fly me to the mac (aka, the dark side of the dell)

Monday night, 8 Dec

As a carry-on to last week’s spiritual spumante I am reminded of one spiritual precept that’s kind-of applicable to me right now. Any true spiritual precept or “rule” – there are rules but there are no rules – can only be true or real if it is the truth in one’s own experience, otherwise, it remains meaningless, and not true. This precept that I’m now about to dish out I believe to be relatively true, simply because it appears to be the truth in my experience. Here it is:

Any spiritual insights that have been truly realised, ie, movements into the body and the purity of consciousness within, the further deepening of true consciousness or insight into the vastness of things, produces the after-effect of loosening up the stored, past energies in the body to create circumstances that appear to “test” the newfound discoveries into the inner-realms of being.

“Tests” is sometimes said to be a misguided word, and is perhaps truer to suggest that the ‘past’ reveals itself in circumstances to allow one to have the opportunity to move through them with the valour and fortitude that is present now, and perhaps was not so present a week or so ago.

Some crazy shit’s been happening.

Perhaps it’s in the stars but I’ve had four instances over the past 2 weeks of rotten customer service. One of these instances is astoundingly bad. How’s this. On Sunday 30 November 2008 I walk into the Westfield shopping complex in Bondi Junction and visit the Dell computer kiosk. I’d decided to purchase a Dell desktop PC after much to-ing and fro-ing and not being really sure if it was a desktop or laptop I was really after. I made a tentative decision to go desktop and buy. The moment of purchase is mucked up because the guy didn’t know how to conduct a direct transfer from my bank account online. Ok I tell him, why don’t I pay by credit card. Sure says the salesboy. I go back to the online bank and into my c/c and clear that account fully so as to afford the new p/c. Then the salesguy tells me that the order has been sent and confirmed as a “direct deposit” purchase. What difference does it make I ask, wishing he’d let me know beforehand. The guy looks consternated and decides to email my c/c details avec explanation to the head office in Sydney; emailing c/c details is always a risky business but I let him do it. I made him remove the email afterward.

The underlying problem was that the salesmen’s English was not all that clear – I don’t usually mind that at all – but coupled with a busy mall where the volume of the shopping crowds tends to interfere with serious conversations with the vendor, problems and misunderstandings are bound to ensue. The salesguys were nice and helpful, no problems there.

Needless to say a hiccup ensued. I was not to know until eight days after I created this order for a new Dell PC that the credit card number bounced due to a faulty digit or something (strange because I triple-checked every detail on that original email). By Tuesday last week I’d begun to be concerned that my c/c was not charged. On Wednesday I call back the kiosk and spoke to someone else. They check my IRN (which I’d been doing anyway) and tell me that the order had been “received” (as opposed to “confirmed” which is the next step). I knew my order had been received so I emailed Dell via their automated email thingy with all the boxes you fill in etc.

By Thursday night my gut-feelings of concern intensified and I call email Dell for the second time. Again, no reply. By Friday morning I’m on the phone to the Dell help desk and talk to a charming woman who is sitting on the phone in some hot city located somewhere between Hong Kong and Constantinople. She reassures me that my order is “received” and that it takes a few days for the credit card to charge.

By Monday morning I’m on the phone to the kiosk again DEMANDING they call head office and sort this out for me, and to call me back with answers. He didn’t call me back, I called him again. He told me that the credit card number bounced because one number was unauthorised and that an email was sent back to head office. Ok, mistakes happen and the whole exercise has been a schmozzle from the very start – BUT WHY DIDN’T THEY CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY???! The salesguy on the phone solemnly agreed that this was poor behaviour on Dell’s part. AND WHY WEREN’T MY EMAILS ANSWERED AND MY PHONE CALLS FOBBED OFF WITH PHONY REASSURANCE THAT MY ORDER WAS “RECEIVED”? The salesguy was a little warm under the collar. I was nice to him, thanked him for his assistance and asked him to email my complaint to Dell. He said he would. I told him I’d have to think about cancelling my order. Later I rang back and asked if he sent that email. He told me he “cancelled my order” – nothing said about the email. Oh, this is his way of sweeping everything under the carpet.

Well, Dell won’t get away with this too easily. I’ll email this around the Dell people to make sure that this is KNOWN about. Yes mistakes happen, that’s life, but this kind of dart-around negligence is deplorable. Only at my 5th attempt at follow-up where I had the guy by the phone-line throat any kind of real action taken. I can’t understand it, does not Dell want my grabby-booty-looty?? Do not vendors wish to rectify c/c processing errors IMMEDIATELY?? It’s money after all, livelihood, bread on the table, moet by the swimming pool. Obviously not. And Dell are never EVER going to get it for an eternity from my hands.

Dell should call their customer service line “Krapp Kustomer Kareline”.

So I’m probably gonna go and buy an I-Mac instead. Huh!

It didn’t end there. Immediately after not-purchasing my Dell computer I walked over to the kiosk next to Dell’s that happened to be my ISP who’ve happily provided me with diaper for 5 years at $17 per month. I ask the girl at the counter about cancelling my dialup to move to broadbean, if I receive a refund for unused diaper, if I can stall my connection until my new computer arrives. The girl looked perplexed. She told me I have to speak to the “TPG guys” but understands that dialup & broadbean are two separate services and it would be worth my while getting onto broadbean straight away. I decided to take her advice, even though she trailed off her advice with a crusty, stale smile.

Service with a snarl indeed.

Why did I bother asking those questions? For further validation? I’d emailed TPG sometime ago to receive that answer that the dialup is refunded when broadbean is activated. There was no need to ask again.

I decide to activate broadbean immediately, to get the show on the road as it were. On Sunday night, 30 November I’d sent my application over to TPG via internet.

In three days time my diaper is cancelled and I receive a modem in the mail that I can’t use with my current computer that has no Ethernet connector.

Again I suffer the frustrating knowledge that someone was paid to dish out wrong advice that sort of put me out a bit. To top that off I’m now almost rueful about my broadbean contract. I signed an 18-month contract. Am I crazy? Am I going to stay in this abode for the next 18 months? My instincts told and tell me “no”. I shoulda gotta laptop and gone wireless, but wireless makes me feel my head’s getting clamped by unknown alien forces, so I’d rather be choked by wires and breath the air around me.

Decision-making and its ensuing consequences can be so capricious. This suggests the possibility that that which is capricious in life isn’t fundamentally important after all. I feel this whole enterprise of researching into buying a new computer & broadbean connection has been a studied exercise in pissing up high against the wind. I’ve never been at ease with techno stuff and that shows. It’s always like, yeah ‘whatever’ for me, as long as it works.

God how I yearn for the simple life sometimes.

It often interests me how it is that people come into your life. You first notice them at the very edge of your circle. Slowly and imperceptively they circle the maze that brings them closer to you with each lap of the circumference. You begin to notice them more. At some point they cease circling and flash some colour of recognition. Then, like a dart, they zoom straight into your current field of awareness and into your solar plexus.

New life chapters flap their pages across the breeze..

Tuesday, 9 Dec, at work

Postlude to the above. In attempting to save the current document as it stands above onto my flash drive my computer died. I could only get the thing working by holding up the video card as it was operating and doing what I needed to do in a terribly twisted position by the floor. After many stops and starts, it was done.

This morning I looked at some macs. I don’t know, I’m not impressed by anything. I just need a computer that’ll work and that’s that. The buying is so difficult, the using of the machine should be fine.

I still unsure as to what to do, but I’m currently left with no computer.


You and I must have bad computer karma. I bought a laptop about a year ago and it's conked out at least three times since I bought it.

And yes, I miss simpler times too...when people used to pay visits or make phone calls...but what can you do, you just gotta go with the flow...

And do I smell a whiff of a romance, Ross? Whoo whoo! Lucky gal :)

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