I bought a small Dell tablet that I hope will serve a purpose … something compact that I can use to connect to the larger world, but tuck in my bag for quick excursions when I’m not going to be processing photos or writing posts for my blog. It has been ordered, but not yet received. When I ordered it, I was told it accepted a standard SD memory card up to 128 GB in size. Cool. Adorama was advertising a sale on memory today, so I popped over to see what bargains were to be had. I figured I’d get — depending on price — one or two 64 GB cards. And realized that anything larger than 32 GB is XC, not HC.

So I used Dell’s chat to ask a question. I thought it was a simple question. Will the Venue Pro 8 read an SDXC card?

This is how the first call went. After this, I went to working the phone.

This is an automated email sent from Dell Chat. The following information is a log of your session. Please save the log for your records.
Your session ID for this incident is …
Time Details
01/20/2014 11:07:21AM Session Started with Agent (A-D)
01/20/2014 11:07:21AM Marilyn Armstrong: “.”
01/20/2014 11:07:27AM Agent (A-D): “Welcome, my name is A-D. I can be reached at … How may I help you?”
01/20/2014 11:07:45AM Marilyn Armstrong: “I have one question about the Venue Pro 8 which I’ve already ordered”
01/20/2014 11:08:15AM Agent (A-D): “No problem you are free to ask questions Marilyn”
01/20/2014 11:08:19AM Marilyn Armstrong: “I know it takes an SD card, but does it read the newer SDXC cards?”
01/20/2014 11:08:55AM Marilyn Armstrong: “HC is the older format, but all the larger cards – 64GB and up — are SDXC, not SDHC.”
01/20/2014 11:09:42AM Marilyn Armstrong: “Hello??”
01/20/2014 11:10:15AM Agent (A-D): “Yes you can still use other SD card …”
01/20/2014 11:10:24AM Agent (A-D): “I mean other brand”
01/20/2014 11:10:24AM Marilyn Armstrong: “SDXC?”
01/20/2014 11:10:34AM Marilyn Armstrong: “This isn’t a brand. It’s a FORMAT.”
01/20/2014 11:10:46AM Agent (A-D): “Yes it can”
01/20/2014 11:10:53AM Agent (A-D): “It is back ward compatible”
01/20/2014 11:11:21AM Marilyn Armstrong: “Are you sure? Because this is a NEWER NOT AN OLDER FORMAT and I don’t think you understand what I’m talking about”
01/20/2014 11:11:50AM Agent (A-D): “let me double-check for you”
01/20/2014 11:11:53AM Marilyn Armstrong: “Please connect me with someone who understands the technology.”
01/20/2014 11:13:27AM Agent (A-D): “Upon double checking the format can only support SD, SDHC only”
01/20/2014 11:14:08AM Marilyn Armstrong: “So it can’t actually accept a 128GB card because they are ALL in SDXC format. The bigger cards are all SDXC
01/20/2014 11:14:16AM Marilyn Armstrong: “Is there someone I can really talk to?”
01/20/2014 11:14:27AM Agent (A-D): “yes it is …”
01/20/2014 11:14:54AM Agent (A-D): “you can go on this link for you technical support”
01/20/2014 11:14:56AM Marilyn Armstrong: “Where? Not on dell, not on Amazon, not on Tiger Direct, not anywhere.”
01/20/2014 11:15:01AM Agent (A-D): “You’ll be able to contact our Technical Support Department at 1-800-624-9896, they are open 24/7”
01/20/2014 11:15:39AM Marilyn Armstrong: “This is a simple question. I don’t want to spend hours on the damned phone. Just have someone who actually knows the specs of the item I already ordered.”
01/20/2014 11:16:41AM Agent (A-D): “I already give you the information that you want…”
01/20/2014 11:18:38AM Agent (A-D): “that is the only format that can support the tablet is SD, SDHC only”
If you require further assistance, please visit us at

Two phone calls later:

The Venue Pro 8 only accepts micro SD cards and only SDXC format. Wow. There’s nothing like really terrific customer service to start the day off right, eh?

The previous is an actual transcript of the conversation. Only the name and other identifying information have been changed to protect the guilty.


  1. Tech support very often consists of this equation:



    • Just because they are cheap labor from India or Pakistan or heaven knows where doesn’t mean they have to act like robots … and not even well-programmed robots. At the least, give them a cheat sheet with the data on in in alphabetical order. I got my little tablet. This model does NOT accept an SD card, only the micro scsx. Some models accept both. NONE of them accept ONLY the SD card. And I really hate Windows 8 even as I’m learning to work with it, it takes all my patience to not throw this lovely little tablet through a wall. Marilyn, calm down. Breathe. Hyper-ventilation will not help in this situation (does it ever help?) …


      • I use a Mac, I have non of the open platform PC problems. The only tablet I need is the one required to calm me down after coming off the phone to someone like tech support. Keep calm and carry on 😉


        • I am talking to Dell tech support. He has helped me so that the tablet, which had a couple of small problems before is now completely dead. Totally unresponsive. I’m ready to commit murder. Wow. This is the ultimate statement in tech support.


  2. Actually, for an online tech chat I think that went quite well 😉
    How dare you suggest that the people who built the device actually know what it does 🙂

    Maybe your mistake was telling them that you had already ordered it? People seem to lose interest once they have your money.


    • You’re right. I should have pretended I wanted to buy it. But wait… that was where I got the original wrong infor … or was it? I still don’t know what the right answer is! I won’t know till I actually have the tablet and look at it. It just keeps getting worse.


    • I’m still not sure I got the right answer! The quality of tech support just keeps getting worse … just when I think it can’t get any worse. For what it’s worth, even if you ask the right question, you won’t get the right answers. We are all doomed.


  3. Yikes, I pray every day I never need “technical support.” By the way, I bought an Asus tablet that runs Windows 8. With the snap on keyboard it is the same as a laptop. I love it so far.


    • This little tablet is pretty much the same as what you bought, except probably smaller. It’s the size of a Kindle. I already have a portable keyboard I can use AND a laptop — that’s why I wanted Windows compatible, because I already have a lot of accessories that work with Windows. All I wanted to know what what kind of card it could read. I’m still not sure. I had customer service and tech support. That’s why I used their chat line, in the hopes that I could just ask a question, get and answer and be done with it. Little did I know that I was opening Pandora’s box. Oy VAY! I still don’t know if I have the correct answer. I should get the tablet tomorrow or Wednesday, at which point I will actually look and see what kind of chip will really work.

      It isn’t rare to get terrible tech/customer support. What’s rare is GOOD support.


  4. Your patience is incredible. I have to get on support chats sometimes at work to find something out.
    The phone calls usually end with me beating the handset against the desk.

    (By the way, it’s obviously your fault for asking a question that wasn’t in the script!) 😉


    • If beating up the handset would help, I’d do it. I usually sit and scream for a while after I get off. But ranting online helps more. Not only do I get to unload, but I get sympathy! And you don’t have to replace your broken phone 🙂


    • The completely wrong answers are what scare me. They usually sound so savvy and sure … and then I go buy whatever it is and it doesn’t fit. It’s the wrong part, wrong format, wrong size, wrong wrong wrong. At least they could say “I don’t know” and connect you to someone who does know. It never really changes. Double sigh.


    • I don’t think I’m likely to improve my opinion until companies start to train tech support personnel so they actually know what they need to know. I don’t blame individuals. I blame the parent company which doesn’t care about their customers. But I’ll check out the movie up anyhow 🙂


  5. I start having stomach pain when I have to call tech support – because I usually don’t know enough tech to know how to get my question understood. But then again, maybe the problem is on the other end of the line. 😀


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