[lug] The tide's turning perhaps... :-)

Peter Hutnick peter-lists at hutnick.com
Sun Sep 29 14:54:44 MDT 2002

svq said:

> So if I were to buy a new laptop, it would be useless to buy the
> extended warrenty if I were planning to install Linux as soon as I got
> it?

No.  I briefly did desktop support at Dell (moved to server support after
a few months, that's a whole different ball of wax).  And my ex-wife
worked there in the Home and Small business department on desktops and

The deal was any verifiable HW problem that was covered under warranty was
still covered.  So, for instance, if diags fail, you get a part.

But if you had some other kind of issue, like USB devices not being
detected, or typical "windows doesn't feel like running for more than 20
minutes straight" type stuff you were kind of twisting in the wind.

I think that this is pretty typical of big name vendors.  Some beige box
shop might take any excuse to blow you off.

If you ever do have a problem the options that remain are 1. Lie about the
OS.  The service people aren't going to talk to the support people.  Once
the support people place the order to replace your MB or whatever it is
pretty much a done deal. or 2. (really) troubleshoot the problem yourself.
 When the tech gives you shit ask to talk to the next level of support. 
That guy will probably respect your skills (if you really did troubleshoot
properly) and replace the part.  If /that/ doesn't work ask for a manager
and calmly and reasonably explain /why/ you are sure that the hardware is
busted, and appeal to his common sense that if the hardware is busted, why
wouldn't they live up to their HW support commitment.

Understand that Joe level 1 desktop support tech doesn't have much of an
idea how to troubleshoot the hardware without doing a bunch of OS specific
stuff ('cause that's how all the trouble shooting scripts are written . .
.. they all start with "Start->Control Panel->Device Manager").  When you
throw him a curve he is just going to shut down on you.  Moving up the
chain and being reasonable (in both the sense of "staying calm" and
"unwaveringly applying logic") are the only way to get around that.

So, take the plunge.  Worst case, back up your data and "re image" of the
"restore cd" before calling support.  That'll save you the "reinstall and
call us back if it doesn't fix it" step anyway.


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