IT Support 2/3: Dell
The second tech support story features a Dell monitor. Well, not the monitor itself, but from the beginning.
The last few years I was away from home ~27 days a months due to paid work. If that is the case, you do not need a lot of stuff at home so over time I gave away almost all of my IT infrastrucure to friends in need. Now that I am at home again more regularily, I decided to buy a new desktop PC and a new monitor. Nothing fancy. Just a brick PC (yay, silence!) and a 24″ monitor from Dell. For the monitor I decided for a refurbished model to save a bucketload of cash.
But wich one?
There is another reason why I chose a refurbished monitor. There were only three available at my retailer of trust, and only one meeting the only criterion I had (it not being 16:9). Before that decision I had about 40 tabs open (~20 alone from ASUS) with monitors at 24″ and weeks of work ahead, allegedly making sure not to choose the wrong one. After going for a refurbished one, that was not an issue anymore. If there is just one choice, you cannot make a mistake. :) And to be honest, I do not care much about the details (pun intended in case you get it ;)).
There is even a book about this “paradox of choice” but apparently ASUS did not read it yet.
I don’t like Butts
But there was one issue. Reviewers reported about colour issues with that one monitor I chose which they could fix with a firmware upgrade. So no problem, eh? You bet!
In the Jungle
The Dell website does not have a firmware image for download. I talked to some Dell folks in chat but that was apparently just the sales department and they insisted, I should install the Windows driver update instead … on Linux *coughs*. :)
Since the monitor is refurbished, it does not have a service tag anymore and without that, you cannot go through the support clicky thing on the website. So I asked my retailer for help. They said, they are not in contact with Dell but could give me the direct phone number of tech support.
I called tech support then, which of cource has nothing to do with Dell but is just some repair service shop. They were surprised that monitors can even have a firmware and told me they could only give me what was available for download on the website.
Finally I found a thread in the Dell Community support forums where one guy (not a Dell employee) was handing out firmware images to other members via private message and when more and more people asked for it, he even published a link to some file hoster (wich is of course dead by now).
Do I really want to install firmware images from an unofficial source? The answer is: no.
My question here is, why Dell is not putting firmware images for download on their website. Are they only working on firmware images for business customers? What would be the harm in also handing them out to private customers?
After staring at a slightly coloured screen for a few days, you get used to it. And since I do not work with images or videos or anything, I do not care anymore. If this would have been a brand new monitor, I would have sent it back just as a matter of priciple. I really hate it that companies only care for you before you become a customer of theirs. After that, they already have your money, so you can as well just go die in the sewers.
On the plus side: all people I talked to have been very nice and really tried to help me.