I’m a dissatisfied Dell customer. Very dissatisfied.
For around fifteen years I wasn’t a dissatisfied Dell customer. I used Dells professionally and they were dished out by my company’s technical department. I had one laptop that had a problem because the battery overheated. I remember that that was part of some general Dell fault but it didn’t bother me as I was given a new laptop and the problem was solved.
But at the end of 2009 I bought a Dell Inspiron and it’s been more or less a total pain. When you click on a desktop item with the mouse, it opens a box offering a range of options. “Open” for example. The trouble is, when you click again, on “Open” for example, the command is executed on the icon lying behind the box associated with the item you need.
Which is pretty inconvenient. It means that you may be trying to open the ‘Internet manager’ to connect to the internet but you actually have no option but to open a picture of your partner sitting in the garden.
There’s no simple way out of this idiocy. You have to fiddle around switching the Inspiron on and off and moving icons around and it can take a good half hour to get online.
Equally, if you are trying to open that image of your partner in the garden you click and get a range of options including “Open” but when you click on the command it opens another file or program lying behind the image. Grrrrrrr…..
Almost whatever you do with the Dell Inspiron, in my experience, you get a problem. It’s like a laptop designed by people who have never used a laptop.
This evening I was online for a couple of hours and then closed the laptop down and went to see friends for an hour. When I returned, I couldn’t connect to the internet. I reinstalled the Orange (France) internet connection program from the original disc. It still wouldn’t work. The problem was that hitting the internet launch icon did nothing at all. Without opening the icon I couldn’t click it, so I couldn’t get online.
I switched the laptop on and off a few times. Reinstalled the program three times. Checked the lights on the Livebox were lit, meaning the WiFi internet connection was OK.
Still nothing but problems.
The “Tools, Options” setting was Working Offline. Why? I hadn’t set that option. I unchecked it and tried to connect again. The problem persisted. I looked at “Tools, Options” again. I’d just unchecked Working Offline and now it was checked again.
What the hell is going on with these internet non-connections?
From the user’s point of view – or this user’s point of view – the problem is infuriating. I don’t care whether it’s the fault of Dell Inspiron or Orange or France Telecom or a bit of all three. I pay for the internet and it should work. If it’s going to collapse when I nip out to see friends I want a message telling me why it went off and how to reconnect. But preferably I want it to work automatically without bothering me or requiring me to jump through weird internet connection hoops.
It’s not clear why the unholy trinity of laptop or PC providers, internet providers and phone service providers continue to feel they can make customers responsible for maintaining internet services. Each blithely says “Oh it’s the other one, or two, that’s causing the trouble.” They wriggle out of giving reasonable support to internet users by blaming one another.
But when we go and buy a hair dryer or a hoover we don’t end up with the manufacturer and electricity provider each saying “Oh it’s the other one’s fault the thing doesn’t work.” They know they can’t get away with that and neither should Dell and Orange/France Telecom.
I’m getting really really – really – sick of trying to connect to the net with this Dell machine. It should be very simple and sometimes it is. But fairly often it takes literally hours to get online and during those hours there’s no option but to fiddle around and try anything you can think of to try and get the connection that’s sometimes easily achieved.
It doesn’t help that I contacted Dell about the problems and got a bland and utterly useless “Dear Thingy, what’s the problem? Try this-and-this-and-this” letter and none of it made any difference.
Dell haven’t got any excuse with the dreadful Inspiron. They can’t claim they don’t have enough experience of making laptops and PCs. And yet they’ve sold a machine with a mouse that ignores the user’s commands and toddles off executing unwanted actions. It tangles you up in directions you simply don’t want to go in.
What on earth is wrong with the internet connection I can’t imagine. Why the laptop should disable the Livebox, switch the Tools setting to Working Offline and often refuse point blank to show the Internet Manager so that you can’t connect to the net I have no idea.
Maybe the Dell Insiron was an experiment. Maybe Dell let loose a bunch of enthusiastic schoolboys and said “Go ahead. Make a laptop.” Whatever the story behind the making of the Dell Inspiron, this buyer has sadly to report that it is a pretty useless, obstructive laptop. My experience has been that for every useful, convenient thing you can do with the machine there are five or six things that will crop up to frustrate you. Quite often the Inspiron simply ignores mouse commands. Shutting the laptop down for example can take several minutes as you need to click and reclick – and reclick – on Arreter (I’m in France) before the laptop takes any notice.
If the Dell Inspiron is anything, it’s uninspiring and downright awkward to use. Shame that Dell don’t have enough respect for their customers to keep the quality and perfomance of their machines high. Shame that the Inspiron is, really, anything but inspiring.