Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Dear Oh Dell....
I'm a bit of a luddite with many things technical. The computer games I grew up with were "Pong" and, well.... "Pong". But I pride myself on the fact that I have just about mastered an iPhone (although I'm not sure it was worth mastering) and I'm not too bad at some basic networking. We also run all our phones over VoiP with a great Irish company called Blueface and can therefore make "local" calls from here in Slovenia.
Occasionally I miss some calls, but most people then use voicemail - that's what it's there for! I get a bit suspicious when I can look at the call history and see an "unknown" number calling repeatedly, but not leaving a message. Today I happened to answer a call from one of the many recent "unknowns". Turns out it was from Dell - to tell me that the 1 year warranty on a Dell PC I purchased exactly a year ago is about to expire - today. I was told that the "motherboard" might fail, the graphics card could take a heart attack, the processors could seize up (can they seize?) - anyway, all sorts of ailments were about to hit my PC - but of course I could take out an extended warranty (at a special price of course) to protect myself against this Armageddon of computer bad luck that was heading my way as soon as the crappy 12 month warranty expired.
And that's the problem. I can buy a car with a seven year warranty included - and that has thousands of moving parts and will jolt along the Irish roads year after year. But I can't buy a computer in 2011 without the manufacturer being confident enough to offer a warranty beyond 12 months? So much for advances in technology. The only moving part in a computer (I think) is a fan - what's the big deal about making the rest of the stuff robust enough to last with some form of certainly beyond 12 months....?
And as for the people calling continuously to offer this extended warranty with all the warnings of failure, doom and gloom - what does that do for Brand confidence? I'm certainly not that confident about buying Dell again if they're that worried that I really need an extended warranty.
If I were Mr. or Mrs. Dell (is there still one?), I'd get the people off the phones straight away and get them doing something more useful - like working on how to ensure their computers might just make it past their first birthday.......