DELL NON-HELL (CONT’D): Following up on my post from the other day, reader Bruce Hamilton emails:

Thought I’d give you another good non-hell story about Dell. My brother’s wife’s Dell had a failing hard drive. I’m the families tech support, so I braced myself for multiple phone calls from what to rescue from the drive (it was dying, but not dead yet), to how to how to install the new drive and reload Vista. The computer was still under warranty, so the tech support guy in India mailed her a new drive with no fuss (!). That’s a surprise because companies typically demand it be completely broken first. Dell’s tech support in India then gave her a call (!) (same guy!) to let her know the new drive was on the way. When it did the next day, they called her again (!) to ask if she needed help installing it! They didn’t know that I had already told her how to hook it up. Well, lo and behold, the drive already contained a complete copy of Vista and all the drivers. All she had to do was turn it on and it started installing itself! What great service!

Since I don’t have a web site, I thought I’d write them some email of praise for their great tech support and thoughtful pre-loading of Vista and drivers on the replacement hard drive, but I wasn’t able to do so. Their one failing is to supply an email address that you don’t need a computer number and service number to write to. Spent 20 minutes on the site looking for one… Oh well, I guess that’s one failure we can live with.

Maybe somebody there will see this.

UPDATE: And they did: Dell’s Richard Binhammer wrote to say thanks for the feedback. On the other hand, a lot of people wrote in with bad stories about Dell, most of them very lengthy. But here’s a short one from reader Stu Wagner: “I won’t waste your time with the details, but I bought a high-end desktop from Dell and spent approx. 20 hours on the phone trying to fix it over a 10-day period (long-distance to India), never got it fixed and they were out of ideas, told them to come and get it, I was done. It took them three months to pick up a $3000 desktop. I now have a MacPro and have been very happy with it.”