Ever since I wrote the Motherboard Chronicles, I've heard a LOT of feedback from it. The story has been linked on all sorts of sites, including the most famous of them all, Fark.com, as well as ThisIsTrue.com which features one of the better known Dell horror stories on the net.

I'd say that, on your average week, I get no less than 3 but usually somewhere closer to 10 emails specifically about the Dell story. Below is the most recent, and is very typical of the sort of messages I get about it:

Mentally Incontinent - A Joe The Peacock Book - Feedback Mail

Sender's Name: Chuck P.

Message: I just read about your experience with the Dell Inspiron 8500. I had the same problems with it locking up -- as have about 200 other people from reading their support forum -- but Dell would not work with me on the issue -- as they did with you. They wouldn't even take it back under warranty to check it out. I'll NEVER buy a Dell again, and if I ever met Michael Dell in person, I'd probably go to jail for assaulting him. They took my money and gave me an unreliable computer in return.

Man, I cannot say it enough: I HATE DELL. Truth be told, I have actually had more dealings with them since writing this story, and each interaction is more painful than the last - half due to the history i've had with them and half due to the fact that it really seems like they people at Dell are getting DUMBER as time goes forward. I don't quite know how that works... Maybe there's something in the water in both Texas and Bangledesh, I don't know. Maybe they play subversive ultrasonic messages in the office music. Whatever it is, everyone I talk to on the phone seems utterly incapable (that's right - not just incapable, but utterly incapable, like they've been practicing how to be incapable for a tournament sometime) of helping me on even the most rudamentary of issues.

For instance, up until last Thursday, I had a Dell Business account that had this mysterious 30 dollar balance on it. Where did the 30 dollar balance come from? Well, it seems that several months ago, when I was in one of my standard fits of rage with them, I decided to just pay them off and get them out of my life. I pulled from another budget and sent in the balance we had on the account, but as fate would have it, we were ONE day late with the payment. Thus, a late fee ensued. Of course, they never sent me a bill reflecting this, since I didn't have a balance (seriously, that's the explination the guy with the thick accent gave me. Three times, as luck would have it, due to my inability to understand him). Dell just kept tacking on late fees on this late fee, as well as acruing interest. Five months and 30 dollars later, I get a collection notice in the mail.

I'll cut to the chase - I dialed SIX separate phone numbers given to me over the course of seventeen phone calls. Total time on the phone - two hours, twelve minutes. And the final resolution was so utterly simple - go back to the original payment, wave the late fee, and voila - problem solved... But not before I explained to the poor guy on the phone that I was about three seconds away from exploding and creating a gigantic mess for the cleaning crew to deal with.


*Pant... Pant... * Ok. Anyway. We closed the account and never, EVER again will I or anyone I work with or for do business with Dell. Ever.