How my computer turned to bacon, and how Dell fixed it.

I have a Dell XPS laptop. I like it. It’s small, really powerful, lightweight and is pretty sturdy. It also is a small, nuclear facility which sits in my lap and burns human flesh. Last week, it got too hot. Extremely, very, seriously, too hot. And burned out the graphics card and motherboard. Boo-hoo.

Well, it was still under warranty – a two year standard XPS warranty. So, I called support and they took remote control of the machine and tried to fix it with a few Bios and driver updates. It still smoked and smelt of sulfer. I called back, and they simply issued a new hardware replacement and sent someone on site to install it. Now I’m back up and running.

You are thankful, I know. Maybe you’re not. So why me share? A few reasons.

First. Dell still has it. It might be buried and lost within one premium product line, but they still come across as a bunch of knowledgable 20-somethings who will do anything to get a machine delivered and working. Yes, this might just be my experience. But it was a notably positive one. They didn’t put me through some painfully long prompted script of dumb questions and tasks which anyone and their mother would already have tried prior to subjecting themselves to 800 number support line hell.

Second, IVR technology has finally caught up with human emotion. I swear a lot and hate the damn phone trees and IVR. It will be where I am probably sent when I die. Inside of an IVR program. This time, I got stuck in a circle not knowing what to push, pushing something then exclaiming “God damn it!!!” Amazingly enough, the IVR computer on the other end recognized my frustration and instantly said “Please hold, we’re connecting you immediately with a support representative”. That was incredibly funny, and an incredibly good investment on Dell’s part.

Third. They sent a really cool guy to fix the machine. He told stories. He completely took apart, fixed, and reassembled this machine in about 25 minutes and still managed to weave his tales. Good guy with an amazing talent for this work.

Oh, this second item also made me think it’d be great if there was a website which told me what numbers to hit prior to getting sad when using these IVR systems. Alas, there are about 100 of them and this one seems good. God bless these souls. Bookmark the page.