Dell Extended Warranty is it worth it?

OK for my sins I know a bit about fixing computers, I don’t say I am the best in the business but friends do call on me for advice and if I can fix it I fix it, if I can’t I always point them in the right direction. Or if you are interested in trying to fix your own computer then please Click Here!

A friend of mine copied me in on the ongoing problems of a 4 week old dell inspiron laptop and how dell are dealing with it by first up selling her the power of a dell extended warranty.

Copy of the email below, I have taken out any specific reference numbers and names


Note to Rupinder
Extended warranty for Dell laptop – RE: Dell Order Confirmation – # 252, the warranty refers to me as (they get the clients name wrong badly)!!

Rupinder (or sir/madam)

I recorded the issues I am having with my new Dell computer with Rupinder today which includes the none recognition of a hard disk thus making my laptop pretty useless.

Since this is a work laptop its ability to be used has a direct impact on my earnings / lack of earnings  (£400 lost so far since last Friday due to hard drive issues) so I’m anxious for an on-site engineer to be arranged particulary since I have had to pay another £130 for an extended warranty and was promised a phone call at 3pm this afternoon (or within 2 hours of my initial call which would have been 2.30pm today).

I parted with the extra cash (the cost of the laptop was quite an expensive £758 and its rapid decline has thus cost me a further £130 warranty payment and £400 loss of earnings by my reckoning this amount is equivalent to the cost of buying a brand new laptop from scatch !!!!

Following my call with Rupinder today he assured me that I shall now receive a faster more efficient service from your engineers.

Since parting with more cash, this has not happened, no one has called and as far as I am concerened as a customers I’m still losing money every day the pc is not usable, i have been asked to spend more money than I can afford especially with the salary loss and the only difference to me is that I’ve given Dell even more money
yet I still have no resolution to a problem WHICH IS A DELL ISSUE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!

Not meaning to have a dig at Rupinder because over the phone he communicated with me in a helpful manner just a shame there was no action from my 1 hour phone call and what may normally not frustrate me has made me that bit angrier because my warranty upgrade information now spells my name wrongly as well!!!

Please can someone call me on this mobile number asap:  (removed) as soon as possible?

I’m available all night tonight and tomorrow  normal working hours, after that time I have to head to London to do a series of presentations in front of major clients (with none of my prepared material which was produced in lieu that I had made the rather crazy assumption after spending £758 on a laptop it may secure the chance that I will actually have one that works and I can use for one of the most important weeks in my job for requiring a laptop!

There is availability for an engineer to visit this address from Weds 27/1 onwards but we need to organise a date and time and cannot understand why no-one has got back to me today to sort!

I trust that you will appreciate, my frustration, annoyance and complete all round bad customer experience surrounding your entire service so far from the product supplied to the lack of help received after parting with more money.  I’m not a person who complains very often but if you could imagaine for one minute being me and having your
salary cut substantially and then paying EXTRA money on an extended warranty which has not managed to persuade a telephone call from an engineer as promised a further

4 hours afterwards!!

I then asked my friend what’s happening now and why have they parted with cash for a dell extended warranty when it comes with at least 12 months warranty, there was a time when warranties were longer but over the years they have gone shorter and shorter which is OK for a toaster that may cost £10 but something like a 2009 dell inspiron laptop you need a bit more assurance.

The following reply:

The warranty I was on gave me the following service which forced my hand (incidentaly as I write this the pc is making Star Wars light sabre noises (the piercing ones that sound on impact not the swoosh) its kinda musical cos the continually knocking hard drive (resembling the sound of skinned fingers knocking constantly through uncovered bone on the pane of glass in your window to gain entry to your bedroom to unleash all manner of mayhem, maybe even death-the same death that my hard drive warns me of as it cracks and bashes below me making me wonder if laptops could actually explode in people’s faces………..)

The truth is the hard disk (when coupled with the light sabers) provides a quite invaluable percussion piece.

Any how the warranty I had was Dells standard one that goes a bit like this:
a) Ring this premium rate number and stay on the phone for 3 hours chatting to a guy who is telling you at the expense of you own phone bill the thing that you already knew a week before you rang him.

b) bloke goes off to talk to manager for 3/4 hr because he is not at the trained level you haven’t paid for which comes with extended warranty.

c) bloke comes back to confirm that the cheap warranty negates all their responsibility to everything ever including your problem. Then concludes that OK if we have to we’ll put a bit of effort in – BUT WE AINT RUSHING THINGS and you as a customer are responsible for postage and insurance or courier and responsibility of missing items.  If DELL do receive the damaged laptop (I suspect many never arrive) they will maybe……sometimes…..when we feel like it but not on bank hoildays, saturdays, sundays, holy days, champion league sports matches or any other day with an ‘a’ in it (unless they fee likely but not definately) maybe 10 – 15 days.

“Sooo 10 – 15 days you say???” I say

He completely forced my hand and I was just desperate:

Extended warranty however provides the immediate attention of an on site engineer who will normally (but not always) call within the hour (maybe two and may be an hour which you didn’t realise belonged to different day of the week and then will arrange directlly with you to be at the property the following day (or indeed a day that is convient to them I MEAN YOU)

ANYTIME YOU CAN SEE THEM between 8am – 8pm (incl saturdays!”!) For god sake I tell this muppet just give me the ability to end this fucking babble, sell it me/ Sell it me. JUST SELL IT TO ME COS I WANT IT MORE THAN Amy Winehouse WANTS FUCKING HEORINE!

Just give me the fucking ability to get the fucking thing fucking fixed, fats and make me PAY MORE FOR A PROBLEM WHICH IS YOUR FAULT IN THE FIRST PLACE  place you big bunch of Dick Turpin motherfuckers!!

While I sit on hold after 20 minutes into the DELL DONKEY experience the man the dives off phone with barely audible super speed babble leaving me for 10mins whilst he has a  fag and drinks a cup of tea moaning mildy to a colleague about having a crap day and difficult customers needing some kind of decent support when he had only planned to pop in, read his email and play bejwelled blitz on facebook …. he comes back and says he can conclude that within 2 hours from now (2.30) an engineer will ring me on my mobile to organise a day to be there.  I can’t be arsed that he promised me 1 hour in the first place with a possible two because by now I was suffering the agony of repressed frustration, anger and anxiety which I knew was hitting tipping point.

He thanks me – “have a nice fucking day” he says (piss taking sarcastic arse)

THEN!!!!!! He says his supervisor wants to talk to me and puts me on hold for 5 mins, in the time I was on hold listening to a repeat of a song once considered a piece of musical art that had been reproduced onto hold music to the chime of metallic agony that are tinkling bell noises – its a belief I feel that repeatitive music such as this is meant to hypnotise a customer into giiving Dell or their life savings or something….and my optimism grew – this was certainly taking some time……….the supervisor has been discussing my call, going through my file (and god is he being through) roughly over many years that were a full 6 minutes he comes to the phone.

My initial thoughts were oh shit I was struggling with your colleague but there is no way I can understand the art of speaking the ‘GOOD ENGLAND’ language that is pronounced without any first, last sounding letters to any English word which is further confused by an adopted English accent of Devon/ Northern Ireland/ Glasgow/ Norfolk/ London and some foreigner things linking the words. I can only assume is a delusioned over how best to deal with the ‘hard to grasp’ phonetics required which obviously are different in his country of origin, adjvectives became nouns, verbs disappeared and he was punctuating in places I didn’t quite frankly deem possible.

Anyhooooo, he began asking me to go through a telephone survey about the level of help I had just received and it would take 10 minutes or so (I could barely understand the man why the fuck do I want to listen to someone that I can’t understand answering questions I don’t comprehend whilst attempting to adopt the patience of whoever the most patient saint was EVER.??? AND WHY THE FUCK ARE THEY DOING A SURVEY WHEN I’M FUCKED OFF AT THE £758 IT COST ME TO BUY THIS SHITTY expensive pile of COCK??? And this guy *(supervisor) has just heard his DELL colleague RAPE ME for more money and provide me nothing other than a £130 email with a number on it that promises the immediate solution to everthing that is causing me stress at the moment written boldly in the name of:(removed) !!!!!!!! FUCKWITS!!

So, it gets to 7pm (how incredibly patient am I right now? The truth is I’m beaten down tired and bruised by this fucked up sort of service that banks peoples money and just chucks out a load of bullshit. I then can no longer get hold of anyone anyway and then sent the shitty email below.

When I get hold of an engineers neck tomorrow the service I have paid for provides an onsite engineer asap and so before the end of this week I expect the DELL DONKEY to be at the right address at the right time in the right area fixing the right computer by re-loading all my maintenance CDs, then leaving and WHAMMY I have paid for a dead
expensive service that I no doubt will be needing again in another month or so.
So you can see above a very stressed out client of Dell who is having serious problems with a laptop and support, it seems a growing trend for some companies to try and sell extended warranties. You would not bother on a £10 toaster from Tesco because if that breaks you are more inclined to get a new one (though Tesco do offer a great warranty on electricals, may be they could teach DELL a few things) I have seen reports where the warranties are nearly as much as the appliance, if that be the case why pay for the warranty when logic says that you can buy a fresh one down the line if it breaks?

But then you look at Apple Who engineer fantastic products and provide in my experience great service, is it any wonder they make record profits by doing things differently when they enter a market?

if you are offended by the tone of language at times in the above emails then you should have stopped reading and done something else.
I will update you on the progress as I hear it
And if you are interested in repairing your own computers then please Click Here!

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Mark Attwood – Who is He?

A lot of people have been asking me that question recently and as I have known him for over 8 years, employed by him  in his marketing company AIM Solutions which is a company still going strong today.  From those days back in 2002 he invited me to join him in setting up the first online skip hire business and over the years he has become a close family friend.

So who is Mark Attwood?

Well he is a creative, passionate and generous (sometimes too generous – but then again he is human) entrepreneur.

Creative in his approach to business, he has also acted on stage and TV and directed plays, something which he takes in to his businesses. When I first met him he had just appeared in a cameo role on Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights!

Passionate about what he does and how he does it, it just has to be the best he can deliver!

Generous in that he gave me shares in Topskips in return for helping set up the business.  I never asked for any shares (unlike other people who came with their eyes on the pie years down the line).

Downside?  He is a workaholic! I don’t think he has had a proper holiday in 5 years!!

He constantly comes up with new business opportunities and takes his passion for business and improving to clients/friends he works closely with.

He has been interviewed by the Daily Telegraph in relation to setting up Topskips the first national online skip hire business,  you can see the article about Mark Attwood and also featured on the Chris Evans Radio 2 drivetime show in relation to The Skip Magazine which he also set up.

These days he shares some of his business ideas and SEO tips via Attwood Digital Marketing Agency which has a members area which I am part of so if you join you will get to know me in the process!

Check your email campaign before you send

If you run a business these days be it small or large you probably have sent an email to all your clients or prospects to may be inform them of a new service or a new member of staff etc.  Popular emails around the Christmas time are to inform people of Christmas opening times.

Have a look at this email which I actually received on the 6th January 2010 informing me that they are closed for Christmas 2009, does not fill me with hope when something so simple has failed.

planning an email campaign
Wrong time of year to send this email

So think about the key message and the timing of the message, send yourself a test email to see how it reads as different email programs and providers like hotmail, google, aol etc will display emails differently and block images etc.

This email hit my junk folder, partially due to how it was set up and I have never opted in to receive this company’s emails all though I am aware of them.

Use something like Aweber which are one of the best email broadcasting companies around, follow there tutorials to get the best out of the product and a higher more relevant email sent to your prospects.

Have you got the right message for the right market?

Is there an offer that goes WOW?

Do you have a sense of urgency in the message, first 5  to place an order get a few ipod etc

Do you go straight for the sale or educate the reader on your new X or just make them laugh so that they remember you?

And finally add a bit of personality to your emails, it helps to stick in the readers mind!

Stupid Advertising by the Conservative Party

I was flicking through a daily newspaper on the 1st Jan 2010 when I saw this full page advert, which has a slogan “Year  for change” imposed on a building.

Now for people with half a brain or to be precise it the morning of a new year and half the population are waking up with a real fuzzy head from partying to much on new years eve,  so even if you are educated at Oxford/Cambridge or similar you are looking at a puzzling picture.

Year For Change

Once your head clears you notice its the houses of parliament and then remember it’s a general election year and you place your money that’s it’s not the current Labour party wasting there money on this advert.

So that leaves the Conservative party wasting the donations they have received on a bad message!


NO WEBSITE ADDRESS for further information

NO phone number

NO USE of any social media, Twitter, Facebook etc

Current indication polls reveal that if a General Election happened today then the Conservatives would most likely win with a slim margin to form a new government.  But when these idiots are paying for full page adverts in the national press and paying media/branding/PR companies large retainers to produce this type of material it does not impress me if they do come to power.

More billions wasted!!!

Which leads me to the slogan “Year for Change” that would make a great website, perhaps they should buy the domain and get a site built, after all the latest the general election can be called is around May 2010 and Gordon Brown wants to hang on as long as possible to number 10.

So research leads me to which is an american website for children with learning difficulties and really for the UK market I’d go for the, which when I do a quick look up I see it’s been registered.   How ever only registered on the 2nd Jan 2010 by an enterprising “Robert Connigale” one day after  the advert went in all the papers.

I bet that Robert does not work for the Conservative Party or the agency that designed the adverts!

So if David Cameron and any of his co horts or other Political parties, need advice on doing things to get the best return on investment then please feel free to get in touch.

And remember if you have a company slogan then it’s worth getting the domain to suit as you can use this to engage with your consumers, fan base  etc

And Robert well done on registering the domain

A Bad Website But Lovely Guy!

I logged into Facebook today you know that big data mining project that is quite popular at present and kept seeing a link from a friend

Business – General
G.H. Services is a newly set up company specialising in general outdoor duties such as :- gutter cleaning, fence painting, full exterior paint jobs, general garden maintenance, grass cutting, hedge trimming, garden clearances.

Now me knowing a thing or to about websites as I live and breath them everyday, I had to have a look!!
First of all the URL address, does not jump at you (The GH are his initials) it does not tell you what the site is about where as or gives you an idea and google that the first one does “Portable Toilet Hire” and the latter one does fantastic sinks.
Also it’s on a free hosting company, imagine if he was selling £800 LCD TV’s you would never in a million Sundays reach for your credit card with a domain like that even if it was
GH Services
GH Services

(Now I am not sure if he is going to go down this route and create a decent web presence, but like most people at present he is trying to make a living in the current challenging climate.)

Having a decent web presence makes all the difference, it’s that first less than a second glance that makes an impression to either stay and explore or click off.  Unless your one of the major players like Ebay, Amazon, MSN, Yahoo then there is a good chance NO ONE will know about your site!

So you need to give a clear message to the visitor and put yourself in their shoes!


I could go on and explain everything about building a specific focused driven website however that’s my day job, so if you need to know more then please feel free to visit  Internet Marketing Expert

Twittter Uses for Business

I have been on twitter for around 2 years now, and sometimes I tweet a lot and other times very little. I’m not the one to be telling the world what I have just eaten for breakfast etc but do like to tweet what I think is useful and sometimes entertaining items.

Anyway most of my friends and business owners do not get TWITTER, FACEBOOK etc. They think twitter is a complete waste of time and fail to realise that twitter is an instant search engine with a percentage of people saying

Hey I need X?

Where Can I buy?

So imagine the power of using twitter and having real time searches for your products or company name, I have been doing this for a while now and it has good results, if some one asks “where can I get a portable toilet from?”and you can answer within seconds with no PPC cost or other methods associated is that not something you want to do?

I only say that as this weekend I spent 3 days in the presence of internet marketing legend Ken McCarthy who is one of the nicest smartest people I have met in a long time at his UK system Seminar in a Sheraton Hotel at Heathrow also Drayton Bird who is a well respected Direct marketing genius.

So iphone in hand for most of the event and chance to tweet about the seminar and also I noticed that my room was not as clean as it should be and the electrics did not look right in the conference room , the ones that are hidden in the floor.  So I tweeted about that to

dust in room at sheraton heathrow

electrics sheraton lhr

So imagine my surprise when the hotel send me a message via twitter apologising for the room and assuring me the electrics are not going to put anyone in danger. Which made me think I am not the only one using twitter to protect a brand, use as a direct response vehicle, see what the masses are saying.

So if you have not got a twitter account go get one and if you want to know all the serious ways of using it then head over to Digital Marketing Training and we can show you many more things to help improve your competitive edge.

Second Income Generation – Does it work?

Ok so there I was after a busy day in the office I jumped into my Cooper S with more toys on it than you would find in Hamley’s and headed home. Stuck in the usual 2 minute traffic jam I noticed the car in front which suddenly hit me, no not the car but the signs on the car and then I clicked I always see really old cars plastered with stickers with the following phrases

Second income
Need a second income
work from home
Earn money at home
Need an Extra Income

No doubt you will have seen them to,  the people who owned the car I suspect were nice hard working people, but the problem I had was with the car. I mean really if you are making good money from a second income you would no doubt drive a newer vehicle to entice people to make that call to your number and sign up for whatever service product you are selling. Even if you are not making the money that your sticker proclaims and certainly the car was screaming the fact that it was not working then the best option I can think is go and lease one, if you are trying to impress go for the New BMW Z4 Lease deals Then when you are in front of me at the lights I will be calling you up to buy your service!!