A few weeks back, I wrote an article about buying new computers for your business. Ironically enough, I recently had to purchase a new computer for my business.
Before I discuss the computer itself, you need to know a bit about my approach to technology.
I like change in general, but technologically I don’t. If I find a brand that is awesome, I tend to stick with it until they treat me poorly, or their quality declines.
For computers, I love Toshibas, but I was unable to find a good Toshiba in my price range so I was faced with a vast expanse of computer manufacturers in front of me.
I did a lot of research to see which companies would be best, and guess what I found out: every computer company is evil, with foreign technical support, and no company cares about anything.
At least, that is what you would believe if you believed every review.
Talk To Your Network
So, without bias I tried to examine each company and tried to see how they interacted with their customers. In addition, I’m lucky to know a lot of people, some of which work in technical support.
I spoke to any person I could think of who had a technical support background, and was able to get a variety of opinions, but I also was able to get a lot of facts.
Quick Tip: if you know someone who works in a technical support call center, then speak with them. Often, they’ve worked for other companies and know the ins-and-outs of their support, and the company’s real philosophies.
If you’ve followed me on twitter (@WealthArtisan), then you probably saw the tweets that I was sending directly to Dell about the new computer that I purchased. I want to make this clear up front, I have no relationship with Dell in any capacity other than owning one of their products that I purchased with my business’ money. I like tweeting to companies when I use their products to see how responsive they are, and see what their level of coolness is. I do this often with Netflix, and so far I’ve not gotten a single tweet back. I did get a tweet back from Dell which was pretty cool.
Your network will be able to tell you about good companies, but more importantly, they’ll be able to tell you their horror stories. I do this all the time with companies who have treated me poorly (cough, T-Mobile, cough).
What My Network Told Me About Dell
I happened to know multiple people who had worked in technical support for Dell, and the companies that Dell outsourced their support to, and not only are they terribly bright people, they actually had a lot of good things to tell me about them.
Of course, there were some models that I was supposed to avoid (I got a unanimous nay on Dell Vostros), but they also pointed to a number of excellent models with very little reported problems. The models that received the highest ratings from my contacts were most of the workstations, and a good amount of thumbs ups on the higher end Inspirions.
Why No Other Brands?
There are many brands out there, so why did I focus in on Dell so much? Because I knew people. I had a boat load of free, easy, dependable information from people who knew the company well. Now, if they had nothing but bad things to say, then I would have walked away. My network had primarily good things to say about the company, and that means a lot to me.
If things go well, then I’ll now have two companies that I can choose from, but it’s still too early to tell. It seems like everything works perfectly out of the box. After a few more months of constant use, I should have a better idea of the quality that was put into my machine.
What Computer Did I Purchase?
In the end, I purchased an Inspirion with a Quad Core Intel and 8 gigs of RAM. So far, I’ve been very pleased with the purchase, the computer is working very well, and I followed the checklist I created in the New Business, New Computer article. I’ll keep you posted if anything starts going awry, or technical support doesn’t live up to my expectations.