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post #4 of Old 12-17-2004
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GPS & Computer

I''ll add to the comment on Dell.
We lashed out bigtime and ordered a Dell desktop and Dell laptop at the same time about four months ago.

Customer support was errr...patchy in terms of actally getting the features we wanted.
The boxes arrived.

The desktop worked fine, but did not contain some of the software we paid for (total lack of Office, either installed or in disk form) and unfortunate presence of Norton...which I specifically indicated I did not want. To make it even more special, Norton is locked into place with an admin code I was not provided with an so cannot be deleted and replaced with a decent Virus Killer. The emails and odd phone calls are still going on about getting that code.
Despite this, I am all-in-all happy with the desktop.

The laptop arrived broken. It would boot up fine, but would not load any new programs, would lock up and die after about five minutes of trying and finally, after about three hours of fiddling and attempted restarts and all the usual stuff one does to try to concinve the system to play nice...something inside it went phutz and the keyboard and mouse no longer interacted with the system, nor was the opening screen all-the-way loading.
So we got to have some more arguments with Dell, who *finally* and with somewhat poor grace came and honoured their committment on the service/replacement warranty (I was not going to pay the $70 to send it back to the base for them. I just suspended the credit-card payment and said "It is right here, please come and collect it anytime you wish to get paid"). Strangely enough they resolved their policies within about 30 hours and a nice courier turned up for it.

Sure enough, it had major hardware issues straight out of the box, had been built incorrectly. So I got told they would happily ship us a new one in only 4-6 weeks. I said thank you very much, but I am buying a Toshiba.

So now I have a Dell desktop I am mostly happy with, and a second-hand fully reconditioned ultra-tough toshiba with a full 2 year warranty that cost less then the Dell would have and has considerably more features as well as being essentially bullet-proof and with all its internals already "burnt in" for 10 motnhs it belonged to some governement department or other. I think I trust it more then this desktop I am typing on.

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