Thursday, October 06, 2005

Dell-icious? Pt. 2

So I've had my laptop for just over a year now. At some point during that time, one of the little rubber feet that go on the bottom of the laptop fell off. Then more recently, like in the last month or so, two more of them have fallen off. I would attribute this probably to the heat emitted from the bottom of the laptop drying the adhesive that is on them and causing them to detach.

Anyway, the lack of 3 of the 5 rubber feet has led to my laptop sitting very wobbly on a flat surface. So I decided I'd call Dell and see if I could find some replacement feet for it. Thus began my ordeal.

First I called the general purpose service line (1-800-WWW-DELL) and found out that because my computer had been purchased through an employee purchasing plan, I would need to speak to someone at a different number that handled corporate accounts.

I called this number only to find that it was only available during regular office hours. When I finally got around to finding a time during regular work hours, today, I talked to someone who told me that they would be covered by my warranty, which I thought had expired a few months earlier. She transferred me to someone else who would help process my needs. This guy however, told me that in fact my warranty was expired and that I would have to pay for replacements myself. This was what I had expected anyway, so I was okay with that.

Anyway, he says he has to transfer me to spare parts. At each step along the way, I am transferred to a new phone mail system which requires me to listen intently and make choices based on what, in my situation, seem like pretty silly options (press 3 if you are having trouble with a wireless connector, press 4 if you have installed windows XP), and then do some waiting on hold. Finally I get to someone at spare parts and she tells me that yes, the rubber feet that I need are in stock, and that each one costs $4.95. $4.95 a piece for little tiny rubber feet!

Anyway, at this point, I still need them, so that I don't go nuts as my computer wobbles back and forth on my desk. So I say ok. All the while, she is trying to upsell me to buy some extra replacement feet, just in case, or an extra battery, etc. Do you travel a lot? etc. etc.

No, I say, I just want the replacement feet.

Ok. They're $4.95 a piece and shipping is $8.00.

$8.00! I say. For four little rubber feet that altogether surely weigh less than a pound?! You've got to be kidding me.

Well we do send it by UPS or FedEx.

I don't care. I don't need them rushed to my door.

Oh, and the kicker, expect 3 to 5 days delivery.

I think I could overnight four tiny rubber feet for less than $8.00.

Well that's our minimum shipping charge, that's why I'm trying to get you to buy a battery or something else to maximize your shipping cost, some garbage like that.

No, I don't want anything else. I just want 4 rubber feet. Can't you just put them in an envelope and mail them to me? They can't be damaged in shipping. I don't need them today.

Then she tries to get me to apply for their Dell preferred Customer Credit program. For $28! Just in case of what? In case my credit card can't cover $28?


Anyway, I just paid $28 total for four tiny rubber feet for my laptop that will ship by October 12th (a week from today) and after shipping will take 3-5 days to arrive. Amazing what you can buy for $8.00 worth of shipping. They better come in a box made of gold or something.


Adam said...

Man, you know that those 2 remaining feet are gonna fall off just as soon as your $28 replacement feet show up.

j said...

I know. I did get one spare one, but that was all that I could bring myself to buy. I kept asking if there wasn't an easier (cheaper) way to send four tiny pieces of rubber through the mail.

Adam said...

I just bought a USB and Firewire 3.5" drive bay faceplate that I plan on converting to use in my car for iPods and such (just power).

The part is $5.99 and the shipping is $13.00, so I was kinda forced to buy 2. I do that on all the time, it sucks.