It took quite a bit. I've had good experiences with them in the past. My Dell computers have been by and large stable, and lasted quite a while. In fact, my nearly 10-year-old Dell desktop still works, it's just so obsolete as to be nearly worthless. And previous to this instance, I've been happy with their customer service as well. But now I'm not so enthralled.
First of all, they categorically refused to allow me to simply return the tower and let them figure it out. The guy I talked to has worked for Dell for eight years and in that time they have *never* returned a desktop tower. It just isn't done. They also insist that the problem is with the harddrive, based, apparently, on the x0000007B error code I've been getting, and are sending me *yet another* harddrive.
Let's recap, shall we? My primary harddrive didn't work. When the primary harddrive was replaced with the secondary harddrive, that one didn't work. While unlikely, I can see how it's possible that some environmental factor (a power surge that somehow got past my surge protector? something else?) damaged both harddrives simultaneously. But then the *brand new* harddrive they sent me that arrived yesterday didn't work either.
Now they're sending me a *fourth* harddrive, and somehow that's magically going to fix the problem. Ah, but this time they're sending a technician to install it for me (the unspoken but clearly implied explanation being that I installed the new harddrive incorrectly [I didn't install the new harddrive incorrectly]).
I was assured that no matter what other knowledgeable people of my acquaintance (including my brother, who now works for Microsoft) might have suggested, the problem could not possibly lay with either the motherboard or the power supply. I just have had the most horrible luck to have had three harddrives fail (one of them brand new). After all, that's much more likely than a single, underlying problem somewhere else. This new harddrive will work because, obviously, fourth time's the charm.
I was promised, after I politely but firmly expressed my skepticism that yet another harddrive would solve the problem and relayed my frustration over the sheer amount of time I've had to spend on this (not to mention time without my computer), that the technician would not leave until everything was up and working.
This sounds to me vaguely ominous. I'm having visions of having to kick the technician out at 1am because of course, this latest harddrive won't work either.
I feel very sorry for the technician they're sending. Because, while I'm sure that none of this is his fault, he will be there in person, and when the new harddrive doesn't work (which it won't) he won't be leaving without taking the tower with him. I don't really care what happens to it after that. In fact, if returning the tower is really truly that impossible, I can just dump the whole thing in the trash and they can send me a brand new one. I'm liking that option more and more. After all, I know they *ship* towers.