GW2K or Dell?

spober at spober at
Mon Dec 8 00:04:23 EST 1997

Michael Dargan wrote:
> We're about to upgrade some of our public Internet access stations from
> various models of 486s to Pentiums.  We've had good luck with a couple of
> Dell Optiplexes used by staff.  However, I can get Gateway E1000 series
> machines for several hundred dollars less than similarly equipped Dells.
> I'm interested in hearing GW2K E series stories, praise, gripes, etc.

Don't buy Dell!  

>From fewer than 10 Dells bought 2 years ago, we've had either 3 or 4
HD failures.  The tech support on them was mediocre.  A source here 
told me that there have been a lot of HD failures with the other 
Dell computers on campus as well.

A more recent purchase was 4 Optiplexes delivered to our institution 
in late summer (during the UPS strike).  The delivery service asked 
our employees to take the boxes off the truck, and when they demurred, 
the delivery service driver THREW the Dell boxes off the truck. Since 
there is almost a 4 foot drop from truck to ground, the library refused 
delivery on them and asked Dell for a replacement.  We did not open the 
boxes and asked Dell to take them back.

It took over a month for the replacement shipment to come in.  When it
did, one of the machines had a hard drive failure within it's first day
of use.  When I called the company for a replacement HD, I was told that
the warrantee started on these pc's in August - the day the other 
*refused* shipment was tossed off a truck!  I asked that the warrantee
begin the date the replacement shipment arrived.  I was told that a 
supervisor refused to approve the change in warrantee date because
we had never proven that there was anything wrong with the original
shipment. (!)  We did get the warrantee extended, by going over that
supervisor's head, but that move should not have been necessary, IMO.

They took three and a half months to arrange the return transport for
the original shipment.  The boxes dominated one colleague's small 
office during this time.  We made repeated requests for pickup, with
no response during this period.

The computers came with network cards but NO network driver software.
When I asked for this to be sent, I was told to download it off their
website (and it took the tech about a half hour to find what the correct
file was and where it was on the site - time I had to spend on hold
awaiting this info...)   I downloaded the files, and then when I had 
installation problems, the support techs were baffled and  wasted
huge amounts of my time NOT solving the problem.  Fortunately a kind
support tech at 3com solved the problem in 10 minutes (though he warned
me that he wasn't really supposed to be answering that sort of question,
as the support for the network cards should be coming from Dell <sigh>).

I am convinced that that last order of Dells was cursed from the moment
the first computers were tossed off a truck.  And if *I* had any say in
it, those would be the last Dells to cross our doorway.  However,
the company is top rated for service and reliability, yada yada yada.
Not HERE - but SOMEWHERE there seem to be a lot of people who like them!  

Glad you asked! :-)

 Stacy Pober			   Internet: spober at
 Information Alchemist
 Manhattan College Libraries	   Phone: 718-862-7980                    
 Riverdale, NY 10471	     	   Fax: 718-862-7995                    

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