I bought a Dell XPS Inspiron laptop via the Dell website over President’s Day weekend. The order took a little while to ship, but despite the horror stories I’ve heard regarding Dell customer service, I decided to chance it. The order finally shipped in March of 2011 and all was well up until 2 days ago. The machine started behaving strangely (freezing/unfreezing randomly) and I decided to do a system restore using Dell’s own “Datasafe backup” tool on the machine. I attempted the restore and the machine locked up. Fearing the worst, I attempted a restore to factory image and the machine freezes at 7% complete (locks up for hours). Any attempt to boot the machine results in a failed system restore. I’m stuck. Dreading what was to come, I picked up the phone and called technical support. I am told by two separate individuals that there’s no record of my order. I am put on hold (sometimes 10-20 minutes at a time) as they “search for my order” using various means (service tag, express tag, my name, address, etc). No dice. I am hung up on twice. 3rd time was the charm. After going through the whole song and dance again, I am told I have to speak to customer service because “oops, my service tag isn’t linked to my order”. Fine. I call customer service and explain everything again. The gentleman on the other end of the phone tells me it will take 24-48 hrs to link my order to my computer’s service tag. I said I thought that was pretty ridiculous but that’s fine. I would expect a call back. Today I receive a call that the linkage is complete so I call up technical support again. When I describe the problem, the guy on the line asks me how I will be paying for service. I told him I would not be paying for anything. This unit is under warranty, it has not suffered any physical damage and it’s ~3 months old. He then got argumentative and told me the problem was “clearly a software issue”. I said that I know enough about computers to know that he can’t make that diagnosis over the phone especially when restore won’t run, I can’t boot from a CD and I can’t boot in safe mode. Still hostile, the guy tells me to boot up in safe mode. I tell him I’m at work and don’t have the machine with me but that I’ve tried booting up in safe mode and it doesn’t work. It gets stuck in “system recovery” mode and won’t launch windows under any circumstances. He tells me that he will not help me unless I have the machine in front of me. I said that I thought that was pretty poor customer service but that’s fine, please give me a ticket number to reference so that I don’t have to explain from the beginning when I call back. His response (verbatim): “No troubleshooting has gone on here so I will not give you a ticket number” Fantastic customer service, Dell. You clearly don’t care about your customers at all. Further bulletins as events warrant.