Friday, April 20, 2007


I can think of at least three things wrong with that title…

Well really just two – I’m still not convinced that Vista really is an “upgrade” to XP (and I guess so are a lot of others) but technically it is correct, so I’ll give you that one.

But I’m also pretty sure that Dell doesn’t have that much to do with the process; every actual-no-kidding-Round-Rock-dwelling Dell employee I’ve talked to has disavowed any knowledge of the program. And every single person I’ve spoken with at the contact us phone numbers sure don’t sound like they are from Texas, but more on that later

The real problem with the name is the “express” part.

As I’ve mentioned, I have this great new job as IT manager for a software dev/services house. One of the first things I did when I started on February 1st was realize that we were entitled to 30 instances of the DELL EXPRESS UPGRADE TO WINDOWS VISTA from our previous machine purchases.

Like all frugal IT folks, I figured this would be a good way to save a few bucks, because even though we are didn’t really need the licenses, it is always a good idea to have them right?

Right off I called our Dell rep (the Texas kind) and asked if there was any way to enter these all in bulk. Since I had 30 of them, I figured I could save some time, as well as shipping expense ($10 per!). She informed me that she did not know, but to contact India, uh, er, I mean the DELL EXPRESS UPGRADE TO WINDOWS VISTA reps and ask them.

To be fair, I really don’t have anything against outsourced call centers, and since I’ve gotten to deal with them frequently in the past few years, I’ve become sort of a connoisseur – I can tell the good from the bad in the first few minutes. I did not get a good feeling, but the rep I spoke with was helpful, and informed me that I should contact the volume licensing department, and that they would help with the bulk license request.

So I got back on the horn with the good ol’ USofA and the Dell volume licensing department, who kindly informed me that, no, they did not have anything to do with the DELL EXPRESS UPGRADE TO WINDOWS VISTA program, and that they “wished that they would stop telling people that”.

OK, so I’ll save you my further investigations, and get back to entering requests by hand.

Well, since I needed to do a lot of these, and I did not have my corporate card yet, I figured I would just enter the machines that I absolutely “needed” to do – which meant the I would need to use some of our Vista volume licenses for them if I did not get my DELL EXPRESS UPGRADE TO WINDOWS VISTA packets in a month and a half.

So over the next couple of days, I ordered 10 licenses. Then the fun began.

The first license I ordered was for my machine. Over the next few days/weeks that order was canceled without any notification, re-instated without any notification or action on my part.

Three of the others were also mysteriously canceled, with no notification.

I’ve sent several emails to the e-mail contact listed at - with no response.

I’ve called numerous times and have been unable to get anyone to even tell me why this happened. Actually most of the conversations started with me starting to explain, and then the rep just apologizing for how broken the system was, and promising that many people there were working on it and would get back to me.

Eventually (like weeks later) I got an e-mail indicating that my order had been canceled – my order? Which one? I have 10! After checking online, I was happy to see that none of my others had been canceled, I guess after my repeated calls and e-mails asking why they had done it, they decided it was time to let me know that they had canceled my order...

OH well – tired of fighting, I decided to order the remaining 20, and I figured if we got only 3 of theDELL EXPRESS UPGRADE TO WINDOWS VISTA to actually show up then we would be ahead, at least in dollars spent (not counting my time of course –which at this point was probably around 15 hours – I did start this to save money, right?). This was done in the last few days that you could order. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that one of these 20, when ordered gave some weird-ass deadlocked error, and now I can not re-enter it. And I still have not heard back from them on this issue…

So here we are in April, and in the last 2 weeks or so, these have finally started showing up. The first one to show up was the first one I entered, which was for my laptop. So I figured that they would start coming based on the order I entered them, right? Wrong. Of the initial batch, only mine has shown, of the 20 I entered last, almost all have shown up, even though some of their status never showed being shipped.

Did I mention that only the shipping label shows the order number? There is no identifier inside the packaging.

And still no word on my canceled orders.

Bottom line? DELL EXPRESS UPGRADE TO WINDOWS VISTA is a big let down, and way below what I expected from Dell.

1 comment:

James D. Bausch said...

This is so great - as soon as I post this, stops functioning! I've tested from numerous locations - so I know its not just me or my network.

how cool is that? Hope it comes back soon so I can check on my outstanding orders...