Someday I'll be back on track (maybe)

laptop keys

Last week, when I said I was getting back on track, apparently I lied. It was a false sense of progress.

As I explained last week, I’d had to get a new laptop because my old one was dying. The first one I got, a Dell, had a defective touchpad that stopped working during the setup process. After two and a half days of working with Dell to try to fix that, I finally took it back to Office Depot and got a new one. The second one was also a Dell – I was willing to assume that this was a fluke and give them a second chance.

I do have to add, though – I was not impressed by their customer service. My initial encounter with them wasn’t that bad, but after we lost a connection, they asked me to give them a date and two hour window during which they could call me to fix the issue. I told them between 3-5 on Friday, October 16th. When did they call? 6:30 on October 21st. And then, when they didn’t get me, sent me an email saying that they called “on the date and at the time I gave them.” Yeah, not even close.

I brought home the new Dell, got it set up, and things were good. Mostly. I was having little issues, but they all seemed to be related to my hands hitting the touchpad as a worked, so I chalked it up to getting used to a new laptop and didn’t think much of it.

Until Friday morning.

I got up and turned on the laptop, did my usual quick morning check of email and Facebook and got to work writing. Except then the laptop froze. They do that, I know, so I gave it a few minutes. Five minutes pass without a change. So I try Alt+Ctrl +Del, because that usually works to either get me to the task manager or restart the computer. Except it doesn’t.

Ultimately, I hit the power button to turn it off, then tried to turn it back on. This got me a black screen on which I could see and move my cursor. But that was all. And that remained all. Twice I managed to get a screen indicating Windows couldn’t load properly and giving me options to try to fix this, but mostly I just keep getting this black screen.

When I did get the screen indicating it didn’t load and giving me options, none of my options worked. Restoring to a restore point failed, restarting did no good, running diagnostics claimed that there were no problems – a blatent lie considering that I couldn’t even use the computer at all. Resetting didn’t work either.

In the end, I packed that puppy up and took it back to Office Depot, where the girl behind the counter remembered me from last time. That made it a little easier as I explained the new problem and that I wanted my money back so I could get a different brand entirely.

They convinced me not to go elsewhere, but I did get my different brand. I now have an HP. The guy that helped me get the new one almost lost me because the only computers he could show me were $30 more expensive, and I wasn’t willing to spend the extra cash at that point. I was prepared to go elsewhere, where I had found a brand I was familiar with and for the same price (or even a little less, depending on which one I chose), as the Dell I’d just returned. But when he saw he was losing me, he offered me an even exchange, getting rid of the additional $30. That was what convinced me.

So far, we’re doing good. Setup ran smoothly, everything is functioning properly, and I’ve yet to have a single issue, even mild. I won’t relax until we get past a week of use, though. But I have high hopes for this, and feel like the third time really is the charm here.

As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, thanks to the disaster that happened with the second laptop, the book I was working on was not backed up to the most current moment, and I lost the whole thing.

My conclusion about Dell: They used to be a very good company, but not any longer. Their products are unreliable and rather expensive for it, and their customer service needs a lot of improvement. I won’t be buying another Dell, nor will I recommend them to anyone.

Now, I’m off to continue writing and try to make up for all the time I’ve lost over the last two weeks.

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