Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Dell has a funny idea of what "upscale" is

"Dell Inc. is launching a line of upscale and more expensive computers after aggressive price-cutting led to lower-than-expected revenue growth last quarter."

Translation: we lost our shirts selling cut-rate PCs for less than we can build them, just to gain marketshare. So now we need to charge more...

Read more: Dell goes upscale with PCs for gamers, enthusiasts

The "upscale" experience, according to Dell, is waiting 5 minutes on hold instead of 15. Great. To them it also means more expensive, still ugly-as-sin PCs with no real industrial design beyond whatever they can do to make them cheaper.
"Dell also incorporates other perks befitting a luxury product. When visitors go to buy an XPS product from Dell's Web site, they will be ushered into a new XPS Showroom, where specialized sales representatives can help. Even the out-of-box experience gets an upgrade—new boxes, special accessory boxes, a laminated membership card, enhanced documentation, and a CD organizer."

"a laminated membership card" Huh???

It gets better:
"Upon purchase, each owner will receive the phone number and e-mail address of a special XPS customer service representative, which will remain the same throughout the life of the product. The base one-year XPS warranty will include rapid response with low average wait time, XPS-certified technicians, a new remote connection and problem resolution by XPS technicians, online and chat-based support, and an XPS support card that will get you quick access to information and VIP treatment when calling for support or a sale consultation. The XPS support personnel are also trained to deliver "how to" software support, assist with wireless installation and data migration, and will also support popular third-party devices and applications."

I wouldn't want any of this crap. I ESPECIALLY wouldn't want to pay extra for it. Just give me a computer that's easy to set up out of the box and just WORKS. I don't need the email address and phone number of "Kevin" a support person in India (no offense to Indians, or to Indian tech support people intended) who may or may not be there in a few months. "throughout the life of the product" LOL. Honestly, I've had minor issues with usually first-gen Apple products in the past, and really, my support experience has been excellent. I don't see the point. Is regular Dell support actually THAT bad?

Read more: Dell's New XPS Luxury Line
"We're consistently hearing a call for performance, power and style as more consumers see the value of expanding the computer's use for productivity and entertainment," Mr. Dell said. "We're delivering superior technology, design and service coupled with an enhanced personalized experience so consumers can get the most out of everything they want from Dell."

Dell is clearly from another planet if he thinks those new Dells feature "superior technology and design." Well maybe from his perspective, his own inferior products, he's right I guess.
"Available now in the United States, the new XPS models are aimed at tech enthusiasts, gamers and buyers who prefer the best products, services and individualized support."

Seriously, do you think there are many "tech enthusiasts" or "gamers" out there that want all this extra crap? Doubtful. All the PC users that fit these demos that I know build their own machines.

Read more: Dell Unveils XPS Brand of High-Performance Computers, Related Services

This is really just more proof of the way a company like Dell "innovates" Build some new boxes with darker plastic and replaceable faceplates, come up with a new support scheme and bill them as "new" and "innovative" and charge more for them.


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