When business systems go bad…

It happens to the best of organisations, so please don’t think I’m being unfair by writing this. No matter how big or organised your business gets some thing will go wrong. This month (year?) it’s the turn of Dell.

Our story begins back in July of last year. I took my new Dell laptop travelling with me and within 3 weeks all the little rubber feet had fallen off. OK, not the end of the world. I used their online system to report the fault as a warranty issue and asked that 5 replacements be posted for me to glue back on myself.

Nothing happened.

I chased by email several times, the request seemed to get lost so was transferred to a different call centre but this time I could see an order on their system. Still nothing. I’d given up hope.

So imagine my surprise to see these four boxes arrive almost 9 months later.


A very big and unexpected delivery (Dell didn’t even reply to my last email a month or so before). What could it be that they’d send in such big boxes?


Perhaps they should win an award for protective packaging, can you see it, in the middle in a small plastic bag, the small black rubber foot for my Dell Inspiron?


In case you can’t, here’s a close up. They aren’t very big but at least they got here safely.

Even funnier, Dell phoned last week to sell me an extended warranty. Hmmm, may be not this time. Having said all that, the laptop is by far the best laptop I’ve ever had, powerful enough, battery seems to last forever (I’ve been going over 5 hours on one charge before whilst doing normal office work of email and web site development) and the keyboard is comfortable for typing too.

Strange download behaviour?

That’s strange, I just started downloading the Office XP service pack 3 from the microsoft website but was only getting 5kb/s. Being two version of the patch (full and a smaller one if you have the original CD handy) I thought I’d try the other and that also got just 5kb/s. So then, I logged into my web server (which is in a London datacenter) and got the over 600kb/s (whilst still getting 5kb/s over the broadband). So then I downloaded the copy from my web server and I’m getting 52kb/s (a normal broadband speed). I wonder why it’s so much slower from from MS > Office compared to MS > WebServer > Office? Oh well, I’ll probably never know…