Well, the replacement monitors arrived this morning.
Yes, TWO of them.
Two great big lumbering frickin' CRT monitors.
Which I don't want, don't need, and had not asked for.
So I phone Dell.
Stop number 1: I get hold of a woman at customer service. Tell her the story twice, and she still seems woozy on the details. I finally snap at her, and she tells me not to snap at her if I want to be helped. Dear GOd in Heaven, do you see a halo on my head? Who wouldn't snap??
Okay. after about half an hour (amazing! a new speed record!) we get this sorted out. THey are coming to get the offending monitors, within "24-48 hours". (it's Friday. Read: Monday. At the earliest. Probably Tuesday, if we're lucky.) "You will not be charged for this, Ma'am," she says sweetly, as though she was doing me a huge favour. Gee, thanks. If I had been you'd have heard about it.
But what about my original problem? "I am not authorised to deal with this, ma'am. I have to put you through to our tech support department."
"But I have already SPOKEN to the tech support people. For nearly two frickign hours. Two days ago. That's what got us into this mess in the first place."
"I'm sorry ma'am, I am not authorised to deal with this. I will have to put you through to the tech support people. Please hold."
Muzak. For ten minutes.
"Hello, this is Dell tech support can I help you."
"Can I have your express code, customer number or case number?"
I give her the case number.
"Can i verify some information?" (and she goes through the whole rigmarole again. Phone number. Email address. the lot.)
"Okay, ma'am how can I help you?"
I tell the story. Again.
"Can I put you on hold to pull up some more information?" (please remember this sentence. I will call it Jasper.)
Muzak. Twelve minutes.
"Thank you for staying on the line ma'am." (remember this sentence too, I will call it Flossie.) "You have such-and-such a system."
"What is the problem with the monitor?"
Muzak, I've stopped counting the minutes.
"Flossie. Our system shows that your computer was dispatched with a CRT monitor."
"Sigh. I KNOW THIS. But the monitor that was attached to the system was a Dell LCD, NOT the original monitor."
"Flossie. I will have to transfer you to the correct department. Could you just hold on for a few moments?"
"No, wait, I... don't put me on hold..."
"Hello, this is the tech support deparment, may I have your express code, customer number or case number?" (I should name this sentence too)
(grinding teeth) "I was just transferred from someone else who had the case up on teh system."
"I have to have the case number, ma'am."
I give it.
Okay, let's skip the next go around. You know how it goes.
I eventually get a supervisor dude, one level up from the rubes. They ask for the serial number of the LCD. Twice. Maybe three times. There are lots of Jaspers.
"Hmmm. But you gave us [insert sustem number here]. What was the serial number of the monitor again...? We show that as attached to a different system, [new number]"
Penny drops. I DO have a second Dell.
"Yes, that would be correct," I say.
"Well ma'am, how do you expect us to help you when you give us teh wrong information?"
I am speechless at this. I gave them the serial number twelve times. If they finally found it in their records NOW couldn't they have done this, like, in the geginning...?
This time they are away for long enough that I begin to fear that I have lost them completely, and that this entire rigmarole will have to be *repeated*. I am on the verge of tearing my hair out by the roots. But they come back eventually, not surprisingly, with,
"Flossie. Can we verify your address?"
I do this.
"Okay ma'am you will be receiving a new monitor within five business days. Is there anything else I can help you with?"
"No, thank god."
"You have a nice day."
Total duration of call: 101 minutes.
I am now exhausted.
If I EVER buy another computer from anywhere rest assured that it will not be these guys.