Product Type: Dell in Misc Systems
Newest Review: ... he gave me a 29 character alphanumeric reference code and directed me to the Dell customer care team without properly answering my ques... more
DELLightful PC's, dubious DELLivery
Member Name: clumsy1974
Date: 13/05/01, updated on 03/08/01 (249 review reads)
Advantages: Reliable - most of the time, Good equipment, good price
Disadvantages: third party couriers, Breakdown in communication between internal teams is causing problems on some orders.
Dell seem to have forgotten the meaning of customer service over the past month. There was a very good link between the order entry, factory and customer services teams, but now they seem to be getting everything wrong.
I have had several things turn up with parts missing. This results in a 7 day wait for the replacement/required parts. My advice to you is check the order confirmation carefully. They will send this to you as soon as the order is recieved. Your machine wont go into production until this has been agreed by you, so watch out for missing parts or the wrong spec.
Apart from that the origional OP stands..read on..
I am not a fan of pre-built and packaged PC systems. If you are fairly clued up on what the inside of a computer looks like you can easily put your own system together for a fraction of the cost. Even if you don’t know a PCI slot from and AGP you are bound to have a friend who does. However, if you are unable to track down a willing techie, or are worried about blowing several hundred pounds on a box of PCB’s and a “Build Your Own PC” guide you could do worse than plump for Dell.
I came into contact with Dell through work. One of my tasks is to purchase, configure and maintain development PC’s for software developers. We have recently rolled out our Hewlett Packard rental machines for outright purchased PC’s. Looking for a supplier that can deliver 10+ machines, each identical, to a high spec, and provide ongoing support is quite daunting. There are numerous suppliers out there who can put PC’s together and probably support them for a while, but I really needed a well known company with a good reputation. With this in mind there really were only 4 companies to choose from – HP, Compaq, Gateway and of course Dell. After evaluating the offerings from
each of these suppliers Dell came out on top, both in price and specification. I should say at this point that if Gateway had a dual CPU model I may have been swayed towards them, but that’s another opinion in waiting. However, gateway tend to offer AMD systems and the dual CPU boards are still in development a this time (They are due for release in the first half of 2001 according to the AMD web site)
We decided to plump for the Precision 420 workstation. This machine is supplied with either a single or a dual Pentium III 1Ghz processor. We have a requirement for dual CPU machines, so this seemed an ideal platform. Other models in the Precision range are shipped with P4 processors. These are currently only available as single CPU machines (After looking at the Intel site, and reading up on Tom’s Hardware Guide, I don’t think the P4 offers that much for a business user and I doubt “Dulies” will ever be available in the P4 range). The Precision range uses RAMBUS technology. There are many arguments for and against this new, and more expensive, memory, but we went with the positive reports and went for PC800 RAM. A 21” P1110 screen finished the package and I ordered up the equipment. The price for these boxes was at least £800 cheaper than the comparable competitor equipment so we were off to a good start before the order had been placed!
Dell has a really good order tracking system. I have to say it is one of their best selling points. Once I placed the order I was contacted via fax and email with an order confirmation. This listed the machines and the spec, and the order could not proceed until this was returned. Being able to check your order is a great idea, as you can spot any mistakes made by you or the supplier, and that will of course save you money in the long run. Once I returned the confirmation I was able to track my order via the Dell web site. Order tracking was simple and quite accurate. I ente
red the customer and order numbers, which resulted in a screen showing the 5 stages of production. You can check back here regularly and view your PC’s progress through the factory and out to the courier. The whole production phase took just two days.
This is where Dell hands over to a third party, and where things seemed to get a bit less professional. The tracking site displays where you consignment is, so you can track it from Ireland to the UK. The courier company received the shipment on Thursday evening. I was able to track its progress across the Irish Sea, then into the depot. Here it became confusing. Apparently we refused delivery of the order on the Monday (Strange as I never saw the lorry turn up at our site), then had to wait two days for a new delivery attempt. Once the boxes were safely stacked in the office I discovered three of the 21” screens had been seriously damaged in transit. Dell have rectified this and replaced the equipment, but it did tarnish an otherwise perfect experience.
So, if you want a PC for home, or for the office check out Dell first. They offer a wide range, and can give you support packages to suit your needs, including 4 hour same day on site response. There are always offers on their web site, so you are bound to get a good deal. They do seem to use third party couriers and those can be a bit hit and miss, so make sure you stay on top of your order and use the tracking service. The machines we ordered are all in place, and so far none of the developers have complained – they will pipe up straight away if things are not quite right! If Dell can keep these guys happy, you’ll have no problems!