get anything approximating service from these people.

And they never even sent me so much as a birthday card (not that I wanted one).

My company made one inquiry of a competitor, who wants to fly us out to meet their vendors and figure out what will work best for our company.

Dell, I was a great cheerleader for many years.  I’m through complaining.  I will continue to tell people how I feel about Dell, only it won’t be as flattering now.

Dell, take these computers and shove them.

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P.S.  I just got confirmation that Dell lost a week’s worth of orders.  They expect me to fix the problem.

I could spit bullets at this moment.