July 24, 2002

DELLWATCH: An hour on the phone, with two different people, and supposedly another technician is going to be dispatched.

Here’s my question: don’t these companies have computers? I mean, looking me up in a database and dispatching a technician should take 90 seconds, tops. Instead, I spend 20 minutes with one guy, who’s tapping computer keys throughout, only to find that he can’t actually do anything with my “case.” He’s the wrong “center” for me, whatever that means. What’s more, his phone won’t let him (he says) transfer me. I have to call another number and wait on hold all over again. Then the next person took 20 minutes tapping keys on her computer. “I had to transfer all the history,” she said. I don’t know what that means, but if it takes 20 minutes to transfer this history — “we fucked up, send this guy a technician” — then they must be using abacuses, not computers.

Note to auditors: all that money supposedly spent on information technology? Figure out where it really went.

Bonus Lileks-like moment of irony: The on-hold music was Chicago, singing “After all that we’ve been through, I will make it up to you, I promise you.” Michael Dell should make it up to me.

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