Dell World Police

I am on the run. I am on the run from WoDePo, the World Dell Police. But I am innocent. I swear. Sort of, because I swear a lot.

Act I

When escaping from Australia I brought with me my Dell Inspiron laptop (aka The - stinkingly hot - Brick). This very act was probably highly illegal, and for many months I simply got away with it.

But even highly-trained ter\rho{}rists like me make mistakes. In my case I managed to damage The Brick. Disk was ok, but The Brick would not boot any more. Obviously something motherboard-ish.

Now, the company I work for offered me to get it repaired via their Dell service contract. But the advice they got was that Dell Europe does not repair laptops bought outside Europe.

"You have to be mentally stable when talking to Dell."

I rather would have to initiate an international tag transfer and formally hand over the laptop. Hand it over

from me to me.

Act II

Now this raises any number of issues, such as whether such a transaction would actually fall under the local taxation law. Or questions what happens with the confidential data on the disk.

I could also forsee that I could potentially sue myself in the future in case something happened with The Brick. But first I would have to prove that I am actually myself being me and not me at the same time. Not trivial.

But Dell makes it easy for us valued customers: We just fill out a form: First this

1

then that

2

But here I hesitated:

3

The list did not offer Ter\rho{}rism, and none of the other entries matched the way I intend to use The Brick. Bugger.

So I picked the relatively closest option Nuclear Research/Mfg: In German Mfg means mit freundlichen Gruessen (kind regards, with friendly greetings). And I thought being friendly might help in the process.

Act III

But WoDePo could not be fooled. Soon I received an email:


To: AP Compliance ITT
Subject: DJ5S91S (AUSTRALIA/AUSTRALIA)
INTERNATIONAL_UNIT_LOCATION_TRANS_FORM

Please review for HOT WORD - "Nuclear"

Thanks,
/Lori
Int'l Tag Team
ULT Form:  www.dell.com/dhs/globaltagtransfer

together with (reformatted):


From: AP_Compliance_ITT@Dell.com
To: rho@devc.at, AP_Compliance_ITT@Dell.com
Subject: RE: DJ5S91S (AUSTRALIA/AUSTRALIA)
         INTERNATIONAL_UNIT_LOCATION_TRANS_FORM

Dear Sir,

Thank you for choosing Dell! We were at the midst
of reviewing your tag transfer request and noticed
that you have selected "NUCLEAR" as the
end-use. Can you please advise specifically what
kind of NUCLEAR work your company is involved in.

Also can you confirm what the specific end use of
the product is?  Please clarify further if the end
use of this product is not for administration and
clerical purposes in your organisation)

Once we have received your confirmation, we will
advise the next step accordingly.

Thanks & Best Regards,
WW Compliance (MCIS) - Jeff Chuah
Direct Line  :  604 - 5045435
Email : Chin_hooi_chuah@dell.com

You cannot really pass anything by them, can you. They now have cornered me. No way out, except the counter-attack:


On Sat, Apr 12, 2008 at 09:49:36AM +0800, AP_Compliance_ITT@Dell.com wrote:
> Thank you for choosing Dell! We were at the
> midst of reviewing your tag transfer request and
> noticed that you have selected "NUCLEAR" as the
> end-use. Can you please advise specifically what
> kind of NUCLEAR work your company is involved
> in.

Even if I had chosen "Terrorism" (why was I not
given this option?) is is

   ABSOFUCKOLUTELY NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS,

how I use the box. What is this: Dell World
Police?

I already find it incredibly intrusive that I have
to go through this procedure just because I moved
from Australia to Europe and Dell Europe would not
repair the machine, because

  "it has not been bought in Europe"

> Also can you confirm what the specific end use
> of the product is?  Please clarify further if
> the end use of this product is not for
> administration and clerical purposes in your
> organisation)

I am counting atoms. So it is administrative. Happy
now?

[ ... more helpful stuff ... ]

> Once we have received your confirmation, we will
> advise the next step accordingly.

Gosh, move on. Bullshit someone else.

Ha, that would teach the helldesk droid with the Indian accent a lesson.

Act IV

So I thought. The PC voice unabatedly returned:


Dear Customer,

We are sympathetic to your frustrations regarding
the transfer of the service tag.  Many of our
customers have found this process a little
cumbersome.  Systematically our warranty services
are divided by region.  Your service tag must be
maintained in a particular region in order for
Dell Service Team and/or our partners to provide
service to your system.  The international tag
transfer from Australia to Austria is a procedural
requirement in order for you to obtain service.
Thank you for completing the appropriate form.

In regards to your tag transfer, Dell Policy and
US Federal Trade Regulations (along with Australia
and EU) require that we monitor the end use and
end users of all "controlled" technology
(computers are controlled).  Certain end uses such
as chemical, nuclear, biological activities are a
concern for US and foreign governments for
national security and weapons proliferation
activities.  We have a legal and procedural
requirement to request information regarding the
end use of the product to determine whether or not
a US or foreign government export license may be
required. This is to protect Dell and also
safeguard you, as the consumer, from any legal
action.

In order to complete your tag transfer request,
and for you to obtain service on your system, we
would require that you provide information
regarding the end use of this product.

So they monitor the end use and the end users. I am sure this is sooo effective. And as a world-wide operating, U.S. company they have suuuch a concern for the national security. And they sooo protect me from legal action, sure.

Act V

Now I am on the run from Dell. And from Dell products. But overall I feel great. I mean, I give these people work to do. Important work.

What happened to my Dell laptop, you wonder? Well, I did the most obvious thing: Shipped it to someone in North Korea. Their secret service there will probably classify it as Nuclear Waste. Or will torture The Brick by installing an unlicenced copy of Vista on it.

You just gotta love this planet.

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