So my husband and I order a new computer from Dell a month or so ago intending this to be our new webserver that we have colocated in Virginia. Life being what it is with a 1 year old in the house, we haven’t had the time to finish getting it ship shape that we’d like. One of the things we need to do is outfit it with a second hard drive so that we can mirror the drives.
Unlike our Dells of old, this new machine has a proprietary case in which one must use a proprietary drive bracket to mount the hard drive. Despite the fact that the manual hints that a second, spare bracket should be included in the case, apparently it’s a separate part that one must order. $10 for a piece of blue plastic. Well, seems a bit much but fine. $8 shipping and handling. That’s highway robbery. an 80% markup to drop something into an envelope and mail it off is just absurd. But what can you do? Dell is the only place you can get this plastic and you need it to mount the hard drive. Fine. Grumble, grumble.
A couple weeks later, my package from Dell arrives and enclosed is a nice, shiny metal bracket. Not at all what I had very carefully ordered. This piece does not fit the case I have and will not work to mount the hard drive. Well, I’m going off to Arkansas for a week and have no time to deal with it until I get back.
Once I do, I have to deal (again) with Dell’s call center people in India. This in itself is not fun. I am informed that since the part number on the invoice matches what I received, I’ll have to do a return and reorder the part. This is where I get very nervous. What if whoever takes my order screws up again? I am dubious but again have no other options. I make a stink about this and am informed I’ll get the refund but don’t have to return the bracket I received. “I don’t want to keep the bracket I received,” I inform them. “I just want the one I need.” But at this point the person on the other end has pretty much tuned me out.
After dealing with the return folks, I’m transferred to the spare part order folks (again, located in India). I explain to them I need a blue plastic hard drive bracket. Not pink, not green, not magenta. Not metal, wood, not glass. The person takes my order and then puts me on hold to check something. The part I want is not available, which is why I was sent the metal bracket (which, as mentioned before, doesn’t fit). I am informed that had I ordered the hard drive from Dell, I would have received instructions on how to mount it (there’s probably a secret handshake or something). Well hard drives are not proprietary to Dell, and I wasn’t going to pay the extra $20 they wanted for a drive. So I cancel the order.
The next day, on a whim, I call Dell spare parts again. I order the blue plastic hard drive bracket. The nice Indian woman puts me on hold to check. Turns out, it’s available!! (Or so they claim.) I place the order.
That was last Tuesday. I haven’t received it yet, but I’m hopeful. But after all this drama, I will not be ordering any more computers from Dell. I don’t have the bandwidth to deal with all this hassle.