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Dell, It's Not Me. It's You.

Dell, we need to talk, but I want to preface all of this with a few things:

First, I love Dell hardware.  My XPS 15 has been my daily driver for the last 2 years along with the TB16 dock and a Dell touchscreen monitor.  It has been the best computing experience I've ever had. 

Second, I don't ask for help unless I absolutely need it.  If I do, I've already spent hours troubleshooting the problem myself.  I have a comprehensive understanding of the issue, an itemized list of things that I've tried to address it, and I write detailed reports describing the problem to aid support staff. 

I understand that running support for a large company can be a tough job.  People come to you with with problems that are as simple to solve as restarting your computer or opening up a web browser and looking for an answer.  They waste your time.  I try very hard not to be one of them.  All I ask in return is that you don't waste mine.  

Now, Dell, this is where we are running into issues.  Recently, I've been having issues with a Wacom Cintiq.  Long story short, it works connected to the dock, but not directly to the USB C of my computer.  I want both cases to work as I teach college courses and I can't carry my dock to a classroom.  I spent about a day troubleshooting before I realized it was a problem I couldn't fix.  

I reached out to both you and Wacom for help, giving as much detail as I could about my problem. They gave me new things to try and followed up with me until we exhausted all options.  They were as helpful as they could be.  You, on the other hand, were not.   

You limited me to 500 characters in the message I sent.  When you replied, you told me it was definitely a software problem.  In order to fix it, you offered either to connect to my computer remotely or send someone in person.  Both for an exorbitant amount of money. 

Being a bit nonplussed by that response, I asked how you knew it was a software problem without fully evaluating it and remarked that the solution was ultimately for educational purposes.  I would have appreciated it if you fixed it pro-bono.  If you hadn't believed me, I could have had my 250 students contact you.  I never heard anything back.  

I realize how cheeky that remark was, but please try to understand where I'm coming from. When you jump to my wallet before you allowing me to fully explain my issue, what am I left to think?  There were two conclusions that occurred to me.  The first, it is a known issue and you are selling me the solution.  And the second, you have no idea what the problem is and you want me to pay you to attempt to figure it out.  Either way, you lost a lot of my respect when you asked for money before you listened to me.  

After getting nowhere with formal support, I kept digging and I found this community forum.  I found and read a thread where several people were having the exact same problem.  It was going nowhere for anyone.  This led me to the latter of my conclusions:  you didn't know how to solve the problem and you wanted to charge me to try to figure it out.  

If you were completely honest and said something to the extent that it's an interface we haven't fully tested and troubleshooted and we might not have the resources to figure it out considering it's a niche usage case, I would have been completely OK with that.   But keeping me blind and asking for money hurt.  I just wanted to know and I didn't want to waste my time.

I don't want to lose you, but you should also consider why you don't want to lose me.  You can tell I'm a competent writer, but I am also making waves in the educational community with the way I am bringing hardware and software solutions into large college courses.  I'm already talking with Microsoft about these projects and I expect them to grow.  I don't say this to make myself sound like a big deal.  I say it to highlight the fact I need partners.  I  wanted you to be one of them.  

You leave me in a tough spot.  On the one hand, I love the Dell hardware experience.  On the other, you seem to have little respect for me as a user.  When you are at your best, you are more than I could hope for.  When you are at your worst, it is unbearable.  If we are going to make this work, you are going to have to change.  

Dell, It's Not Me.  It's You.