FWD: My attempt to buy an Ubuntu Dell

Kristian Hermansen kristian.hermansen at gmail.com
Tue Jun 5 05:34:54 BST 2007

An interesting attempted purchase of a Dell machine with Ubuntu...

Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 17:04:43 -0500
From: "Patrick Green" <patlgreen at gmail.com>
Subject: [Wftl-lug] My attempt to buy an Ubuntu Dell
To: "The WFTL LUG" <wftl-lug at salmar.com>
       <bea279eb0706041504u7247f00p11a2a876658cd1d7 at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

On Friday, my laptop died.  It was an Acer.  The screen was damaged.
Replacement cost of cracked screen is more than halfway to the cost of a new
laptop.  So I decide I will support the new Ubuntu Dell Laptops.

I go online to Dell's Website and go to the Ubuntu page.  I choose the
E1505n.  I upgrade to a GB of Ram, I get the Nvidia 256 MB graphics card, I
get the DVD burner optical drive.  So far so good.  I am happy with the
default processor and the screen.  Now, another driving factor is that Dell
has the nifty cool complete care (tm) plan.  With this bad boy, a random
brick can fly through the air, hit my laptop, shatter it to threads, and
Dell will cover it.  Think of it more as an insurance plan than a service
plan.  I have a friend with 3 kids who has had to take advantage of it not
once, but twice.  Both times Dell took care of them no questions asked.
Now, the first time the Dell laptop had XP on it...the second time..gentoo.
Still, no problems here.

So, I decide to get it....just in case I get burned twice.

On June 2, I get an email telling me my order has been acknowledged and I
will get another email shortly giving me a order number (I also paid for
next day shipping).  Well, the rest of June 2 and all of June 3 goes by.  No
new email.  I check my spam folder...nada...just the usual assortment of
male enhancement and refi deals.  So on June 4 I call Dell.  They can see no
order...they can see they debited my account...but no order.
Hmmm...confusing.  Very sorry, sir.  Let me talk to my supervisor, please
hold.  She has no explanation for the lost order, but she will reprocess the
order and I will get my next day shipping for free since I lost time.  YAY!

But wait!  When we "build" my Dell, there is no longer a Complete Care (tm)
plan for Ubuntu.  She puts me on hold.  She find out that my order was
bumped out since they changed the policy on offering Complete Care (tm) on
Ubuntu Dells.  Why?  She puts me on hold.  Now comes the fun.

"Sir, Ubuntu is a third party software and applications come from sources
not from Dell."

"Vista is a product of Dell?"

"No sir, but we have a relationship with MS."

"So you do not have a relationship with Canonical, the commercial company
that sponsors Ubuntu?"

"Hold.........Yes we do, but the software for other things comes from third

"So what if I buy a game for a Vista laptop from Best Buy?  As that is a
third party software..does that invalidate a Complete Care (tm) policy?"

"No, sir."

"What if I download an update from Microsoft to keep my Vista Current, how
does that differ from an update from Ubuntu other than the fact the Ubuntu
update actually helps my system?"

"I do not know sir.  See, sir, Linux comes from all over the place and as
such cannot be supported."

"I believe Redhat and even Microsoft differ with that opinion.   I am not
looking for support, that is another option I can click on another screen in
your website.  I am looking for protection from bricks.  The laws of physics
do not differ from one OS to the other...do they?"

"No Sir."

"Talking to your superior will not help my cause, do you have the phone
number and email address of an executive do you?"

She gave it to me.  I wrote an email.  I expressed my concerns politely and
professionally 5 hours ago and am awaiting a response.

Just be warned, they tend to change the deal, kill your order, and keep your
money with no order on file making it difficult for the CSR to track the
debit on your credit card account.

Patrick L Green
Kristian Hermansen

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