Ding Dong DELL!!!

RE: Recent issues with my Dell Inspiron 1150. . . . I think we’ve reached an acceptable (actually remarkable solution with Dell Tech Support, but I’m not going to hold my breath – – -it could be hazardous to my health to do so!

One of the problems has been around for quite a while – the external power supply. Granted, it started with a cat. . . go figure!! One of my fur-kids chomped mightily (without injury to whichever cat) on the power cord. We tried, twice, to replace the cord/external power supply with eBay purchases; although all of the numbers matched, my laptop refused to recognize either one of them! I’m not casting aspersions on eBay or their dealers – it turns out there are at least three “breeds” of Inspiron 1150 and each has its own favorite “voltage signature”!!! Our eventual solution to very frequent “low battery” messages (Hey! Wait up! I thought I was on house power!!) was good ol’ duct tape on the original cord!

Problem #2 is of more current vintage; either the external power port has magically expanded or the external power plug has mysteriously shrunk! (Parallel universes, anyone?) However this came about, it simply means that I am often running on internal battery when I think I’m on house power.

And then there are the cracks surrounding both hinges of the exterior case/lid/cover! The crack on the left side is complete. . . . .the one on the right promises to get there fairly soon. Since a total break would mean that my keyboard and my monitor would attempt to function as seperate pieces (succeeding badly, no doubt!) and my laptop is now my only computer (by choice), I’m becoming somewhat alarmed!

It was the latter issue which Thomas IV discussed via phone (clearly, patiently and at great length – long enough for MommaCat to feel terribly guilty) with Dell Tech Support while he was here in town on Saturday, April 22nd. It seemed to go well. Tech Support seemed to grasp the problem. A technician would bring a replacement part to the Blackburn homestead and install it some time this week. O.K. – This is progress! I received a call from the technician on Monday, arranging the repair visit for somewhere between noon and 4 PM on Tuesday. Yes!! The repair was actually going to happen before I was computerless! Or . . . . . . NOT!

Oh, the tech arrived on schedule, and I had daughter Shannon here as my personal “geek advisor” and moral support system. However, the average civilian seems to need an advisor, Irish subborness and a lot of armor when engaging in a skirmish with the Dell Technical Crew!!!
1) He brought the wrong part! Out of his hard-shell case, he withdrew a replacement frame for my screen!! No charge – this was covered by my warranty. Interesting. . . . I am still having difficulty picturing the usage which would make frequest replacement of this particular item a necessity. With suitable embarrassment, he promised to order the cover and return soon. I broached the issue of the external power source, but was essentially told that I was on my own (apparently, this isn’t a warranty item!) , although he said he would “look into it” for me.
2) A message was left on the house phone about 60 minutes later. The tech had “tried to order the parts for me, but *they* didn’t seem to think this was a normal wear-and-tear item, and wouldn’t fill the order”. O.K. Whaaaaat?? Which part(s) did I need to contact the Out-Of-Warranty department to order???? It took three calls to the tech’s cell phone yesterday and an (as yet unanswered) e-mail from Tom last night plus another call to the cell number this morning to get the answer; freely paraphrasing, I had misused and abused (and probably dropped from a great height) my poor lap-top, thereby cracking its’ case!!!!

Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that This Is The Point At Which I Went Ballistic!!!! While I searched my hard-drive for a “How to get past the computers to a person” list which I just KNEW I had saved (found it, too. . . hehe, anyone want a copy??), Tom III found a live Tech Support chat. The chat was lengthy – there was some initial difficulty in identifying which part was cracked – but (cross fingers, everyone!) the proper part is now On order – under warranty. Then, the chat script produced the following loaded, inviting, too-good-to-pass-up question; “Are you experiencing any other difficulty with this computer?”

Honest, folks – all Tom III did was briefly and factually report the external power source problem! Neither of us expected it to result in anything more than “Gee, sorry about that.” When it sounded (to me) like the tech thought the power port built into the Inspiron was loose, I asked Tom to make it clear that the plug which links to that port was loose. Whatever!!!

Too long a story – and I’m enjoying the telling too much to shorten it!! I really, REALLY hope the same Dell technician has to come out to perform the repairs, because:
—- I’m getting a new cover and
—-I’m getting a new motherboard!!!!!!

Cross fingers, please!

2 Responses to “Ding Dong DELL!!!”

  1. Thomas says:

    I’m sorry this this turned out to be such an ordeal. I thought the tech I hadon the phone understood what part I wast talking about. I can’t count the number of times I said, “back of the display.” Oh, well at least you’re getting a new mother board out of the deal. Maybe another one of your power supplies will work now!

  2. MommaCat says:

    Don’t apologize – we all heard your end of the conversation, and it was quite clear! Yesterday, when Dad chatted with someone at “Dell – New Delhi”, he had the same difficulty. . . . even when he repeatedly typed, “the COVER – the part which has the Dell emblem on it!” It took quite awhile for the light to dawn above the rep’s head!

    Guess what. . . a different tech (darn it!) showed up today. He replaced the mother board (Yay!) which also solved the ‘loose power port’ problem. However – – – – he had been given the wrong cover!!! Sigh!! He’ll be back tomorrow for another try!

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