Archive for the ‘Dell’ Category

Nightmare at Sheraton – Episode 2 (the specialist)

June 24, 2008

I was very tempted to be sarcastic in my reply to starwood (see yesterday’s post), but I assumed they just sent me a standard answer based on some keywords they identified in my previous mail.

So, I made a short reply “Thanks for your reply but how could I show you documentation with my “former name”? You just made a mistake by calling me Jean Deltenre instead of Philippe Deltenre

I received an answer by a “Specialist, E-Communications Department, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide” (wow!)

Thank you for your email reply. I welcome this opportunity to assist you further.
“While we are unable to allow change the name on a Starwood Preferred Guest account without documentation. We do allow unlimited Starpoint transfers between accounts of members in the same household.
You may transfer your Starpoints to another member’s Starwood Preferred Guest account, or vice versa, as long as the following requirements are met:
1. Both members live at the same address.
2. The member from whose account the Starpoints are being deducted must advise us of his/her password.
3. Neither member is an employee of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
For further information on transferring Starpoints or to make a transfer, please contact your nearest Account Services Center, where one of our Associates will be happy to assist you. Within the United States and Canada you can contact us by calling toll free 1-888-625-4988 or visit our website for the telephone number of the office nearest you.
We appreciate your continued loyalty to the Starwood Preferred Guest program and welcome any further questions or concerns.”

OK, so, now we have a solution. I just have to ask to Jean Deltenre who lives in my house to transfer me his points… oh, but wait, there is no Jean Deltenre living with me (even if I sometimes hear strange noises coming from the attic)

Starwood, please hire John P. from Dell and pay the guy a million bucks. You really need a guy like him.


The audience is listening, HP isn’t

May 25, 2007

It took me 2 minutes to post the story of Laurent struggling with an HP keyboard and HP’s kafkaesque customer service. I was amazed to see the HP-post on the very top of the top posts of the week.

No reaction from HP so far… but a few hours after the publishing of the post, John P, a very helpful representative from Dell (!) tried to help us out and gave us some directions in the HP labyrinth. This must be superman’s Bizarro world.

Maarten was the first to blog about this oddity on Blogologie (in dutch). A few hours later, I see a pingback leading to an excellent post entitled “Dell Quells HP Hell” on Steven Phenix’ blog. The post is great and even offers us background information about John P.

So, HP is not listening while Dell learned to listen and monitor and understood that everyone is a customer. Laurent decided to buy a new laptop. It’s a Dell.

HP Hell

May 23, 2007

Here’s a mail I received from my colleague, friend (and soon my boss) Laurent. I hope HP is monitoring the blogosphere as efficiently as Dell does.

Computer : 2.5 years old HP Presario 2500 laptop, bought on Ebay when it was only 2y old
I bought this for my girlfriend during her maternity leave so she could stay connected, even while “emprisoned” home
I took the opportunity to initiate her to the joy of  instant Messaging and she pulled her mother and half her family – living far in the countryside – to it 😉 I also showed her how to use Ebay and she spend half my salary in baby clothes in a month

A few weeks ago, the “h” touch died. I checked the web and apparently it’s a common problem with this model (or at least, people have been vocal about the “h” touch)
But, ok, she could live wit tat, h is not tat important is it?
Yesterday night the whole keyboard stopped working. “e” gives “w”, backspace, delete and enter don’t work… She was really sad

Soooo, arriving at the office today, with all the references in my pocket, I surf to the HP website to find an after-sales/customer service number I could call to solve this asap. It’s not critical, she does not need the computer for work matters, but it has become really important in her life and I don’t want to let her without that.
Ok, number found..doh, a 0900 billed 0.74€/min…?? Ok, the computer is probably not guaranteed anymore, but still.
First call, robot voice spelling me a huuuuuuge (this is stupid by the way, who can possibly remember that?) url I could check to read about HP privacy policy, press 2 to get someone answering, wait wait wait, at least, a friendly human voice.
The guy asks for my postal code so he could give me phone numbers of companies that could repair my laptop.
I hung up the phone with 3 numbers.
1st number : number does not exist
2nd number : yess!! It rings!! Bad luck for me, that company works only in B2B
3rd number : number doesn’t exist

Hmmm, ok, I have an issue there. Back to my 0900 overtaxed number (again 2 minutes waiting time to get that humongous url spelled), press 2 to get someone answering, a lady now.
Postal code thing and she gives me a 03 phone number. I kindly ask her to give me a number close to my place (why asking for the postal code otherwise?) and she tells me that’s the only one she has (??) The number? : 03.382223366. For those of you who don’t know, Belgian phone numbers do not contain 8 digits. That’s what I told her of course. She puts me on hold “to check sir”… the line was cut after 10 minutes waiting time :-/

Back to the HP website, a bit angry and bored, I see a small link allowing to estimate what the repair price could be. If I can not get the contact of someone who can help me, maybe at least I could figure out how much it would cost. Click, click, click, my computer model? of course I have the reference, click click again : 389€ estimated repair price…but nowhere I could type what type of reparation I needed, so how can that estimation be right?

HP? Are you listening?


May 3, 2007

2 weeks ago, I published a post entitled “Dell Hell strikes back“. Even if, as described in the post, I had a little troubleshoot with my old Dell, my point wasn’t to be negative about Dell. It was a very old laptop, it was a Murphy’s law day and I may have been voodood. My post title was more a reference to Jeff Jarvis than an attack against Dell.

Yesterday, I had one comment on the Dell post. Here it is:


My name is Rick, I’m a Dell Technical Analyst located at Dell corporate headquarters in Round Rock, TX. I’m part of an internet outreach team developed to interact with the online community regarding technical questions and issues that customers face with Dell products. I read your post and I understand how tough a presentation can be when your notebook chooses not to work and you are left to improvise. Hopefully the issues with your Dell have been taken care of, but if there is anything I can do to assist please email me at (and put “Attn Rick” in the subject line)


Of course, I knew that Dell was a monitoring champion. Still, I’m surprised they took the time to read my post (the answer of Rick is personalized) and react. My blog is still brand new and I’m not an influential blogger. My blog is far from the top 100.000 of the Technorati ranking. So, thanks a lot Rick for your comment.

Dell is watching me… and I kinda like it

Dell Hell strikes back

April 16, 2007

I was invited for a presentation today at Zenith Optimedia Belgium. I tried hard but it was impossible to launch my Dell laptop… I had nothing but a blue screen and no print-out of the presentation I was intending to make. Some kind of poltergeist probably cause since I’m back at the office, my PC is working properly.

I presented anyway… and explained to the planners the story and the outcome so far of the digital marketing FAQ.  I focused on the first 4 questions:

  • How far should I go in the dialogue with the users? Can I accept controversy on my website? What moderation level is acceptable?
  • Is online advertising making sense without a decent website?
  • Are there examples of 2.0 initiatives made by traditional brands that went totally out of hand?
  • How can impressions be compared to television GRPs?
  • For the fourth question, I’m happy that Steven was the first to shoot since it’s not my favourite question.

    GRP versus impressions: Both of these metrics express the advertising weight. GRPs could be used for online campaigns but the comparison is made difficult by:

    – A different relation with time: there are no time schedules in online

    – The fact that online is bought with a share of volume (SOV): Most campaigns are planned with a SOV between 15 and 30%

    – Different ways to measure audience

    – The variety of internet formats

    But the question of GRP versus impressions aims to compare the impact of online advertising and the impact of TV advertising. If you compare what’s comparable, it seems that a TV spot works better online but what about the other formats? and what’s the point to compare impressions and GRPs?

    What the advertisers and the agencies really want to know is how to make an impactful online campaign… and that’s the Achilles’ heel of the online advertising: there is no clear set of rules. Carat proposed a “Morgenzstern beta” (measuring the power of advertising per media) for online but it’s only based on a 2001 campaign, Doubleclick made some great research on best practice to maximize impact. Both show very positive results. Unfortunatly, none of those are regarded as market norms.

    Even if there is plenty of data advocating the power of online advertising, the web doesn’t comply with norms very well by nature and because of its youth.

    There’s a lot to say about those issues… Have a look a “the devil & online advertising” that proposes a great summary about our (online media owners) lack of maturity.

    But internet is the media of permanent and (almost) real time optimization. It allows the advertiser to draw conclusions out of each action and develop a tailor made best practice and I believe that’s a major argumentation to advocate our beloved medium.