I know there are many people on this group who are knowledgeable about
computers, hence the question.
Got a flyer from Dell Computers a while ago offering what seemed like a good
deal on a new PC. SWMBO decided we needed one.
Four phone calls, two e-mails & several visits to their web site later I
still can't seem to buy it at the price on the flyer.
A quick Google search reveals loads of bad news about their service.
Am I better off leaving them well alone?
have you looked at the LaptopRepairShop by the Tiger Moth / Toys-R-Us ?
They sometimes have interesting deals, and my experiences there have been
AFAIK Dell are OK, as long as you don't want to upgrade the PC much.
Personal experience has been at work, where they must have given a good deal
on large numbers of PC,
and repairing laptops, which are prone to the power socket failing (repair
is resolder socket, cheap but takes time).
We recently bought a few from Misco, cheap and cheerful, but OK since we
didn't need to modify.
CCL Computers, Dabs, Scan, Novatech seem OK generally.
PC World might be worth a look, they sometimes have bargains - but be sure
you know what you are getting.
Have you thought about getting one custom made ? The bare-bone systems are
sometimes worth a look.
(not far away in Walderslade!)
I've bought several Dells in the past, and indeed do recommend them to
others as I think they're good value. Not the best, but I do think you
get a lot for your money. I used to build my own but it's just not
worth it these days (for me at least).
I've found their customer service to be excellent although having said
that I've never had anything go wrong so I probably haven't really
tested this side of things.
They do often operate a potentially complicate discount scheme require
all various codes etc in order to get the system advertised on a flyer
via their website, and indeed they do seem to slip in the paid-for
support as standard so you need to remove that to get the price you
What's the system you were after? Have a look at
- they list all the latest offers generally available (via click-
through links but they're quite open about it).
One thing I would advise is *not* to 'upgrade' the PC as part of the
customisation process, e.g. for additional memory etc. It's far
cheaper to purchase that separately (e.g. from Crucial in this case).
In article ,
"The Medway Handyman" writes:
I know a few people who buy Dells. The buying of the systems
and actually getting what you thought you'd ordered seems to
be the hard part. You have to check the proposed system
configuration very carefully as they seem to like to miss
things off which you were expecting. They can have quite good
offers when they're trying to sell off their older ranges to
make way for new ones.
The post sales support when they go wrong was reported to me
as good. The engineers who turn up don't know much about what
they're doing which means they end up replacing much more of
a broken system than they need to and take longer than they
should, but they did repair in all cases. Don't expect the
data on your hard drive to be saved, but I don't have any
sympathy with anyone who does anyway.
I wouldn't personally buy a Dell for a desktop system -- I
prefer an anonymous white box system built with good industry
standard parts. Laptops however have no such concept.
I generally recommend avoiding buying laptops unless you
really need them -- they come at a substantial price premium,
and are much more difficult and expensive to repair and expand,
and tend to have a significantly shorter life.
Desktop machines have typically been OK, IME. Service was OK as well
Laptops I found the build quality not to be great. Paint tends to
wear off easily and laptop soon looks shabby.
If service is important to you, then I think that HP is a better
choice. Build quality of laptops is better than Dell.
In message , The
Medway Handyman writes
Dunno. After a bed experience with Evesham we bought a Dell laptop. It
arrived early, worked out of the box and has given no trouble in 6
months of use.
Don't their flyers have a code which you type in to find the particular
offer? Do you want to buy that particular offer? Why not use their
web-site to choose exactly what you need?
On 4 Jan,
SWMBO and son have both had computers from Dell's website. Son has had
several. They seem pleased with them. The thing is to look at the website to
see what is on offer, rather than from a flyer. The offers seem to vary
daily, so what you see today may not be available tomorrow.
Myself, I build them either from stuff from computer fairs or a local dealer,
or one of the internet suppliers, usually ebuyer or dabs.
from "The Medway Handyman" contains
Not me. I only have half a clue. But I do have a Dell.
I even persuaded my BiL to go for a Dell but I wouldn't give that advice
again. He had to use the telephone service as his old PC froze
attempting to order. Needed a constant argument with a pushy sales droid
to get what I thought he needed and he still ended up with a higher
price than the on-line order I could have got for him.
The on-line ordering system has endless upgrades you can specify but
most default to the basic scheme. However when I placed my order I found
I was (IIRC) £150 higher than expected. I eventually tracked this down
to some expensive training package where the default was to include
rather than exclude which was to say the least deceitful.
No where near as bad as the lying toe rags at the now defunct Tiny or PC
There are plenty worse. I haven't as yet needed to consult their
technical support for myself but I have on BiLs behalf and the first
level support seems to be little more than a robot but the supervisor
eventually spoke to was very good .
There's normally a special code on the flyer you have to use. And you
have to get exactly that spec.
Dell are normally pretty good, we use them for all our desktops at work,
and I'm using a Dell monitor right now.
I've only had one experience of dealing with them, and I won't go back!
Friend's new PC system - arrived on time and complete. So far so good. But
CD/DVD RW refused to read any disk; made strange groaning noises but never
spun the disk up to speed. I quickly realised a fault with the drive was
quite obvious, but when I eventually got through (after around 20 minutes on
hold!) to some poor bloke in the Indian Sub-Continent it took a further hour
and six minutes to decide I was right. Many episodes of editing the registry
and rebooting later he agreed to dispatch a replacement drive for me to
install. I installed it and it immediately worked. If Dell had applied a
little quality control it would never have happened and I wouldn't have
spent around an hour and a half (and about £3.00 of my friend's money) on an
0845 number waiting to talk to someone in India :-(
That place that was BJM Power Tools? Opposite Homebase? Bought a Makita
router there about 20 years ago - still use it.
Thanks I'll pop in, I thought they only did repairs.
Don't tell Mr Firth! He will accuse me of trying to drum up business:-)
I was there today actually, just behind Morrisons.
Dave, give me a call to discuss tomorrow. But you are buying your a
laptop at a great time as most stores have not sold as many as they
wanted leading up to Christmas. Indeed, DSG, the owner of PCWorld
issued a profits warning
upshot is that prices are very good.
I have used a Dell in my last job and carried it around the world and
back and forth to work every day and it was very reliable, as most
laptops from any reputable make are likely to be. Biggest issue is far
more likely to be software related and most companies response to this
is for you to put in the recovery disk which will re-install the
operating system and could lead to you losing data if you haven't been
The other advice I would give is to make sure the system has 2Gb of
memory, any less with Vista and it will be sluggish. Many stores were
selling systems earlier inthe year with 512Mb when memory was costlier
and these would hardly work at all. You could upgrade the memory as
suggested in one post, but there are several companies doing machines
with 2Gb for great prices.
I would also suggest that you try and get a pc for =A3400 or less.
Something like this
should meet your
needs. I certainly couldn't envisage this laptop not being able to do
anything you could throw at it like video editing etc. If you pay
more than this, you are likely paying for a smaller laptop, which is
unecessary, unless you are carting it around everywhere.
The good thing about getting it from PCWorld is that you can go in a
make a fuss (this I know you can do) if it is not working and quote
the Sales of Good act etc.
Hope this helps
What's the issue with upgrading?
We have 2 Dell desktops and a laptop at the moment at home, all have
been excellent and I've never regretted the purchases (which is why I've
been back to them twice).
The most 'senior' of them has now had its life extended with upgrades of
memory, hard disk, TV card, DVD drives and monitor without any problem.
In article ,
If you're talking about a desktop why not build one? You'll save some
money, get a machine that is exactly as you want it and know how to fix it
if it goes wrong. I did this for my first ever PC about a year ago.
In message , "Dave Plowman (News)"
I'm not sure you'll save money, there's always the temptation to up the
spec a bit
At the end of the day, you 'l get the machine you want not something
that's not quite
Also, you should have better compatibility with the rest of the world
than Dell (like memory expansion)
Just before xmas I got a HP with 2G RAM and 120G HDD for about £350 from
Staples. I bought it there partly because I wanted to run Linux on
it. Although I'd booted it off a Knoppix live CD in the shop that didn't
seem to bring up its wireless port, but when I discussed it with an
assistant he pointed out that they have a 14-day return as-new for money
back thing going. There was also threw a 1G USB stick for £3 since I was
spending over £50 (IIRC).
I overheard a sales droid in Staples telling this to a customer and
assumed it was hype to sell better specced machines. My desktop at home
has 1G and is quite happy with 4 users logged in simultaneously (though
only one active at a time, so much of the other users's stuff will be
swapped out). Its predecessor had 256M or 512M (forget which) and sagged
noticeably with more than 2 users logged in. This is with everyone using
the KDE desktop which is reckoned to be real bloatware... in Linux
terms at least: evidently Microsoft is well ahead in that particular
 Linux/Open Source equivalent to the windowing bit of windows, but
you've really got to think of the Windows 3.1/95/98/ME family where the
windows bit was separate from the underlying system (in that case DOS). In
Linux the graphical environment is entirely separate (and on servers may
not even be installed) and one has a choice of several, with different
looks & feels.
When I was contemplating buying a laptop recently I asked on our local
Linux Users Group. One of the regulars there offered this (which I hope he
doesn't mind me forwarding here):
Only a few companies manufacture (some of) their own laptops. I only know
of Lenovo (who used to manufacture for IBM, of course) and Toshiba
(high-end models only).
Everyone else (Dell, HPaq, Sony, Acer, Apple, all the second-tier vendors
like Viglen, Rock and so on) has their models designed and built by
Taiwanese ODMs such as Mitac, TwinHead, Compal, Wistron, Arima, Uniwill,
ECS, Asus, Clevo or Inventec). Some (Apple, Sony) exert a greater degree
of control over the design and QA than others. Superficially, F-S's
machines appear to be somewhat unique, which suggests that may also be in
this group. By contrast, the smaller vendors were almost exclusively
selling Clevos when I last looked in 2002. Reliability is always going to
be hard to quantify, since non-specialist/non-expert reviews will probably
conflate hardware reliability with software reliability (i.e. Windows).
 Fujitsu-Siemens, which I was asking about at the time.