You may remember the "Dear John" letter I wrote to my Dell awhile back. Well, after losing EVERYTHING -- work, photos, music -- on it a few weeks ago, I lost my mind. I called Dell to no avail. They treated me like complete pond scum since my warranty had already expired. The guy said I had to pay $129 to be transferred to technical support. I said this has been an on-going issue that has never been resolved over the million times I called while it was under warranty, and that I didn't feel like I should have to pay. He was a dick. "I get callers like you all the time who don't want to pay." I couldn't believe he said that to me. I explained that I didn't mind paying once the computer was fixed. He was rude and obnoxious. I asked to speak to his manager. He freaked and said he didn't have the authority to transfer me and that I had to pay him right now or he would hang up. I lost it. Words flew out of my mouth before I knew what I was even saying. By the time I hung up, I was shaking. And my computer was still broken.
An hour later I called back. Thankfully I got another guy who said he could knock it down to 50 bucks. Twenty minutes later, I gave up and coughed up the $50 just so I could talk to technical support. After three freakin' hours on the phone with India, we came to the conclusion that: (a) I was sold a 1GB memory when it takes 2GB just to run Vista alone, (b) a driver on my computer was corrupted from the time I took it out of the box.
Why they didn't discover either of these while my computer was still under warranty is a little fishy yet not surprising. The guy tried to reinstall the driver directly from Dell's site, yet it wasn't compatible. Then he laughed, said there was nothing else he could do, and referred me to someone else. He said if the next guy couldn't fix it, then I could send my computer in and pay to have it redone. I was beyond livid and to the point of tears. I was already behind at work because my Dell kept crashing, then I lost it all anyway and had to restart all my stupid projects. Just to have it crash AGAIN and lose it all once more.
I politely thanked him for his "help", said I wasn't about to sink another freakin' dime into Dell, hung up and grabbed my car keys. My palms were sweaty as I gripped the steering wheel, driving 15 miles too fast down the tollway. I whipped into the Willowbend mall parking lot. The store clerks at Neimans took a step back as I hurriedly walked past them, my hands balled into fists at my side.
And there is was, the dim glow of the Apple store. I didn't hesitate as I walked in. Five minutes later, a young guy in an azure blue t-shirt and Puma sneakers was mending the pieces of my lost mind. It was soooo refreshing to talk to someone who was passionate about the product. Who actually listened to what I was saying. Who didn't try to sell me things I wouldn't need.
An hour later, I waltzed out of there with a new MacBook Pro, a new wireless printer, a three-year warranty and a head full of knowledge. There's just something to be said for great customer service. And if I have a problem? I can just take it back to the store and talk to a real person.