I kind of feel like Jeff Jarvis here complaining about Dell Support, but I guess my issue isn’t near as bad as his was.  Overall I have never had any problems with them and trust me I have dealt with them a lot.  My personal computers have mostly been Dell and the companies I’ve worked for have always used Dell. So I’ve called and chatted with them a lot on may different kinds of issues ranging from servers to this one being a $3.99 bezel.  I prefer to chat with them online to save myself talking to people, elevator music, and being placed on hold.  Plus this way I can get something done, or blog about them while I’m waiting for responses, like in this case.  To show how long it’s taken for this $3.99 part to be ordered, I’ve formated and reinstalled Windows on the computer I was calling about and I’ve written all of this post so far.  

The chat started off pretty simple, I asked for a replacement bezel for a laptop.  I knew it wasn’t covered, I offered to pay and that was followed by 30 questions about what happened, what type of computer it was… again.  Then finally she said that I would have to pay $3.99 for the bezel.  Sweet, only took 20 minutes to pay $3.99. Then before I could give her my credit card I was asked atleast 6 times if I needed a new battery.  Yes you heard me right, a new battery.  I started by kindly saying “no thank you”.  She proceeded to tell me that batteries degrade over time and need replaced.  This lady must be a rocket scientist or something, I should ask for her virtual autograph or something.  Here’s the transcript.  I removed her name to protect the annoying.

 16:05:54     Agent   ******Katy******* 
The LCD bezel only cost you $3.99.
 16:06:06     Customer   Nolan Carson 
ok, sounds good
 16:06:19     Agent   ******Katy******* 
That’s right.
 16:06:34     Agent   ******Katy******* 
I also see that you’ve been using the system for over 3 years.
 16:06:50     Customer   Nolan Carson 
about that, yeah
 16:06:50     Agent   ******Katy******* 
Dell recommends that you replace your battery with a genuine Dell battery obtained from Dell.
 16:07:04     Agent   ******Katy******* 
I suggest that you need to have a new battery.
 16:07:30     Customer   Nolan Carson 
it seems to be working ok, it can wait until it stops working
 16:07:39     Agent   ******Katy******* 
Portable system batteries contain chemicals that degrade over time, reducing their ability to hold a charge.
 16:08:06     Customer   Nolan Carson 
ok, it can still wait
 16:08:34     Agent   ******Katy******* 
Battery cost $135.99 only.
 16:08:43     Customer   Nolan Carson 
no thank you
 16:08:49     Agent   ******Katy******* 
I suggest to buy the battery today while it’s on sale.
 16:09:02     Customer   Nolan Carson 
no thanks, it can wait
 16:09:34     Agent   ******Katy******* 
I can give you free shipping if you will purchase new battery.
 16:09:49     Customer   Nolan Carson 
 16:09:53     Agent   ******Katy******* 
To ensure that you get to use it whenever and wherever you need it, it would be best to have an extra battery with you always.
 16:09:55     Agent   ******Katy******* 
 16:10:14     Agent   ******Katy******* 
How about additional memory for better computer performance?
 16:10:15     Customer   Nolan Carson 
I do need to get to the next computer, because I still have a third and I don’t work all day
 16:10:22     Customer   Nolan Carson 
 16:10:34     Agent   ******Katy******* 
 16:10:59     Agent   ******Katy******* 
So you will just purchase for the LCD bezel.
 16:11:13     Customer   Nolan Carson 

So now that I count it looks like there were 7 times on the battery, and once for memory.  For some reason I don’t think Dell made enough profit off the $3.99 part to pay for the 6 minutes it took to say no to a battery replacement.  Let alone over an hour I’ve been working with them.  I’m still working with her about something else, but I guess that’s my fault for waiting until I had 3 issues to work with Dell Support.  So next time you accidently drop a laptop and it cracks a little cosmetic part, you better pick up a couple batteries, because “it would be best to have an extra battery with you always”.