"CNET review is dead wrong on "strong support policy" and "improved" service for XPS premium line"on by vtmaplesyrup
Pros The specs look great; but performance is what ultimately counts
Cons "Strong support policy" and "improved" customer support for premium XPS line
Summary Until Dell gets serious about providing quality technical support, consider other equally good computer systems. I paid a premium for an XPS system for what was supposed to be better customer/tech support. When I got my brand new computer and it didn't work, the support was anything but strong or high quality - it was absolutely pathetic.
My computer arrived not functioning properly out of the box - the 13-in-1 media card reader did not work at all. (I'm having sound system troubles now too but, after my experience so far, I don't have the 4 hours and 2 days to block out of my schedule for help)
My experience: I first tried the online chat technical support. This was painfully slow (waiting for Dell's responses) and ultimately the technician I was "chatting" with refused to provide any answers except to say "I can't help you, you have an XPS" and then to direct me to a toll-free call number.
When I called the number provided from the online specialist, I was told by the tech support representative I called the wrong number. Specifically, he said I had an XPS and he only provided support for Dimensions! I was told I would be transferred to the correct department. After being transferred (and waiting on hold), the next support person again asked me for all the same information (name, rank, customer number, and on and on) only to say "oh, you have an XPS home, I only support XPS commericial -- I'll have to transfer you..." After waiting on hold for over an hour after that, I hung up.
The next day I called again. Again, the first support rep I spoke with said "sorry, can't help you, you have an XPS, I only give support to Dimensions, I'll have to transfer you..."
Tell me, why did I pay extra for an XPS? Is CNET out of their minds saying you receive "strong" and "improved" support when buying an XPS over a run-of-the-mill Dimension?
Again, I was transferred to someone who made another request for all of my information only to say "sorry, you're XPS residential, I only support XPS commercial". "Wait," I say, "I keep being transferred back and forth, I've spent hours on the phone now and nobody has even listened to my problem yet! You're not going to transfer me again, are you?" Dell support's simple nonchalant reply "yes." And on I went unwillingly go to another tech support rep....
Ultimately, after two days (one online chat, two phone calls, and hours of being bounced around) someone finally agreed to listen to my problem and provide me with some help.
The bottom line, however, is that I never should have been bounced around the way I was for hours on end. It literally took hours just to get someone to accept responsibility and listen to the problem I was encountering.
When Dell finally listened to my problem and actually offered to help, the problem turned out to be that Dell never connected the ribbon cable from the 13-in-1 media reader to the processor. I had to open the computer casing and do that myself in order to make things work properly.
Doesn't Dell have any quality control?!!! My jeans are inspected before they are shipped (I know, I always find the little slip of paper with the inspector's name or number in my pocket); so why isn't my expensive Dell computer inspected before shipment?
Prior to purchasing this XPS 400, I had a Dell Dimension. That particular computer wouldn't even turn on when it was brand-new out of the box. As it turned out, Dell shipped the computer without connecting the main power ribbon cable to the processor! I simply do not think there is any quality control at Dell - I can only assume they have decided to coast on their reputation.
As my repeat experiences show, if you aren't fully comfortable taking apart the casing for your brand new computer investment, if you don't have lots of time and patience for runarounds on the phone, and if you don't consider yourself a techie, then do not buy Dell until they get their act together. And especially don't spend extra on an XPS.
Pros Great looks, great speed, awesome deal!
Cons Support is hard to reach, but good.
Summary All of the reviews I have read say that this is a noisy computer. Maybe I'm deaf, but I don't hear any noise at all. I have the cpu tower under my desk, so maybe that helps. Or maybe the sound is drowned out by the great sound of the speakers that I purchased with this computer, also through Dell.
The main reason I purchased this computer was the value. I was able to get 1 GB of ram and 250 GB of ROM, plus all the nice extras like a 19 digital flat panel, 2.1 speakers, dvd burner and software, and a 3 year full warranty for $1500. I did tons of research and you can't beat that anywhere. All the reviews on this computer seem low, because they say it does not have enough power to run games like advertised. I have a life, so I don't play computer games anyways, but this computer does have more than enough power to run several programs simultaneously.
As far as support, it is difficult to find the right number to call, and you are often on hold for at least 30 minutes. However, the staff is very helpful and friendly. I was able to get my problem solved immediately after talking with a technician. They even offered to send someone to my house immediately, and this was on Christmas Eve. Also, their email respones come very quickly if you do not want to wait on hold. I sent two emails on Christmas Eve, and they were both replied to the morning of the 26th.
All in all, I couldn't be more pleased with this computer.
Pros fast, fast, fast!
Cons too much pre-loaded items
Summary For their higher-end system they should know better than to load it up with uneeded software that will slow it down. Spent an hour cleaning it up. My 5 year old 4100 booted quicker until I cleaned the xps400 up.
Pros Fast, easy ordering process; LCD monitor included; customized configuration when ordering
Cons cumbersome preinstalled software
Summary I may be a FOOL but at least I purchased the system I am about to review. The XPS400 is an excellent value compared to other online (HP,Gateway) manufacturers. The free high quality monitor makes this a good investment. I don't have an opinion (and don't care) about the noise issue. The 5.1 speakers are usually turned so loud it doesn't matter. The speed, capacity and performance are EXACTLY what I expected as the ordering process allows you to pick the componants you want. If you want more disk space then add it... If a wireless keyboard is a 'must have' then it is easily added at the time of purchase. I got what I paid for! And it worked flawlessly out of the box.
Pros The system did not fail until the warranty expired.
Cons The mother board melted. Repair failed.
Summary As long as the unit worked, it was a great boon to own. However, it failed almost as soon as the warranty expired. Then a repair of the melted motoer board did not solve the problem. The unit still does not work.
I am greatly disappointed with the unit.