Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dell could not get your question

Dell has some "Windows 7 - Boxing Week Laptop & Desktop Deals", so I decided to check out their website. Having used a Dell laptop recently, I remembered the lack of a "Menu key", so after poking around for a bit, this "chat with us" window started to scroll annoyingly in the way, so I thought I'd take advantage of it. This is what happened next:

 21:17:51    System  System 
 21:20:29    System  System 
You are now being connected to an agent. Thank you for using Dell Chat
 21:20:29    System  System 
Connected with Gowrishankar G
 21:20:29    Agent  Gowrishankar G 
Welcome to Dell Canada Sales Chat! I hope you are doing well and thank you for waiting. My name is Gowrishankar (Extn:4161496) I will be your online Product advisor.
 21:20:34    Agent  Gowrishankar G 
 21:20:49    Agent  Gowrishankar G 
hello Olivier
 21:21:09    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
Your link didn't work.
 21:21:45    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
Not a problem
 21:21:57    Agent  Gowrishankar G 
Great! Glad you chatted in today. How can I help you today with the purchase
 21:22:14    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
Anyway, I would like to know if there is a page with pictures of all the available keyboard layouts for 17" laptops.
 21:22:34    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
I was looking at this:
 21:22:35    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
 21:22:47    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
There's a picture of the keyboard on the right I can zoom into.
 21:22:53    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
I don't like that layout.
 21:23:09    Agent  Gowrishankar G 
Give me a moment
 21:23:13    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
 21:26:29    Agent  Gowrishankar G 
 21:26:39    Agent  Gowrishankar G 
You can open the link and click on gallery
 21:27:44    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
That's the same page I was at.
 21:27:56    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
Where can I see the other available keyboard layouts?
 21:28:15    Agent  Gowrishankar G 
you have to click on gallery
 21:28:36    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
I did.
 21:28:42    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
There is only one picture of a keyboard there.
 21:30:47    Agent  Gowrishankar G 
did you find the option gallery
 21:31:33    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
 21:31:39    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
It is not what I was looking for.
 21:32:48    Agent  Gowrishankar G 
 21:33:23    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
 21:33:32    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
I am looking for a laptop keyboard that has the "Menu key"
 21:33:48    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
It is usually to the right of the space bar, between Alt and Ctrl.
 21:35:44    Agent  Gowrishankar G 
could not get your question
 21:36:41    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
Does Dell make any laptops with the "Menu key" to the right of the space bar?
 21:38:45    Agent  Gowrishankar G 
No we don't have the "Menu key"
 21:38:54    Customer  Olivier Dagenais 
Thank you. That is all.
 21:39:40    Agent  Gowrishankar G 
Thank you very much for your time

I keep poking around and notice that if you click Customize, you eventually get to pick your keyboard!  Great, let's see what my options are:

Multi-task any time of the day or night with a backlit keyboard.
Standard Keyboard - English
Learn MoreHelp Me Choose 
Standard Keyboard - English [Included in Price]
Backlit Keyboard - English [add $25.00 or $1.00/month1]

Bummer. I guess I'm out of luck if I wanted the bilingual keyboard that I'm seeing in stores everywhere these days (and I certainly do not!  I want a US English keyboard layout like my old HP Pavilion dv8000.).

At this stage, even if Dell laptops somehow eventually do get a "Menu key", I'm not convinced I want to support an organization that hires "sales people" that can't understand English.

UPDATE: I found that HP's website contains manuals for its laptop series, including lists of part numbers for replacement keyboards, by language, as well as instructions for removing and replacing keyboards. This is great if all you can find is a laptop with a French-Canadian keyboard; you can replace it after the purchase.

UPDATE 2: I ended up ordering a refurbished HP laptop that already has a US English keyboard. It doesn't have the inverted T arrow keys, but I don't use those as often...

UPDATE 3: I ended up returning said refurbished HP laptop after some testing revealed that their recovery discs didn't actually work.

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