The Dell India website lists prices for all their products except the all-in-ones, for which it advises the client to call the Dell India toll-free number. Which I did yesterday, and that's when my troubles started. First I got a gent who interrogated me sternly (name? serial number? last three years' tax returns? OK maybe I made up that last bit, but that was the tone of it). Then he asked me to hold, there was a brief spell of bad music and a sultry female voice whispered in my ear "Hello Sunil! This is Meena!!". I'm not making this up. I resisted the temptation to ask her when exactly we got on first-name terms, and got to my point. She didn't note the model number of the PC I was interested in, but simply promised to email me the price list for all Dell laptops and desktops.
When it arrived, the mail did not contain any information about the 2310. So I wrote back to gently point this out. I also gave her the link of the Dell India website where the model is described. This was her reply:
To view the desktops available in india, you need to log on to the website www.dell.co.in. Also the models available with us are mentioned in the excel file.
In other words, she was claiming the machine I was trying to buy did not exist in India! I phoned her and gave her a piece of my mind: my colleague recently bought one of these from Dell India, the website I was consulting was indeed that of Dell India etc. In response to which I got this mail:
Can you please resend the mail containing the desktop details as due to some error in the system, the mail was automatically deleted.
At this point I called Dell again, to ask if I could talk to anyone except Meena. Ended up with a similar interrogation guy who patiently heard my complaint ("I'm trying to buy your product but your employee says it doesn't exist!) and said he would transfer me. Thereafter I got a recorded message saying "Extension 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0" after which it hung up on me. Back to square one.
At the next attempt I got someone who transferred me to Reena. Who transferred me to Shruti. Shruti told me the 2310 is not marketed directly by Dell but only by Dell retailers. When I started to hyperventilate, she passed me on to Deepa. "Deepa" I shrieked on the phone "do you have brains? Because I can't deal with one more Dell Dodo today. Please." Only, I didn't say any of this out loud.
Turned out, not only does Deepa have brains but she knows everything about the Dell 2310 including the rather arcane fact that it is "same thing as Dell 123 only". And that a consignment came in yesterday from Malaysia and I absolutely must buy one as soon as possible. It will be delivered in 5 days (I still remember the last time I heard that one from Dell India).
While I was musing over this conversation, Deepa called back. "I just want to know what you will use it for". I said I use it for music and video editing, music playback, stuff like that. She was relieved. "You're not going to resell it, are you?". I assured her I would not.
But on second thoughts, maybe I should. Wouldn't you pay double the price just to avoid dealing with Meena, Reena, Shruti, Deepa and three nameless male Nazis?