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  • #2175238

    Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?


    by chromacat ·

    I am looking to purchase 20 desktops to replace end-of-cycle machines.

    Based on quality of support, I am wondering which vendor to choose. So far I have requested quotes from IBM, Dell and hp.

    Machine specs:

    P4 @ 2.8 GHz; 512 MB RAM; 80 GB HDD; CD-RW Drive;
    Floppy; On-board Video; Gigabit NIC; WinXP Pro; Office 2003 Basic; 17″ Display

    System support: 3 yr. NBD 9×5

    IBM’s quote is the highest of the 3 vendors (by about $2000), but I have heard in the past that IBM support is superior to hp and Dell.

    I have purchased from Dell before, but my recent experiences with their support have been disenchanting at best. However, I have never purchased any Optiplex systems — Wondering if support for these is better since they are geared for the corporate environment.

    Haven’t dealt with hp support before, so I am curious how they measure up as well.

    Like many in IT today, I am a one-man shop serving multiple locations, so getting the best support is a key factor in the purchasing decision. Any comments/suggestions will be much appreciated.



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    • #3329063

      I have worked with all three….

      by caestelle ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I have worked with all three, but Dell the most. I have been very happy with Dell’s support, but we do have the premier support, which allows us to do our own warranty work and just send in the faulty parts (so that limits our interaction). I haven’t had to deal much with IBM’s support; but when I have, I have had good experiences. I have not had to deal with HP in the corporate environment, but when I have supported some home users doing side work, I have not been too impressed with HP’s support. But, as I said those were home users and I would hope that they would give a little higher quality level of support in a corporate environment. So basically, I like both Dell and IBM?but the only thing that makes me lean more towards Dell is the fact that IBM costly significantly more like you said. Well that is my two cents!!!

      • #3329047

        Leaning toward Dell as well

        by chromacat ·

        In reply to I have worked with all three….

        First off – thanks for the quick response to my post.

        I am leaning toward Dell as well due to cost, but the difference between their quote and IBM’s comes down to IBM’s costlier display – maybe I could swing a deal elsewhere for monitors and close the gap. I know it would be pretty hard to sell the costlier IBM quote to mgmt solely on better support – 2 large is too large.

        Regarding IBM business desktop support – do you know whether it is US based or offshore?



        • #3329041

          Not sure…

          by caestelle ·

          In reply to Leaning toward Dell as well

          I am not sure where IBMs support is located, or if that will change now that they have sold their desktop line.

        • #3329007

          US based

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Leaning toward Dell as well

          I nCanada it is Canadian based and I have dealt with teh Customer service HO which is in teh states, Carolinas maybe? Not too sure, he had a cool accent though.

          BUT, the onsite serive is usually farmed out to local companies that perform work as IBM authorized agents.

          As far as IBM vs Dell, The hardware is better, the R&D is liht years ahead, the Business INtellistations are extensively tested and tweaked dto MANY types of professional software (Auto Cad and other intensive apps). And the support is far better than DELL. All in all, as always you get what you pay for, you want CHEAP, you get CHEAP, you want QUALITY you pay for QUALITY.

          I have cleaned out more than my share of Dell hardware only to replace it with IBM (and Compaq in one case).

        • #3328967

          Really?? That is Great

          by chromacat ·

          In reply to US based

          It would be nice to speak to someone I can understand the FIRST time. I am quite tired of the overseas phone support I get from Dell. “Thank you, come again!” (Apu, The Simpsons)

          Others have mentioned that IBM has sold their desktop line. Do you think this will make a difference in the quality of support?

          Regarding getting what you pay for, that is certainly true. But it is sometimes difficult to get management to see beyond $$$. Hence, I am leaning to Dell but desiring IBM.

          However, I am making progress in getting them to see things from my perspective. Better support = less time spent on repair and more time spent on projects that build the business.

        • #3342589

          Much better

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Really?? That is Great

          Firstly support, IBM was sold to China, not India, so no Apu at THIS time.

          I think IBM will retain it’s NOrth American presence as it requires highly skilled techs onsite and therefore IBM MUST retain a local presence regardless of where some desktops are being built now(I heard Thinkpads, it’s probably both though, even though MY Thinkpad has manufacturer stickers from around the globe).

          DELL is a mail order company, they don’t actually exist and neither does quality or support from them. I have NEVER had a problem showing a company the benefits of a real desktop over a DELL. Even the cheapest bugger will cringe at a $150.00/hr repair bill, they will try everything to weasle out of responsibility I find. Not to mention data loss due to low end or loss leader hardware. It seems Dell like sto buy up everyone’s crap on clearance and liquidation deals and sell it in their PC’s. I have found that out of a half dozen I USED to work with, identical machines, different hardware. Now if you download a BIOS update, how can you possibly believe it has been tested with YOUR configuration if parts are so interchangable? It works with a seagate or WD hard drive, an NVidea or ATI graphics card etc. Sounds like a pretty dodgy BIOS update to me.

          Standardization, QUALITY hardware and onsite support makes IBM more favorable to me. And their price isn’t THAT exorbitant when you consider POSSIBLE costs due to poor support or even worse failed hardware, downtime, added costs for stuff they deem not covered etc.

          IBM and Compaq, 1-800 # that gets ANSWERED, people ask a couple of questions and then tell you a tch will be in touch with you to arrange replacement within 48 hours. Done deal, no problem and time/money is saved. You also get the same part that failed, unless replaced across the board due to a noted failure by IBM. IN 5 years if you had replaced EVERY part piece by piece in 4 desktops, you still have the same 4 desktops you invested in.

          Dell is a farce to me, guys that have worked for cheap-ass companies in IT for years will swear by them, usually because they are ONLY concerned about budgets and costs (at one time Dell was even a viable contender), I would think the boss would be bettter off with all the staff working 24/7 instead.

          Best of luck with your sales pitch, make it a good one, save yourself and everyone else the hassels of junk.

        • #3250044

          I could not agree more

          by rbncs ·

          In reply to Much better

          I completely agree with OZ_Media on this subject. I have noticed the sames kinds of things with Dell hardware as well. If you are looking for return on investment, productivity and uptime, than IBM is the only game in town in my opinion. I have had several problems with Compaq that has driven me away from them and my work with HP has had a similar path. The nice thing about IBM is if they replace a part on a global scale they always replace with upgraded not downgraded equipment.

        • #3249963

          Dell a farce – I’d like to counter

          by andrew martin ·

          In reply to Much better

          Perhaps Oz_Media has had a share of problems with Dell hardware in the past. Perhaps not – I cannot say.

          I can say that in all of the companies where I have worked (large and small) Dell hardware has always been the best thing we have bought. And I continue to buy it today. And most likely will in the future.

          Support is great – once you figure out what they want – (go get your DCSE for example) – the hardware is bloodless to work on in comparison to HP, Compaq, IBM, whitebox and all of the others that I have worked on.

          In addition if you are not getting the Dell On-site warranty for the three years then I can say that you are selling yourself and their support short.

          Keep in mind that I have only worked in the corporate arena, but I am a Dell fan overall. If their hardware breaks they fix it next day. Their online support is outstandinf and I have yet to have a problem that cannot be fixed by a little smarts on my end and some help from them when i need it.

          This is tech support right? If you want a perfect piece of hardware that never fails you’ll need to spend $5K per PC and get Panasonic Tough Books. Otherwise – stop the whining about it all and look at the mottom line. I can get two Dells for the price of some perfect “high end” PC. If it fails I have a replacement – I save the company money – I keep things running – and that is after all my job.

        • #3251882

          Question about ‘bloodless’

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Dell a farce – I’d like to counter

          Forgive my ignorance but that is a new term for me when it comes to PC’s. I see two possible things it MAY mean, but correct me if I am wrong.

          BLoodless: MAY refer to not being proprietary. When it comes to standards, you WANT ‘bloodless’ proprietary in replacement hardware, especially if it is under warranty, it is tested and designed to work efficiently, OTHER OEM’s actually DO optimize the proprietary hardware they use by customizing the BIOS to ensure maximum performance between hardware.

          If you meant BLOODLESS as in easy to install. YOU obviously haven’t worked with IBM or Compaq over the last few years. They BOTH offer completely toolless chassis and parts (drives) don’t even get screwed into the frames, it clips in and out in seconds. The entire drive varriage just swings awat from teh PC (or lifts up and out) you slip the new hardware in and you’re done in FAR less than 5 minutes.

          Now you DID mention that you need the Dell onsite warranty. This is included in professional workstations, 3 or 5 years onsite next day service. But the phone support from the others makes the phone support form DEL a laughing stock. YEs I have worked on MANY DELL’s, I sigh everytime someone calls me with a Dell because I KNOW what I have to face to get the right parts sent out.

          Hopefully that explains my stand and why I considered Dell a farce. They are okay for Joe Home user but are simply a CHEAP solution when it come to a professional workstation.

        • #3251833

          I started a thread about Dell….

          by cp7212 ·

          In reply to Dell a farce – I’d like to counter

          Read on for problems with Dell and then pass it on to management….

        • #3249903

          Definately not factual info

          by mechanicalpc ·

          In reply to Much better

          Anyone who has worked in this industry for more than the past 12 months knows that Dell corporate support is far superior to anything IPM, Compaq/HP or any others trying to compete. Granted HP/Compaq have some of the best enterprise level server systems ever available, but for desktops in an actual working environment, Dell has become the best way to go. They do offer onsite live techs (IBM contract) in most areas of the U.S. Don’t know how they handle Canada or Euro.

          “Dell is a farce to me, guys that have worked for cheap-ass companies in IT for years will swear by them, usually because they are ONLY concerned about budgets and costs (at one time Dell was even a viable contender)”

          Low budgets are a fact of life in the business world today. I.T. is still a “necessary evil” that can suck the profit margins out of a company faster than a bad product or service. The ROI is an intangible that few outside of the industry understand. So is service and reliability. Knowing who to purchase equipment from for whatever purpose you have in mind is something that does not occur from half-baked opinions like the one you posted. It comes from making sure you have all the information from every resource possible. IBM has great systems for the banking and stock market industries, Compaq/HP have great high end server systems for web applications and very large enterprise level applications, and the list goes on.
          As a “professional” you have to be careful about giving “opinions” to others without having experience on more than one level.

        • #3251874

          Half baked opinions?

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Definately not factual info

          Hmmm, such as “IBM has great systems for the banking and stock market industries”

          IBM’s are not designed for banking and stock industries. IN fact their M-series Intellistantion lineup is ‘specifically’ designed for graphic design, CAD drafting and 3D modelling. They are tested and optimized for specific AUTOCAD and Graphic design software and even specific VERSIONS of software. (versions supported/designed for are listed by model on the IBM site).

          I suppose saying they are best for banking and stock industries would definitely constritute a “half baked opinion then” or at least a rash or unqualified one.

          Compaq’s have an entire line of professional desktops (EN, EXD, and EPRO)designed specifically for Office and general desktop multitasking positions.

          Again, “half baked” and unqualified.

          Dell, they are cheap, end of story.

          ANYONE who has ever tried to make a case for Dell can only say, ‘They are chepaer’ which nobody can contest.

          As for operating costs, YES IT costs need to be monitored, this includes far more than an initial investment though and carries through to support, uptime, hardware reliability (no dead drives) etc.

          Both Compaq AND IBM have proprietary hardware monitoring, testing and maintenance software installed in the BIOS. IF the hardware is GOING to die in the next wihle you WILL be warned on boot. And yes I have saved mroe than one hard drive form failure this way. The BIOS gives me a code, the computer is still fine, boots and works like new. You call IBM OR Compaq give them the code and someone is at your door the next day to install a new HD and copy the image over BEFORE it dies. Data loss is another expensive cost for an IT department.

          There’s more to saving money than buying the cheapest.

        • #3251807

          Dell or Compaq / HP – it’s a crap shoot

          by bizman ·

          In reply to Definately not factual info

          RE: >> Anyone who has worked in this industry for more than the past 12 months knows that Dell corporate support is far superior to anything IPM, Compaq/HP or any others trying to compete.

          I haven’t said much in these forums, but I just couldn’t let that comment go by. I have been in the industry for over 20 years. I started out as a field service tech, and have touched just about every brand to call itself a PC over the years. For the past Eight years I have been supporting a 2000 workstation network that buys about 400 new workstations every year. Four or Five years ago I would have said Dell is the best hands down. Over the past 5 years, their quality has drastically decreased, as well as their level of service.

          RE: >> As a “professional” you have to be careful about giving “opinions” to others without having experience on more than one level.

          I agree, so let me tell you where I am coming from . I have worked for dealers as well as service organizations. Now I work for an in house support department. I have been a tech, and a service manager at many levels. Right now it is very discouraging, because Dell quality, and support, has decreased quite a bit in the past few years, and no one has stepped up, at least not on a very large scale, to fill this void.

          IBM is a non factor, since they have sold their desktop division to a Chinese company, I would reserve judgement until I see how that turns out. That really only leaves Dell or Compaq / HP as the major players in the desktop market.

          Over the years HP and Compaq have had their share of great machines, as well as dogs. I have many good experiences to share about Compaq and HP service, but that is all before they merged. Both companies quality has been somewhat inconsistant.

          Depending how large your budget is, and if you can afford to do it, you need to buy from both. Any good business person has more than one source. Buying a little from both keeps them both honest. Plus if you can do your own comparisons in your world, that’s the best test.

          While I give a slight edge right now to Dell, what worries me about them is they keep trying to low ball every price, they sell only on price. Quality and service has been declining, and if they sell on price alone, I can’t see how it will improve any time soon.

        • #3251761

          BizMan’s contradictions

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Definately not factual info

          Did you not notice that you completely contradicted yourself? TWICE? The second by making a noted unqualified opinion?

          In one comment you said that anyone who has worked in IT for more than 12 months…
          Well that includes most of the TR peers here I would say, therefore all of the opinions shown whether you and I agree or not, CAN be relevant, though many are offered from a single experience with just one of the products.

          Your qaulifying statements are irrelevant, nobody cares how many PC’s or how long you’ve been in the business, the most recent experience is obviously the most needed, companies and products change, as you yourself have explained.

          But to your contradictions,
          [i]Dell corporate support is far superior to anything IBM, Compaq/HP or any others trying to compete.[/i]

          Is IBM now NEW to the game and trying to COMPETE for the PC industry?

          Followed immediately by:

          [i]”Four or Five years ago I would have said Dell is the best hands down. Over the past 5 years, their quality has drastically decreased, as well as their level of service.”[/i]

          So what is it, the best or the worst? I would read that as a pretty inconlusive opinion.

          [i]”IBM is a non factor, since they have sold their desktop division to a Chinese company, I would reserve judgement until I see how that turns out.”[/i]

          Immediately followed by;
          [i] That really only leaves Dell or Compaq / HP as the major players in the desktop market.[/i]

          I thought you said you said would reserve judgement on IBM. How are they not a player now? Because the desktops division is not American? Those boxes are built all over the world with parts from every corner you can name. Why would havign Chinese ownership change the US based service departments? THEY still exist as do local support techs because they are outsourced to local reputable repair depots.

          Where will I get 5 years of onsite support at no additional cost? All of the above? Who has more standards compliant hardware? IBM first, Compaq/HP sometimes, Dell…sure whatever. You get what you pay for, in business and in real life. You buy cheap, you GET cheap. You pay more, you GET more.

          I haven’t noticed ANY change in IBM’s service or support staff in MANY years now, it has always been absolutely top notch, fast and effective, ONSITE service.

        • #3251304

          Read epinions on dell

          by dr dij ·

          In reply to Definately not factual info

          look up a part dell sells like a hard drive on

          they regulary have lowest ratings 2 1/2 stars of any vendor, (despite lowest prices).

          you can read hundreds of peoples experiences with them. some good, mostly good only if they didn’t need tech support. bad includes:
          lies about availability and ship date
          changes to terms (0% financing not available)
          changes to price
          phone support hell (fairly recurring theme)
          unable to cancel orders after telling them to after ship dates missed
          cruddy parts
          unable to return items

          Have fun reading!

        • #3251895

          Absolutley False

          by dhreceni ·

          In reply to Much better

          You must be using Dimension machines NOT Optiplexes or Precision Workstations. I am in Canada and we are a Dell shop. We get Complete care warranty on these machines and if a user drops it and breaks it, it is fixed on site NO QUESTIONS ASKED! Oh and did I mention the default warranty is 3 years on site, not a measly 1 year depot with IBM. Add a three year on site with IBM and you add at least another $300-$400 to the cost of the machine.

          I also had a wonderfull experience with IBM where I waited longer on the phone then they spent troubleshooting with me before they said “reload the OS”. I am pretty stubborn and fixed it without the reload (of course without IBM’s help).

          When I call for support with Dell it takes me longer to type in the service tag then it does for them to answer the phone. Precision workstations are ISV certified and the Optiplexes are extensivly tested to perform in a business envirionment. We were and IBM shop but we only have one machine left. I am EXTRMELY happy with Dell and their support, qulity and price.

        • #3251865

          Like you said Absoutely False

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Absolutley False

          ANY IBM deksotp I have bought offers a 3 OR 5 year ONSITE warranty with the purchase. Your commments are EXTREMELY wrong in that respect, andfor someone who is a competetive dealer you should know better.

          My LAPTOP was a carry in 2 year warranty, which YES I did upgrade at the time of purchase to 4 years onsite.

          But the desktops (professional desktops) ALL come with either a 3 or more comonly 5 year ONSITE warranty, you are wrong in that respect.

          As a competitor, you should review their website and check them out once in a while to stay on top.

          The FIRST Compaaq I ever bought came with a 5 year onsite and others also come with 3 or 5 year ONSITE service.

          As for speed in connecting with support, BOTH IBM and Copmpaq give you a separate number to call for business support as opposed to retail boxes they make (which is what YOU are being confused with), they answer VERY quickly, smile and send out a tch then ask if there’s anything else thay can do for you.

          SO lets face it and be realistic when making false claims. When I spoke of DELL, I wouldn’t have been referring to Dimensions, I would never buy, reccommend or service a Dimension. Again, you made a false assumtpion.

          So all you have done in your post is say that Dell offers what others don’t, which they don’t, others offer the exact same and even better (5 year) service on professional workstations. They answer right away and send out a tech in 24 hours no questions asked.

          Try again.

        • #3250453

          Strongly Agree

          by tx-netware ·

          In reply to Much better

          I think Oz has had some of the same experiwnces as I have. I’ve worked with all 3 extensively and if I have any choice at all it will always be Big Blue. Support is light years better and easier to deal with without having to purchase an upgrade. Dell blew it with me when we called them about a defective restore CD and I was told that I couldn’t load software from a CD-R or DVD drive! Dumd a$#@!!!!

        • #3250365

          Did the guy at the other end of the phone

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Strongly Agree

          Tell you that the shiny side is supposed to go down?

          I got that one once and tried to crawl down the phone line and have a quite little talk to the particular person. It would have involved ripping their arms off and beating them to death with the soggy ends. 🙂

          I just love the way you are treated as they are the first point that you ever consider contacting when you have a problem rather than you have to be dragged kicking and screaming for protection before even considering ringing them up as it is just way to painful an experience that you don’t willingly want to go through again.

          Col ]:)

        • #3249997

          Canadian Support – IBM and Dell

          by jsmith2 ·

          In reply to US based

          I’ve only dealt with Dell for my home PC, and sorry to say that the service I received from them was horrible. I had to place a small number of calls to them, and each time was a disappointment.

          As to IBM, I’ve had them work on my AS/400 (and S/38) at work, and they’ve always been great. The locals guys that they had handle my account were always going ‘above and beyond’ when the system was down (which wasn’t that often: the AS/400 is probably the best machine ever built, IMHO).

          So I am willing to admit that we’re comparing consumer to corporate service here, but in my own experiences I would never buy a Dell for the home again.

        • #3251053

          My ratings

          by bleedingedge ·

          In reply to US based

          My 2 cents from 20 years supporting PCs.

          1. HP/Compaq is the best if you know what you’re doing (a tech yourself) and you have a difficult problem.

          2. IBM support has always been responsive. Even when they have farmed out the equipment and support to other companies.

          3. Dell support is great if you are a rookie. If you have any more than a month’s worth of computer experience you will be smarter than the brain dead chimps they hire for their support.

          Desktops; I buy Dell. Laptops; I buy IBM. If I ever want a machine that works, I’ll probably buy a MAC. Until then, I’ll enjoy the challenge of making these guys behave.

        • #3249693

          Business class systems

          by jtakiwi ·

          In reply to US based

          In a corporate enviroment, or if you just want better support, purchase the Dell Optiplex line or Precision workstations and get the support package that will get you US based support (your Dell rep should be able to answer this for you.) As far as IBM being better than Dell, I think it is personal opinion more that anything else when talking business class systems (Dell’s home line leaves alot to be desired). I’ve swapped out many IBM’s for Dell Optiplexes. When refreshing, the cost to aquire and support the IBM desktops was too much to overcome, especially when the support for the IBM’s was a little shoddy at the time, for whatever reason. My two cents. There was a time when IBM ruled, but that time passed about three years ago. PC’s are a commodity item now, and Dell does that better than anyone.

        • #3250129

          I would suggest….

          by carlsf1 ·

          In reply to Leaning toward Dell as well

          That you ask and look for the brand/vendor who gives the best support in your area.

          It maybe that you have to look not to a brand but to a vendor in your area, that gives the best service.

          I have found that buying direct (Dell and others) that their support stinks.

          Please remember that price is not so imporant when a server or workstation goes down and you are without it for nnn? days weeks.

          Regards Carl (NZ)

        • #3250115

          Dell parts

          by ricka ·

          In reply to I would suggest….

          I have done warranty work for Dell (working thru another company) and every part I replaced was always with a refurbished part. Just to let you know.

        • #3250069

          Refurbished Parts?

          by usaatca2001 ·

          In reply to Dell parts

          Do you really think IBM & HP/Compaq don’t use refurbished parts? I worked for IBM for 19+ years servicing IBM office equipment & I can tell you in no uncertain terms that much of their replacement parts were refurbished. Any service company that wants/takes the old dead/bad parts back refurbishes them. Do you think every part that’s replaced in your car is brand new? Think again.

        • #3249900

          All the same

          by mechanicalpc ·

          In reply to Dell parts

          Every company does that, just read the warranty agreements.

          “The defective part will be replaced or repaired at the sole discretion of (insert company name here) with a new or factory refurbished part of equal or greater value at the sole discretion of (insert company name here)”

        • #3251072

          Dell parts

          by gabriella ·

          In reply to Dell parts

          They all do it … but I bought a Dell last year (June2005) order on their site.. 4 days later at my door.. 2 weeks after a little problem… no sweat a service person was there in one day fixing and changing the whole drive “brand new”.. the support is from India I think, but they have a knowledge and answers your questions till you drop…if they can’t they find someone else for your questions… so far my Dell is OK. I had 5 PC before… even started with Commodores 64, 128.. I fix my own PC many times… had a NEC could not find help (HP) in that time and I took care of viruse I had.. now I have Norton Internet Security) works very fine… anti spywares, spybot, winguard etc.. I protect myself to the fullest… the point I am making you have to be a little savy so you know your PC in an have to help yourself first and then you can complain a litle more.. have a great day and keep smiling…

        • #3249941

          Dell – Warranty – Optiplex vs Dimension

          by luhmpei ·

          In reply to I would suggest….

          We had initial problems with Dell, but have since switched from their Dimension to their Optiplex lineup. the difference is NIGHT and DAY. Better, more reliable parts, better testing, more thorough product and longer life cycles – all important in a coroporate cycle. – if you don’t buy all your PC’s at once, the Opti is the way to go – they maintain similar specs and identical cases thruought their life cycles – end users will NEVER know the difference between one station and the other.

          They also offer Gold Support, which, as it sounds like support is a concern for you, i’d recommend. Priority call routing and quicker turnaround. You also get cross-shipping of parts, so you can swap out hard drives, monitors or whatever first thing the next morning – i mean 8am rolls by and your parts are THERE.

          Their Gold Support also gets you past the “have you tried rebooting” tier 1 support. you tell them what’s wrong, they send you the parts, or offer to do the install themselves – both ASAFP – its your call as to how to proceed.

          Our experience with their corporate support has been amazing.

        • #3249887

          Second that…

          by 3kl ·

          In reply to Dell – Warranty – Optiplex vs Dimension

          I work in an org with several thousand desktops and I have for almost 7 years now. Every chance I get I push people towards the Dell Optiplex. The price is significantly better and the support is awesome. Go Gold and you’ll have the replacement on your desk the following day. We had/have HP floating around here and I can’t wait to show it the door. The sooner the better.

        • #3250066

          IBM sold out

          by longennamer ·

          In reply to Leaning toward Dell as well

          Don’t forget IBM just sold out their PC division. Might be a factor in thinking about long term support.

        • #3251760


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to IBM sold out

          That argument is 100% based on IF’s and speculation and certainly can’t be a negative issue to be considered.

          If IBM was supported in the US and techs were sent out from IBM authorized repair shops and NOW they are supported in the US and techs are sent out from IBM authorized repair shops, why would it matter if they are built in China?

          What is wrong with a product designed in China? Other than the fact that quality assurance inrceases and price drops? THey have ALWAYS been made all over the place, why do people seem to think that because they were BASED in the US that it was better? I thought they were great when they were made in the US but I don’t live there, why should I care if they are built under more stringent guidelines and sold for less?

          Everyone has bitched and complained about IBM costs for years, so they make a sensibvle move that will effectively help reduce the costs while offering even tighter quality assuranec in manufacturing, but people STILL bitch because it isn’t red white and Big blue anymore. Get over it, the world’s a big place, you have never built a decent compact car either but nobody cares about those being made better in Japan, Germany, Brazil etc.

        • #3251657

          Who is making the decisions at pc IBM

          by bhunsinger ·

          In reply to IF’s

          THe question about the sale of IBM to China raises just that , a question of what will be happening with their support 2 years from now. Have the prices gone down yet? No. Will the people making the decisionsdecide to take support East? Maybe. While rational people can come to a different understanding of the importance of this fact in their decision making, it does have to BE a factor. Just as much a factor as the DETERIATION of Dell customer support over the last few years. Not Gold business support maybe, but where will the bean counters start slicing next? Will the ‘sucessful’ managers from consumer support get promoted to Corporate Support? Will HP and Compaq find happiness after spurning Fiona? Stay tuned to ‘As the Disk Turns”
          And could we remember that each of were asked to share our experience and concerns about these vendors. My experience may be different from yours, but it is still what happened to me. Could we respect that.

        • #3251303


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Who is making the decisions at pc IBM

          We were asked to share our experience with these vendors. YOu said it yourself right there. So Predicting a failed support network for IBM is not an experience IS it?

          Whyt haven’t prices dropped? WEll I would say that first of all, desktops still roll out from North America and they are also selling back stock. THIS doesn’t have a lower manufacturing cost.

          WILL support suffer, nobody can say at this point so it is ocmplete heresay and unqualified opinion at this time.

          As for the current support, IBM has locations all over the US that have a good reputation for support knowledge, haven’t heard of too many layoffs in that department yet. So one can ASSUME that nothing has realy changed yet. As for support in the future WHO CARES? Seriously, it doesn’t matter if they have crappy phone support from China or Zimbabwe for that matter, all they do is collect customer info and send out a tech anyway. It’s not like they actuially even TRY to resolve issues on the phone.

          Mr. Chan or MR. Wong, makes no difference when the only locally authorized support tech is Mr. Roberts from ABC company and is a friend who knows me and my system well. Are ythey perhaps gona start sending parts out form China now and we won’t be able to read the instructions? Will Eddy Woo be flying out with a new keyboard for me?

          I don’t NEED support to speak good English, I can email them a trouble ticket and they will have a tech out ASAP. If you think their response time will suffer, think again. Bug Blue is STILL an American company, will they allow a Chinese division to run them into the ground? I would doubt it.

        • #3250060

          Switched to Dell

          by usaatca2001 ·

          In reply to Leaning toward Dell as well

          When I was the IT Mgr. at my last job, I switched to Dell because I was tired of the lack of support from my previous vendor. I bought only the Optiplex line with 3 years, 5×10, 4 hour onsite support. In almost 3 years I had only 1 problem with their support & I believe that was due to a communication problem between me & the support line. Other than that, Dell’s support provider (I forget who they were) always showed up when they were supposed to.

          However, I never bought Dell online; I always bought through my Dell sales rep & would always get him & my supposed Dell support team involved with any problems. I did use Dell’s web site to configure my desktops & check prices.

          We weren’t a big organization, but I certainly gave Dell enough ongoing business. FWIW

        • #3250045

          Switched to Dell too

          by longennamer ·

          In reply to Switched to Dell

          We replaced all our desktops with Dells 4 years ago. I am a little dissapointed that they are pushing more to India and elswhere, and you can’t understand them. But otherwise they overnight parts out to us, I can replace the part or someone arrives next day to install it for me. Also, you will get refurbished parts as replacements no matter what company you go with. Your brand new machines will ship with some refurbished parts! They’re allowed a certain percentage.

        • #3249907

          Tried them all

          by mechanicalpc ·

          In reply to Leaning toward Dell as well

          Go with Dell. They made the mistake of oursourcing their corporate helpdesk and quickly corrected. The pricing aside, IBM has always had a policy of promising the moon, and delivering less than. Dell has a way to bypass the need to call for support in parts replacements via their premier support system. You also have the opportunity to get 24hr turn around on any replacement parts. The key is to negotiate the best deal with your corporate rep.
          Failure rates within the 3 yr cycle has been <10% overall. Turn around time from order placement to delivery has been <2 weeks depending on configuration. Stick with the optiplex desktops and inspiron laptops, otherwise your playing with fire.

        • #3251901

          Check the local agents – service providers

          by spookster ·

          In reply to Tried them all

          I would pick Dell over HP. Haven’t used IBM. But in any case if you need the outside service tech to visit, it depends on the local provider. Check with other local users to find out how service really works on your area.

        • #3251720

          IBM Call Center

          by chick_hazzard ·

          In reply to Leaning toward Dell as well

          When I call for PC support from IBM, I am routed to Atlanta, not New Dehli. Next day on-site support is the way to go if you cannot replace defective hard drives or bad power supplies. I would suggest using a third party vendor such as Insight or CDW and mix your PC’s and Monitors.

      • #3250040

        Other Options

        by c-3po ·

        In reply to I have worked with all three….

        There are other options out there. Because of particular connections, we have been using ACER computers. Many poo-poo them, but they have worked rather reliably for us in our enterprise. I purchase the extended warranties for laptops which take the most abuse, but rarely have any of them gone “down”. When they have, their repair centre has dealt with the problems well. We even had an on-site fix for a video card problem we encountered. If you want a brand name, you don’t have to stick to IBM, HP or DELL.

        • #3251541

          No Thanks

          by livinghell ·

          In reply to Other Options

          Bought 5 Acer laptops 2yrs ago and within first month 4 had to go back for repair under warranty leaving key users without laptop for up to 2 weeks. Would be extremely wary of using their kit again!

      • #3250037


        by mike_anderson ·

        In reply to I have worked with all three….

        Ravens04, is it because Dell systems break more than IBM’s that you deal with their tech support more often? We switched from IBM laptops to Dell laptops and personally I think the Dell is no where near as good as the IBM. The IBM’s just work hard and continue to work hard.

      • #3250031

        Also worked with all 3

        by akruger ·

        In reply to I have worked with all three….

        I used to work for a compony that had more than 2000 laptops/desktops.
        We also had the premier support and it takes you 5-10 min to do the online stuff and by 9 o’clock the next day the parts were there.
        Dell has very nice systems and my suggestion do yourself a favour and get dell certified and then us the premier support.

        Never been easier.

        • #3249976

          Dell Certified?

          by ·

          In reply to Also worked with all 3

          We have been a Dell user for many years, really had few problems. In looking at post by akruger, I’m curious what is meant by the suggestion to “get dell certified.” You can email me at

        • #3234782

          Dell or HP

          by mslevette ·

          In reply to Also worked with all 3

          I use to only order Compaq machines because of the quality of the tech support, but after the merger with HP the support went way down. So I have recently switched to Dell we have the 3 year on site support and it is working very well. The techs speak english and seem to know there stuff. You must remember that this is just hardware and you are going to have problems but it’s much eaiser to troubleshoot if all systems are identical.

      • #3250027

        Have you check Micron (aka MPC)?

        by neuromancer ·

        In reply to I have worked with all three….

        We usually stick with Dell because of pricing, but I have been to a seminar put on by MPC and they claim to have the best support. They even acknowledge that they charge a bit more then others, but claim to make it up with excellent support for businesses. It might be worth checking into. Take it with a grain of salt of course, as they were tooting their own horn I’m sure. But a lot of the stuff they talked about there seemed customer-orientated.

      • #3251852

        Try CLEARCUBE

        by rgcastillo ·

        In reply to I have worked with all three….

        I’ve dealt with the 3 also, and I would choose Dell over the other 2. I’m testing a new vendor now, Clearcube… Check out this vendor, especially if you’re a one man crew for multiple locations.

        • #3251299

          Clearcube is the future

          by dr dij ·

          In reply to Try CLEARCUBE

          clearcube is computing of the future. it a modularized thin (thick?) client.

          alot of big companies are testing or deploying them.

          uses blades on back end
          perfect as if a blade goes out the client simply connects to another one. there’s alot less hardware to break at the client desk. just a monitor/kb/mouse I/F with ethernet port.

          When they get cheap enuf I’ll use them at home.

          since at any given time only 2/3 of corporate PCs are actually being used, you could buy just 2/3 of blades and have hot spares. you might be able to share the blade PCs like citrix does.

      • #3251026

        PC Supplier

        by computab ·

        In reply to I have worked with all three….

        you seem to think there are no other suppliers. try 3 small local suppliers and ask them for references from their customers.

        • #3250990

          Are references even worthy though

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to PC Supplier

          First of all, nobody is going to give you a reference to someone they HAVEN’T helped or that has complained about them. A company having three or four happy clients is hardly a measure of success.

          Anyone can provide two or three written testimonials and asking a company to offer a phone reference is completely silly. If I had a supplier give MY number out to people asking for a reference, I am gonna get pretty damn tired of a weekly call from some insecure buyer.

          My work requires constant use of testimonials and but people asking for phone references can get stuffed. Sure I have happy clients, but that’s because I don’t give their number out to every yahoo who second guesses me.

          I would just ask THEM about what types of installs or landmark jobs they have landed.

          If they have done the local school board, police department, local training academy’s etc. THen you can pretty much trust that they are capable of supporting a few systems as those contracts are generally under a tight tender especially when it comes to non-OEM stuff.

          But whenever I see people checking out a company, even checking out a potential employee, and wanting references, I just roll my eyes. I don’t want your business if that’s how you evaluate a potential employee/purchase.

          Any company can provide you with a few good references regardless, who cares if three of fifteen hundred clients are happy?

    • #3329038


      by bhunsinger ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      While I agree that IBM in that past has had great sup[port, I don’t know what will happen with th e China deal. HP has gotten to the answers for me better than Dell. My true slam at Dell is that their support keeps getting worse, and they are getting by on price. My Choice would be a good, local white box vendor with a 3 year warrantee and standard compnents; no vendor BS to deal with.

      • #3329026

        No BS would be great

        by chromacat ·

        In reply to HP

        I did get a quote from the local vendor I normally deal with, but they came in about $1000 more than IBM.

        However, you are right that the BS factor would be about nil with a local shop as opposed to any of the major vendor.

        Here’s hoping I can find a happy medium between cost and BS.



      • #3329006

        No BS but possibly no company either

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to HP

        I have tried the white box route. The supplier would quibble over ANYTHING you wanted replaced, as they didnt’ have the same overhead to support replacement. The parts were low quality, teh BIOS isn’t matched to the hardware, FAR too expensive and R&D intensive and then they eventually went t*ts up.

        SO the 5 year warranty we had was good for 2 and even then after a lot of complaining. They also had the audacity to keep asking us to take dead PC’s to THEM for repair, even though we were entitled to onsite support.

        At the time, they were one of Canada’s leading ‘white box’ builders.

      • #3342474

        Depends Oz on “Local”

        by bhunsinger ·

        In reply to HP

        We use a company that is 30 minutes away in Columbus Ohio. Have for 10 years with no problems, no quibbles. Builds are spec out as to components, and the software is always present with keys. No ads on the computer, nothing you don’t want. Might be $50-100 over on hp business to business for desktops.
        My real point is that the compnents are standard. No special memory (Dell) no propietory power supplies etc. Designed to run after the warrantee period, or, take the one year and stock a few parts instead. 20 machines should also get you a price.

        • #3250132

          go local

          by pivert ·

          In reply to Depends Oz on “Local”

          I totally agree. I support 4 sites in 3 countries (Belgium, France, Holland). Build a good relation with local company. perhaps you initially pay more but you’ll sleep better if you know you can tackle problems with 1 call. support from IBM/HP is ok but they’ll just swap the machine or part. a local company will (hopefully) do a little extra (install, make link to network etc). I don’t expect them to do this for free, but most companies just aren’t interested in this kind of service. other problem is that such partners are really hard to find.

        • #3251862

          Parts swappers

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to go local

          In my experience both IBM and Compaq will spend time onsite making sure your PC is running properly. If they swap a NIC, they connect it, if they swap a wifi card, thy connect itm if they swap a Graphics Card they will run their own proprietary system tests on it as they need a clear code from the test for their work order. If they swap a system board they update and reprogram the BIOS with teh serials etc. But they sure as hell don’t charge me for it.

          I DO expect them to do this for free, and they do.

        • #3251822

          Not a chance

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to go local

          White box & build your own have no place in Businesses.

          HP, IBM, Dell & Compaq, even at their worst, outperform white box vendors

      • #3249994

        HP Caveat

        by Anonymous ·

        In reply to HP

        We have done fairly regular bakeoffs between HP, IBM, Dell… HP has consistently beent he best bang for the buck in our “real-world” tests.

        HP has always been very good for support (we have never purchased exteneded contracts, we have just used the basic 3 year warranty, and they have always been very quick to respond and send replacement parts. They have made the process quite painless.

        I would recommend using a 3rd party vendor to purchase the systems though. HP’s sales for leaves something to be desired. I can consistently get better pricing better customer service and faster, more accurate delivery from local vendors (and CDW. They are our personal favorite), than I can from HP direct.

        • #3251797

          HP Support

          by aaardal ·

          In reply to HP Caveat

          I think you hit all the major points.

          We’re majority a HP shop here and HP support has been pretty painless. No real hassles. They send parts right away. I also would recommend using a 3rd party vendor like CDW or Zones.

    • #3329027

      HP is probably the best

      by dafe2 ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I’ve worked with all three vendors over the years.

      Every one of them offer tremendous Server support BUT at the desktop…..HP delivers the best in the end. I’ve found Dell pretty slack when it comes to getting components out….IBM I’m not sure what will happen.

      • #3329013

        That’s good to know

        by chromacat ·

        In reply to HP is probably the best

        I had nothing but trouble with Compaq desktops back in the day (well, the early 2000’s), so I was basically using the hp quote as a reference.

        It’s good to know that they are worth considering (2 out of 3 responders so far picked hp), since they came in just above the lowest quote (Dell).





      • #3250047

        None are greater than the other…

        by codfieri ·

        In reply to HP is probably the best

        In my experience all of them have their strengths and weaknesses. IBM has a great desktop line but the laptops sometimes have little problems (the T30 for instance had a RAM issue) but the support was top notch. Dell has fallen off quite a bit in both support and quality and when compared to HP they come in third but only barely. HP lately has had a massive issue w/ laptop components (specifically on the nc6000 and on their priducts using Toshiba HDDs) and whether it be desktop or laptop you may end up w/a person in India whos name is “Jack”. Yeah right.

        • #3251820

          NC 6000

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to None are greater than the other…

          I use one myself & have deployed about 600 of them.

          I’ve had 62 of the drive issues you talk about….all resolved PROMPTLY & without grief.

          We’re not talking about problems. We’re talking about how they were dealt with.

    • #3329008

      IBM and Compaq(HP) has been the best to me

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I live in a pretty remote place on Vancouver Island, IBM techs turn up at my house within 48 hours with a box of parts in hand and go to great lengths to replace ANYTHING without a single question asked as to how or why. I could toss my notbook out the window and the would start replacing parts, no questions asked. IN my third year of onsite support, one more to go.

      Compaq offers a nice 3 or 5-Year onsite with their business desktops and they will also turn up the next or same day with an armload of parts that they will install for you.

      IBM has GREAT phone support (for BUSINESS desktops) and Compaq’s (HP cringe) is even better at teh desktop level ONLY. Compaq support techs in Canada are mainly French speaking but if you’re Canadian you soon get used to broken French/English but they ARE very helpful and replace anything without asking too many questions.

      They just make sure that if it is software related you are aware they will charge you, as any manufacturere will.

      Dell was and still is the most ridiculous excuse for support I have dealt with, just absolutely AWFUL. They don’t know JACK and you have to WAIT for parts to be MAILED out that usually don’t match former parts so it is hard to retain standards.(in contrast, IBM and Compaq deliver via Purolator within a day or two IF it is a custoemr replaceable unit, if not, a tech turns up with the part ASAP) IBM and Compaq are proprietary and ‘standards’ is what they are based on, IBM ESPECIALLY, the Intellistations have SO much R&D and standardization in them as well as top quality hardware in a truly toolless chassis design. Just a DREAM to work with, solid as a rock and well supported.

      From working in a shop FULL of IBM, HP, Compaq, Toshiab and even some Dell machines, I will give;
      -Highend Desktop QUALITY to the IBM Intellistations they are ROCK solid and powerful.
      -Standard desktop quality to Compaq for the Deskpro series and more recently the EVO’s (500 series) that I just LOVE!
      -Notebook QUALITY and design goes to IBM Thinkpads, hand down no second best.


      -High end desktops, IBM by FAR. These guy sREALLY understand business level support and speed.
      -Standard desktops, IBM or Compaq are both VERY good.
      -Notebook support, again IBM RULES in that area too.

      So I guess It is IBM with Compaq a second best ( I don’t cae WHO they merged with, Compaq desktops and Compaq support still walks all over the HP offerings, IN A BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT)those retail boaxes aren’t worth the shelf space they occupy and neither is support worth the phone call.

      My dime anyway.

      • #3328981

        Going above and beyond

        by chromacat ·

        In reply to IBM and Compaq(HP) has been the best to me

        I am really impressed at how well IBM has honored your support contract. I pretty much loathe having to call Dell for support, so its good to know that things would likely be different if I went with IBM.

        As an aside – Is Vancouver Island remote enough that the techs have to fly in rather than get there by some type of ferry? Just curious.

        Regarding going above and beyond – that’s in reference to your post. Highly informative and more than one would expect – thanks!


        • #3342585

          To fly or sail

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Going above and beyond

          IBM send techs from 2 different depots, I know them all from supporting various machines over the years.

          If coming from teh mainland, rare and only if NOBODY is available locally (no they won’t make me wait they have someone else come in) they HAVE flown in (I think because it’s fun to seaplane up here) and they ave also ferried but the 90 minute ferry and a four hour drive each way isn’t too cost effective. Not when you can fly for the cost of one hours service.

          The LOCAL tech, about 1.5 hours down island, LOVES coming up here, we usually go for a beer or two afterwards, last time he brought his guitar and I cut a few tracks for him afterwards. He has DAT’s with his demo’s, and I get a friend fixing the computer for me. VERY nice!

          When I got my first Thinkpad, it had a few minor problems right off the bat, they apologized and offered to fix it, or send me the next model up, which I now have. When my headphone jack was cutting out (you know like ALL walkmans eventually do) they replaced the system board the next day, AND the keyboard because the tech ‘didn’t like the fit’ it hadn’t bothered me and I still can’t quite figure out what he meant.

          When I had a COUPLE of pixels burn ou tin my LCD, they replaced it the next day no questions asked, and THAT is rare in notebook world.

          When my desktop (Intellistaion M-Pro)was runnig at what I deemed a bit warm,they replaced fans and stuck aroun dto test it, the heat remained but was not effecting system performance so it was no big deal, but I have never been CHARGED for any service, other than buying the beers when I loose a game of darts to the tech.

          At this point I really don’t look at anything else, I know what has been proven to me, and that’s all I deal with as I KNOW what I am getting into, superior service, hardware and support. Spend now and save later.

    • #3342321

      IBM for corporate

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      At a glance they seem more pricy, but they come with the warranty that covers them instead of a separate purchase.

      We have several IBM servers and have only had a problem with one. They had someone on-site the next day and they swapped out the bad parts.

      If my butt is on the line, I will go with big blue. They have really come a long way.

      • #3342268

        That’ll be my selling point

        by chromacat ·

        In reply to IBM for corporate

        “If my butt is on the line, I will go with big blue.”

        Do I have to pay royalties if I use that line?
        Because it makes perfect sense from what most everyone has posted, and is pretty concise to boot.

        Thanks for the input!


        • #3342262

          Mr. Drummer

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to That’ll be my selling point

          You WILL post and tell us what you end up doing right?

          Enquiring minds want to know, and I wouldn’t mind knowing either.

          Hey, didn’t you have your own TV show with those two adopted black kids and that one prissy daughter turned coke head slut?

          OR was that Drummond?

        • #3250873

          Diff’rent Strokes

          by chromacat ·

          In reply to Mr. Drummer

          Pretty sure I am not Conrad Bain 😉

          Also pretty sure the first sentence in your reply is in the imperative rather than the interrogative =)

          But to answer that question: Yes, I will gladly post with the results of this endeavour. I really appreciate everyone’s input. The TR veterans are providing great help as usual. My posts/replies have been sporadic today as I was called out to a remote site to troubleshoot ECM / engine diagnostic software connectivity issues (I work for a transport/logistics company).

          Before I forget — In one of your other posts I noticed that you are a musician (or engineer) with an in-house studio. Very nice. My TR username isn’t entirely in jest. I play for the band Fine China [, (has audio) ; No purchase necessary – URLs posted only for the curious.] Anyway, from what I have been told, our label’s owner just bought the Neve console Radiohead used to record “The Bends”. Pretty amazing (and pretty expensive!)


        • #3250854


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Diff’rent Strokes

          I got a console years ago right after AC/DC recorded Who Made WHo, a nice analoge board which I will take over digital any day of the week. Angus’s masking tape still sits under two sliders.

          I had a chance to buy an old board from a neighbour who recorded Nickleback’s demo crap (very punk), but it was too coloful for me, poor compression etc.

          I actually am an engineer by hobby, former drummer keyboards from years back, but I have roadied, then managed quite a few bands for 15+ years. I have spent the last 10 years finding North American bands who want to avoid the label mess out here and getting them into European markets. I now only manage two bands, have closed US locations but still promote/distribute for a few other more notable bands in the US.

          I work with a FEW local acts from time to time, Trooper, and Loverboy (press only)and handle marketing for a couple of others, that I am restricted from identifying unless I use a disclaimer for ALL my posts. My studio is mainly for engineering DAT’s that I get sent from bands in England, yet they also work with POD studios (engineer is Judas Priest’s former drummer) and another that Pete Friesen from Alice Cooper operates when not touring with Alice.

          I am still unable to peel my eyes away from BC long enough to move home to England and go at it full time again, but I do still handle promo and distribution, some legal services for a few UK bands.

          One day

        • #3251734

          you’re asking the wrong question :-)

          by kfonda ·

          In reply to That’ll be my selling point

          The question should be – Which vendor requires less support? The answer to that is easy – it’s IBM. I’ve been doing this since 1983 and IBM has always been the most expensive and the most reliable.

          Kevin Fonda
          Manasquan, NJ

    • #3250131

      HP Win Hands down

      by alastairlee ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      We were for many yesrs a Compaq and then HP shop. We have 60 sites spread across the country so having good no quibble support was essential for us. Having just moved to Dell because they were able to offer a much better deal on leasing, I will say we are underwhelmed at the quality of their support.

      With HP/Compaq we would log a call having diagnosed a HW fault and an engineer would be on site and the part swapped within 24 hours. With Dell however it is impossible to get a part swapped without going through a rigmarole involving protracted email discussions with “support” personnel who sometimes seem to be less technically qualified than our users – let alone our IT staff. This is particualrly annoying when a hard drive is failed, we know it is failed and needs to be swapped, but they still insist on following the script. I’m sure this is because they are more geared toward the Noddy end of the market – home users!

      • #3250072

        Agreed — HP/Compaq Have Been Simple

        by capnpauly ·

        In reply to HP Win Hands down

        My company has purchased HP/Compaq desktops & servers, IBM servers, and Gateway desktops and by far HP/Compaq has been the easiest to deal with.
        When trying to work with Gateway they make you troubleshoot over the phone with THEIR techs before authorizing a replacement part, even after the a tech from an ‘uthorized’ service-center diagnosed the problem. Kinda defeats the purpose of having an ‘Authorized’ service center. 😉 They also don’t like to carry items for desktops that they don’t manufacture anymore. Perfect example is that we have a few older Pentium 3 desktops that they don’t carry motherboards for anymore. My service company had to order a replacement motherboard from a third-party company off of the Internet!
        While Gateway wasn’t on the list of possible choices, after talking with a few of my service company’s techs, Dell pulls the same kinda crap that Gateway does when it comes to getting replacement parts (I’ve also heard horror stories from some non-techie acquaintances). I’m not sure about the whole stocking/manufacturing of older items, but anytime we’ve needed a replacement *anything* from HP/Compaq we haven’t had a problem with (aside from things being out of stock once in a while); even trying to get a hold of older motherboards.

        But to wind down my speel here, if I were to do a whole new fleet of PCs, and possibly stay with a company for the foreseeable future, I’d look into HP/Compaq. IBM is decent too, but they are at quite a premium, or a local system integrator if they can provide you with the support you need (I.E. on-site, specific turn-around time, three-year, five-year, etc).
        I’ve also heard that Acer has gotten better over the years and that MPC has all US-based tech support, so they might be worth a look-see too.
        But regardless, I’d stay away from Dell (and Gateway).

      • #3250050

        I agree but

        by frsal ·

        In reply to HP Win Hands down

        I couldn’t agree with you more. Nothing frustrates me more than having to sit on the phone with Dell no mater how many times I tell them I am A+ and I know what the problem is. However I have also had Compaq and HP products and as you say the part arrives in 24 hours. One way I found around this is also to have the Premier Support where you make the call, or for no cost to you choose an authorized repair center close to you and let them do the dirty work they get paid and you get it fixed asap. Highly recommend the 3yr pts and labor.

    • #3250130

      go generic

      by aljatrad ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Seek out your nearest aid like Fred Langa (Langalist) and go generic you will save thousands and have a more secure system and get A1 support.

      • #3250122

        Short Story

        by jetula ·

        In reply to go generic

        Any compatible system is eaier on the pocket book, easier to get upgrades for and over all easier to repair. People have to remember that IBM and etc.. are Brand Name product names and nothing more.

        Take it from a consumer that has purchased IBM models, Dell’s, and HP’s. Their support staff are little more than reading a book of dumbie scripts to solve on off issues, anymore than that, look for your new system to take a ride on the reading railroad for a few weeks to their technical support.

        Buying a IBM Compatible Computer is the most cheapest and best way to get what you require from your system. AND.. YES all parts in your Compatible come with Factory Warranties.

        Final comment..Short Story
        Friend bought a Dell, Dell broke down, friends Dell was sent to Dell for repairs. Two weeks later, Dell is home. 1 month later, Dell broke down, friend ask Jetula to repair, I advised friend that if I open this system Dell warranty will be ended. Dell was send to Dell for repair, three weeks later Dell was home. Friend sold Dell and Jetula built friend a faster, better Compatible system with the money made from the secondhand Dell sale. Friend is HAPPY and supported faster then a Brand Name system.

        • #3250087

          back to front

          by mikewor ·

          In reply to Short Story

          I reckon ypour approach is back to front. find a support organisation you can trust and work with and then buy what they support. If they sell brand names, well and good. If they sell there own ‘cheap and fast’ brand, also OK because it’s their neck on the chopping block. Bottom line:- spend your effort on finding the support organisation and the rest will fall into place

        • #3251845

          warranty, not voided

          by warwizard ·

          In reply to Short Story


          Your opening the case will NOT void the warranty, you can install third party hardware and still not void the warranty unless it is obvious that the 3rd party hardware caused the damage, and I do not mean a bent pin, more like installing an incompatible memory in backwards and shorting out the system board kind of damage.

          As far as I know there has not been a “warranty voided if sticker is removed” lable on any Dell system. I cannot say the same for Compaq (now HP). It’s a function of the way Dell looks at tech support, you can put anything you want into a Dell, if there are problems, pull it out to eliminate it as the cause of the problems. Check the online forums to see if others have a fix for the H/W you’re installing.
          While Compaq (HP) offered limited versions with tightly controlled BIOS and hardware. If their models did not offer what you needed, you were out of luck.

        • #3251831


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Short Story

          You aren’t talking apples and apples. You HAVEN’T bought any IBM or HP professional workstations obviously.

          Reading Railroad???? Next day onsite service is more like it (3 or 5 year included in initial purchase price for ALL professional desktops and workstations).

          Factory warranties? So you SEND them away and get a new one? How much downtime do YOU allow in your company?

          As for warranty being voided, again complete hogwash. Any of thee companies will support any hardware you install. If you have a system failure, they WILL remove any added hardware before restoring your system as that is the ONLY way to ensure it is THEIR issue or not, just like any other PC manufacturer in the world.

          Any compatible system is easier to repair? This is proof you are not talking with experience.

          If you use ANY tools, even a Phillips screwdriver to remove the case or harddrives, it is NOT easier to repair than an IBM Compaq/HP. They can be completely rebuilt without a SINGLE tool and it is generally performed the next day, onsite by their own tech under their warranty.

          As for that’s all you get, have you ever considered hardware standards? Imaging multiple boxes? Where do you get all the updates for your white boxes? Who tested the MOBO Bios with the Graphic scard and optimized the drivers?

          Sorry to sound rude but so many people are making false assumtptions here based on incomplete information or just providing plain misinsformation that it is very misleading to the original poster.

          Your comments are NOT true of the other manufacturers, there’s HUGE of difference between OEM and aftermarket clones. You BS about sending parts off on the Reading Railrod in one paragraph and THEN say that all the parts in a white box have manu warranties (1 year to mail in the HD, instead of 3 or 5 onsite warranty is just great!)in your example YOU are talking about sending parts off on the Reading Railroad but ignoring the fact that all the others EXTEND that hardware warranty and do it on site in 24-48 hours no questions asked.

          If you want to rant and rave about white boxes, do so. When someone is looking for facts about OEM business machines, there’s no reason for you to offer such BS though, it hardly helps anyone.

      • #3251818

        Go nuts

        by dafe2 ·

        In reply to go generic

        Most of those machines turn to A1 sauce in business.

        Most of the dealers turn to Bankrupcy court with a year…..if they bother to do the honorable thing to begin with.

    • #3250126

      What Support

      by chuck5406 ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I recently had the need for some support and I have a Compaq (see also HP) system and used or at least tried to use their Instant Internet support. In a word it is useless. Noody responds and just like when speaking with them on the phone they don’t know anything. Of course when speaking with them on the phone you do get to listen to the elevator music while you are on hold. If you have a problem call Microsoft and spend the $40 to get it resolved. If it is a hardware issue hopefully you bought your system from a local tech company and they wil fix it for you instead of sending it off to never-never land with a Best Buy or similar company.

      • #3251861

        What have you been buying???

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to What Support

        I don’t think we are talking apples and apples here. YOu have described residential service offerings, or those you get when you go to BEST BUY and buy your company’s workstations off the shelf.

        We are discussing professional workstations, you don’t find them at Best Buy or any retail outlet for that matter.

        Elevator music? Online web support? Don’t know anything? You are definitely NOT talking about a professional workstation with onsite support.

    • #3250121

      Standardized on HP

      by stadams1 ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Approx. 8 years ago my department standardized on HP. Really like their support in most instances. We buy everything HP/Compaq: desktops, servers, monitors, printers, etc…. If we have a hardware failure, place the call in the morning, and the replacement part is there next day. If it requires an onsite tech, usually takes two days. We don’t have many software issues, except at upgrade time on our HP-UX database server. When we’ve called in on software, HP has responded quickly 97% of the time. Recently (within last year and half), have had a few issues with hardware support. I think it was due to Compaq integration in HP’s system. I have not had any experience with IBM or Dell.

    • #3250120

      Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      by docklas ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      IBM no doubt! I’ve been dealing with about 20 Optiplex in one of our subnetworks.The PC is OK but when problems start then you dont know clearly who will provide you with support.

      My oppinion: IBM is superb and if you can discuss they will always be able to give the same prices as Dell, HP….

      I hope that this was of help for you.

      • #3250110

        Trust no one ..

        by danetter ·

        In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

        I tried to buy a customized low-to-medium-end workstation from Dell and canceled the order after a month during which nothing at all was done. I would not be confident that a purchase of 20 machines would attract Dell’s attention. Be wary about what is covered by “maintenance”; you are probably already well aware of this, but “maintenance” contracts tend not to include software unless explictly stated.

      • #3251721

        Best Vendor For Your Size

        by chick_hazzard ·

        In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

        I deal with IBM on a weekly basis covering 400 PC’s. We have staged our refresh in 3 year cycles and I cannot emphisise the next day on-site service. With only 20 PC’s to contend with, you should look at purchasing a service plan that can be more flexible with your small office. Paying for next day on-site for 20 PC’s could cost more in the long run. The majority of our defects are simple hard drive swaps and power supplies. It may seem like a lot of work to have to service 20 PC’s, but the numbers are in your favor for defects and you should budget your service plan accordingly.

    • #3250109

      DELL Optiplex GX280 sf

      by jonatanv ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      This computer P4 @ 3.0 GHz; 512 MB RAM dual DDR one 512mb chip ( for future upgrade ( insert another 512 mb then you will see a great diffrence on WinXP prosp2 ) ); 80 GB HDD; DVD drive ( Lot of office documents are coming in on DVD disks ) manuals specially . For monitor 17″ Dell flat panel 1280X1024 res. . On-board Video; Gigabit NIC; WinXP Pro SP2 ;no diskette drive .; 8 USB 2 slots 2 on front . Warranty: 3 yr.
      Preset image installed on HDD .

      Use this setup and you should get good setup , the quality of service seems to be nearly as good as my expirience of previous supplier ( HP ) .

      Maintainance is 1.0 % so far after 2 years of Optiplex .

    • #3250106


      by fgarvin ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Dell support is great only if you opt in for the Premier Support (Recently renamed Warranty Parts Direct). You have to pay to have a tech certified which increases the cost. If you are dealing with a large number of systems, it is well worth the cost. I get my spares next business day by entering the information on a web site. If you have to deal with their regular phone support, it becomes a real hassle. Also, if you are looking at the optiplex systems, stay away from the GX280. After a large purchase (1100 systems), we are experiencing a close to 10 percent failure rate. Problems such as the CPU fan running at high speeds, bad memory, and motherboard failures. The most common problem is the fan, which is usually fixed by replacing the heatsink. Sounds weird, but the Heat Sink has r-134 in the tubes to disapate heat and either they are leaking, or the contact with the tubes is insufficient to allow the heat to move into the tubes in the first place.

      HP Support has been dreadful at best (With the exception of their printer support which rocks). We have sent them 3 laptops that died within weeks of arrival and the turn around time on repairs is in the months range.

      Have not dealt with IBM, so I can provide no insight there.

      Good Luck.

    • #3250104

      HP vs Dell

      by hobgoblin ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I have worked with HP and Dell and believe that both provide good customer service. However, when it comes to PC, Dell assembles a better PC than HP.

      • #3250071

        Is Dell to be trusted?

        by sturner6 ·

        In reply to HP vs Dell

        I have a Dell personal computer (i.e. not a business suite) and it has been okay with a few minor problems. But, what really sours me on Dell is an article in “Time” a couple of years back how they fired a number(well over a hundred as I recall) of their engineers. It was no notice, no warning, take no prisoners. Not how you treat people. It has been my experience that how a company treats its internal customers (employees) is reflective of how it treats its external customers.

    • #3250098

      Re: best vendor

      by go_jetskiing_800sxr ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I have been purchasing HP EVO D5xx and DC7100 models for the past 3 years with no problems. I can even upgrade their CPU’s.

    • #3250096

      Dell works best in all catagories

      by james.august ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      We base our decisions on Cost, Customer Service, and Tech Support. Dell won, hands down, in all 3 catagories.

      Because I work for a school district, we get eductaional pricing…and Dell came in the cheapest price for their Optiplex models (currently we order the GX280).
      Next is costomer service, this mixed with their on-line Forum website, I get a lot of my questions answered.
      And lastly their Tech Support, depending on which warranty program you wish to buy they are the best in any case. We have extended warraties good for 4 years, with a next business shipment on parts replacements. We have a 4 hour turn-around for our servers for an on-site tech and/or parts.
      We did the research with all vendors (10 total) and decided that Dell has the best company to deal with. We’ve never had any major problems yet. So we are extremely happy with Dell.

      Good luck in your quest to find a PC vendor.

      • #3250049

        A few notes about Dell

        by llamanirvana ·

        In reply to Dell works best in all catagories

        I’ve had experience with HP and Dell, and it’s really true that you get what you pay for. If you purchase the same day support agreement, you get same day support. I agree with the point someone else made that the competence of support gets better the more you invest in it. In other words, the support techs at any of the big 3 will give you less hassle if you purchase a better support plan. I’ve found that it’s generally more cost effective to spend the customer’s money to purchase a better support plan up front than when something breaks.
        I work with mostly small business, 5 to 50 employees, and Dell hardware has been reliable. Some of my customers have 5 year old Dell PCs and servers that have yet to need any hardware replacement.
        One last point I want to make about Dell is that their supply chain is extremely short, which forces them to use reliable hardware. They don’t keep warehouses of backup hardware, and they don’t have a lot of same-model replacement parts on hand. They literally get fresh hardware off the boat from Asia and it’s in the end users’ hands 2 weeks later. Yes they refurbish some parts like everyone else, but what does that matter if the part works as you expect it to? Check out the article on them in 11/04 Fast Company.

    • #3250092

      build them yourself

      by scott ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      20 isn’t that many. Just use all Intel boards & CPUs, 7200 SATA hard drives w/ 3-yr warranties, a nice-looking, quiet case like the Antec SLK2650. Stay with DDR1 to keep the price down, so the 915GAVL board. Use Kingston memory. Then use the MS OEM Preinstalltion Kit for your OS installs. Once you have the image, it takes all of 5 minutes to load each operating system, and it would be all customized with your logo. If anything would go wrong with the machines, just throw your image back on.

      If anything goes wrong with the hardware, Intel has next day replacement. Keep extra drives on your shelves for quick and easy replacement.

      I’ve been in the position of standing between the customer and the manufacturer, and it can be a very frustrating and embarrassing place to be because you recommended ****. But having built them yourself, you maintain control, and end up looking like a hero when you get them back up and running in no time.

      • #3251816

        May have control

        by dafe2 ·

        In reply to build them yourself

        But no quality with that approach.

        • #3251783

          no quality?

          by scott ·

          In reply to May have control

          Pardon me? Where the hell do you get that idea? Intel is not quality? You can put much more quality into a system by choosing quality components rather than the crap that they put into brand-name pieces of junk. 9 of 10 machines that we fix every day have a brand name: Dell, Gateway, HP, Sony, Toshiba, etc.

        • #3251280

          Unless you have an ISO

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to no quality?

          Unless you have an ISO stamp & sound manufacturing processes forget it. So what if you use an intel product?

          For every 9 or 10 machines you fix………..there are probably a hundred of those ‘put together’ crap boxes out there dying off.

          ‘Quality Components’ are one thing, and even then these guys, more often than not, buy the quality control rejects when ‘building’ these Frankenputers. How these components work together is whats important.

          You’d be hard pressed to come up with the MTBF stats that a Brand name manufacturer CONSISTENTLY demontrates by using sound manufacturing processes & quality control.

        • #3251972

          Control is how you get Quality

          by bhunsinger ·

          In reply to May have control

          Using good parts and doing the work yourself is how you get quality-If you know what you are doing.

        • #3251279

          Not really

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Control is how you get Quality

          Only if you use sound and CONSISTENT manufacturing processes(and) strict ISO standards.

          ISO standards is not usually found in the “shops” or more often the basements that build the ‘Frankenputers.’

          THe only consitent thing about a Frankenputer is it’s faillure rates. LOL

        • #3251264

          yes and no

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Not really

          For a knowledgeable professional, I find that it’s usually a good idea to build one’s own computer when only one computer is needed for a particular task, for purposes of cost, reliability, predictability, and performance. When you need a number of standardized systems, however, it’s better to go through a vendor that knows its business and has standardization process built into manufacturing/assembly procedures so that you’ll get consistent quality and capability with platform pre-testing to suit your needs.

          That having been said, I recommend high-quality organizations other than the Big Names in PCs. Don’t get a Dell, an HP, a Compaq, a Gateway, or other Big Name contract: get your contract with someone that survives on quality and professional reputation rather than marketing and public perception. Of those asked about, I would tend to prefer IBM systems (particularly for servers or laptops), but I’d be more inclined to go with a quality vendor whose name is a complete mystery to the average soccer mom.

          I’ve dealt with Nobilis/Equus with one of my current employers, and they’ve not done me wrong, as an example. Shop around for your own needs, and don’t buy into marketing hype when choosing a brand name. It’s about the quality of product and service, not the mystique attached to a name.

        • #3251228


          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to yes and no


          My primary box is a Laptop, however, I’ll usually buy a barebone workstation from a reputable reliable source & build up from there.

          Most recently this has been HP. I mostly concern myself with value for money.

          Your last line says it best:

          “It’s about the quality of product and service, not the mystique attached to a name.”

          EXCEPT when it comes to certain cars. LOL

      • #3250968

        We build em ourselves.

        by cg it ·

        In reply to build them yourself

        Why buy the damn stuff when Dell, Gateway, HP, IBM, Compaq, and all the rest have terrible phone support, terrible techs and if hardware goes down, you have to rely upon them to get new stuff and all they do is go back to the mfg anyways.

        We build them ourselves and use the MFGs warranty. we buy our O/S with volume licensing. Give us stuff to do and we know the machines cuz we built em, instead of having to fart around with something someone else built and given the tech support the big 3 has, who knows what kind of guys built em.

        • #3249876

          Why fart arround you ask?

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to We build em ourselves.

          And what kind of guys build them?

          The answer to question #1 is for the quality, warranty & consistent usage of parts. If I buy 1, 20 or 500 systems…they all use the SAME components, with the possible exeption of a diferent ROM rev.

          The answer to question #2 is (usually) robotics not ‘some guy’.

          Who, today, would put together machines in business is beyond me…..but I guess there’s one in every crowd.

          Farting arround building boxes in business usually translates to screwing over your data aquisition.

          ***I customize or build some systems for my own personal uses…..but it’s MY data to lose.***

        • #3249845

          As apposed to

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Why fart arround you ask?

          One of the Big Companies getting a hardware problem back and the first thing that they do is wipe the HDD and reload it with the original install to see if it still doesn’t work.

          Sorry I’ve seen this with something as simple as the wrong screen display settings and no matter just how much I begged to know the default settings they just had to have it back and destroy everything on the drive so they could reset the defaults by reinstalling the system.

          Of course the lack of help desk guy was insistent that what the unit was running was acceptable even if you couldn’t read anything written on the screen. But a transport charge either way and repacking the 2 week old machine and the 2 weeks down time plus the loss of all the stored data was an acceptable turn around period and repair when all that was really required was a display resolution change.


    • #3250083

      PC World Review

      by travelcare_chris ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Personally I prefer dell. I have had no problems with their support.

      There is an article at that relates directly to this topic:,aid,118514,pg,3,00.asp.

      • #3251858

        THat same chart

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to PC World Review

        Shows people happy with DELL’s out of the box, but what should be noted is that they received one of the lowest ratings for phone hold time and phone support.

        I also don’t think this pertains to professional workstations either, they are comparing to E-Machines, Independant sellers, and Gateway’s. This is for residential, shelf systems, not the same thing.

        Not relevant to the topic here.

    • #3250081


      by mandm ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Why not try a local computer shop. Their warranties are better & support is right there locally. They usually build a better computer than the brand names. If repairs are required on brand names, their parts are usually proprietary. A smaller shop computer will give you better service. A repair if required can be done within a day or two without calling support overseas.

    • #3250080

      DELL hardware is great.

      by dustin_27 ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I work for a department within our gov’t and we have a contract with DELL. I am one of the hardware techs here and when we order parts for dell pc’s under warranty, Dell is great for shipping out next day. Not to say their equipment breaks often, but things do happen. A few years ago we had a contract with gateway and that changed all my thoughts about gateways service and equipment. Junk is all I can say about that. Love your site, Thanks

    • #3250079

      have only used Dell

      by jim ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      In any of my contract sites have ended up with Dell as standard. Sometimes problems in communication but in ordering Optiplex’s have been able to request and receive consistent parts per model, pay for the service level required either 4 hour on site, next day depending on product (whether server, switch, desktop and what the internal helpdesk can handle). Once the product was received the tech support was very good.
      Have also heard that Dell’s phone support will be local NA soon. Major support site and support training site opening in Edmonton AB. So shouldn’t get overseas translation issues after a while.
      Not sure if others can say that..

    • #3250078


      by seanh ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      This has been mentioned before but it bears repeating…20 computers is a large enough number that you should be thinking about Total Cost of Ownership. If you buy the white/beige box and the sound card goes in a couple years what will you replace it with? When you replace it will you have to create a new image for that workstation? Here is a story for you – I work for a school board that had 950 P75 computers from IBM…they were work horses and we kept them for 8 years. If IBM couldn’t find a part for these things that was an exact replacement they made it from scratch. (They actually built us a new motherboard for one of the machines) One image for 950 computers and the knowledge that even if you have to replace parts that image will still work is invaluable. Speaking of images, buy IBM and you can use their “Remote Deployment Manager” software for imaging (they licensed parts of the code from Powerquest)so they could offer it free to their business customers. Most of the support is done by IBM Partners so the trick is finding a Partner organization that you trust.

      Hope that helps!


    • #3250077

      DELL Small business is okay

      by satya_p ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Support for DELL Small business is good. But don’t go for DELL-Home PCs. There is a difference between how the support is handled for Home & Office/SmallBusiness.

    • #3250076

      MPC is worth considering

      by bleninger ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      We’ve standardized on MPC and have been happy. They are based in the US and all their techs are in the US (and the company says they won’t be outsourcing tech support). They are price competitive with Dell. We have had a power supply issue – they received a bad batch – but they are easy to work with to get a replacement. Their “all-in-one” unit is worth looking at as well.

      • #3233437

        Amen Brother!

        by pierre! ·

        In reply to MPC is worth considering

        Been a MPC shop since 1998, 100% MPC for the past year. It has made life sooooo much easier!

        Last year the longest it took me to get a tech on the phone was 5:39 (Five Minutes, Thirty Nine Seconds!) The average hold time was One Minute.

        Once on the phone with the tech, I did not have to ask him what he had just said. I easily understand those Techs in Nampa Idaho USA. That has great value for me and the staff!!!

        Micron – The Secret Weapon…


    • #3250063

      Dell – Excellent Experiences thus far

      by kirkfondren ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Our company is making it a standard to use Dell systems. Our current machines we are using are the Dell Optiplex GX280 and SX280 and also the Latitude D600s. Having Gold Support which means a replacement part can be shipped and I will received it with 4 business hours and normally we can get someone on the phone right away for support which is great. Also a 3 year warranty is included (if purchased). We are also toying with the idea of using Dell’s printers as well….mostly because of the warranty and cost of these printers. Only sketchy part is that it seems Dell is putting its name on a Lexmark printer….

    • #3250062

      Howard Computers

      by radiospanky ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I assist with the tech. work in a small accounting company (25-30 computers), and we used Dells all the time until I talked them into trying Howard Computers. They are US based,and their customer support put Dell, Compaq, and HP to shame. They are a little higher in price, but like was said earlier you get what you pay for. We have been useing Howard Computers for a little over 2 years now and only one minor problem which was fixed same day.

      • #3246513

        I agree

        by timbeech ·

        In reply to Howard Computers

        Tech support second to none. They go the extra mile in support and make you feel like you are their only customer.

    • #3250058

      Based on cost

      by mikeaaaaaaaaa9 ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I have had experience with all the vendors you spoke of and more. Dollar for Dollar, Dell provides the best support. It is not that their support is better than IBM, it is that based on the cost of it, it far outweighs it. Once you get past the futility excercises by their level 1 techs, it is very very good. If you are knowledgeable in playing the phone game, they win hands down.

    • #3250054

      I have worked with all three

      by rbncs ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I have worked with all three vendors in the corporate environment and I can tell you from my experience that IBM has by far the best support. I have worked closely with their technicians and they are well trained and very knowledgable. I have not been that impressed with Dell’s support. When ever I have needed onsite support I have found it easier to troubleshoot and conduct the repair myself than depend on their technicians. I have been totally unimpressed with HP’s support and the reasons are too lengthy to enunciate in this forum.

      • #3250046

        My vote goes to HP

        by kevin fitzgerald ·

        In reply to I have worked with all three

        Why? I have found their desk top PC’s to be so reliable that support has never entered the equation. On the server front Compaq/HP generally fetch up on the day you call them out. More relevant is that they sort the problems quickly.

      • #3250038

        Dell Optiplex / Latitude service has been good

        by hrouda ·

        In reply to I have worked with all three

        I do pc support on a college campus with thousands of computers. Dell is the preferred provider with special pricing on select systems (the Optiplex desktop and Latitude notebooks). Many students get the Dimensions desktops or Inspiron notebooks to save a few dollars. I have had dealings with Dell support for the business line (Optiplex/Latitude) and Home (Dimensions/Inspiron) lines and it is like night and day.

        The business systems are solid and consistent as far as parts go. You speak to US call centers and parts are promptly shipped (when you have onsite service). The consumer systems are supported from overseas and the experience can be a nightmare.

        The other thing that I like about Dell is that detailed service manuals are on line for every model that they sell. They are detailed enough that anyone who can hold a few tools and deal with 4mm screws can strip down and reassemble one of their laptops.

        I don’t have any direct experience with Dell server support.

        PerceptIS, LLC

        • #3249882

          Dell support, servers

          by warwizard ·

          In reply to Dell Optiplex / Latitude service has been good

          I own 4 Dell systems, a PE2300, two Dimension L series, and a Inspiron C800 laptop, the complaints about the consumer desktop support is valid when calling in, it takes hours, even for simple stuff.
          Dell is offering online chat tech support in that space now. I recently needed to have a 4 1/2 year old monitor replaced (still under warranty, I bought 5 year parts only warranty), and it took only 5 minutes in the online chat to detail the T/S that I had done, provide the monitor serial number, and I had the replacement monitor the next day, (an upgrade version as the original was out of stock).
          The Server and the business desktop/ portable support are light years ahead of the consumer desktop support, calls are answered quickly and you can understand the tech that answers. The opptiplex “gold” tech support is based in Texas, so my recommendation is to consider the opptiplex systems, and gold or premier support options. (Gold includes software support resolutions as well).

          I’m looking at replacing my 5 year old Dimension systems, and am considering buying a precision workstation instead of the XPS Gen 4 solely due to the differences in the support.

        • #3251991

          As I posted before,……

          by fgarvin ·

          In reply to Dell Optiplex / Latitude service has been good

          The Dell Optiplex is a really solid system. But the GX280 has a LOT of problems. The Heatsink can cause the Proc fan to run extremely fast and sound like a jet taxiing for takeoff. Easy fix, just something to be aware of.

          The Latitude D800 has issues with it’s docking station. USB Throughput is terrible. I find it a real problem when you can’t hook up a PDA to the docking station and be able to synch it. I wish they would re-hire some of those engineers they let go (Unless they are the ones who designed it in the first place).

    • #3250048

      Simple – E-Machines

      by ron.riley ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support? recently published a list of most satisfied customers with product & service for computers. I believe it was for 2004.
      You can go to their web site & hunt down the article. Or I can give you the bottom line.
      The winner is: E-Machines.
      One of the big factors is the e-machines are supported in the USA. What a novel idea.

      The other major players, Dell, HP, Compaq(also HP) and Gateway received Poor ratings.

      E-machines make the REALLY cheap machines, so I would look towards getting their top of the line units, with more power. Check the specs.

      • #3250006

        Doesn’t Gateway own E-Machines?

        by kreator ·

        In reply to Simple – E-Machines

        Interesting that Gateway received a poor rating and EMachines a better rating. It was my understanding that Gateway had purchased EMachines well over a year ago.

      • #3251856


        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Simple – E-Machines

        E-Machines….good one!

        THey are referrign to residential crappo boxes. E-Machines are the low cost, off the shel answer for someone looking for NO standardization.

        Not exactly the topic being discussed here.

        DO you get 3 years onsite service with you e-Machine too?

        Those are just grannies at home saying they are happy with how they managed to get help with their online Yahoo bingo, when webshots crashed the fellow on the phone was helpful and VERY knowledgeable when he had me reboot to fix the issue.

      • #2779326

        eMachines Costly, though

        by dotcommie ·

        In reply to Simple – E-Machines

        I guess that 2004 is a long time ago, now… I don’t think eMachines really can be competitive in a business arena because of the cost for replacement parts (double or more than similar parts). Their systems use more proprietary parts, which makes the replacement of an entire machine more likely than maintaining it to current standards.

        I think that everyone will have differing opinions on systems because the vendors are all very comparable. It’s almost as bad as watching politics, nowadays. (Definition) Politics – from Greek Poly (meaning ‘many’) and tics (meaning ‘blood-sucking creatures’).

    • #3250036

      Only dealt with DELL

      by blitzsonik ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Although I have only dealth with Dell’s Desktop Support, I have seen HP’s Server support in action and if their desktop support is as good then that would be your best route.

      Having saaid that, I would say that my experience with Dell has been flawless – once I started buying the GOLD support option. Now I get an American Tech support person in TEXAS (not INDIA) in about 5 minutes, realistically. They have no problems sending out equipment or technicians to replace parts. Relaxing to know that you’ll have atech at your door in 24-48 hours if the need arises – even for a simple hard drive replacement if you want.


    • #3250035

      I would say IBM…and…

      by mr l ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I would definitely challenge that quote if I were you. I manage an environment with thousands of desktops..not 10s, so I have significantly more leverage, but having said that, I think you could see that ptice drop eaily into the high 1700-low 1800 range with a little “you have to be kidding me” negotiating.

      We’ve had all three at one time or another, so it’s not a closed-minded shop at all…but I’d pick big blue.

      PS, done all the “what does the Lenovo deal mean to my company?” research already…and my opinion still leans to IBM.

    • #3250032

      Dell the most consistent

      by jpbergeron ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Hey they have the largest market share. Consistent service, consistent support, awesome product.

      • #3251850

        The most INCONSISTENT product though

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Dell the most consistent

        Buy 15 Dells, open them up and you will see every part you can think of from every corner of the world.

        How does this help with site images or standards?
        Awesome product, well, to each his own I suppose. Have you USED other machines in a professional encironment?

        Largest market share? For what, home users, desktop workstations, servers, blade servers, web application servers?
        But of a proud statement and an inconsistent one too if you ask me, bu you didn’t so I’ll let you enjoy it.

        Secondly, who would use market share as a focal point when considering company purchases especially when comparing to IBM or Compaq/HP, are you suggesting they MAY not last?

    • #3250025

      I have had nothing but execellence from Dell

      by jagla ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I have had nothing but excellent service with Dell. They had a bit of a glitch in the system when their technical support went oversees, but its back now. Servers, laptops and workstations are all built well. If one happens to have an issue and you will it the way of the computer world, Dell?s parts replacement and service were excellent. We had a tape backup unit break and within 4 hours they where here with a new one, that?s service!

    • #3250023

      Dell Support

      by cindiy ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      We have been using Dell Optiplex machines for over three years and have had good success with them. We have also purchased their highest level warranty, which is an additional $100.00+. The plus to the additional expenditure is that it gets you to a different support team that has been very good at dealing with people who have technical skills, in other words… you don’t always have to go through the standard checklist of questions before you get to the meat of the problem. For hardware failures, on occasion, we’ve received replacement parts from Dell in less than 4 hours of reporting the failure, and we can get the machines up and running quickly when a Dell technician isn’t required.

      Overall, our experience has been good with them.

    • #3250020

      Another to try

      by rharber ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Another vendor to try is MPC… We buy lots of MPC machines and their support makes the kids at Dell look like kids.. These are very good machines. We use the all in one models and they are super and meet all of your specs. They have other machines as well as they sell servers and laptops also. You won’t be sorry for giving them a go. We recommend them highly.

    • #3250015

      Experiential Learning

      by clwyattjr ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I own a small repair shop in PA, and I have dealt with all of the major players in the Desktop arena and, in my opinion, IBM beats them all for support. First of all, when you call you actually get someone who speaks english as their primary language AND who you can understand. Over the last couple of years most of the big manufacturers have contracted out support to India and other similar places. I have called and waited 30 minutes or more only to get someone who I could not understand or who I had to ask the to repeat what they said 10 times to finally get it. NONE of the people have any real Technical experience. How do I know this? Ask any of them a technical question and you’ll know. They read from a screen. Every time I have aclled IBM, they have ALWAYS been great and it only takes a few minutes to have someone on the phone.

    • #3250009

      If you must by proprietary

      by timeros ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Buy Dell. They have the best price and the best support. Personally, I buy clones. I purchase only Pentium or Xeon processors and quality hardware. I pay the same or less and know exactly what’s in the machine. If something does go wrong, or you want to enhance one of the proprietary machines . . you usually have to work with the distributor. I enjoy being a techy, don’t need anyone else to help, thanks!

      • #3262862

        Are there any bulk rate dealers?

        by theroyala9 ·

        In reply to If you must by proprietary

        Are there any bulk rate dealers for mobos and
        such? I build my own too. i get killed on the
        retail packaging, s&h retail pricing end. I
        priced out a simalar set up for ~380 wo/ display
        and os and what not. oems pay about half after
        it gets there. with individualized pieces one
        ballooned markup blows the whole budget. i get a
        hardware manufacture warrentty if i like. they
        charge for bad returns.

        for twenty units, if theyre on the same foor you
        could knock off twelve of those cdroms, make half
        dvd+-rw’s and double up 6 of them and shave off a
        couple $.

        there are few dell computers I’ve met that aren’t
        slick machines. not too many experimentals, no
        junk. i have a slot 1 550 optiplex. this is an
        ok box. the graphics are weak and its slow. the
        box can drop all the cards, processor and ram in
        under a minute, which is something to concider.

        With hp you could get anything. I wish they still
        had those steal cases. not much room but so
        solid. someone mentioned compaq — what planet
        are you from?

        ibm is like dell, keeps their value, no funny
        stuff. They dont sell store models and so CS is
        on the professional level. they are more
        prepared to give higher order assistance for
        small customers.

        support is a site, docs and in this case
        downloads too. dell has gotten sloppy with spec
        sheets and such once or twice.

    • #3250002

      IBM my choice after working with all three

      by billhowey ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      short reply:

      1. HP/Compaq problems with non standard off shelf parts.

      2. Dell has had problems sending me replacement parts in the past, getting it right the second or third time

      IBM allows me to sleep at night re: warranty items. They just know how to do it right and fast. Excellent on desktops, beyond superior on laptops….. they wrote the

    • #3250000

      More than my opinion…

      by justjoel99 ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      PC Magazine does an annual survey of their readers that is pretty comprehensive. Here is a link to the most recent:,1759,1625328,00.asp

      The results are based on answers from 8,250 PC Magazine subscribers, so the sample size of the data might be more accurate than what you can get from a single post here.

    • #3249989


      by nnylmarie ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I have supported desktops from IBM, Compaq, HP, Dell, various clone or no name brands. I have always found that Dell’s support was fabulous. I also found that the quality of the product was really good also – I have worked on thier desktops, servers, and lapops and have always been impressed with the product and the support.

    • #3249984


      by chromacat ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      What a response!

      I just got into my office (not work) and saw the thread activity emails.

      I have to leave now to upgrade Accounting software at a remote location, but I will read all of your posts first thing when I get back.

      Just want everyone to know I am not ignoring the thread I started – I really appreciate everyone’s advice.


    • #3249979


      by jagershot ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      My company not only uses Infotel (Systemax) systems for internal use but we are also a reseller for them. We have sold approximately 2000 systems YTD and we use them for 24/7 support. They are an American owned company whose support and plant are located just north of Dayton Ohio so you will not have to worry about hearing complaints of a language barrier and their techs are highly trained. Three years ago, I negotiated with Dell, Micron, HP, Sony, IBM and Infotel and we found that Infotel was the most accommodating and flexible to our needs as well as the lowest in price. Fell free to call me and I can put you in contact with their senior sales staff and/ or director. My expectations have been exceeded by them for the past three years.

    • #3249977

      IBM is good

      by kennpetty ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I have had IBM, HP, Dell and Toshiba machines and I have found IBM support to be the best. Dell was a real disappointment and Toshiba while serviceable was not something to be excited about. Many utilities in the IBM footprint make it easy to keep a gold disk on the local drive and have a client rollback to it to keep them going (remotely) and several diagnostic tools to troubleshoot remotely. I would suggest that you go with them. Their acquisition by Lenovo may influence this- I don’t know. Good Luck!

    • #3249969

      Use The Force Luke

      by networkguy55 ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I am the Sr. Administrator for a mid-size company in the central U.S., and also happen to do all of the technology purchasing. How to decide upon a vendor? I am careful about what I purchase because not only do I have budgetary contraints to work within, but I am also the person who has to make it work after the equipment goes in.

      I often, as you did, ask for advice from people who’ve been there/done that. Having said that, I find that barring a stream of horror stories from a wide variety of people all pointing at a single culprit, the answer is usually “it doesn’t matter”. Do an apples-to-apples comparison and pick the cheapest thing that meets your current and projected needs (including reliability and support) over its lifetime. Virtually all the time, your equipment will be obsolete before you ever experience a failure with a particular item.

      Having said that, we had one department go outside the normal purchasing stream and buy a cheap desktop from Tiger Direct. I put two power supplies in it in two years…I finally tossed it in the trash and gave them a Dell. However, even that is merely anecdotal, another company might be doing fine with TD.

      When I started here in 2002 we had all Unisys computer equipment (because they also provided some of our highspeed document handlers). The servers were mostly HP and one or two Dells (Unisys is a re-brander, not a manufacturer). Desktops when I got here were mostly Unisys/HP and (I’m embarrassed to say) a few EMachines.

      I made the decision early on to migrate us to Dell, because the pricing was better than Unisys for the same equipment, and we would get direct parts support. We now are almost exclusively a Dell house, with a few Unisys legacy servers. Yes, Dell, like virtually all technology companies uses refurbished parts as repair parts.

      (It’s why they have you return bad parts–a bad 50-cent thermistor on a laser printer fuser assembly is not reason enough to toss out $100 worth of other parts attached to the assembly…they replace the thermistor, check the assembly’s operation, clean it up and put it in the repair parts stream. To do otherwise would drive prices way up on both equipment and service contracts.)

      I have installed approximately 25 Dell servers and 100 Dell workstations in my tenure here, and have had exactly two equipment failures (one SCSI backplane riser card went bad, and an LTO tape drive wouldn’t eject its tape) so my first thought is I am very impressed with the reliability of Dell.

      When we had the two problems, both times, a service person was on site within a few hours (we have 4-hour service) as well as a full array of possible repair parts (not just the one that the Dell phone tech thought might be bad). We have never had a part failure with any of the desktops, some of which which are now getting close to three years old.

      This is not to say that you couldn’t have the same reliability with another brand, nor is it a guarantee that your first 10 Dell boxes won’t be shipped with the same bad part…stuff happens, and as long as they fix it, it doesn’t make them a bad company.

      Regardless of whom you choose, it might be wise to pick a brand and stick with it. Not only will it be easier to support, but it may give you a bit of leverage if you happen to find your company not performing up to your expectations. We have spent about a quarter million dollars with Dell over the last several years, and while we are certainly not in the big leagues on their customer list, it does get us noticed if we need something.

      I don’t go as far as insisting every machine have the same chipset or brand of hard drive. Others may have imaging issues to consider and need a common set of hardware to work with for driver compatibility, but our desktops come with everything we need already on them, we don’t do image deployment. For our purposes, the differences between components are so minor that spending time worrying about how to support Seagate drives vs. WD is not relevant. A computer needs to store files and run programs, and keep working for a few years until it’s time to replace it. Beyond that, the discussion becomes way too esoteric for my purposes. Others can debate those things as an intellectual exercise, but I have a business to run.

      The most common objection I hear to desktop phone support is the offshore call center. Personally I don’t care who I talk to or what kind of accent they have as long as long as they can move my issue along toward resolution. (They probably think you talk funny too.)

      Keep in mind that I’m speaking strictly from the “I want my stuff to work” standpoint and not trying to make any kind of political statement about whether offshore tech support costs American jobs. Personally I don’t care about any of that when it comes to doing my job, I just want my equipment to work.

      Try not to make business decisions based upon the xenophobic philosophies of others. It will cost your company money, and they need it to pay you. (Climbing off the soapbox)

      As far as brand loyalty, I find it usually boils down to a Ford/Chevy debate (Or a Microsoft/Apple debate if you will). What a person prefers depends largely upon what their preconceptions are, and what their personal experience has been, which may be completely different than another’s experience.

      I almost always discard advice from anyone who argues too passionately for a particular course of action, those who insist their way “is the only intelligent way and everyone who doesn’t see it that way is an idiot.” Their posts in the forums are usually sprinkled liberally with CAPS which tells me they’re speaking from emotion and not giving me data I can use to make an intelligent business decision.

      My advice is get the best deal you can and if the deals are very similar, take a deep breath and go with your gut.

      • #3249822

        My Take on vendors

        by leighgresham ·

        In reply to Use The Force Luke

        I have been an avid Mac operator for 20 yrs. I learned by mistake
        that Apple has a support network that would be hard to top. The
        secret is to take out an Applecare policy mine for single
        workstation was about $250. They have answered every
        question I’ve ever had. Also if a part breaks down they replace it
        free. I just got a new hard drive with installation. It cost me
        nothing. I’ve gone 5 yrs. now on this single investment. Pleasant,
        knowledgeable staff. Leighla

    • #3249952

      Ya gotta getta Dell

      by grandrew ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I have had limited experience with any vendors other than Dell and Gateway. Dell is GREAT, Gateway is terrible. The limited contact I have had with HP/Compaq has been OK but I would go with Dell.

      • #3251866

        Works with all of them…

        by nagelpg ·

        In reply to Ya gotta getta Dell

        I work with Dell, HP and IBM.

        HP have an exelent website for desktop support so telephone support is cut down – their telephone support is exellent as well. Their desktops tend to require more attention than DELL & IBM.

        IBM – website for support only covers basics – telephone support is good. Replacements may take time depending on where you are located.

        Dell – Stick to Optiplex and you do not have to call their maccabre telephone support – once you speak to the right guy he will be able to help you and solve the issues at hand – but the waiting is going to killing you.

        Dell have exellent replacement turn around times on components – they will do cross shipping.

        Dell’s support website is exellent as well.

        We are not even looking at the prices from other desktop suppliers anymore – Dell have the work horses (Optiplex & Precesion) stay away from Dimension in a network environment though.

        • #3246424

          Your mileage may vary.

          by networkguy55 ·

          In reply to Works with all of them…

          We are using Dell Dimension almost exclusively in a network environment (XP Pro desktops/2003 servers) and have had zero problems. Because people can have such a wide variety of experiences with the same item, some bad, some great, I almost never recommend for or against specific items.

    • #3249951

      Not a brand name corporation

      by jjvolk ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      You may get a good deal from them, but they all use India or Pakistan or Russia for Tech support. Spend a little more and buy from a local computer store where you can get support locally without having to call around the world and talk to someone who does not speak english as a first language.
      On the other hand Dell offers a Gold support that is unparalled. You get to talk to someone in the real USA and get excellant service, but it costs an arm and a leg. Its your choice.

    • #3249950

      Dell all the way

      by brian_hasti ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I work for a company that has all three “dell, HP, and IBM. I found that when using dell and purchasing there three year onsite warranty has been great. They are out the next day with parts in hand, ready to install. We are running about 300+ dells at this time.


    • #3249943

      Don’t go with the big guys

      by jonf ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I recoimmend a company called monarch

      It has been my experience that a custom system is a much better investment and have found that particularly Monarch Systems is the best out there as far as support and service. If you go with Dell you won’t have AMD processors and hardware as an option. We have a mix of Intel and AMD systems and AMD has been by far the most cost effective and best performing with the Athlon 64.

      I know there are a lot of diehard Intel fans that will rant and rave all day long that AMD is junk but if you want truly accurate benchmarks and have been paying attention to the technologies that Intel and AMD have released, AMD is years ahead of Intel. Check out for benchmarks on all the hardware. Intel has even had to license AMD technology from them for their EM64T line of processors.

      My 2 cents.

    • #3249916

      Purchase from

      by tehurley ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I have been buying all of our computers from MPC (formerly Micron) since 1990. I have had many chuckles about problems with Gateway & Compaq which always swore I would not fix for friends, but usualyl did anyway. Eventually I worked my way out of their repai problems by getting them to purchase from MPC (formerly Micron). On the rare occassion when there was a problem or in one case I was geeting ready to replace a six year old Micron computer and I wanted some very specific information, I called my MPC sales rep and he said: “Just a minute, the engineer that designed that machine is next door” and Jason got him on the phone. He answered my questions, and a few that I had not considered, and I purchased the MPC server.

      We have 25 laptops that sometime look like they have been used for seat cushions or in a game of tag football. If I call MPC in Nampa before 3 P.M. CST, I always have exhange shels before 10 A.M. the next morning.

      I work for one of the largest not-for-profits in the world. Last week they officially changed from Dell (formerly they pushed Compaq and HP) to MPC because of support.

      If MPC’s quote should turn out to be $100 more than Dell, consider the cost of poor support. Even at a modest $50 per hour, the MPC computers are much less expensive when considering total cost of ownership. MPC in is Nampa, Idaho and they have great service. For the record, I do not work for or get paid a commission by MPC. But, if someone wants the name of a great sales rep, send me an email.

    • #3249905

      Wouldn’t buy Dell

      by mtnweb ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I would never buy a Dell after my experience with their support. One of our PCs was a problem from the day we received it. At first they offered to replace the PC but then changed their mind (did not notify me of this change in their decision for 2 weeks); I kept calling support to see where it was). They then decided to replace parts and kept sending parts until we finally gave up and put the PC in our public area. We haven’t bought Dell since; I wouldn’t wait in line if they were giving Dells away.

      You never really know how good or bad support is until you have a major problem.

    • #3249904


      by mshields ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      We have a 4 hour turn around time for repairs on our optiplex’s from Dell. We only get US support also.

    • #3249902

      I also lean towards Dell

      by Anonymous ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I really feel that HP builds a better box and if you have theses 20 boxes in one site the hpp boxes are all pull and plug parts. I have 14 sites state wide and right now I am going with 17 Dell servers and about 150 Dell desk tops due to the fact that my experience since Karly distroyed HP ability for timely on site service at my remotes out of survival instinct I am going with dell wich on their latest build has adopted HP Plug AND Play Parts with no tools needed. The only problem I have had with the Dells was a cble to their CD/DVD drive and they have reenginered that problem with a very good fix. Fuzzywamp

    • #3249886

      “NO TO DELL”

      by gdude ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I’ll wade in on this discussion from a small pc shop repair. The vast majority of repairs are “DELL”. Why? One simple reason! Cheap memory is the largest hardware breakdown. Even on new systems or 1 year & older from this scompany. JUst beware of this problem when you purchase from “DELL HELL” or try to get a response from a “ENGLISH” speaking person.

    • #3251896

      Dell first, IBM second

      by unixmandt ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      My experience (supporting 750 desktops, 250 laptops) is that Dell premere support (Optiplex desktops) gives the best next day parts support here, we provide the lapbor as it is more convenient. IBM (laptops) parts and labor are next business day and is comparable. I have had bad support with Gateway. They send next day only if THEY think it warrants it. 7 days shipping is norm with them.

    • #3251891

      Dell better than HP

      by jbaker ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      My experiences with HP and Dell lead me to side with Dell in the support field. We are running Optiplex systems in our environment and I haven’t had any problems getting support and replacement parts as needed. They even offered to come out to replace a motherboard for me! On the other hand, HP has been slow to respond in the past and even more so since they are all now Compaq’s.

    • #3251878

      desktop vendor support

      by rss ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      You have not mentioned operating sysytems. Any way , if you plan to use dual boot sytems, I would recommend custom build system from a reliable local expert vendor. For windows you won’t have any problems. For Linux you have to catch some local Linux expert. But the trouble is worth the pain. For big Vendors machines you might have to pay less in the beginning, but you would be locked down to them only for any part that stops working. It is all rosy picture till warranty period exists. Afterwards you will be at the God,s mercy. In addition you will loose all the flexibity you get from custom built systems. For 20 or odd machines it would certainly be possible to get a very high and reliable support from the people building machines made to order. You should go for all the genuine original retail boxed pack parts. It pays in the long run.It appears you have some inhouse technical expertise. But most important is is the software support. That is the part which is most expensive. But you could also get hold of local software experts. This will save you all the trouble, plus you won’t have to bogged down to get parts from any one vendor. Please also don’t get motherboards with in built sound, Display, Modem etc. always get a high quality mother board from ASUS.(i have their board since 2000 without problem). Choose your Memory,etc carefully. IN conclusion go in foa custom made PC with enogh space for future upgradation.That way your machines will not become obsolete within near future. So the extra price is worth the trouble. In addiyion for 20 machines you could bargain.
      Please send a reply to this post. My e-mail is
      with regards

      • #3251842

        How fdo you get updates?

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to desktop vendor support

        BIOS, Sound Card, Graphics card, Power Management, Intel SpeedStep, etc.

        DO these companies provide asingle page for all of these updates where they have been tested against each other? OR does the user need to download drivers from 5-10 different sites and hope they work together without conflict?

        What happens when the Graphics chipset provider merges and ceases support?

        What happens when the BIOS on the mobo is found to hang with a specific piece of hardware or manufacturers driver is installed?

        These are REAL problems that I have experienced with “custom boxes” better known as the WHITE BOX BLUES.

    • #3251823

      I like dell because…

      by dryflies ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      The support web site is easy to use and fairly comprehensive. tech support for all vendors fairly well sucks right now especially phone support that gets routed to someone on nightshift in bangalore. The web based support from dell works as well as anything I’ve seen. I especially like the “my systems and peripherals” section where you can add a computer to your list by entering its service code. Now you have a list of all your machines and their configurations at your fingertips. You can also go directly to a list of consumables and upgrades for that system with a few clicks. I also like the live chat support since it is not as constraining as beign on hold for 20min.

    • #3251804


      by oisleach9 ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I am a small VAR that put in 35 desktop systems into a company that consists of 55 people. After doing the homework and pricing I was a fool and bid this job fixed cost. Dell sent me the systems and 4 DID NOT BOOT UP. 6 system were missing software. I called Tech Support and Had to speakk to some people who did NOT SPEAK ENGLISH, and would not direct me to the next level or to someone who did speak english.
      I spent the weekend reformating and re-installing from Scratch the 4 that would not boot and bought out of my OWN POCKET the software that was missing.

    • #3251799

      Consider system stability as well as support levels

      by lbog ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I’ve worked with all three Compaq/HP, IBM and Dell for replacements systems over the years in our organization. I have to recommend Dell. We have had so many problems with the HP and IBM systems. The Dell systems have been much more stable, less problems. I agree that the few times I’ve had to deal with Dell support have not always been the best but at least I don’t have to do it as often as I had to with the HP and IBM systems.

    • #3251789

      Reply To: Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      by tbha ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I too am looking at vendors. Although I’m looking at laptops the idea should be the same. I teach computers at a rural library here in Missouri and our lab is all Dell Laptops due to the grant we received. The machines themselves are okay. Most modern electronics are pretty reliable. We did need to use Dell’s “award winning” service and I was very turned off by it. We just needed a replacement for an external floppy drive and it took one initial 5 hour phone converstation then we were promised the shipment in 3 to 7 days and that ended up as over a month and we had to make another almost 5 hour phone call for that. I recommend buying from someone that you can have a face to face relationship with. Atleast then when you get bad service you know who to jump across the counter and throttle.

      • #3251758

        Thinkpads hands down

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Reply To: Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

        I haven’t seen too many people say that the Thinkpads are not by far the best machines on the market. They are stronger than most machines, the service and support (with an onsite upgrade) is top notch, IBM is the ONLY notebook vendor I have EVER seen that replaces an LCD with the lowest number or burned pixes (about half of what others require).
        I even had the IBM tech turn up and say that IBM would complain if less than 6 were burned (most are 12 to 18 or GROUPS of pixels) so he took it to the shop and burned out a few more before sending it back.

        They replace ANY thinkpad parts in a heartbeat and without ANY questions, even moreso than the dekstops. THey even gave me a notbook upgrade at no cost because I “didn’t like the way mine preformed”. THey offered to fix it onsite, which I didn’t want because it was new, so they replaced it with th enest model up instead.

        THey take their Thinkpads VERY seriously, mine is a PIII, 1.13 Ghz with 640MB RAM, it walks ALL Over my friend’s HP P4 3.2 gig with 512MB RAM.

        It walkes all over my PBX support tech’s, Tosh Satellite with a P4 and 2.6 Ghz with 640MB ram.

        It is easy to update, in fact you CAN have it update from IBM diorectly on a schedule, howver I prefer to choose updates myself, though the same ones it would have done itself.

        THen there’s the BIG BLUE BUTTON! SOlve ANY internal hardware or even most software problems by pushing a button by th evolume controls! NICE.

        On drawback to Thinkpads, they have crappy speakers, not made for Audio work, but th eHP with teh Harman Kardon speakers is bulky, heavy as hell and nowhere near as durable, not to mention mine being 3 years older STILL outperforms the new HP notebook/desktop replacements.

        I can’t believe how fast the notebook support at IBM is, they replace ANYTHING immediately, no wuestions, no bills etc.

        I even managed to get an EXTRA HD in a box in case mine dies because they weren’t SURE one day. I asked about a shpping bill to return it and they said to keep it in case I need it one day.

        I liked my Toshiba, but it was nowhere near as durable. THe IBM system board sits in a titanium cage, has security chip on board too. Is USELESS if stolen etc. By far my fondest PC investment.

        • #3250263

          Thinkpad Support

          by projectworker ·

          In reply to Thinkpads hands down

          I have to agree with you on Thinkpads – both build quality and support.

          My company uses thinkpads and they get a real beating as we work with telcos in SE Asia and it is normal for us to work in extreme conditions of heat, humidity and dust with power surges to boot. It’s also normal to spend hours in a jeep boucing along to the next client site while working on them at the same time.

          Out of all the laptops being used they were the least likely to breakdown under the conditions we used them. (Unlike the users who sometimes suffered quite badly from all the conditions listed above)

          The IBM international warranty is superb and the service is quick and professional. My experience with using it in Australia – was I phoned in the morning – they sent a courier out who picked it up 2 hours later that day. My machine was returned with a new system board without any questions.

          I’m very impressed with the way they do things.

      • #3251938

        Throttle – LOL

        by chromacat ·

        In reply to Reply To: Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

        I don’t know why, but I almost aways find the use of that word to be hilarious – probably because it’s unexpected. Most people would use choke or strangle, but you do work at a library, so…

        Anyway, thanks for the laugh.

        On the laptops, do you have Latitudes or Inspirons?

        I have only purchased Latitudes with the Gold technical support (which I heard was great) but then when a key went missing of a user’s laptop, I got a bent replacement keyboard as a user serviceable part. Seriously, I had to bend it back to get it installed. The thing that gets me upset the most: The box it shipped in was packed with pillowy, styrofoamy goodness and was not damaged at all — This means the part was bent either when it was picked or packed. Great quality control!!

    • #3251778

      I too have experience with the three vendors…

      by kathy.porch ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      And the survey says!!!!

      Go with Dell…

      IBM has a serious problem with scheduling and billing. HP has serious communication problems with India. Dell outsources tech support to India but repair/replace come right out of the good ole’ USA…Texas!

      I support Dell’s both at work and home and have never had a problem with tech support. In fact, sersver support is exceptional (becuase they pulled that division back to the states) and I highly recommend purchasing PC’s from them However, if you are in the market for heavy duty use printers, don’t bother even considering Dell. Their printer support bites.
      Take care.

      • #3251754

        Can you explain that a bit more?

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to I too have experience with the three vendors…

        IBM has a serious problem with scheduling and billing? What billing? 24/48 hours onsite, pretty easy schedule if oyou ask me. But BILLING? What BILLS do YOU pay for IBM’s?

        What’s with US made computers being considered better? When have you EVER made something better?
        No offense, Canada is no invention tweaker either.

        But IBM support is STILL US based so language isn’t an issue. TEchs are sent form Local depots the very next day and without a BILL?

        I still don’t see what BILLING you arereferring to? You mean after the 5 year warranty you have to pay for parts? 5 years and it’s time to buy something new.

        I STILL support a few DELL’s gruidgingly, I HATE their tech suipport they are clueless. I hate the mailing out of parts that takes time. I HATE the fact that all teh parts are different each time you buy them, STANDARDS!!! I can see it for the average home user, but definietly not for business unles syou have on eof those cheapassed bosss that buys on price.

        WHY is Dell so popular? Price, end of story.

    • #3251733

      Dell Are You Kidding

      by logos-systems ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Dells Customer Service and Tech Support has been going down hill for some time. Better try someone else if Support is a high priority!

    • #3251722

      Good Experience with Dell

      by sfc byte ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I work with nothing but Dell. I provide Sys Admin support for over 500+ machines for a company in Germany. I have had nothing but a positive experience with Dell support. On occasion they treat me on the phone like a normal user (i.e. child) but that’s their job to weed out the common errors..”Did you turn it on?”. My main problem is sometimes they choose to deliver parts through a UPS type service and the “service” has the tendency to get “lost”. That spells more work for me tracking down the parts. Normally Dell delivers through their own courier within 24-48 hours. I have dealt with HP for our printers and that has been a costly nightmare. Their support line cost 25 cents a minute and I am always “holding the line” for assistance. They then grill me with really stupid questions and in the end they send the part (1-2 WEEKS!) that I asked for anyway. Ugh. Anyway good luck. Hope this helps in your decision.

    • #3251670

      Dell computer

      by brandonwtaylor ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I have experience with many Dell computers. We have been having a lot of problem with our line of Dells, we had to replace 5 in the last month alone from Heating problems.

    • #3251655

      It’s up to you

      by cybdiver1 ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Tech support is mostly only as good as your support staff. I hope I can explain this correctly.
      If your staff does not trouble shoot the problem and calls up tech support and just says “We have an error message” then yes tech support will stink.
      Lots of Tech support have no idea what your machine even looks like, they are looking at the same support pages on the web that you are.
      Dell has a battery of Diags you should run before picking up the phone. Use their open manage product and you will have a diagnostic code before you even call. It will save you hours of time on the phone.
      Be patient, don’t yell at the tech they have a script to follow. Just like you they have a job to do. Learn how your tech support service works, learn the system.
      If you do not get what you want ask for 2nd level support.

    • #3251992

      Worked with all three, Dell is better

      by cwestgor ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I have worked with all three systems. The compaq/HP systems used to be very proprietary in their drivers and hardware, this made support very difficult. Fortunately, I have not had to deal with these for a long time.

      I have worked with Dell for about 5 years now, and would highly recommend them. Of the 250 Optiplex systems we purchased, I have had only 1 fail from the start, and a total of 10 hard drives go bad. Support was always responsive and quick to send out a replacement part. The on-site support was actually farmed out through IBM in the Chicagoland area, and they were quick to respond as well.

      I have recently changed jobs to a company which uses IBM. Their systems are 2 and 3 years old. They have replaced more than 40 hard drives in these systems in the last year alone. However, a few of the systems are out of warrantee, and they replaced the hard drive or motherboard anyway. IBM?s customer care is investigating the serial numbers of the systems we purchased, and may send replacement hard drives before they fail. This was still a lot of work for the technicians.

      I experienced far less problems with the Dells, and they ran flawlessly with our applications. Drivers were easy to access, if needed, and you can track the systems on their web site. Their web support has been the best I have ever used!!! You enter the system number and you know exactly what drivers and software downloads are needed. They have wake-on-lan capabilities, as well as built in PXE (network) boot options. These make them great for deploying and maintenance.


      • #3251298

        Just a question, may be of help to you too

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Worked with all three, Dell is better

        Have you not realized that IBM offers excellent Web support for driver updates too?

        IBM’s site will auto detect your machine info and give you a list of the latest updates in seconds.

        The online support is similar, it detects the serial and fills out the entire form except comments for you to submit to them, if you choose not to phone.

        WOL and Network Boot capability is standard on most desktops these days.

        But I find IBM’s website support better than HP/Compaq too. Compaq’s used to have awesome online support, until they mererged with the poorly designed HP website. Now your better off calling the 800# instead.

    • #3251306


      by data_monkey ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I worked in feedback for a company that analyzed data from support cases for HP/Compaq, Dell and Gateway. All I can say is, all the support is relatively equal. Poor by my standards (I’ve lived in a corporate support environment for the last seven years) but a standard for the industry. No matter who you choose, you’ll be on the phone for hours, asked to call back or told you’ll be contacted. 😉 You’ll be asked to format and reimage your harddrive to resolve simple issues, etc.
      A while back, I heard that Dell was bringing some of their support back to the states from overseas but I haven’t seen it for myself.
      As far as I can tell from the majority of case notes, the turn-over rate for call-centers in India is a lot higher than it was in the states (which is high regardless), the amount of case notes I saw where a tech wasn’t able to recognize common trends in support calls was a bit unnerving. It’s my opinion that Dell has come the farthest with case note documentation and adapting to resolve new issues. I’m not saying that they will be able to resolve your issues the way you want them to but at least they’re better informed about the issue when you call back (which you will) than the others.
      I know this isn’t an easy decision and all the posts here probably make it harder to decide but I think as far as the industry goes, cost and functionality, not support should be your major concern. Support from the OEMs is almost equally poor.

    • #3251297

      Be CAREFUL

      by tdhclueless501 ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Most of the manufactors are using out sourcing for their tech support, and they harlly understand ENGLISH. Which as you know is an important task in 9-5 settings. Even Dell went outsourcing and most of microsoft’s support services are now shot to H—!
      Hope this helps!

      • #3251260


        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Be CAREFUL

        When was MS support [b]not[/b] shot to H E double-hockey-sticks?

    • #3251234

      You Search is over

      by wrifraf ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I work for a large company that was using Dell and because of a number of excuses when requesting warranty work, we move to IBM ThinkCentre A50. These machines are very stable. We’ve been running them for a number of months now and out of 973 PC’s only 6 have had to be called in for warranty.

      IBM has a warranty that is structed for self-maintainers and for those companies that need assistance from IBM. We used both. When out Tech Support orders the part and does the work ourselves, we file an e-claim that reimbuses the company for the work done. The only down fall is I had to spend money getting my Tech’s A+ Certified and to take the IBM test. This is required to be considered a self-maintainer, otherwise you should not have any problems.

    • #3251212

      PC Vendor Feedback

      by mbelmore ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      As the IT Administrator of 350+ PC’s. I too have recently been through the mill of Vendors.
      Just for you information we previously used Dell until their change of Spec’s (almost weekly) meant system ‘ghosting’ was out of the question and as for performance? Well fair at best. Pricing is comparable but Dell has lost focus on its Business customers these past few in favour of continued Market share.
      IBM I agree are pricey. But the newer range of system including the small-factor M-series are well worth a look. My last discussion with an IBM allowed us the base prices of <$800 per unit and $199 for a 15in Monitor/ $279 for a 17in Monitor. So al little higher than the competition but IBM has a better product these days. Gateway - still a way behind the rest. Performance from their desktops is dull and the pricing includes many non-standard features (but optional-cost add on's). Compaq - of all the manufacturer machines I have purchased (approx. 50-80 PC's) I have never experienced a problem with any of them. The DX2000 (soon to be phased out) has plenty of speed and the standard unit perform well. A base unit upgraded to 512Mb (to handle XP's baggage) run's us around $690. So with an LCD and Office the price is $1300-1400. 3yr warranty and next day repair. Very impressed. Quick note - if you looking at standardizing with a single vendor don't forget to ask about 'special pricing'. HP/Compaq is keen to get back PC market share in both Business and Home sectors. So far they offer impressive discount problems if you stay with the same product.

    • #3251196

      That’s a multipart question

      by daveaaaaaa24 ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      The support can’t be satisfactory if the system is a bummer. Make sure the quotes you’re getting are for business grade systems. They should have a 3-year
      on-site next-business day warranty.
      Like the HP (Compaq) business models I sell, the components are better very reliable.
      Apart from the warranty, you are the support because the actual tech on the phone will vary widely in competence.
      When I sell these systems, as a local reseller, I
      make sure they call me, and I deal with tech and then we it right virtually all the time.
      Dave Smiley

    • #3251192

      The Right Machine for the right job

      by gene.parks ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I read your request and you have purchased from Dell in the past but you have never purchased optiplex. We deploy these machines all the time. We pull them out of the box, blow our image on them and put them in service. I have not called Dell support for any issues on over 600 machines in 4 years. Hate dealing with support anyway.

      I have used support from IBM, and Compaq/HP. They are all about the same in my opinion.

      I would suggest going with a mochine built for the job that you do not need to call support.


    • #3251143

      Cost of doing business

      by rb_snow ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Without knowing any particulars about your involvement, if you have a mixed brand shop, it really doesn’t matter who you use. If you are uncomfortable with one vendor then do not use that vendor. If you need extra support for the hardware, it would probably be less expensive to hire an additional tech. With the extra help, you have a stronger position.

      If you were buying a thousand new units the question asked would be important. Only 20 units should be a minor decision. If your plate is so full that the question is strangling you, the additional help is needed to insure company satisfaction. If you are replacing 20 units, it shouold not matter at all who you use. It all depends on who the skills of the tech.

    • #3250969

      HP Tech Support is outsourced

      by msprn3 ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      When I purchased my HP online a couple of years ago, I attempted to call HP tech support. I got somebody with an Indian (as in Bombay, India) accent who could not understand my requests about having the hard drive fragmaented (he kept asking me how it had gotten broken). The information must not have been in his troubleshooting application. By talking to him briefly, I got the impression that he had no technical knowlege of anything to do with computers other than how to use applications.

      I was not favorably impressed.

    • #3250551

      Here’s the best I have found.

      by eric ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Tangent computers have the best support I have ever dealt with. Give them a look at

    • #3250425

      If support is what you need go with Dell

      by roberto bacca ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Stay away from HP (HP not even with a 10 ft pole)

    • #3251563

      Dell Support for Eduacation

      by newitguy ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      I used to think Dell’s support was below standard but I believe that have really picked it up a notch.

      Not too long ago I had a request for a dell power supply and the person on the other line couldn’t understand power supply. They kept saying battery. Anyway, it took over an hour to order 1 power supply. But recently the upgrade to their web site and the fact that they moved some if not all of their IT support back to the US is welcoming.

      I am now in the Education sector and a my support is good. I’m not sure if the Education sector has anything to do with it though. But I would say Dell would be a good choice. I am not too sure of the other ones.

    • #3251387

      It’s all a matter of what expect from Tech Support

      by andeanderson ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      Last year we switched to Dell for our Server and work stations and the tech support was great.

      A few months ago Dell changed their Tech Support function to out-sourced companies, I think they are in India, and the tech support became one of “If it’s not on my troubleshooting chart I can’t help you.

      Here is the last response I received from Dell’s Gold Support Team: “This issue goes beyond the intended level of support that Dell Computer
      Corporation typically can offer.” They wanted us to start paying them for the Support we had already paid for when we bought the systems. And that was for brand new Dimension 4700 Desktops. So, we sent them back to Dell.

      Even Toshiba Support has gone downhill in the last couple of months.

      We are seriously looking at just building our own White Boxes from now on. That way we could at least get tech support from the component manufacturers.

    • #3233949

      Switch to Gateway

      by ka4nmx ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      We switched to Gateway.

      I get 3yr warranty on site with Gateway. Responce time is noramlly 1-5 days for replacment parts. I have received parts the next day and at times no longer than 5 days.

      I work for a county school system and support 2,200 desktops. We don’t have a credit card big enough for Dell to talk to us when we need support. IBM is not longer in the desktop business. And I would never buy a HP computer, cpnn (Compac with new name (and just as slow as the original Compac’s computers)).

      Hope this helps.

    • #3261447

      Dell To Hire Another 2,000 in India

      by itsecurityguy ·

      In reply to Which Desktop Vendor Offers the Best Support?

      This may be a bit too late to help the OP, but the title of my reply comes from today’s headline…

      Dell will hire another 2,000 people for its India offices, the company has reported, bringing its total number of Indian employees up to 10,000 by the year’s end.

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