Dell? Nevermore

The Dell all-in-one printer/fax/copier never did work all the way. I sent one fax and that was that. Nevermore would it send or receive a fax. Sometimes I got it to print a letter, after much tinkering and tweaking...one thing it did fairly consistently--it did print off the Internet. That was 3 years ago. It doesn't work at all now.

So in trying to do the right thing by keeping this electronic dead weight out of landfills, I visited dell.com/recycle. Dell recycles its crap for free, or so it says. I clicked on recycle now and typed in my service code and !!!! It refused to accept the numbers. So I called Dell's excellent customer service 800 number, explained that I wanted to recycle their old printer, and only got transferred six times. The last rep I spoke to said the website was not accepting the service tag number I gave him. (I knew that already...) so he could not send me a free mailing label. So...

Reluctantly, into the garbage it must go. There's no room for it in my tiny apartment. No, I can't afford to pay some other corporation to recycle this junk. Most of them charge to recycle, so far...I can't donate it to a thrift store or a charity or freecycle it to somebody else because it doesn't work!

This ain't the first Dell item that's given me the blues, but I'll stay out of there for now.

The larger point is, there's so much semi cheap-- and not so cheap--poor quality electronic crap being bought and sold every day, and the sellers know it's crap and they know it's gonna break unreasonably soon because they push the extended warranties. Want to complain? The CEO's of these corporations that unleash this junk are surrounded by electronic moats that work way better than the electronics they sell us at Walmart or wherever...And really, how much of this stuff that we have come to regard as necessary do we really need?

When I weigh the cost/burden of buying/transporting/maintaining something against what it gives back, I conclude a lot of stuff isn't so necessary anymore.

So... I'll continue to print at Kinkos/Staples. Buy and read used books made of paper the old way, listen to used music CDs, and watch my local thrift stores for used useful stuff.

UPDATE: Staples said they will recycle Dell crap for free. All I have to do is get it there. Other stuff is $10. http://wwwstaples.com

Technology is good, except when it oppresses and impoverishes.

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