GW2K or Dell?

Gina A. Emory gina at
Tue Dec 9 14:17:05 EST 1997

I agree wholeheartedly that one should check with local computer dealers
rather than just buy blindly from large mail order houses like Gateway,
Micron or Dell.  Once you establish a good rapport with the local guy, you
might be pleasantly surprised by how willing they are to meet your specific
requirements, including pricing.  With a local dealer, you can specify
exactly what parts or brands of parts you want and if something goes wrong,
you can get right in the guy's face if he doesn't make it right immediately.
I have always loathed working with mail order companies since you generally
have to go through a couple of levels before you get real satisfaction when
you feel you've been treated poorly.

Now, I will say, my comments come as a result of having been on boths sides
of the issue.  I am the technology manager of a county-wide library
district, but have been "the local guy" in this area for years as the owner
of a computer sales and service business.  When my price wasn't quite as low
as Gateway or Dell's price, I could at least tout the personal service I
provided as worth the extra money.  It was, and I gained many loyal
customers, many of whom still call me for assistance and recommendations.
As one who also did "on-site service" for Micron, Packard Bell, Gateway, and
Dell, I know exactly what "on-site service" means if you are not in a big
city.  It means some third party agent gets shipped replacement parts based
on the information the customer has been able to provide tech support.  He
schedules an appointment with the customer to swap the parts, makes the
swap, and leaves.  If your problem is not solved, you get to call tech
support again, hoping the next time the problem will be solved.  I was a
little different than the average on-site service person.  Since I do live
in a small community, I often spent much of my time diagnosing the problem
for the customer, and would often call tech support myself and get the
correct parts shipped out.  Needless to say, I am not overly fond of the
large mail order houses and firmly believe that any user who puts PC's
through as many paces as libraries and their patrons do, would be much
better served working with a good, reliable, knowledgeable local vendor with
whom they can get face to face.

Just my two cents worth.

Gina A. Emory
Technology Manager
East Bonner County Library District

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