Lazy Days at the Villa and Dell Support
It’s Thursday, already? That just seems crazy. This vacation is flying by pretty quickly, and before you know it, I’ll have to get off my butt and go Christmas shopping. Yes, I know I’m crazy shopping at the last minute. It means I have to pay the “last minute” tax, since most places it’s already too late to shop online and get shipped on time – I’ll have to shop… *dramatic music*… in TOWN.
Yes, unfortunately finances have me not able to finish off my Christmas shopping until this weekend. Which means at some point I’ll have to get away from Mom and go get her present. She has told me what she wants, but I don’t know if that’s what I’ll get her or not. I also haven’t heard anything from my sister about what she wants for Christmas, so she may wind up with something completely random.
So, you might be asking yourself, what does a Raging Tech do with his vacation time? He talks to Dell tech support. I realized what the problem is with Dell – if you’re frustrated with them. Most… MOST of the people I talked to Tuesday night were competent people. It was just a series of small mistakes on their part and being transferred and on hold a lot that started to get to me.
Here’s some lessons learned from that experience, that may help you out if you call them for support:
- Read the entire web page for their contact information before calling.
- If you call the technical support number and can’t get the system to recognize your Express Service Tag number, they will automatically transfer you to a switchboard operator. Give them your EST number and let them transfer you.
- If you have printer problems, primary technical support can do nothing for you, even if it’s a Dell printer.
- Look on the web page, there’s a direct number for inkjet printer support. Call that one and avoid all steps above.
- Even if it seems ridiculous, they know their product better than you do. If they want to do a remote connection and control your computer, let them work and do it their way until everything works the way you expect it to. You can customize things back the way you like them afterwords.
Basically the problem I ran into was that I wanted to setup mom’s wireless printer with a static IP, because that makes the most sense, but apparently Dell’s software goes completely berzerk unless you use their setup program and let it install it’s proprietary protocol (not the standard TCP/IP port) and you can’t view ink levels or use the “Scan to Computer” function. So I let the Dell support guy use their Citrix-based remote assistance program to take over the computer, and he showed me how to setup everything correctly. It’s not that I didn’t follow directions so much as the directions that came with the printer were insufficient. He was also nice enough to make sure I setup the other computers in the house too, before hanging up.
All in all, I give Dell Support a thumbs up, once you get to the right person.
Other than Mom’s car battery dying yesterday, that’s about all the things I’ve seriously done so far. I’ve been watching a lot of TV, hanging out online, and text messaging. Tonight I’m all alone at the house, I’m not sure what I’m going to do besides hook up the Playstation 3 and try to play some video games on mom’s old TV. If you have any suggestions on fun things I could do, or cool web sites I could get lost in for hours, leave a good comment below!