Sunday, April 16, 2006

Rising From Computer Hell for Easter

Our wireless connection has been AWOL for a week and I’d been avoiding calling Dell “Support” (euphemistically named) because I knew it was going to be frustrating, but I didn’t know how frustrating. Yesterday I spent SIX HOURS on the phone with Dell before the problem was solved.

After spending 45 minutes on hold, it took another 45 minutes of troubleshooting before the Dell tech concluded (surprise!) that the problem was not with Dell hardware or software but with the modem that Comcast had supplied. The tech said he’d be happy to transfer me to the sales department so I could purchase technical support for the modem, and did so before I had a chance to sputter any objection.

I finally convinced the sales guy I was already entitled to tech support, so he transferred me back to tech support. Every time you talk to one of these guys, they write up a report and assign you a case number so the next tech can look up the report so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. But every damn time, they ask you the exact same questions and have you try the exact same things the last guy did.

I talked to the second tech for almost an hour until I got cut off because the battery on my phone died. He hadn’t figured anything out, but at least he wasn’t blaming the modem anymore. He had managed to disable our virus protection, though. He should have called me back after we got cut off but he didn’t so I had to call back and jump through hoops again so they’d let me talk to tech support without paying for it.

I then talked to a third tech until my phone died again. This time the guy at least called me back and I gave him my cellphone number so he could call back on another phone. He said he’d call back in five minutes, but it was yet another tech who called back. I think the other guy had decided I’d gone through enough hell and he’d finally give in and connect me with someone who knew what he was doing, because Jonathan, the last guy I talked to, knew what he was doing. By now I’d spent five hours on the phone.

Jonathan also had more tools at his disposal. He was able to connect remotely to my computer and see directly what was going on. He found my lost virus protection and reactivated it, cleaned up a bunch of screwy settings, and finally—after six hours—found the problem and fixed it. For the record, he deleted the DNS server addresses after “Use the following DNS server addresses” (found under Wireless Network Connection Status Properties, Internet Protocol Properties), and instead checked “Obtain DNS server address automatically.” That fixed the whole problem! It took about 30 seconds.

Happy Easter!

1 comment:

Beverly said...

I'm glad to hear you were resurrected. At least you can vent for a while on the blog since Dell is not interested in your woes with their product. People so useless to corporations the moment we're no longer handing our money over to them.