COMPUTERS: Praise, Gripes and why Rick Strahl should move to Australia

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Rick writes about his frustration with Dell courtesy of his new notebook. Well, I’m glad to say I have had the exact opposite experience. My new Dell turned up a few weeks back (on the exact day they said they would deliver it no less) and all worked fine. The only issue was a slightly noisy fan sound. It didn’t really bother me until Castro at work took delivery of his and I noticed how silent his was. I ummed and ahhhed about whether to bother going through the Dell support rigmaroll.
 
But I did. And man, was it a pleasant experience. The Support dude was very polite and intelligent (and understandable) and patiently walked me through a series of steps to isolate the issue. Video fan he thinks. But to be sure he is going to get the video fan and the motherboard fan replaced. He confirms my location particulars and informs me a technician will call me in the next day or two. Yeah right, I think. But, sure enough, I get a call later that day to tee up a time for the technician to arrive on site the next day. And then a technician does turn up the next day. He is professional, polite and efficient. He replaces the fans in a matter of minutes, goes through all the checks and then waits until I have logged in and am happy. And the machine is silent.
I ask him if it is busy this time of year. Yeah, flat out he responds. I’m amazed.
 
I’ve been using Dell for years and this experience has now locked me in as a loyal customer for many more years to come.
 
So, Rick, you need to move to Sydney. The waves are great here, the weather is especially beautiful from September through to April, and with our Prime Minister in the process of turning Australia into another American state (I’ll save that gripe for another post) you’ll feel right at ‘home’. But best of all you get unreal Dell service. Oh, and did I mention the waves…
 
But for every high point it seems there has to be a counter-balancing low point. And in this instance the loser of the year is McAfee with their SecurityCentre product (anti-virus, firewall, etc). It is a very easy to use and nice looking product, but it is always trying to re-Verify its subscription status. OK, so this might be a little annoying, I can deal with that. But it has the bonus feature of disabling itself whilst it waits to re-Verify.
You can imagine how scary it is to come down in the morning and find that my notebook has disabled it’s firewall and anti-virus whilst it waits to re-Verify.
 
OK, dumb problem, there must be a knowledge base issue or work-around. Nothing on their web site, so I email their support centre. The advice I get is lame -> reboot in safe mode, completely uninstall McAfee and then re-install (hello! this is a brand new machine) or insulting -> a link to a web page telling me how to re-enable the firewall.
 
So, McAfee, time is running out for you. As soon as I find a good replacement you’ll be gone. I’ve had many problems with Norton in the past so I won’t be using that. I’m thinking of trying ZoneAlarm for a bit, but  I’m open to suggestions.
 

6 comments

  • I’m in the market for a laptop, and till I read Rick’s post, I was 99% sure it was going to be a Dell Inspiron 9300 with the 17 inch UltraSharp Widescreen Display (HP is second on my list), but one thing Rick mentioned in his post is
    Dell didn’t include the CDs containing the laptops pre-loaded software. That bothers me.

  • I’m in the market for a laptop, and till I read Rick’s post, I was 99% sure it was going to be a Dell Inspiron 9300 with the 17 inch UltraSharp Widescreen Display (HP is second on my list), but one thing Rick mentioned in his post is Dell didn’t include the CDs containing the laptops pre-loaded software. That bothers me.

  • Dell might be different here in Oz. My notebook came with all the applications on CD aswell, including Windows XP Pro and Microsoft Works (mind you that was one of the first things I removed). All the Media Experience and other app software was included. To be clear, I haven’t opened the CDs to check everything is there and will reinstall, so this is only an indication. the one item that I don’t think was included was a CD with the McAfee security centre stuff, but you can guess about how disappointed I was about that :-)

  • Dell might be different here in Oz. My notebook came with all the applications on CD aswell, including Windows XP Pro and Microsoft Works (mind you that was one of the first things I removed). All the Media Experience and other app software was included. To be clear, I haven’t opened the CDs to check everything is there and will reinstall, so this is only an indication. the one item that I don’t think was included was a CD with the McAfee security centre stuff, but you can guess about how disappointed I was about that :-)

About Craig

I'm the co-host of HubShots and the CEO of XEN - helping mid-large B2B companies with their digital marketing and lead generation.

Craig Bailey

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