Service with a smile

At least vendors are still providing products, unlike the missing host.

After last week's acting class, we met up with an old friend of mine. "Murph, meet Amber. Amber, this is Murph." Murph's in town to meet with a client his company recently landed.

"So, Murph, what's your real name?" Amber asked. "Hollywood," he muttered mysteriously.

Who's making that racket?

And speaking of mysteries, the plot in the Dell case certainly thickened this week, with readers writing to say that they are questioning not just the tech support but, more importantly, the products themselves.

One reader told a tale of booting up a brand-spankin'-new Dell server for the first time, only to hear noises reminiscent of a kid's bicycle with playing cards in the spokes. After going a few rounds with tech support, the reader was told that in spite of the spooky clicking sounds emanating from under the hood, the system was perfectly OK. "When they clipped the fan into the server they did it on top of the SCSI cable," the reader writes. In all fairness, he went on to say Dell generally makes good products.

Another reader says that he likes the folks in tech support, but wonders about the products. And he should know. After purchasing a Dell system late last year, Dell has sent him two replacement monitors, and two live technical guys to fix other problems. The first fellow came to replace the video board, the second to swap in a new CPU fan. The more important question, according to this reader, is: "Why is one forced to call tech support in the first place? What does this say about the quality of Dell's products?"

No place like home

Dell is not the only company under the tech support criticism gun these days. But at least Dell leaves the products with customers. Good or bad, that's more than can be said for hosting provider Interland.

It seems that on Friday, February 15, Interland picked up a few of the servers it was hosting, placed them on a truck, and then moved them to a new facility with a new IP address - without notifying at least one disgruntled customer. The move left our reader unable to update any DNS or domain records, and crippled his clients' Web sites.

Apparently the same is true for other Interland customers, as tech support appears to be too swamped to even handle his calls. Meanwhile, our reader claims there is nothing left to do but "beat myself over the head with a recently emptied tequila bottle".

Too many drinks with Murph left Amber feeling a bit beaten by the bottle, too. We'll see good ol' Murph again, and take him out on the Harley next time.

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